VeganMoFo: Planning, and a Survey

After the weekend I had enough leftovers in the fridge to get me through a day or two.  While tasty and cost effective, this is not good for blogging.  So I thought I’d spend some time planning food endeavors for the near future to get me by.

I was in Berkeley this morning for an interview (fingers crossed!), so I had to go back to Berkeley Bowl, the grocery store that I professed my love for a few posts back.  Even though I didn’t find out about it in time, Katie of Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk’s Iron Chef Challenge sounds like a lot of fun and I came up with a good idea for the secret ingredients, pear and nuts.  So I picked up these ingredients to use in a too-late-to-enter entry.

Those are purple potatoes behind the tempeh.  I’ll leave the final dish to your imagination for now.  I only hope it turns out as good as it is in my mind.

Hearing about and seeing pumpkins constantly this time of year makes me yearn for pumpkin bread.  My mom makes a great pumpkin bread.  I’m not sure whether I’m going to recreate that or go for something different, but regardless, there will be pumpkin bread very soon.  I also bought a mini pumpkin just for decoration, which I do every year.

While I was strolling through the produce aisles, a huge pile of “winged gourds” caught my attention.  I had never seen these guys before.  They were cheap and just so darned interesting, so I bought one to go with my mini pumpkin on the coffee table.

I kind of think it looks like a bird of some sort, with a long neck and a hanging head.  I guess that’s why they call it a winged gourd.  Dur.

And for real planning ahead, I found this bag containing TWO bags of cranberries, on clearance for a measly 99 cents.  They’re banged up pretty good but they’ll probably be cooked down into sauce on Thanksgiving anyway, so in my freezer they rest.

Within the next few days I’m hoping to form some sort of structured eating plan, one that will help me eat healthier and slim down a bit.  I’m hoping to write down some guidelines to follow, as well as go through cookbooks and blogs and find some recipes that will be fun to cook and eat but still healthy and not too calorie dense.  I’m interested in doing some sort of cleanse or raw food experiment, but since my finances are low they may have to wait.  Speaking of finances, I’m also planning on slimming down my food budget since I’m still jobless.

To include some more food writing in this post I thought I’d fill out this survey, created by Liz of Food Snobber Is My Hobbery.  Hooray for surveys!

1. Name a song that involves food in some way.

Sugar Sugar – The Archies

2. What criteria do you use when choosing a new cookbook to buy?

Recipes that I haven’t seen before.  Hummus and tofu scramble are good and all, but I need a little more.  Pictures are good, and I also like the author to have a point of view.  Extra stories and background info is a plus.  I like to wait for a while after a book comes out to read some reviews too.  My money is precious!

3. What did you eat today?

Today was a good food day.  Breakfast was fronch toast with strawberry jam, tofu scramble with peppers, onions, mushrooms and ketchup, and earl grey tea.  Lunch was a burrito with seasoned brown rice, pinto beans, salsa slaw and avocado, a bowl with extra burrito fillings, sauteed shredded brussels sprouts, and black cherry berry tea.  In the afternoon I had a major snack attack:  a gala apple, a banana, strawberry soy yogurt and triscuit-like crackers.  Not all at the same time.  For dinner I had mashed sweet potato and yams with more brussels and mesquite maple walnuts, and sugar cookie tea.  I’m drinking a lot of tea to take the place of sweets.

4. Name a vegan food that you know exists but you have never tried.


5. The Food Network just called and needs you to start your new show tomorrow. What will the title of the show be?

I think I’d stick with Vegan Homemade.  It’s to the point.

6. Favorite hot sauce or other spicy condiment?

BF turned me on to Tapatio, and there’s nothing else like it.  I’m fine with sriracha or Louisiana-style hot sauce.

7. How old were you when you became vegetarian/vegan?

vegetarian – 22, vegan – 25

8. Favorite vegan cheeze?

Teese and blue scheese

9. Cutest baby animal?

I saw a picture of a baby capybara somewhere yesterday, it was about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  Witness.

10. Favorite type of jam/jelly/marmalade/preserves?

Strawberry or grape jam, or that all fruit kind they have at diners.  Apple butter and pumpkin butter.

11. Do you take any vitamins/supplements?

I take a multi every morning.  If I ever have disposable income again I want to start taking more specific things like flax oil, iron or calcium.

12. What food/dish most embodies the Fall season?

butternut squash soup, stuffing, or pumpkin pie

13. What food would you have a hard time living without?


14. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Tea most days, coffee on weekends and when I’m feeling indulgent.

15. It’s 10PM and you’re starving. What do you eat?


16. If you have an animal companion, what is his/her favorite food?

He eats expensive prescription food for health reasons, but he loooooves any kind of kitty treat.

17. Worst injury you’ve gotten in the kitchen?

I don’t think I’ve ever burnt myself.  A month or two ago I cut my thumb pretty badly on that foil that covers the wine cork trying to open a bottle.

18. When you have a food-related question, who do you call?

the internet or my Betty Crocker Cookbook

19. Summer is ending- What food will you miss most?

peaches, melons and GOOD eggplant

20. What snacks do you keep in your purse/backpack/desk at work?

dried apricots and nuts

21. Favorite soup to make on a rainy day?

Alphabet soup with lots of veggies.  Although I really must try VCON’s chickpea noodle soup.

22. What’s your favorite combination of fresh vegetable and/or fruit juices?

I’ve never had fresh veggie juice!  I think I’d like carrot, celery, apple and ginger.

23. Favorite brand of root beer?

IBC.  You’d need a whole lot of hands and feet to count how many IBC’s I drank as a kid.

24. Make up your own question!

Favorite food I’ve recently discovered that I really like?

Oat bran!  Just as many variations as oatmeal but so much better.


  1. melisser said

    I hope the interview went well! There’s a great place in SF to try mochi called Benkyodo. It’s in Japantown near my house, we’ll have to go sometime!

  2. VeggieGirl said

    Hooray for fun produce and a fun survey!! 🙂 You’ve never burnt yourself?!??! Lucky!! 😀

    Good luck with the results of the interview!!

  3. Ricki said

    Those gourds are quite something! And interesting survey. . .the capybara (never heard of them) is soooo adorable. And glad you discovered oatbran–it is a fabulous cereal for breakfast.

    Re: your interview–good luck! 🙂

  4. Jennifer said

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with to use those tasty lookin’ goodies in. Pears and nuts = yummy!

    I hope you get another job soon! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    Fun survey!

  5. Carrie said

    That winged gourd is so neat!

    I have a big bag of oat bran…I’m not sure where it came from but I’ll have to give it a whirl.

  6. 1. i love purple potatoes! I’m shamelessly addicted
    2. so jealous you have cranberries my store is not selling them yet!
    3. that squash is awesome. I love funny squashes.
    4. i need to eat more tempeh – maybe I’ll try your tempeh recipe
    5. i just had mochi for the first time.. it’s… okay.

  7. aTxVegn said

    I hope I see a winged gourd around here so I can get one too! I always buy the mini pumpkins for decoration. Baking with pumpkins and cranberries is so fun.

  8. Good luck with the job! Hopefully you’ll get it! And don’t you just love gourds? They’re so weird and so cute!

  9. Pretty squash! I was tempted to buy every style I saw a the Farmer’s Market last week, but can only carry so much to the bus stop. :o)

  10. Liz² said

    ah! that capybara! and the winged gourd! both blowing my little aesthetics-sensitive mind. 😀

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