What to do when you dumpster a million grapes?

Make raisins!

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Really Late Vegan Food Swap Post!

So I’m just now finally getting around to posting about the vegan food swap I participated in. Several other bloggers and vegans did a swap where we mailed each other a box full of vegan goodies. I was lucky enough to get paired up with Stephanie from veganmainstream.com. The first box unfortunately was swallowed up in the mail system, but she was awesome enough to send out a second box — totally unnecessary but thanks so much!

The box could not have arrived with any better timing. The day before leaving for a drive to New Jersey to visit For The Animals Sanctuary for their annual Thanksliving celebration. A whole box full of vegan treats right before a long drive? PERFECT. So, the goods were munched on all the way there and back, and there was definitely some great stuff. The licorice didn’t even last leaving the state because, well, licorice rules. The banana chips made it about halfway across Ohio before I demolished them, and sometime in the middle of the night right after crossing West Virginia I believe the bean-chips got broken into… I was pretty delirious by that point. I did save the raw food bars and the almond butter for when I got back. Those have been accompanying me on runs — I’d been hesitant to buy those small packets of almond butter because it seemed like a waste of packaging, but I have to say they’re perfect on a run to balance out the sweetness and carbs of energy gels. The Raw Revolution bar was awesome… I’d never had that flavor but those are one of my favorite bars and that flavor was just as good as all the others. I’m pretty sure I stealthily ate the entire bag of cookies on the drive home while Chelsea wasn’t paying attention somewhere right after passing through Philly for lunch.

All in all, awesome stuff — thanks so much Stephanie!

So much awesome stuff in this photo.

So much awesome stuff in this photo.

Dear world: PUMPKINS ARE FOOD!

I wrote this entry a couple weeks ago, but figured I’d wait until post-Halloween to post it. I’m sure there are plenty of pumpkins sitting on porches and cheap at grocery stores (and more than plenty in the trash!) that people could use the reminder that, hey, pumpkins are food. They’re just big squashes. Sure, they’re great for carving faces into, but they’re equally as great to eat.

While out hunting for stuff the other night, an accomplice and I came across tons of apples, pears, and pumpkins.  We snagged all we could, washed everything up, and I decided to make some stuff.  With the vegan food swap coming up I figured I’d make something quick for that so I whipped up a batch of cookie/bar/scone something-or-others (I’m horrible at baking and following recipes… if it’s not obvious).  I’m sort of an all-or-nothing person.  I’ll eat a whole package of cookies on my own, but if I’m baking for myself I really prefer healthier sugar-free fruit-sweetened sort of stuff.  So…

Apples, pears, pumpkins… a whole trunkload of them!

Since I wanted to be able to share the recipe with my dog-friend Patrick who is allergic to everything (corn/soy/wheat/pollen/grass/ragweed) I made a quick flour out of half oats and half brown rice (roughly 1c of each?).

 

After blending the oats and rice into flour, I added the rest of the dry ingredients.  Spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice) a little (too much… oops) salt, and some baking powder.

While I was messing with the dry stuff, I was steaming some pumpkin that I cubed up.

Once the pumpkin was steamed, I blended it up with a couple apples, a pear, and just enough water to make them all into a liquid.
Mixed the wet with the dry to make a batter, poured it into a brownie pan, and baked until they looked done (about half an hour?).  The final result?  Not too sweet, not quite cookie-shaped, sort of scone-like pumpkin-y spiced… things.  I over-compensated on the salt, but the saltiness actually goes really well with sweet, so a little jam on these dudes or a piece of fruit and they were pretty awesome.  Patrick definitely approved.

 

Apple season

Lots of awesome stuff in the dumpster tonight but unfortunately most of it was ruined because of some broken eggs all over everything. Gross.

These apples sure weren’t ruined though! Along with some onions, a couple cans of root beer, and a bag of flour. Not too bad.

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The Best Vegan Gravy Ever

…also the easiest vegan gravy ever!

Dating a vegan chef has its perks for sure. Like learning a new way of making sauces and gravies. This brown gravy is awesome. Pinto beans, salt/pepper, a little tamari. Rice milk to thin it out. Blend. Done. You can use white beans and sage and make the easiest white gravy for biscuits and gravy ever, and it sure beats making a roux and eating flour-gravy-on-flour-biscuits!

I got these “Nature’s Burger” things from the salvage grocery, the pinto beans and rice milk are from the salvage, and the peppers and onions are dumpstered. Grilled up the burgers/onions/peppers, topped with gravy. Done. Quick, easy post-run lunch.

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Waffles!

A friend bought me an antique waffle iron from the thrift store so I’ve been making a TON of waffles lately!

On top of that, I’ve been finding lots of bags of flour and sugar in the dumpsters lately so I ave more than enough ingredients. I usually combine the dumpstered whole wheat flour with some home-ground flours of various sorts… Usually rice and spelt. Sometimes rye, oat, or something else.

I even found a bottle of pancake syrup, but to be honest I give it to friends… I’m a purist and only really like maple syrup.

Batch number one from yesterday’s waffle party, coconut-Oreo-fudge:

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Batch number two, chocolate-cherry-cayenne

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We also found several bags of tangerines and a pineapple so of course we had to have juice along with our waffles!

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Roasted squash chowder and grilled tomatoes on ciabatta

Dumpstered ingredients: potatoes, ciabatta bread
Gardened ingredients: squash, tomatoes, sweet corn
Salvage grocery ingredients: soy milk
Other ingredients: cabbage, nutritional yeast, miso, spices

…a friend gave me some veggies so I threw them together into a quick soup. I blended half the ingredients to make a thick chowder. It came out pretty great. I like bread with soup, so I toasted some of the dumpstered ciabatta rolls I had frozen and threw some grilled tomatoes on top. I took the whole pot to work and it was devoured. Mission accomplished

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Oh… Hey…

So yeah… I haven’t posted in forever. Still reclaiming lots of food and making awesome meals. Here is some phot evidence. I’ll try to be better about posting!

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