Today’s Haul at Rainbow Bridge

I took the market bag for another test run today. Pictures taken with my phone in a dark room; not the greatest quality, sorry.  But the bag held a ton of heavy stuff, and functioned pretty well.  It stretched to accomodate all the food below, it didn’t cut too badly into the shoulder or the hands, and it doesn’t seem worse for the wear.  So I”ve learned a few things for the next bag; make the opening wider, and perhaps a bit more reinforced to be more stable when it’s being loaded, and definitely make the straps a tad wider, for stability and comfort.

Here are the items I purchased, hopefully the last of the staples for my new vegan pantry.

1.) Almond milk.  Since I’m told that people with hypothyroidism should avoid soy, I need to make a lot of changes.  Soy milk is no longer the go-to milk replacement.

2.) Egg replacer.  Can’t wait to try this.  Especially good for baking, I’m told.

3.)  Agave syrup. A vegan alternative to sugar, with less calories.  No idea what it tastes like, but I’m told it’s MUCH sweeter than sugar.

4.)  Earth Balance sticks.  I have a tub for table use, but sticks are easier for cooking.  It’s margarine, made from oil, has no trans fats.

5.) Flaxseed meal.  A boost of nutrition, can be added to almost anything without changing the taste, but upping the fiber and mineral content.  I’m also told that you can soak the meal in a little water and it makes a gel that can be used as an egg replacement in baking.

6.) Vital wheat gluten.  Since I need to start avoiding soy, wheat gluten is another high protein meat replacement.  I’m going to make my first batch of seitan today, which in pictures looks fairly disgusting, but many vegans love it.  Should be fun!

7.)  Sausages, made from seitan.  I thought since I’ve never had it, it might be helpful to try one purchased seitan products so I have a clue as  to how it should turn out.

8.) I bought three different kinds of tofu.  Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to avoid it. But once in a while should be ok, and I’ve been thinking about the Mormon pantry concept.  They feel you should have a year’s worth of non perishable food on hand for when the apocalypse comes.  I don’t know from apocalypse, but in a state with multiple varieties of natural disasters, seems prudent to have a decent supply of non perishable food laid in.  I have silken and firm tofu in tetrapak packaging, which is shelf stable for years, and a heavy plastic wrapped one that should keep in the freezer for years.

9.) Tofu sour cream.  Used in a bunch of recipes I want to try.  Again, will try to use in limited quantities.  I’m also very interested to see if Peru will be able to tell the difference.

10.)Coconut Milk Yogurt.  REALLY expensive.  But I love yogurt, especially mixed with granola, so I bought one container to see if it’s worth it.  Again, no soy; most vegan yogurt is made from soy.  “Turtle Mountain” has an entire line of products made from coconut milk, called “So Delicious” ; I tried some ice cream and it was heavenly.

11.) Vegan bouillon cubes.  I hope to be making my own stock, but it will take a while to store up the veggie ends and such, so these can be backup. Low sodium, of course.

12.)  Two packages of green noodles, made from an “ancient Egyptian vegetable.”  Will make a good change for lunch sometimes, and was fairly inexpensive.  We’ll see how it tastes, but it’s noodles, right?  What could go wrong?

So today’s plan for meals is: homemade granola I made yesterday, which I did not burn but somehow does not taste as good, and I can’t quite figure out why.  Need to work on it.  With soy milk (gotta use up what’s open!!)  Then I have a pork roast in the crockpot for the omnis, to go with a HUGE pan of roasted veggies I’m going to make for dinner.  For me, I’m going to try marinating some tofu with the Lawrys I wrote about the other day, and bake it to go with the veggies.  I also plan on making some lemon squares  both for us and for the Subway guys who have been so nice to Peru on his Tuesday Subway runs.  Lunch will either be leftover lasagna, or those green noodles, depending if Eric eats the leftover lasagna for breakfast….

I may do a little kitchen work, but I think I’ll take it easy today.  I had a lot of pain last night after working so hard, and probably my body could use the break.  I’ll see how I feel, but I think mostly I’ll stick to tweaking what I did yesterday, making labels for containers and such.

I’ll try to remember to take pictures of the roasted veggies; they’re so pretty and SO YUM!

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Sunday Farmer’s Market

Sunday Farmer's Market

Sunday Farmer's Market

Today was Ojai’s weekly Farmer’s Market.  I grabbed my newly finished market bag (seen in the lower left corner) and headed out this morning to see what I could find.

A large bag of salad greens.  Three different varieties of avocado.  Three small pencil thin bunches of asparagus.  Two bunches of kale.  Four plum tomatoes.  A large head of cauliflower.  Two fennel bulbs with the largest, most amazing tops I’ve ever seen.  A bag of teensy red potatoes, perfect for roasting.  My prize?  A small tin of edible lavender flowers, with which I plan to make lavender shortcake cookies.

Quite a haul, and only the lavender was over my budgeted $20.  Vegetarian eating is NOT cheap.

I felt very Ojai Earth Mother with my hand made organic cotton market bag, completed late last night, strolling around the market.  It’s a feeling I like, a lot.

Came home and made sourdough pancakes for brunch for the family.  Ate too many, but sans syrup, at least.  My dough did not seem to rise; it’s a fairly new package so I think I’ll have to do a proofing to see  if  it’s still active.

I ate the second half of my sandwich for breakfast.  We’re still stuffed from pancakes, so dinner will be served late, and will be just a salad, with my farmer’s market goodies.  YUM!  OHHH!  And I found a salad dressing I’ve been looking for since we moved to CA; Lawry’s Honey Mustard Marinade.  It’s not really a dressing, but I put it on my salad once and LOVED it. I’ve never seen it here; they had 19 different types of Lawry’s marinades but not that one.  I’d given up looking.  My eyes just accidentally fell on it in Von’s Friday.  I almost wept.

Later I’m going to discuss the avocados, the different varieties and how they are used.  Sadly,  they won’t be ripe for almost a week, according to the vendor.