Weeknight Basics: Stir-fry and Spring Rolls

We eat stir-fry all the time and never seem to tire of it. I cook about 2 cups of brown rice, fry a whole block of tofu that’s been cubed and then throw in whatever veggies I have on hand. And I don’t even make a sauce; a little Bragg’s, a little Sriracha and a sprinkling of sesame seeds and there you go. For this particular meal, I used fresh broccoli, carrots and a green pepper. I also found vegan spring rolls at Whole Foods to round out the meal. The whole thing was under $12 and was enough for two dinners.

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burger

Louisville just got its first Trader Joe’s a little more than a month ago. Prior to that, I had heard so many great things about Trader Joe’s, but had never actually been in one before. We had a chance to stop in about a week after it had opened, but it was so packed that you couldn’t browse for anything. Last night, however, we were bored and decided to swing by again and ended up bringing home a few items, including these Vegetable Masala Burgers, a roasted vegetable pizza, Trader Joe’s own brand of almond milk, as well as a few other items.

We tried the burgers for lunch today and they were really, really good. My husband lightly fried them in a cast iron skillet per the instructions and we served the burgers on a couple of slices of bread with lettuce, onion and a dollop of curry Vegenaise that I threw together. I liked that the burgers weren’t made from a meat substitute; instead, they were a combination of potatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, onions and spices. You wouldn’t think that they would hold up that well as a sandwich, but they did and were so delicious.

As for the other items, we haven’t had a chance to try them out yet. I’m especially curious about the almond milk. We currently drink Almond Breeze, but the Trader Joe’s brand is a dollar cheaper, so I hope it’s just as good.

My first real impression of Trader Joe’s is a good one. The true test will be later this week. We normally shop at Whole Foods for most of our items because, contrary to what most people think, it’s actually cheaper (for us) than Kroger. But we’re going to see if we can do all of our shopping at Trader Joe’s and see if it’s cheaper than what we normally spend.

I hope everyone is well!

Vegan Food Happenings

Man, I’m a bad blogger. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I apologize for the lack of posts. This past winter seemed to hit me pretty hard, motivation-wise. But I still cooked quite a bit and I even took a few (blurry) pictures. I tried out some new recipes—some good, some not so good. I even experimented a little on my own. For this post, I thought I’d share a few of the dishes that I made over the past few weeks.

My husband has been working nights for school, so I’ve been left up to my own devices for dinner. I’ve been making lots of tofu scrambles like the one you see below. I use the tofu scramble recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch. It’s so easy and leaves lots of room for variation.

For this year’s Super Bowl, I decided to make a few snacks. While browsing the Whole Foods deli section, I came across a bag of pretzel bites that were vegan. They were still warm, so I couldn’t resist. The bags of pretzel bites were on a display with large blocks of cheddar cheese and beer, which gave me the idea to make a vegan version of beer cheese. It turned out way better than I expected. I used Lauren Ulm’s mac and cheese sauce for the base and added a few extra ingredients, including beer, to give it a more authentic taste. I plan on making it again, and when I do, I’ll post the recipe on here.

In addition to the beer cheese and pretzel bites, I also made a big bowl of guacamole.

I’m a big stickler for not wasting food. I’ve been known to throw together some, um, interesting dishes to avoid throwing out food. This cauliflower and lentil dish was such an experiment, but it turned out really well. It consisted of cauliflower, red lentils, and lots of spices that gave it an Indian vibe. Next time, I think I might roast the cauliflower in the oven to add another layer of flavor. Again, when I make it again (if I can remember how), I’ll post the recipe on here.

Finally, I’ve really been making an effort to make a substantial breakfast on Sundays. My husband and I are big fans of “CBS Sunday Morning,” so we’ve made it a tradition to enjoy our coffee while watching the show, and then make a good breakfast/brunch after the show ends at 10:30am. This morning, I decided to make banana-cinnamon pancakes with a side of veggie sausage.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m sorry I couldn’t offer any recipes this time around. Hope everyone is well!