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

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

Wut

Interrupting my hiatus of laziness for this important message.

I cannot wait.

What should be on every restaurant table

Mike and I sometimes eat at Razzi’s Pizzeria in Greenwood because they have whole separate menus for omnivores and vegans (and another for gluten-free folks, too) and we can both have calzones when we’re in the mood for a treat.

When we went there last week, I noticed a special condiment on every table that I hadn’t seen there before:

Hi there!

Hi there!

I’ve never tried the Go Veggie! parm before. I use my own homemade Happy Herbivore parm when I cook at home.

It was delicious! I haven’t quite tasted that flavor in a very long time and it was a welcome topping to my vegan calzone.

Here’s to hoping vegan parmesan shows up on every table in America.

I’m not holding my breath.

Thanksgiving!

Doesn’t matter that I no longer eat turkey. Thanksgiving is still a fantastic holiday, perhaps even more so because my approach to it is so new and wonderful and I have more ownership and pride in my feast than ever before.

This was my second plant-based Thanksgiving, so a few things remained the same as last year as I dined with my omnivorous family in Olympia. Mom set aside some potatoes and stuffing for me to load with veggie broth instead of chicken broth and cream. I also brought my own pie, made my own gravy and threw together an appetizer and salad to share.

However, I tried a few new things. Whereas I drew most of my inspiration from Isa last year, this year I turned to the newest Happy Herbivore book, Holidays and Gatherings.

I had been paging through my H&G book for a few weeks now, but this was my first time using it. It is so great! It collects a lot of recipes from books past, so there aren’t tons of surprises for someone like me who has all of Lindsay’s recipe books. However, it organizes the recipes into the perfect holidays and occasions to cook them (even though I took from other chapters to work into my Thanksgiving) and also brings in some new delights.

When all was done, I was so pleased with the results. Check out the highlights:

What were some of your Thanksgiving revelations/highlights this year?

Making it work

Traveling/being on the go/dining out with friends must be navigated more conscientiously as a veghead.

But I’ve come across some nice options and accommodations during my recent hectic few weeks.

First: Safeway is actually pretty all right.

I don’t often shop at Safeway anymore except for its gas station. I feel I find more options that fit my needs at local chain markets. But maybe I haven’t looked in the right places. More

Portland: still awesome

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I both had separate work things going on in Portland, so we got an extra field trip there.

Seattle’s my city, but Portland is pretty fabulous. It contains elements of my two favorite towns – Seattle and Olympia – in one. Some of the sleekness, bigger-city advantages and pop culture influence of Seattle, with more of the hominess and hippie-ness of Oly.

I continued to find fabulous plant-based food there. Probably my favorite thing about Portland. We herbies are truly at home there.

Take a look at some highlights:

Not pictured is the wonderful beer I had at Burnside Brewing Company. Plant-based grub AND excellent beer make Portland heaven.

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