Posts Tagged survey

Weeknight Meals, Laptop Lunches & A Meme

I never thought I’d be the type of person who got home from work in the evening and made whatever would get in my belly the fastest for dinner, but that has been my situation lately.  Right now we leave for work at 7:20AM and usually get home around 6:15-6:30PM.  During the day I get it in my head that I’m going to get home, exercise, make a nice dinner, do some chores or poke around on the internet and still maybe have time to watch tv or read before going to bed at 10.  Right.  What happens lately is that I cook up whatever is quick and satisfying and try to check a thing or two off my to do list, and before I know it the night has gone by.  Hopefully in a few months bf and I will be able to align our work schedules and I’ll gain another thirty minutes to an hour which will ease things a bit, but for now it’s all about fast, effective dinners.

Here’s one from last week:  grilled eggplant and zucchini on whole wheat flatbread with hummus, pickles, lettuce and tomato.  The eggplant and zucchini were from the farmers market, and the tomato from my backyard, where the tomato plant is STILL producing new tomatoes.  In November!  This is before I piled on the lettuce.

Rolled up, with cucumbers and tahini dip.

Tuesday night I was planning on a simple stir-fry with leftover veggies and frozen-then-thawed tofu, then while perusing The PPK I saw this post on dry frying tofu with a link to these instructions and became very intrigued.  I also decided I wanted a “real” sauce with my tofu instead of just a plain stir-fry, so I found this recipeon Vegweb and modified it a bit.  I was going to post the recipe because it turned out really good, but I’m not at home right now so I don’t have it.  Will post it next time!

Here’s the dry-fried tofu.  It took just about forever to do because I was using my wok which doesn’t have much flat space so I had to fry the tofu in three batches.  With a griddle or wider pan it would go much quicker.  I really liked the texture of this tofu and will definitely be preparing it this way again.  I also liked that I didn’t have to use any oil!

This orange tofu & broccoli was incredibly good, even served with overcooked, mushy instant brown rice.  The sauce has a very intense flavor, with lots of acidic quality, but it tastes great if you can get past that.  I was kind of afraid my stomach was going to get upset afterwards, but on the contrary:  I got the happy tummy, bigtime.  You know how sometimes you eat and you’re still hungry or unsatisfied, and sometimes you eat and it was a bit too much and you don’t feel so well, but sometimes you eat and it’s just perfect and your tummy is sooooo happy.  That’s what this dish does.

Wednesday night I got home with no exact dinner plan and went straight for comfort.  Organic veggie soup from a can and a grilled cheese with pickles and tomato on whole wheat.  Hot, crunchy, slurpy and good.  And I tell you, pickles on grilled cheese is the way to go.

And here’s my Thursday dinner made from what I could find in the house.  Whole wheat spaghetti with broccoli, garlic and some tempeh sausage crumbles that were hiding in the freezer.  It would’ve been better with pine nuts and almond parmesan, but I’m still working on fully stocking my kitchen.

It doesn’t look nearly as nice as I had thought it would, but it did the trick.  And, because I couldn’t decide which picture I liked better:

I think tomorrow when I get back home I might come up with a food plan for the week and get my grocery shopping done.  I was reading yesterday that Jessy from happyveganface plans all her meals for the week ahead of time and I think that’s adorable.

I only took three laptop lunches this week.  Thursday I was in a mega hurry and grabbed some instant pad thai and a salad, and Friday my office held a Thanksgiving potluck for our students which was really interesting because most of them are from other countries and didn’t really get the whole pot luck concept.

11-17 beanie weenies, veggies, homemade ranch, dried apricots

11-18 veggie dogs w/ ketchup & mustard, pasta salad, veggies, dried cherries

11-19 orange tofu & broccoli, brown rice w/ extra sauce, cauliflower, kiwi & blueberries

Last week Miss Bianca of Vegan Crunk tagged me for a meme, and now is the time.

  1. Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links.
  4. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before on this here blog, but I’m a musician.  I started taking piano lessons when I was five, played flute in middle school band, picked up trumpet in ninth grade, and was a total high school band nerd.  During my third semester in college I switched majors from civil engineering to music (smooth move) and hold a BM.  Seriously, it’s a Bachelors of Music.  I have a BM.  I’ve played trumpet, guitar and sang in ska punk bands, fronted a pop-punk band and switched off on bass and drums in an all girl punk band.  I sang harmony and played trumpet and flute on a couple recordings for local bands when I was in Gainesville, including one release that came out on Epitaph.  I’m kind of a big deal.

2.  I’ve been afraid of sharks for almost as long as I can remember.  I know when I was a little kid I liked the beach and swimming in pools, but somewhere along the way I became terrified of sharks and ocean creatures in general.  I think it came about because there was a science museum my summer camp visited, and there was a stuffed hammerhead shark hanging above the staircase that you had to walk up to get to the exhibits.  I didn’t want to walk under it.  I also think this brought about my phobia of taxidermied animals.  I can’t go to natural history museums.  I don’t much like being around mounted deer heads and things of that nature, but I REALLY can’t do whole big animals like bears or panthers.  At one of the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. there is a taxidermied elephant in the lobby and it’s kind of my worst nightmare.  Although, in recent years I have been facing my fears and getting better about it.  I’ve gone to a few aquariums and planted myself in front of the shark tanks, and I went to that museum in D.C. and looked at the elephant from the second floor.  I still couldn’t stand right next to it though.

3.  Although it’s not another phobia, I can be very uncomfortable around certain large things.  Like cruise ships for instance.  I don’t mind being on one, but standing next to one in a harbor can get to me.  Airplanes too.  Dinosaur skeletons also freak me way out, but I’m not sure whether they fall under this category or the dead animal fear.

4.  I was kind of obsessed with Alice in Wonderland for a while.  I collected all sorts of memorabilia and books, whatever I could get my hands on.  I had a large collection for a while, and sold it all off a few years ago for the money.  I still have the pictures and the memories though.  If you’ve never actually read Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”, do so.  They’re fascinating.

5.  I don’t like olives or licorice.  Disgusting.  Or Jagermeister.  Barf.  Those are pretty much the only flavors I can’t stomach.  I’m coming around on olives, but only if they’re mixed in with other complimentary flavors.

6.  There are a few tv shows of which I refuse to miss an episode:  Top Chef, The Office, Project Runway and The Biggest Loser.  We just got DVR so it’s making my life much easier in this respect.  Other current shows I really like are What Not To Wear, Law & Order (SVU or Criminal Intent – love Vincent D’Onofrio), and Top Design.  I like reruns of Gilmore Girls, King of Queens, Frasier, Full House, Golden Girls, Friends, Seinfeld and Family Guy.  These things comprise most of the tv I watch other than sports.  I know way more about Full House than any person should.

7.  I don’t do scary.  Can’t watch scary movies, especially if it’s about supernatural things like ghosts or monsters.  Real life scary I can sometimes do, such as murder mysteries or thrillers.  Thing is, watching these kinds of movies I get too worked up and my heart beats to fast and I end up with a headache and generally I just don’t enjoy the feeling of being scared like most people do.  I kind of like true crime books though.  I’ve read Helter Skelter and Danny Rolling’s biography and while they were intensely interesting, they scared the living crap out of me.  I thought Charles Manson was hiding in my apartment every day I came home from school during the time I read Helter Skelter.

Huh, that was a lot easier than I thought it would be!  Guess I’m a fairly interesting person.  I tag anyone who hasn’t done this yet and wants to, or better yet, tell me something random or weird about yourself in a comment!

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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.

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Bloggy Survey

Hooray Vegan put this up on her blog, and she says it’s way less lame than myspace surveys, and there is absolutely nothing for me to do here at work, and so I’m doing it.

1. Favorite store bought vegan cookie?
Liz Lovely’s Cowgirl Cookie.  Although they’re a bit pricey and calorie-tastic, so in reality I’m much more likely to actually buy Newman-O’s Hint O’ Mint.

2. Favorite vegan cake or cupcake recipe?
The basic chocolate recipe in VCTOTW is my go to, although I’m hoping to get crazy with cakes for my birthday in a couple of weeks.

3. Bunnies: are they the best or what?
I prefer polar bears.  Bunnies are pretty awesome though.

4. Top three favorite vegan food blogs?
Scrolling through my blogroll, A Vegan For Dinner, Fat Free Vegan, Vegan Dad, and Vegan Yum Yum jumped out at me.  There were four, so you get four.

5. Do you listen to music when you cook? If so, what’s usually on the playlist?
No, I have the tv on in the living room to listen to.

6. Vegan celebrity you’d most like to have lunch with?
Joaquin Phoenix.

7. Best vegan meal that you didn’t cook yourself? (I am looking for homemade here, but restaurants are okay too).
Anything my parents have made with me in mind – dad’s stirfries with seasoned rice, mom’s spaghetti or apple pie.  For restaurant meals I’d have to vote for a falafel hummus pita and fries from Gyro Plus or any veggie sushi.

8. Favorite recipe featuring avocados?
Guac and chips.

9. Favorite vegan comfort food?
Peanut Butter on toast.  Mac and cheese.  Or plain saltines and orange Gatorade when I’m sick.

10. What is for dinner tonight?
Going out to a mexican restaurant – probably chips and salsa, veggie burrito, beans and rice, and a beer.

Now I’m really hungry!

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