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

What are you doing not buying this book?

In the past year or so, I’ve had a beautiful culinary experience.

I mean, I love cooking just about all of the time, but I got to do something really special.

I recipe tested for Vegan Richa, a vegan recipe author you need to follow right now if you don’t already. She assembled her first cookbook full of Indian delights, pushing out recipes to the testers, copy editing, taking our feedback and committing the most beautiful acts of food photography.

And, now that her book is out, I can tell you about it!

All of the drool.

All of the drool.

It was excruciatingly hard to keep it a secret on this blog. I was blowing my own mind with the dishes I was able to churn out in my tiny Seattle kitchen with Richa’s guidance. I never thought I would be able to make authentic homemade Indian food, but now I can! I wanted to post my crappy cell phone pictures up here every time I cranked out a Richa dish.

But now you’re going to make them, because you’re going to buy this book.

Admittedly, you’ll probably have to acquire some Indian staples over time, like fenugreek leaves, mustard and cumin seeds and mung dal if you don’t have those on hand already. But once you pick them up, you’ll be able to create Richa goodness forever. (Who knew I’d ever keep nigella seeds in my spice cabinet?) More

Aziz Ansari on meat

Last week I watched Aziz Ansari’s Madison Square Garden special on Netflix.

I anticipated his feminist commentary because of the media coverage it attracted (and I read tons of feminist blogs), but the part that excited me the most was something that, afterward, I couldn’t find much coverage on at all.

He lampooned the meat and egg industry.

He starts by asking the audience to clap if they don’t eat meat … and then clap if they don’t eat meat because they read books or watched documentaries that turned them off of meat … and then to clap if they don’t eat meat because they saw factory farm footage that fucked up their ability to eat meat.

Then he continues:

Clap if you saw that (factory farm footage) and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that’s disgusting, it’s cruel, it’s inhumane, the government definitely needs to properly regulate the meat industry, there’s no excuse for this – the government definitely needs to properly regulate the meat industry … but, in the meantime, I kinda still gotta eat meat, because I don’t wanna feel weird and hungry all the time.’

Isn’t that so frustrating? Because no one wants to support that stuff.

This is where most people I know are at. Like, they inherently know meat comes from a fucked up place, but they exist in willful denial because they don’t think they have the willpower to give up meat or they think humans were built to consume meat and so we should or they have no idea what they would eat in the alternative … whatever. More

Wut

Interrupting my hiatus of laziness for this important message.

I cannot wait.

Food and depression

Some people reach for food when they’re sad, stressed, grieving or depressed.

I starve.

I suffer from depression. It’s totally under control and has been for a couple years now. But once in a great while it can still come creeping back, with or without a trigger.

When I was in the depths a few years ago, I lost between 20 and 30 pounds. One of my great loves – good, wholesome food – was rarely interesting to me. I had no motivation to cook. I was also poor at the time. Dinner would be tortilla chips or graham crackers. Anxiety drove me to throw up what little I could choke down. More

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.

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