Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Howl to Be Vegan X

bitter melon - an update from my last post - my mom braised it with sweet soy sauce this time, and it was so good compared to regular soy sauce! the sweetness really balances out the bitterness

guac - mom gave us four avocados - I used one of them for avocado and toast and the rest for guacamole. I also used the tomatoes and a lime she gave us. the only thing I bought was a red onion and the chips. I highly recommend Santitas Tortilla Chips - they're only $2 and made with three simple ingredients: corn, oil, and salt. other tortilla chip brands like Tostitos have milk in them, which is ridiculous! (wow, Frito-Lay actually owns both Santitas and Tostitos)

mac and cheese - while grocery shopping, I stumbled upon Annie's Vegan Mac & Cheese, so naturally I had to have it. it wasn't worth it. I ended up using it like rice and eating the bitter melon with it. I also had it with some guac, so basically it was good as a base not as a solo dish.

busboys & poets - for my sister's birthday, we went to nova/dc to see Alton Brown Live and dinner at my favorite vegan restaurant. unfortunately, busboys also serves meat, but their vegan selection is so good, I keep coming back (I've been there more than 10 times and have introduced all my friends to it). what's funny is I didn't have a good first impression of busboys because the vegan crab cake made me sick (it's since been removed from the menu...), but the second time I had it (ironically with my sister), I was hooked. I had the vegan beef sliders made with lentils and soy protein (I believe). It was decent (I've had it before). they didn't put enough mayo on the patty so it was a little dry, but I fixed it with mustard and ketchup. I recommended the vegan tuna sandwich for my sister. The meal, which also included a side of sweet potato chips for my sliders and sweet potato fries for my sister, a mixed drink, a coffee, and a dessert only cost $54.52 with tip, which is not bad at all considering I once spent $40 on a meal at another vegan restaurant that I won't recommend.

Read Chanhong L.'s review of Busboys and Poets - Shirlington on Yelp

After going HAM on all these restaurant meals (see previous posts), I realized that my bank account was drained (I have horrible foresight), so I decided I wasn't going to spend any money until my birthday (more on that in the next post). As a result, I couldn't spend any money on food, so we had to use whatever we had at home to sustain ourselves for the next week or so. Here's what we made:

curried/cumin potatoes - poBAEtoes - what more do I have to say? they're cheap, versatile, and tasty. they can also be supplemented with rice for a more calorie dense meal aka you won't feel hungry after eating this dish. my sister used cumin powder instead of cumin seed, but it was fine. she also added tomatoes and lentils to the recipe.

pesto - mom gave us more herbs, so my sister made pesto again. she used the last of the walnuts in the last pesto batch, but she just replaced it with sunflower seeds and peanuts from my pantry, and it tasted the same to me. we ate it with penne. I also made the bow tie dish again because of leftover tomatoes.

gnocchi - "best gnocchi i ever had" - drake; my sister replaced the cashews with almond milk and peanuts aka what we had in our pantry #poBAEtoes

free pizza - midici opened in charlottesville and gave away free margherita pizzas; the 50 minute wait was worth it because we would have starved otherwise. because the margherita pizza has cheese on it, they let me substitute pineapple. I would never pay for the pizza though: it was mediocre and needed the extra toppings e.g. garlic, salt, pepper, etc. the restaurant provides on the side. the ambiance is 10/10 though.

pesto pizza - my sister and I were actually going to go to Midici again for a Yelp Elite event, but we were over it after the free pizza + there's only one option for me so it's not worth the time especially when I had homework and a UVA basketball game was on; my sister did make her pesto pizza again though. She used kale, mushrooms, my leftover red onion from the guacamole, and a grocery store tomato (aka not one from our dad's garden because we ate them all) as toppings. I'm pretty sure these are the same toppings from the last pesto pizza she made. she over salted the first pizza, but the second one was good.

black bean burger - the same night my sister made the pesto pizza, I cheated and spent money at an on-campus cafe except it was money I already spent i.e. I used my student card, which had money I previously deposited into it to buy a textbook. i stayed up really late the previous night doing homework and was really stressed, so I figured I would treat myself and treat myself I did: I added veganaise to the buns, and it was the most gluttonous black bean burger I ever ate. I had chest pains after eating it + along with the side of fries. the meal was only $6 too.

hummus - lastly, I made the hummus in my first "Howl to Be Vegan" post because I had leftover chips from the guacamole and cannellini beans lying around for this exact moment. i didn't have an actual lemon, but I used lemon juice from the fridge and adjusted the taste with peanut butter, a lot of garlic, and other spices. after I ran out of tortilla chips, I finished the hummus with my roommate's leftover pretzel chips.

I also had about four ramen and cereal dinners during this time period, so our pantry is pretty wiped out at this point. Updates are coming in the next post.

Edit: I totally forgot that I got pho at Vu Noodles, arguably the only Vietnamese restaurant and one of the few vegetarian/vegan-only restaurants in town.

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