Friday, March 1

Baking Bread and Other Food Thoughts

Have you ever made your own bread? While I am far from an expert (I've made three loaves), there is something very satisfying about baking bread -- mixing the flour, salt, yeast and water, kneading the dough, waiting for the bread to rise, etc. I'm showing how much of a newbie I am, but I get really excited when I check on my dough and discover it has doubled in size! Hurray!

I'm not ready to share my bread recipes or photos yet (newbie again), but I do want to talk about food.

Lately we've been eating lots of cheap, in-season vegetables (green and red cabbage, acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, spring lettuce mix and onions) with quinoa, noodles or brown rice. Protein has mainly been coming from beans (lentils, chick peas and black beans have been in heavy rotation), but we've also had wild-caught fish a few times (fish tacos are a favorite of ours). Corn tortillas, tortilla chips and salsa are always on our pantry shelves, and we've made homemade guacamole once or twice. I love my avocados and still buy them when I can.

Oats and bananas are our breakfast staples, and we've had some cereal (Kashi was on sale) and oranges (also on sale) as well. For snacks we have Kashi bars and peanut butter/almond butter and crackers.

This might come as a shock to you, but I don't mind shopping at Wal-Mart. It has surprised me because I hated it for so long, but the tradeoff has been worth it. When I was really honest with myself, I realized that Whole Foods and Kroger were just as exhausting and stressful anyway! I have missed certain vegan staples that I can only buy at WF or Kroger (Tofutti, Ezekiel tortillas, organic collard greens, Akmak crackers and facon), but we're doing okay without them. Our bank account hasn't missed them either! Just to clarify, we still go to Costco very occasionally (and with a list) for quinoa, almond butter, rice milk, almonds, Kashi bars, granola and bulk veggies (such as avocados). The prices are still better on those items from there. I've also noticed that Kroger has better prices on some dry beans, tortilla chips and wheat flour. Hey -- you live, you learn!

Cooking (and eating!) continues to be really fun for me, and I'm still inspired to try new recipes. Having more time at home allows me to plan out meals and have everything on the table at a decent hour. It has been a nice change for us.

Here are a few recipes that are on my radar for March. As usual, Asian and Mexican dishes take center stage. I'll let you know how they turn out!

Source: via Crystel on Pinterest

Source: via Crystel on Pinterest

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