Yes, it’s been awhile. This gal had something baking in my own personal oven that had put blogging projects on hold. My little bundle was born three weeks ago today (Happy 3 Week Birthday, Little Man!) and will surely give me plenty of things to blog about going forward.
Not too long ago, my pal at I Eat Trees wrote about her own little man not feeling well so she found a great bubble bath by California Baby to soothe him. I was excited to find a shampoo and bodywash by the same company to bathe our boy for the first time (and more since then!), too.
Hooray for cruelty free baby products!
As you can see, he sure enjoyed getting all sudsy!
Ooooo yes, this shampoo is wonderful on my hair!
It was a nice, gentle bodywash that left him smelling good (that might have just been his natural new baby scent, though) and his skin nice and soft.
Do you have a favorite baby product that you would recommend this new momma?
So my first experiment with my new Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook was quite the success. The only item I couldn’t buy at TJ’s was the Daiya cheese that was needed to veganize the dish but all the others were in their aisles.
Behold the very easy to make and quite delish Tamale Bake!
Soooo good. Seriously.
Ingredients (the Vegan Meow Mix version)
2 18 oz. tubes pre-cooked polenta, each tube sliced into 9 rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 zucchini squash, sliced
1 (12 oz.) package Soy Chorizo
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
1/2 TJ’s Enchilada Sauce
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat and oil skillet. Saute zucchini until soft (about 5 minutes). Add chorizo, stir, and remove from heat. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan (or use an 8 x 8 if making a half batch). Place the polenta on the bottom, overlapping as necessary. Sprinkle half each of the chorizo mixture, beans, enchilada sauce, and cheese. Repeat with the second layer. Cover and bake for 45 minutes until the cheese is melted and casserole is piping hot. Sprinkle cilantro evenly on top.
With as much as I talk/blog about how much I love Trader Joe’s you would think I’m getting paid. I should really work on making that happen. 😉 Until then, I’ll just be content with sharing the products I love from our local TJ’s.
One of the best things about Trader Joe’s products is that so many of them are cruelty free and happily display the bunny that let’s us know. We’ve been using the Oatmeal Exfoliant for months. HUGE bar of soap that smell GREAT and costs about half of what those fancy schmancy soaps cost.
Smell good goodies!
The other three are new items that we picked up just last week. Again, all cruelty free and saving us some $$. The Trader Joe’s Spa facial cleanser is awesome. It smells good and gets all nice and soapy-foamy with just a dab. I love bubbles tickling my face. 😀 Next is the Moisturizing Shaving Foam. Kit Kat has been on the look out for one like this for months. Another smells great product that is gentle on the skin and doesn’t leave him rubbing ice all over his neck due to razor burn. Hooray for keeping the ice in the freezer! Lastly, is the Air Therapy room spray. So this isn’t actually a TJ’s brand product but they sell it and we love it. One sprays fills a room and lasts forever. GREAT stuff!
On the food end of Trader Joe’s, I picked this cook book up last night:
Yes! Dinner's Done!
I’m most excited that all the ingredients in the recipes can be found at TJ’s. No making a separate stops to get all the items needed for one dish. Not all the recipes in the book are veggie, but most of the recipes give great suggestions on how to easily make them that way in a snap. Again, hooray! I’m sure to be trying LOTS of these recipes soon. Stay tuned.
Taco soup is one of our favorites because it’s super easy, packed with flavor, and makes enough leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s basically your favorite beans, some seasoning, tomato sauce and you are ready to go! Here’s what we put in ours:
There have been times we’ve done green beans or pinto beans, too! We realized we wanted it to be a little more “soupy” so we’ve begun to add diced tomatoes (with liquid) to make it that way. The seasoning packets can be any taco seasoning that’s your favorite. If you happen to find a ranch packet that’s vegan (they do exist!), you can sub that out for one of the seasoning packets.
3-4 cans beans of your choice
1 can tomato sauce
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package of ranch seasoning (or 2 of taco)
Drain beans in large colander. Put in large pot. Add all other ingredients, stirring to mix well. Simmer about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Yep, that’s it!
Warms the tummy.
Serve with corn chips, Tofutti sour cream, avocados, or a vegan cheese of your choice such as Daiya.
My goodness it has been way too long since I’ve been here! Let’s just say that me baking a little one in my own “oven” has made for one lazy gal. I’ll try to not be so remiss from now on. I’ve missed you all. 😀
With said little person on the way, both the hubby and I are definitely looking to have a good variety of easy to make meals at the ready. Something tells me that we won’t have quite as much time to be whipping up elaborate things, but simple can be fabulous, right?
Last night we made a yummy spicy peanut bake. Three ingredients, 25 minutes, and on the way to yum.
This is all you need:
One, two, three and you're ready!
We’ve tried some of the other Taste of Thai seasonings but this one is by far our favorite. It’s sweet and spicy all at once and just has a great flavor. We make things easier by going ahead and buying the seitan already made and in nice little strips. Remember, we want easy! As for the rice, throw a cup in the rice cooker and you are on the way to perfect rice. (What did I do before my little rice cooker?!)
So you just put the seitan in a glass pan, coat it with the mix, cook just a few more minutes than recommended on the back of the packet for chicken and you are ready to go in no time at all.
Sweet and spicy!
So good. So easy. So filling.
I’ve yet to find an item that Tofutti makes that I don’t like and was really excited to find these not too long ago.
While a lot of parts of the country are already cooling down and autumn has made itself very apparent, not so here in New Mexico. On a day like today where it’s still in the 90s, it’s great to have a cool ice cream treat like this one.
The chocolate on this cone has a great taste and the ice cream is just perfect. I think my only complaint is that the cone wasn’t as crunchy as I would like (and in some cases, outright soft and chewy instead) but overall, if you are looking for a something reminiscent of a “nutty buddy” this is close enough to do the trick.
What’s your favorite frozen treat?
It had been awhile since I’d nommed on one of my favorite Veganomicon recipes, chickpea cutlets, and thought it was high time I remedy that little issue. I’d been going on about how tasty they were to Kit Kat, so I was determined to whip up an extra yummy batch so as to not disappoint.
I can’t lie, I actually had never made them myself so, in hindsight, I would probably do a few things differently but, nonetheless, the experience was a good one. Well, it was good AFTER we managed to open the can of chickpeas. (I had forgotten we had given our can opener back to its original owner. D’oh!). Did that stop me? No way! I wanted my cutlets and I wanted them bad.
A can opener was purchased the next day.
The work paid off though because tasty chickpea cutlets were the end result. I think next time I’ll try pan frying them, but baking them was a great way to go, too. Served Midwest style with potatoes and corn!
Looks like Bob Evans, no?
I like to top mine with A1 sauce but that’s just because I like the tangy taste. Down the road I’d also like to top these with a white gravy. Me thinks that could be tops.
Lessons learned here:
- If you don’t have the Veganomicon, this recipe is worth the price of admission alone.
- Never, ever be without a can opener.
- Vegan food is yummy (but we already knew that). 😀