Shopping Light and Baking Brownies

A Vegan Shopping Story:

I thrust myself briefly into the world of the vehicle-less on Saturday, when I decided to bike to the grocery store. It isn’t far, only about fifteen minutes, but with a number of hills. I felt sufficiently Eco-Friendly as I made my way along, decked out in a backpack and a half bottle of sunscreen. (I wish they had salon beds where instead of getting a tan, you got a good, strong dose of sunscreen that lasts you for a few weeks. I hate putting that stuff on, and it gets all over your clothes…)

I had a general list for this grocery run, but I wasn’t actually planning on buying everything I needed since, well, I was biking.  However, I have this ailment where I walk into Superstore and about fourteen recipes I glanced at over the last week all pile into my head at once and I just have to buy the stuff to make them.  Unfortunately, I only remember about two ingredients from each recipe so, assuming I can’t get my impulses under control, I tend to come home with enough ingredients to make exactly one mismatched stir fry.

Evidently, having a limited cargo hold doesn’t curtail this urge at all.  I brilliantly decided to buy a butternut squash (but not the coconut milk or dark chocolate also needed for the recipe), a red cabbage (not for any particular reason but that I love it), a huge bunch of bananas and a few other things.  I did draw the line at a fresh 2 litre carton of almond milk.

Really? Good grief! I had to buy two reusable shopping bags (because I thought to myself before I left the house ‘oh no, I won’t buy more than I can fit in my pack’), put the butternut squash in one, the cabbage in the other – roughly the same weight – top each with a bundle of kale, and tie one to each handlebar.  And stuff everything else into my backpack.  It was a good time.  Better yet, I haven’t actually used any of those ingredients – except one banana – so I could have just grabbed them when I was out with the car, yesterday.

Cheers to saving the planet for the mere price of serious shoulder pain!

I believe I mentioned that I would be baking brownies this weekend – and I did!  I made these ones, except I halved the recipe.  I did almost exactly what this blogger suggested, but swapped out half the oil for applesauce.  I do that quite often in baking, and it has never seemed to make a difference.  It’s nice feeling free to indulge a little bit more!  I also used cane sugar instead of brown, but added a tablespoon of molasses to make it, well, brown-er.

They didn’t turn out perfect.  They ended up not cooking in the middle, when the edges were just right.  I committed what is probably some major baking faux pas: I cut out the edges, spread the still-gooey insides thinner in the pan, and tossed it back in the oven.!

It worked!  They tasted great, but didn’t look too pretty, as you can imagine.  Unfortunately, I only have a picture of what they looked like before I cut out the edges.  You can totally see the spot where I sampled…


I will definitely make these again, but next time I will make them thinner (a full batch would probably work well in a 9×13).  That way, they should cook evenly and look just as snazzy as they taste!

I think I had better stick to desserts for this post and discuss some tasty meal foods next time, because this weekend I also made rhubarb crisp!

I liked how the pie turned out, but I ended up with left over rhubarb, and I had wanted a crisp originally anyway.   To spell it out for you:

This. Thing. Was. Amazing. (evidenced by the fact that I ate it all in less than two days.

rhubarb crisp 2

I followed this recipe to a T, except for using half brown rice syrup and half maple syrup. I really enjoy that half the crumble gets pressed into the bottom like a crust. That part is so good, and this way you get even more! My rhubarb was quite tart, so I ended up with what I considered a perfect blend of sour and sweet.

rhubarb crisp 1I burned my mouth on that bite!

I might have had it for breakfast…

Tomorrow: lazy person meals!  Hooray!



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