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

 

Purchases:

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).

 

 

Breakfast:

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

 

Lunch:

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.

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omnomnom

 

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

pizza1

x 2.5

 

Dinner:

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.

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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.

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*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*

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whoops

 

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

 

Purchases:

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…

plus…

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

 

Breakfast:

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

 

Lunch:

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.

tofuskindrop

 

Dinner:

SUN– Zucchini Pizza

day20

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)

eggplantpizza

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

TUE-

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

WED

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

We were hungry. Good thing I love leftovers!

dinner

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.

 

First,

Days 16, 17, 18, 19:

Starting cash:     $105.01

Spent:     $11.40

Ending Cash:     $93.61

 

Purchases:

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.

 

Dinners:

10/16:  Let’s call this:

The Po’ Man’s Not Clams Nor Chowder

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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:

http://www.theppk.com/2013/10/new-england-glam-chowder-video/

 

10/17:     Sloppy Joes

sloppyjoe

So effing good.

ingredients

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

 

directions

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.
Coleslaw:
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
directions
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

Delish…

sausages

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

10/19 for Lunch!

The Red Fern!

I had:

chicksalad

Chicken Salad with Sweet Potato Salad. Yums.

… and my boss had:

quesa

Sausage Quesadillas

…and…

plate

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 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.

 

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Try saying no to these babies.

 

Day 13:

Beginning Cash:     $110.79

Spent:     $0

Ending Cash:     $110.79

 

Breakfast:

  • Espresso with rice milk and maple syrup

Lunch:

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

Dinner:

  • 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.
day13

Who wants to watch The Exorcist?

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

ingredients

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

directions

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.

The Red Fern

I have been getting a lot of clicks on my page for Rochester’s new All Vegan (!!) restaurant, The Red Fern, so since they do not yet have a website (other than facebook) I thought I would post some pics from a friend who has eaten there and loved it. After all, an All Vegan Restaurant is big news!

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The Steak Bomber

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Compost Plate with Sweet Potato Salad

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Mac n Cheese Nachos

I hear the desserts are super-amazeballs-delicious.

Other items on the menu include stuffed french toast, quiche, and grilled cheese with tofu.

I cannot wait to go!

The Red Fern is located at 283 Oxford St (the corner of Park and Oxford). They are open Tue – Sun, 11am – 10pm.

Day 12: New Vegan Stuff in Rochester!

First off, in case you haven’t heard, there is a new ALL VEGAN restaurant in town called The Red Fern! I haven’t been there yet, but I have heard the food is amazing. The website is still under construction at this point. I have a feeling we will be there on November 1st once this food budget is done!

The second awesome announcement is about fast food! Mighty Taco in Henrietta knows what vegan means and they want our money! The word Vegan is on their menus! Have you ever seen such a thing?? How cool would it be if other restaurants, like maybe Taco Bell, would follow suit? I’m sure you’ve heard the overly publicized news that Chipotle is working on de-bacon-fatting their refried beans in all locations, too… exciting stuff!

 

Check it out!

Top: in-store menu, green box, top right

Bottom Left: drive-thru menu, green box, left center

bottom Right:  close-up of drive-thru menu, last item “Garden Burrito” with the word vegan next to it!

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Do you see?!?

So yeah. Today was a terrible day for saving. Sure, I could have had a burrito and walked away, but I wanted to know if the guacamole was vegan, you know, for research purposes. So, after asking the cashier to see the ingredients list I had to order chips and a drink. It all sounded perfectly logical at the time, until my bill came to $7.14.

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My friends have been here a few times and loved this stuff. Maybe we just had a crappy burrito-artist today, but ours was just okay. The chips were fine for prepackaged chips, but the guacamole was slimy and gross. My advice is to save your money and stick with just the burrito… or go to Taco Bell…. or make your own. I don’t know… the tortilla wrap itself was pretty good. Maybe it will be better the next go round.

Trying out a new restaurant was fun either way. We don’t normally do the whole fast food thing, and it was pretty funny to be standing in front of the drive-thru speaker snapping pics.

As much fun as that was, it’s Saturday. The weather is beautiful and we all know this is not going to last much longer. I wanted to do moooore. We tried doing outdoorsy things… took the foster dog out for a walk at Ellison and tried to whore him out to the highest bidder… no luck. So, what is there for a cash-strapped couple to to do on a Saturday in Rochester, NY? Why, Movies 10 of course!

As I’m sure everyone is aware, Movies 10 only charges $2/ticket max to see second-run movies. Second-run movies are basically first-run movies these days, so this is a steal. We saw This Is The End. It was thoroughly entertaining… totally worth $2 and then some.

 

Day 12:

Starting Cash:     $119.93

Spent:     $9.14*  (ouch)

Ending Cash:     $110.79

*It looks like we’ll be eating our creativity the rest of the week.

 

Purchases:

1 Garden Burrito, Chip Strips, Guac, and a Cherry Pepsi @$7.14, 1 Movies 10 ticket @$2.00

 

Breakfast:

  • black coffee

Lunch:

  • Burrito, Chips, Drink (couldn’t eat the guac)

Dinner:

  • MorningStar Chik’n Griller on Ezekiel toast with onions and bbq sauce
  • Steamed broccoli with hot sauce

day 12

Day 11: $160 Challenge

Day 11:

Beginning Cash:     $123.71

Spent:     $3.78

Ending Cash:     $119.93

 

Purchases:

Split groceries with the hubs:

1 block firm tofu @$1.79, 1 quart Wegmans rice milk @$1.69, 1 can chickpeas @$0.59, 1 jar peanut butter @$1.69, 1 bunch bananas @$1.08, 8oz. sliced mushrooms @$2.00, fresh broccoli @$1.98, 1 lb carrots @$1.29

minus money from recyclables returned for deposit (keepin’ it classy)…

all divided by 2.

 

Breakfast:

  • black coffee
  • a banana

Lunch:

  • 2 waffles
  • the rest of the bag of Gardein seven grain crispy tenders in the fridge at work

Dinner:

  • tofu scramble
  • toast

 

day11

Not the most photogenic of foods

This Particular Tofu Scramble (tasted better than the name implies).

Heat oil in a skillet. Add a rinsed and drained block of firm tofu to the hot pan. Chop tofu with a spatula and evenly spread it out in the pan like an omelet. Raise heat to high. Cover the surface of the tofu with garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, nooch, and black salt. Let the bottom of the tofu brown before stirring. Push tofu to the edges of the pan so there is a hole in the center of the pan. Dump a chopped onion, 1 shredded carrot, and a couple of handfuls chopped mushroom into the center of the pan. Press everything down so the bottom will brown. Once the veggies start to sweat, lower heat to med-high. Stir veg together with scramble. Press everything down into pan and wait while it browns more. At this point we stirred in some Vegg, but I think it would have tasted better without.

Eat.

 

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