16 November 2009

Grocery Shopping and Cooking Vegan/Vegetarian

This past Sunday (or perhaps it was two Sundays ago) I went grocery shopping. I do my bulk grocery shopping about once a month and then every week I'll buy a thing or two. Such as one bell pepper here or there. Cooking for one while trying to be organic while not wasting food but not really liking to freeze things...is sometimes a daunting task!

Since I knew my schedule for tech week of Winter Pageant at Redmoon Theater would leave me no time to do anything else, on top of my regular "9-5" which is really "7-5", I decided to make a few meals in bulk and portion them out so that I'd always have lunch and dinner. Without planning to, they were all vegetarian or vegan. I'm still struggling with trying to create a raw dish. (Actually my homemade salsa is a raw dish. YEA!)

Due to this crazy schedule there is has also been a lack in posting and reading of other great blogs. My apologies for the absense. My day went something like this.

6 am to 6:30 pm -Wake up. (microwave water to brush teeth and wash face in - by the way I found a homemade recipe for mouthwash and I am starting to use baking soda as toothpaste). Get dressed. Use extra water to water my plants.
6:30 to 7am - Travel to work and try to sleep on the train. 
7am to 5pm - work like a horse at my wonderful job that is a bit understaffed. Hopefully the empty positions will be filled SOON!!!!! Please, gods of positons filled for understaffed companies...pretty please give us someone.
5pm to 5:30pm - travel to Redmoon Theater
5:30 to 12:00 am - TECH Winter Pageant. (Do you know what tech is? Holy crap. I forget what tech is till it slaps me in the face!)
12:00 to 1:30am - Travel home. (If I drove I could be home in 15 minutes. But since I take the bus and train everywhere and they run slower this time of night...morning...it takes a long time to get home. Shoot, I could fly to New York in that amount of time when put in prespective!)
1:30 to 2:30am - Send reports for theater, browse facebook when I really should not, take my shower.
2:30am to 6:00 am - Sleep
6:00am - wake up and remind myself I chose this life.


So as you can see, if I didn't bring my lunch and dinner with me, I would not eat.

I made my tofu veggie stir fry, vegan black bean soup, homemade salse, corn chowder with jalepeno parsley puree, and spicy potatoe soup. I don't have pictures of the later two right now, but will soon!

Some of the ingredients for the Vegan Soup.

This time i added a few more ingredients. Diced tomatoes. Corn. And Salsa Verde.

Next time I'm going to take out the diced tomato. I didn't like it that much.
And this time I let it simmer for about an hour as the recipe called for. And I didn't like that either.

But it was still good and I was eating it ALL WEEK LONG!

I also made my homemade salsa. I tried to keep track of the ingredients I was putting in it so I could compile a recipe later. Also while I was making all the dishes...half the salsa disappeared. I guess I kept eating it throughout my marathon cooking day.

Some of the ingredients were green, yellow and orange bell peppers, serrano peppers, jalepeno peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, salsa verde HOT, and lots of seasonings including hot shot, chili pepper, and cayenne pepper. (I noticed that everything I made was spicy)

These are the some of the veggies for my tofu stir fry.

TOFU. There are many ways to prepare and cook tofu and there are many kinds of tofu. If done incorrectly, it is gross, tasteless and people will never try it again. If done to perfection, people will beg for more! I had friends eating my stir fry all week.

The stir fry when complete! And this time I prepared it with brown rice instead of white rice. It was still the instant minute rice but at least it was brown!

Even more containers of food! You can also see that I catch up on tv shows as I cook or clean. Because when else am I going to watch last season's episode's of Lost?

One thing I enjoyed about this process was that by making a few different recipes I was able to use a whole bell pepper or a whole onion. Sometimes I'll make something to eat and still have left over unused bell peppers and whatnot. And by the time I get around to using it again, it has spoiled. By cooking in bulk with a variety of recipes that had similar ingredients, I was able to keep my waste down!

A few things I noticed while grocery shopping.
  • Because of the tons of vegetables in my cart, it looked like I had just robbed a farm. My cart was colorful, I didn't use any of those plastic bags and just about all of the vegetables were organic
  • While the vegetables were organic, I forgot to even consider whether or not they were locally grown. If I want to become a more eco-conscious eater, I have to be more mindful of that. I am definitely going to participate in a local CSA next year.
  • I went down the toiletries aisle to find some mouthwash and I saw so many products. Twenty differen face washes and shower gels and this and that and with pride I thought, "Either I have made my own versions of these or I am on my way to doing so. I can by pass this aisle now!"
  • But I also thought, "Wouldn't it be great if I could by pass the vegetable aisle too? Wouldn't it be great if I had my own garden? Then I'd be saving loads! And what if I made my own bread and what if the only milk I drank was almond milk. But I like store bought popsicles. I still have to buy that. And that cream cheese fruit dip. That's too good to give up. But still, I really want a garden. Maybe my boyfriend will let me use his backyard.)
Taking the time to preplan and sort my meals came in handy. During a week when I normally do not eat at all, I always had healthy homemade food at hand. While I missed out on sleep, at least I was eating a balanced, organic and vegetarian diet for the week!


Eco Mama said...

Looks great SLY! Your life sounds very exciting and creative. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself with healthy food even on the run.
Eco Mama

SLY said...

Right after tech week, I usually come down with some horrible sickness for a lack of sleep, food, and who knows what else. And this week, while I'm a little tired, my body hasn't been completely depleted. Cooking ahead of time definitely saved me! And cooking a number of things kept it from being boring.