No-new groceries check-in

I’m still three days away from pay day and I have bought zero new groceries, true to my goal.

Gotta say, I’m quite impressed with my own pantry-stocking skills. And the beginning of CSA season was admittedly a great help.

I cheated financially and went to dinner with a friend and got drinks with more friends last Friday night, but those were plans made before I knew I’d be strapped for cash. But because I’m using some creativity in the kitchen, I’ve still been spending very little.

Here are some highlights: More

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The no-new-grocery challenge

Budget- and mental health-wise, I hope the days are behind me of eating chips and leftover s’mores ingredients from an old camping trip for dinner.

But I’m still a writer trying to make rent in Seattle, where the cost of living and taxes are high (I love you so much Seattle, but you hurt me sometimes).

I got paid on Friday, but after going over my budget, I realized that I’d still have near-nothing left by the time my checks for rent, my CSA and a health insurance thing clear.

Not wanting to swim in more credit card debt (which is where I put my car repairs and birthday presents to loved ones), I challenged myself to not buy any more groceries until I get paid again June 13. More

What I ate today

Boom.

OK so this photo is really crappy – I’m pretty sure my phone’s camera lens is totally scratched up and jacked, but whatever.

But: Happy Herbivore Light and Lean Thai tacos with Vegan With a Vengeance garlic kale topped with tahini dressing. Made almost entirely from leftovers.

I even ate it at my kitchen table instead of on my couch.

Store-bought natural peanut butter? RIP-OFF. Make your own, boss!

In recent years, of course, I got into eating natural, no-crazy-sugar-or-other-bullshit-added peanut butter.

But have you seen straight up peanut butter in the store?! Freaking $6, $7, $8 – who has that kind of cash for luxury peanut butter?! I don’t live near a Grocery Outlet anymore, so I’ve paid crap prices for peanut butter a few times. Luckily I don’t go through peanut butter that quickly.

My baller friend Ashley, one of my high school besties, posted about making her own peanut butter over at her blog.

ZOMG I HAD TO DO THIS.

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Dispatch from the CSA rabbit hole

Well hello there. I hope you’ve had a lovely summer. I’ve continued to cook away in a constant struggle to keep up with all the beautiful goods coming through my kitchen via CSA.

Let’s review what I’ve come up with in the past several weeks.

First: Pickling!

I’m a pickle whore, no joke. My whole life. So it’s been fun to work up some quick pickles with the pickling cucumbers that I’ve received and especially the radishes when I don’t have time or ideas for anything special for them. The radishes are perfect to have on hand for salad fixins.

Next: Pastas! More

Brunch in my belly

Brunch is probably the best thing ever invented. A few times a month, Mike and I try to make it out to The Dish or Five-Point Cafe for brunch, or I like to meet a girlfriend somewhere.

As I’ve said before, weekday breakfast is a challenge for this sleepyhead. I can’t muster effort to do anything in the morning. Often I give up on trying to do my hair.

But on weekends or days off when I’m not out brunching or running around, I’ve taken to my own eat-in brunch. It’s nice. I’m cleaning out my fridge, I’m brewing up some coffee and there is no rush. And then there are leftovers, meaning I have a treat to take with me to work and get a good start to my day. (Boom.)

Everyday Happy Herbivore cheesy cauliflower hash and a tofu scramble. Top with hot sauce.

Everyday Happy Herbivore cheesy cauliflower hash and a tofu scramble. Top with hot sauce.

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The nooch gospel

My boyfriend, Mike, is a fairly picky eater.

Since going full-time veggie, he stopped wanting to eat the meals I make, which made me sad because I love to share my cooking. He’s also sad that I no longer make him beef stew or turkey chili (though I did teach him how to make his own turkey chili, so there’s that).

He’s a guy who honestly doesn’t see the point in eating something without meat and/or cheese.

One thing we do share is a love of salad. Sometimes we hit up a salad bar together at Ballard Market in his hood or Metropolitan Market in my hood. Since I’ve been overloaded on CSA goods, we just hit up the salad bar for toppings I don’t have (cheese and ham in his case) and mix them in with my copious quantities of greens.

Anyway. Outside salad, we have little in common anymore when it comes to food.

But last week, my friends, Mikey discovered nooch. More

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