Days 24, 25, 26, 27… Almost there!

I really truly have been trying to keep my diet varied this month, partially to show that vegans have a lot of choices, but mostly because 31 consecutive, identical posts would be pretty freaking boring. Unfortunately, a certain co-worker of mine is forever ordering pizza which makes refraining from eating pizza very difficult! I want it. Also, as I have repeatedly mentioned, Rochester has a new All Vegan (!!!) restaurant. This simply does not happen and the timing could not have been worse for this budget. So, in case you haven’t noticed, we have an ongoing pizza/The Red Fern theme in our food lately.


Days 24, 25, 26, 27:

Starting Cash:     $71.97

Spent:     $15.06

Ending Cash:     $56.91



fresh broccoli @$2.50, 1 head cauliflower @2.99, mushrooms @$2.00, 1 bag shredded lettuce @1.50, Arnold whole wheat pita pockets @$1.99, 1 bag whole grain flat breads @$3.69, Pillsbury whole grain pizza dough @$2.89, 2 cans black olives @$2.58, 1 lg can crushed tomatoes @$0.99, Follow Your Heart Mozzarella @$4.99, Wegmans Don’t Be a Piggy sausage crumbles @$3.99

all divided by 2… because if I didn’t have to share with my hubs it would last twice as long (in case you forgot the logic there).




What breakfast? Coffee sometimes. Candy mostly. It’s Halloween. Leamealone.



So, I may have gotten a $30 tip from a customer that I might have pretended was free money to spend and I could have bought lunch at The Red Fern for a co-worker and myself on Thursday, but I’m not sure if that really happened. If you consider that cheating that I must have dreamt that. It was a really good dream though.

Friday was the stuffing, potato and Tofurkey leftovers meant for Thursday.

Yesterday was pitas stuffed with hummus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and black olives. We each had 2.




…and today was flat bread pizzas with mushrooms and soysauge.


x 2.5



Thursday was pizza with soysage, mushrooms, onions, and black olives. This is why I started this post with a warning. We will try to be more creative for the next few days. Promise.

It is never a good idea to try to make food look pretty when you’re drunk. Also, never stir the cheese into the sauce on a pizza you’re intending to photograph. Lessons learned.


Who wants to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street?


Friday’s dinner was mock duck (from the Asian market) sauteed with onions and Wegmans Buffalo sauce, served on top of buttered corn with seasoning salt. I’m drooling thinking about it. This is not diet food.


*drooly face*


Last night we were pretty full from the 2 huge stuffed pitas for lunch. I wasn’t planning on making anything for diner, but then hubs started getting hungry later at night. We have a ton of cauliflower left, and about half a bag of white potatoes, so I winged a meal and it turned out really good! It was so good that we (mostly he) scarfed it before I thought to take a pic. *sad face*




This Particular Cauliflower and Potato Recipe (tasted better than the name implies)

Preheat oven to 425. Melt margarine in a big pan over med heat (I used a wok). Add ground cumin, coriander, cilantro, a splash or 2 of vinegar, and some curry powder. Throw in 4 or 5 c chopped cauliflower and stir to coat and cook in the flavor for 4-5 min. Dump the cauli onto a baking pan and roast for 45 min or so.

In the meantime, boil water and add 4 chopped medium white potatoes. Boil 15 min or until tender. Drain.

Once the cauli is finished, heat a little marg in the wok to med-high heat. Add potatoes and let them get a little crunchy. Add cauliflower and stir well so seasoning gets on the potatoes. Salt everything and serve.

Today we will likely still be full from the pizza lunch, so I’m just planning on making a big salad with all the leftover veg and shredded lettuce for dinner.


Days 20, 21, 22, 23…

Oops again? Whatevs. Here goes…


Days 20, 21, 22, 23:

Starting Cash:     $93.61

Spent:     $21.64

Ending Cash:     $71.97



2 large zucchinis @$2.02, 1 purple eggplant @$2.66, white mushrooms @$1.69, 1 pkg firm tofu @$1.79, 1 lg can whole plum tomatoes @$0.99, 1 pkg Follow Your Heart Mozzarella @$4.99, Bag o’ Stuffing mix @$2.99, Tofurkey slices @$2.49, brussels sprouts @$1.94

all divided by 2…


1 Amy’s Indian Spinach Tofu Wrap at $2.49, 1 cup of McDougall’s Teriyaki Noodles @$0.99, 2 Taco Bell fresco bean burritos @$1.98, 1 Subway FootLong Veggie Delite @$5.40



Black coffee, except Monday. I actually made a PB Banana Smoothie.



SUN– Hubs bought us The Red Fern. I might be spoiled.

MON– Amy’s Wrap and Teriyaki Noodles

TUE– saltines with FYH cheese slices and leftover tomato mix from dinner, FootLong Veggie Delite from Subway

WED– egg drop Soup… kinda

We have had a bag of tofu skin in our cupboard for quite a few months from when hubs went through his tofu-skin-experiment stage. I loved it; he didn’t.


Tofu-Skin Drop Soup

Saute a chopped onion and Tbs garlic in oil over med heat until translucent. Add 8 c broth; I used Better Than Bouillon No Chicken… luckily we were well “stocked” on bouillon already. Bring to a simmer. Drop in 2 oz dried tofu skin (we got this at the Asian market). Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.




SUN– Zucchini Pizza


Oh yes.

Zucchini Pizzas

Cut ends off zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Slice a thin piece off the base of each half to keep it stable. Salt and garlic powder the surface areas. Top w cheese (I like the Follow Your Heart for this better than Daiya) and tomatoes.

For the tomatoes, we chopped up a can of whole tomatoes and sautéed them in garlic, oil, basil, salt and oregano, but fresh slices with herbs sprinkled on top would be easier and just as good.

Bake at 400 until Zucchini is tender… our crappy little oven took 40 min plus 5 under broiler to melt the cheese.

MON– Eggplant Pizzas (because the zucchini pizzas were so good)


We used the same recipe as for zucchini, but added tofu and mushrooms.


2 bean burritos from Taco Bell (no cheese, extra onion)


Tofurkey slices simmered in homemade mushroom gravy, boiled potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, and stuffing.

We were hungry. Good thing I love leftovers!


Days 16, 17, 18, 19… Oops!

So I kind of fell off the map there for a sec… sorry bout that. I’m going to do my best to sum up the last few days, which shouldn’t be that difficult since I haven’t been eating very well anyway, and all of my purchases have been grocery trips split with the hubs.

Please note: We are still on the budget!

I just hadn’t been sufficiently inspired enough to post, until yesterday when my boss bought us The Red Fern for lunch (!!) It was everything a vegan in Rochester could ask for, but I am getting ahead of myself.



Days 16, 17, 18, 19:

Starting cash:     $105.01

Spent:     $11.40

Ending Cash:     $93.61



1 lb carrots @$1.29, 2 bags coleslaw stye cabbage mix @$3.00, 5 lb white potatoes @$1.99, 1 bag sweet Mayan onions @$1.99, 5 oz fresh shitake mushrooms @$3.79, celery hearts @$3.79, yellow mustard @$0.99, 1 box saltines @$1.99, 1 pkg Tofurky beer brats @$2.99, 1 can Manwich Sloppy Joe @$0.99

all divided by 2…


Days 16, 17, 18

Breakfasts & Lunches

Consisted of coffee and leftovers; Exciting Stuff. I will leave yesterday’s lunch for last. After all, we save the best for last, right?? I learned this when I was like 4, so I’m stickin’ with it.



10/16:  Let’s call this:

The Po’ Man’s Not Clams Nor Chowder


Heat oil in a stock pot. Add 1 chopped onion, Tbs dry parsley, 1/4 tsp pepper, salt, old bay seasoning (for a fish-haters “fishiness”, or add nori for fish-lovers fishiness), and tsp celery seed, until onion is translucent. Add 1 bunch chopped celery, 5 oz chopped fresh shitakes, 4 med chopped white potatoes, and 6 c broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook 10-15 min until potatoes are tender. Remove 1/2 c water, whisk in 1 1/2 Tbs corn starch, pour back in simmering soup. Add 3 c spinach, 2 Tbs ketchup, and 2 Tbs lemon juice. Cook 5-10 more min to allow flavors to meld. Serve with saltines.

This was inspired by Isa’s new recipe/video:


10/17:     Sloppy Joes


So effing good.


1 clove garlic

2 carrots

1 onion

2 stalks celery

1 tsp salt

1 can Manwich sauce

1 cup beef flavored TVP

1 cup water



Saute garlic, carrots, onion, celery, salt for 10 minutes. Add Manwich sauce, TVP, water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick/not watery. Serve on a bed of coleslaw on broiled buttered toast.
half a bag of shredded cabbage/carrots
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tsp salt
blend cabbage/carrots into small bits. Mix with remaining ingredients. Chill before serving.


10/18 and 10/19:     Tofurky Beer Brats, Fried Cabbage and Potatoes



eh, figure it out yourself. It’s worth it!

10/19 for Lunch!

The Red Fern!

I had:


Chicken Salad with Sweet Potato Salad. Yums.

… and my boss had:


Sausage Quesadillas



a steak compost plate.

You.Must.Go.Here. We also had the mint oreo cookie cake. It was hands down the best cake I have ever had in my entire life. I didn’t get a pic because I couldn’t stop eating it! Go! Now! Here’s the menu! Place your orders!

redfernmenu redfernmenu2

Day 15: $160 Challenge


Yesterday was pretty uneventful. I had been craving v-con’s cheesy sauce, so had to split groceries with hubs again. Besides, we needed margarine.


Day 15:

Starting Cash:     $110.79

Spent:     $5.78

Ending Cash:     $105.01



Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread with Flax @$2.99, 2 packages firm tofu @$3.59, 1 jar minced garlic @$2.49, 1 bag baby spinach @$2.50.

all divided by 2.



  • PB Banana Smoothie


  • Leftover Split Pea Soup


  • Tofu Florentine

We have a ton of nutritional yeast, so this recipe was actually very cheap and easy to make. I’m not going to write it out since it is from a cookbook, but you can easily find it in a Google search if you’re so inclined.

As you can see, we used raw spinach. I will def be sticking to cooked spinach for this dish in the future.

We still have half a loaf of Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted flax bread, so that’s what we used. I love Ezekiel, but really would have preferred an english muffin, or home fries.



look at that liquid gold.

Day 14: $160 Challenge


Halfway through on slightly less than $50! There will be Halloween this year!


Day 14:

Starting Cash:     $110.79

Spent:     $0

Ending Cash:     $110.79



  • Banana
  • Espresso
  • Coupla cookies


  • Leftover Split Pea Soup


  • Vermicelli with Peanut Sauce

Pretend there’s something green in there to make it pretty.


It is kind of fun to be creative and use whatever is already in the house… and this recipe is high class, yo.


Vermicelli with Peanut Sauce


1/2 c peanut butter

1/4 c soy sauce

1/4 c water

2 Tbs rice vinegar

2 Tbs lemon juice

3 Tbs chopped onion

1 Tbs ground ginger

2 Tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

2 big handfuls dry vermicelli

1 lg carrot

1 med onion

4 oz chopped mushroom


Blend together the first 9 ingredients (peanut butter through crushed red pepper). Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add vermicelli and stir for 5 minutes or so, then strain and set aside.

Heat a pan to high heat. Dry fry the veg for 3-5 minutes until they are hot and have sear marks.

Toss all ingredients together and serve.


Too funny Not To Repost

This guy went meat-free for a week. His return to meat-eating is too funny not to re-post.

In which TMI for serious. <– Click Here


Also, in case you’ve been living under a rock, the following news is from Chipotle:


I will be visiting their store frequently to update when this goes into effect in Rochester… you know, for research. :p

Day 13: $160 Challenge

He made the cookies!

A few days before we decided to do this blasted food budget challenge hubs bought ingredients to make these cookies. I have been waiting patiently for 2 weeks… o.m.g. They are totally worth the wait. Earth Balance is the only ingredient we did not have, so he subbed in 1 cup oil. This is definitely not a healthy recipe, but oh wells.



Try saying no to these babies.


Day 13:

Beginning Cash:     $110.79

Spent:     $0

Ending Cash:     $110.79



  • Espresso with rice milk and maple syrup


  • Toooo many Coooooooookies
  • Glass of rice milk
  • maybe I had a cocktail or 2…


  • 2 big bowls Split Pea Soup. This makes up for the rest of the day, right?
  • In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll probs have more cookies later.

Who wants to watch The Exorcist?

This Particular Split Pea Soup (tastes better than the name implies).


1 med onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped (optional)

1/2 Tbs or so garlic powder

1/2 Tbs or so Berbere Ethiopian seasoning (optional)

1 tsp or so ground cumin (optional)

3 Rapunzel Bouillon cubes or 6 servings any vegan bouillon

splash white cooking wine (optional)

16 oz dried split peas

6-7 c water


saute onions and carrots in oil over med-high heat for 2 min. Dump on seasonings. Stir. Pour in wine. Stir. Add bouillon and split peas. Stir. Add water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer. Cover 45 minutes. Uncover, remove from heat, and stir. Wait 10-15 min before serving.

The same recipe can be made with dried yellow split peas, or any kind of dried lentil. I just happened to have a bag of split peas in the pantry.

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