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


Gorgeous and incredibly daunting all at once.

Gorgeous and incredibly daunting all at once.

I have been busy in the kitchen, now more than ever.

And it’s because of my CSA.

I’ve never had a CSA subscription before. Too expensive for my miniscule salary, all that.

But now that I make a lil’ more money this year, I decided to subscribe to the cheapest farm subscription I could find in Seattle. A half-share. Because, you know, I’m a single person who can’t consume a whole share.

For the past month-and-a-half, I’ve been drowning in vegetables. More

Hacking Plum

I’ve never been to Capitol Hill’s Plum Bistro, one of Seattle’s bastions of vegan cuisine.

I hope to someday, but I need someone willing to drop more than a little cash at a nice vegan restaurant with me.

But I do go to Plum Pantry, one of the franchise’s outposts, at the Seattle Center. I go there during my lunch break sometimes as a treat. It’s freaking bomb. Just last week I had the baked tempeh chipotle sandwich. There’s also their reuben, banh mi, yam and jerk tofu sandwich … NOM.

Anyway, my parents gave me the Plum cookbook for Christmas last year, and even though I salivated over the lovely photos, I hadn’t made anything from the book yet. Most of the recipes seemed more involved, costly and contained several ingredients I don’t keep around in my pantry.

But upon taking a fresh look through the book recently, I found a few that seemed do-able.


Being a broke vegan

People think being vegan is expensive. It can be, but depending on your choices, it really doesn’t have to be.

I mean, the roots of my vegan journey stem partly from a need to stretch what few dollars I had, and nixing meat, eggs and milk from the grocery list helped (took awhile for me to forgo cheese).

Last month, I moved, which was expensive, and then there was Christmas. Then my car insurance leveled a financial blow for moving. (Thanks, btw.)

So I had a few weeks during which I had to skimp a little. Sadly the credit card was used more frequently than I’d prefer.

But food was never a huge stress. I just had to know what to make with cheaper ingredients.

So lemme talk a little bit about what I do to squeak by when The Man is after my meager stack of journalist cash.



As if it wasn’t enough to get the Happy Herbivore on this humble little blog.

Last night I got to see Isa Chandra Moskowitz, modern vegan pioneer and creator of the Post Punk Kitchen, at Book Larder in Fremont.

I geeked out. Got there early, bought her new book, Isa Does It, pored over page after delicious page, and sat in the front row.

Swiftly demolished.

Swiftly demolished.

Well, I didn’t wanna be the only person hanging around an hour before the start of the event, so I made a quick stop at Uneeda Burger and got their homemade veggie burger topped with portobello mushrooms.

Then I went back to Book Larder and was still pretty early, so I made sure to snag a good seat before resuming my absorption in Isa Does It.

I love the other cookbook I have of hers, Vegan With a Vengeance. It has amazingly delicious recipes, including the chocolate cake I made for my mom.

But it’s not an attractive book inside. I want pictures with my recipes. There are hardly any pictures.


On my plate

My first plant-based autumn is going awesome as I turn to more hearty, comforting dishes for hibernation season.

The typical trial and error ensues.

-My big revelation in recent weeks is the Sunday dinner for one I put together a couple weekends ago, all from the Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook (use the “look inside” feature at the link for some recipes). I made lentil loaf for the first time, as well as champ (basically an Irish take on mashed potatoes, with green onions) and a previous success, lemony kale. Though the kale only yielded two servings, the lentil loaf and champ provided repeat leftovers and I still have one serving of each left in my work fridge. Though I drizzled ketchup on the lentil loaf pictured, I poured barbecue sauce over the loaf and potatoes in subsequent helpings. Barbecue sauce is among my favorite condiments. I learned recently, however, that you gotta check the ingredients on barbecue sauce bottles because some contain non-vegan Worcestershire sauce. Luckily Trader Joe’s sauce is safe. More

Soup, resurrected

OK so I made another soup last night.

I turned to a trusted site I frequent, especially when I’m dirt poor/need to save money in a hurry. (Saving for a new apartment right now. Operation: Live Like a Dirtbag is underway.)

I went for Budget Bytes’ Tomato Herb Soup and it was super cheap to get the ingredients I didn’t have. Then I’d make grilled cheese to accompany it with some Trader Joe’s soy cheese I already had.

SO GOOD. No cream, amazing, rich texture, big on flavor. And if you wanna go super healthy, you can cook your aromatics in a thin layer of veggie broth instead of oil, a Happy Herbivore health hack I use all the time. It works, yo!

Also, if you don’t have these dried herbs laying around, buy them in bulk. I no longer buy pre-packaged herbs because it is such a better value to get the amount I want in bulk.

o hai flash

o hai flash



I really don’t get a big hankering for soup in the summer, but last week my soup switch turned on.

Heck, this week or next I’ll probably make chili. IT’S CHILI SEASON, YOU GUYS.

Anyway, I made two soups last week from the Happy Herbivore’s Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook, which I highly recommend. The author, Lindsay Nixon, is awesome with cheap, accessible and easy recipes, which is what I’m all about.

Soup 1: Texas white chili More