Monday, February 15, 2016

vegan comfort food

Are you ready for some Monday munchies? :-) To avoid packaging waste, I'm cooking even more from scratch so I thought I'd share some of my favorite waste-free recipes with you all.

Buying food without waste (or as little as possible) doesn't mean it's all veggies and grains all the time. It does mean that "comfort food" might take a bit more time and effort than popping a frozen dish in the microwave though. ;-) So out came one of my favorite cookbooks - Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia C Simpson.

Okay, technically, I have this in digital format, but anyway... I quickly assembled all the ingredients, most of which were sourced from the bulk bins, of course. =) 

All the makings for yummy vegan mac & cheeze!
Since I don't keep a ton of food on hand, I've managed to use up most of the trash-producing foods I had on hand prior to swearing them off. I finished off the little bottle of organic lemon juice with this recipe so it'll be fresh lemons from here out! The garlic will be around awhile, but once that's gone, I'll be buying fresh cloves. I really should use my garlic press for more than making hair for gingerbread men. (Yeah, you read that right.)

I've tried quite a few recipes for vegan macaroni and cheese over the years. Some get their cheesiness from nutritional yeast or packaged vegan cheeses. This one is by far my favorite! The "sauce" is nut-based, a combination of macadamia nuts and raw cashews (both of which my co-op has in bulk!). There are also veggies blended up in there. =) Once combined, it's finished off in the oven with a crunchy topping of bread crumbs. And yes, it's creamy!

can't recommend this cookbook enough! Check it out from your local library and let me know if you give any of the recipes a try! =)

Leftovers went great with homemade black bean burgers too:

 Yummy vegan black bean burgers with homegrown sprouts on a ciabatta bun from my local co-op.
The recipe for the burgers can be found here. The original recipe calls for canned beans, but you can avoid the plastic-lined cans and get bulk dry beans and cook them yourself like I did so making this recipe can be trash-free. :-) A can of beans is about 1.5 cups of cooked, rinsed beans. I also don't use my food processor for these. The processor results in too little texture for my preference so I simply use a potato masher to mash the beans and combine everything. So good!

I've been buying bulk bagels so when I saw the "Bagel Biter" in the pic above at Goodwill, I happily took it off their hands. It works great on buns too! It wasn't on my list, but it's getting lots of use here. :-) If you see one, snap it up! I picked this one up for only $3 (vs $20+ for a new one).

I've also used my new popcorn popper a couple of times. I LOVE it!!

Yum! Fresh popcorn!
Whoever donated it has no idea what they're missing! Super fast and so much better than what I recall microwave popcorn tasting like. I even made a little batch of kettle corn. Yum!

I'm so glad someone decided they wouldn't use these items and donated them! This is one reason I love donating my unneeded items. The money will go to support those in need and someone will get a great deal on something they will love. So much better than things winging up in the landfill or collecting dust at the back of a cabinet or hidden away in the basement. That's definitely a win-win to me. =)

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