Vegan Banana Chocolate bread

This recipe is from PickupLimesBlog.  She does an amazing blog and you tube on health( she’s a vegan) plus minimalism. I’m not a vegan but we are mostly vegetarian. B is a vegetarian for over 50 years. But lately, especially after the heat spell we had, none of is eating much in the way of meat. We have our own eggs so we do eat eggs, plus cheese, and dairy(like 1/2 and 1/2 ) in our coffee and tea.

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Here’s the link to the recipe

It is excellent. I’ve made a few of her recipes and I’ve liked them all. Even though I have zero interest in becoming vegan, I could see myself going back to being an almost full-time vegetarian. I was a vegetarian for 22 years and then when my daughter was @ 7 she wanted to taste chicken. so we started to eat some chicken and fish occasionally.  So for the last 25  years, we’ve eaten mostly vegetarian but certainly meat as well.  Omnivore, I guess.

 

Well, anyway, it’s fun to try new things. Last night I made a recipe From the New Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook. Laurels Kitchen was one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I owned and was inspired by. I still have my original copy. The recipe is Walnut Oatmeal burgers and they were quite delicious.

What is so interesting is you make the patties and then lightly grill them on both sides and then pour in 2-3 cups (I just eyeballed it and it was less than 2 cups) of vegetable broth and then simmer for 20 minutes. It sounds strange but it really worked and they were great. You can google the recipe and it’ll come up.

 

Middle of the week

This week has gone by quickly.

Yesterday, we spent  3 hours looking at small ultra light rvs.  We liked the Coleman again as we did last year. And we liked 2 others. Then we came home and talked about them.  WE weren’t sure about the Coleman for a few reasons and we both seemed undecided.  It’s a big decision so I guess were hesitant.  We’ve had our Coleman tent trailer 17 years and I guess we’ve always liked the space that the pop outs give you. But I really want a bathroom in the trailer. We do BTW, have a porta potty so you know…. Anyway, then we started looking at the hybrids that the sleeping area pops out like a tent trailer but the living space is huge. So, it’s more than I thought we’d spend but since this is the last trailer we I’ll get, I want to be sure we love it.  Plus, the Santa Fe can only tow up to 5000lbs. So, we’ll keep processing.

Yesterday I had another eye check up with my regular eye doctor. He took another scan and the macular pucker was still the same. So, for now, I will just continue to monitor it.

I made this amazing beet raspberry soap. IMG_0821  It’s a recipe from the New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. It’s a cold soup and is only a few ingredients including a pint of raspberries. I grew up on Borscht and love it so this is a cold Borscht soup. Basically, cook the beets ( I used one bunch from the farmers market) till tender @ 45 minutes, then in a blender add the onion 1/4 of red, lemon juice 2 tbsp or so, then the cooled beets and a pint of raspberries. She said strain then and serve but I didn’t strain and it was fine. A dollop of sour cream and yum.

To have with this, I made a wild rice salad with green onions from the garden, a few small chunks of cheddar and it seems some thing else but I can’t remember.

Tonight, the family is going to see the Batman movie (an oldie) at the theatre so I’m just putting together some sandwiches. Veggie bacon tomato and avocado. I made some regular bacon for the meat eaters.  I’m sticking with the Morningstar strips.

I’ve been watching Janet King on Amazon prime. It’s quite excellent if you’re looking for a new series to watch.

I went out to the barn and worked on the new shelf area.  I got rid of enough Life magazines to empty  1/2 bin. Hurray, it’s getting there. I also put a few things of my sons in a bin since when he’s in SF he won’t need them. Then, I’m going to have a huge load to go to the thrift store.  Books to the SPCA bookstore, and just stuff to Goodwill.

We also dropped off 6 boxes of food for the food bank over in our little town of Applegate. It serves a wide area and isn’t the Salvation Army food bank. They never bring Jesus into the picture and as an atheist, I appreciate that. But they do good work for those that need food. I appreciate that they provide this service for anyone who needs it. So for me, religion doesn’t come into the picture.

Tomorrow is a gym day and ??

 

Simple Sunday

Well, my son did the flea market yesterday and even with 100+ temperatures, he made over $200 for his college fund.  So a lot of the vintage stuff I gave him sold quickly and some antique stuff. Nothing too remarkable but it’s gone and he got a little money.  So I’m very pleased. By 12 most vendors were packing up because most people don’t come out in the heat of the day. But he got rid of the 2 mission style chairs and a bookcase. So I’m thrilled.

If you’re looking for a summer dinner, pizza on the gas grill is amazing and easy.  You do need to heat the gas grill up to the highest it’ll go @ 800 or whatever it says and then be sure to spray the grill with Pam or I use Costco’s Canola spray. Then when you’ve heated up the grill for say, 20 minutes you can do the pizza. You must have a pizza peel and be sure to use semolina flour under the pizza dough. Just a sprinkling. then roll out or stretch the dough till it’s about 12 ” in diameter.  I’ve used homemade dough and Trader Joes and both work fine.  Then here’s the trick, use just a few tablespoons of sauce,  some mozzarella, then a few toppings but very sparse. I use buffalo mozzarella along with the regular shredded but not a lot. Then i may add a sprinkling of red onion, black olives and if I have any pepperoni or salami and top with a few shreds of fresh basil.

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Cheese and pepperoni pizza with basil.

Then you must shake the pizza peel to be sure the pizza is moving and then slide onto the hot grill.  Close the grill top. Don’t move it for about 5 minutes till the crust starts to cook and gets a nice char.  Then rotate once 1/2 way and close the top again. Check in another 5 minutes. It cooks very fast and is superior to anything you could buy out. Try it out and it saves the kitchen from getting too hot.

We went to the farmers market yesterday and bought some nice veggies, broccoli, etc. Then I bought a 3 pack of organic strawberries to make a jam.  I came home unloaded stuff and started the jam. I ended up with 5 pints from the 3 pack. Very tasty. I may go get more next week as berries must be at there peak.

Today was a gym day and I did the bathroom zone for tomorrow. Quick wipes of shelves, wash window and mirrors and reorganizing the small dresser we use for combs, brushes etc.

I wash sheets on Sunday and towels so I’m off to finish that.

Dinner is a huge chopped salad with stuff we got at the farmers market yesterday and I put a turkey breast in the crockpot. I use the kosher turkey breast from Trader Joes. Quite good.  I’m going to use some Tofurky turkey slices for the veg with gravy.

Still really hot here 101 today. 😦

 

Friday Stuff

The sauerkraut seems to be bubbling fine. I tasted it this morning and it’s sour. Tomorrow I’ll taste again and then put in the fridge.  So far it is an easy thing to do. In the fridge it’ll last for a few months the recipe said. I also got out the Zojirushi to make some sourdough bread. It’s a small loaf and came out good. I haven’t been making bread as it’s been too hot and we just haven’t been eating much.

This morning I had to go down to Costco to pick up Bonnie’s anti-seizure pills. ( Bonnie is one of the border collies my daughter adopted a year ago. Shortly after bringing her to her forever home she had some seizures so this is a monthly expense for my daughter.

So I picked up laundry soap, toothpaste, TP and a few other nonfood items.  So now I won’t need to go next week.

Then I went to the gym for a short workout and then home to feed the dogs and do some of the chores my husband usually does. ( goat, chickens, pool, etc)

I’ve been decluttering and moving some things around. I decluttered dishes. and I’ll box them up to go the pet thrift store.  Then I moved my Melmac set into the cabinet so it’s not on the pantry shelf. Also, washed most of my mason jars and will move them into my closet pantry. Once again, trying to reduce the visual stuff and just reduce.

I find minimalism and decluttering such an interesting process of releasing layers of things. I’m sure it’s related to inner things and how at times we hold on to things and then poof, one day they just don’t matter anymore.  Tomorrow I’m not going out except maybe to drop off this load so I’m heading out to the barn to tidy and do some organizing. I’m hoping my son gets this flea market thing he’s doing organized as I’d like to move that stuff out.

I know one thing is that it’s not a one-shot deal but really an ongoing process.  Even with the Kon Mari method, which I have done, 6 months later there is still decluttering going on.

It’s been another lovely day. A little warm 93 or so, but not too bad.

Tonight is pizza night.

 

Sauerkraut

Well, it seems to be working. There are bubbles   IMG_0794 which mean it’s fermenting. This is day 2, so I’ll check it tomorrow. In the quart Ball jar, it’s supposed to be anywhere from 3 days to 10. I’ll taste it tomorrow and then on day 3 and just till it tastes like sauerkraut. I started another batch this morning as one head does compress down to one quart Ball jar. So far, so good.

B and our son are heading up to Quincy for the big Sierra Sun Festival. They’re bringing the tent trailer and have a spot a friend of B’s know from the coop.  Too many people and noise for me. I’m perfectly happy at home putzing around, watering the gardens and tidying.

I’m going to head over to the koffee klatch and see if anyone shows up. It’s been 3 weeks since I last went so, I’ll catch up on library gossip.

Tonight my daughter gets home @ 7 so I was going to make zucchini fritters from the garden and ???

I’m not going to the gym today (my regular day) but will tomorrow. I’m sorta off schedule.

Back from Capitola,Ca /camping

We had a lovely time at one of our favorite California campgrounds, New Brighton State Beach.IMG_0772.jpg

This was the view from our campspot. There were a lot more noisy kids running around this time but school is out so.

Here’s one of Lodge camping duth oven breakfastsIMG_0775 this was hash browns, veggie sausage and our chickens eggs!

We used the Lodge for cooking 3 nightsout of 4. It is so great. Even if you dont camp you could use this in your backyard. Lots of fun.

Our housesitter did a great job and everything is even cleaner than we left it. Wow.  thanks Ty.

More thoughts on Simplified eating

img_0165 My home made bread.

Simple Foods

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about what it is I’m trying to do with Simple Eating. So far I’ve come up with

  • Eating the same foods for meals simplifies meal time and allows me to have what I need on hand. For instance, breakfast. We have chickens, therefore lots of eggs. My go to breakfast is: 1 egg either fried or scrambled and since I make my own bread, a slice of toast. I also make my own granola, granola with yogurt is a go to. I was making my own yogurt but then buying the organic at Costco for 6.49 seemed like a  no-brainer. Making yogurt is pretty easy  to make so that maybe something to try.
  • so, decide what breakfast works for you and that you have ingredients available. Perhaps you do smoothies. Then be sure that’s what you do almost daily and it simplifies the process.
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    Our girls lay pretty colored eggs!

    Having what you need on hand makes the difference in a stressful morning or a calm one.

    Bulk buying

  • Buying in bulk such as black beans, pintos, rice, cheese, coffee, meat, butter, let’s me put meals together easily. If you don’t want to make your own beans, buying the organic cans at Costco is a great option too. I keep canned beans as well since once in awhile it’s nice to open black beans and then just cook up some rice.

       Right equipment

  • Having the right kitchen equipment makes some of this easier. A crockpot is essential. You can throw together chicken, veggies, sauce and then 6 hours later it’s done. I do all my beans in the crockpot. I put in @ 2 cups of beans, rinse, and then cook on high for 7-8 hours. The last hour I add garlic cloves and salt. Next is a rice maker.  This is a must if you eat rice once a week. I use to make rice using the Tassajara recipe book. It was fun until you forgot about it and it burnt. With a rice maker, it is fool proof.

 

        Menus

  • Having a menu is essential even if it is just variations of what you do every week.  such as Taco Tuesday can be tacos, but also bean and rice bowls or pizza night might be homemade but once in awhile it’s take- out. So plan for the week wth your menu.
  • Have a theme for each night for dinner ie; the taco Tuesday etc.
  • cook once and then use leftovers. I try and do roast chicken once a week or week and a half. Then I make up menus based on leftovers. Chicken tacos, chicken soup in the winter, chicken salad.

Planning ahead to shop also allows you to figure out what you need and if you buy what in season that makes meal planning easier too.

I think also, simple food eating has a lot to do with what season you are in your life too. Do you have young kids, retired, teenagers? That will certainly make a difference in how you try and simplify meal planning.