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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Free e-cookbook!

This one probably isn't the most inventive of cookbooks, after all, it features a lasagna on its cover, and to be honest, lasagna was the very first vegetarian "real food" I learned to make... but I'm not a snob. I have nothing against lasagna. (I just like other foods better, unless that lasagna is made with cremini mushrooms, cream sauce, and some heavenly smoked cheese. Then I'm a sucker for lasagna...)

Anyhow, this freebie MAY be geographically restricted. Amazon thinks I'm a US customer, so it shows up free. My apologies in advance if it doesn't in some countries!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vegan Corn Bread/Cake

Here's the vegan corn bread recipe from today's get together:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
2.5 c. water + 1 T. apple cider vinegar

Mix it all together, pour in a pan and bake at about 175 C for about 1 hr... (and try not to burn the top, like I did. I assure you it is better not burnt.)
Enjoy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Foraged Greens in My Soup

Tonight's supper was a little last minute...

I was out in the back with the kids this afternoon and they had this desire to weed the yard (and the area right behind our yard leading out to the field). So we pulled up lots of milk thistle, and a bunch of dead branches, and picked some mallow too. The milk thistle got a taste of my scissors as we collected it - so much easier to take the thorns off the leaves BEFORE bringing them into the house...

(While we were out there, we discovered a scraggly looking prickly-pear cactus that had been hidden behind a bunch of dead branches. Time to clear out  that area - maybe we'll be able to nurse that cactus back to health? And enjoy the fruit at some point?)

So, I washed, checked, and chopped those greens, then wilted them in my cast iron skillet. Then I stared at them... Once wilted, a whole bunch of greens doesn't look like so much food...

Here's what I made with them:

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 large potatoes, diced
cook the above in a soup pot, with olive oil, till browning and fragrant.
Add water, soup stock, spices to taste (I only used salt and pepper).
Bring to a boil.
Add wilted greens.
Lower flame, and simmer about 10-15 min.
Serve hot with some croutons!

That was our yummy, if slightly too peppery, soup tonight. A few of the kids EVEN asked for seconds. Sounds like this recipe is a keeper!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

Today, Mega put out a coupon for grape juice, for 11.99 for a 750 ml bottle. Their regular price is 12.90 - I know, because I am looking around for a better deal. So this week, you can get one for a bit less. I still think it's not an awesome price, but if that's the best you can find, go for it!
I know we are just now running out of all the grape juice we stocked up on before Rosh Hashana, for 8 or 9NIS/bottle... Trying to match that price again... Wish me luck!

Click here for the coupon!

Expires 3.3.2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Shabbat food

It's Rosh Chodesh Adar, so it is time to work on using up the chametz in our house before we start the Pesach shopping! Today I started looking through my freezer and discovered that there are enough side dishes in there for this Shabbat, plus perhaps one more. Good thing, because I am tired and don't feel like being creative in the kitchen!

So for Shabbat this week, we have:

Vegetable soup (my usual, double batch, making that fresh)

Chicken in sweet and sour apricot sauce - just mix up apricot jelly, vinegar, some extra water if needed to thin it down, garlic, ginger, ground pepper... pour it over chicken, allow to sit for about an hour (in the fridge), then bake till done!

Side dishes from the freezer

Vegetable lo-mein from the freezer

Cholent (vegetarian - using my new go-to recipe! Must thank my friend Batzion for introducing me to smoked paprika and changing my cholent recipe forever, for the better!!)

Brownies or chocolate cake, haven't decided which

Breakfast bread from the freezer

Homemade Chumus that I made the other day and must get used up

Avocados, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers - make your own salad...

Challot from the freezer

Hopefully, that's it.

What are you making?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One day left for free international shipping!

RIGHT NOW enjoy free International Airmail shipping on any order valued from $40.00 to $80.00, weighing 4 pounds (1814 grams) or less!
(This special limited time shipping offer expires Friday, February 24th, 2 p.m., in California.)

At present, they offer over 32,000 natural products, all in stock, including:

Nutritional Supplements: Multivitamins, Minerals, Calcium, Bone Formulas, Omega 3, Superfoods, ...
http://www.iherb.com/Supplements

Bath & Beauty: Shampoo, Conditioner, Hand Creams, Soaps, ...
http://www.iherb.com/Bath-Beauty

Food & Grocery: Coffee, Tea, Cocoa, Spices, Sweeteners, ...
http://www.iherb.com/Food-Grocery-Items

And many other product categories:
http://www.iherb.com/

And a little extra for you! Enter coupon code- QEJ101 -in the shopping cart for an additional $5 savings on your 1st iHerb order.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Online Shopping

I just spent $34.83 ordering some things online (that includes shipping charges). And I'm agonizing about whether it was a smart purchase or not! $34.83 is 130.27NIS
I ordered from two websites, iHerb.com and Vitacost.com, (for Vitacost, I started my purchase at Big Crumbs, but I don't expect much of a rebate. Total amount of my purchase, after coupons, and before shipping was only about $3.) I managed to get very close to the maximum allowed size for each site, 3 lbs for Vitacost (my order weighed 2.98 lbs) and 4 lbs for iHerb (my order weighed 3.98 lbs). What on earth weighs only 0.02 lbs that could have been added? Total shipping charges were $16.99, almost half the total amount I spent (although I must disclose that had I not had Vitacost credit coupon, my purchase would have cost an additional $20).

Did I get my money's worth?
To be honest, I have no idea. Some of the things I ordered are really not available in this country...

Here's what I got

Eco-friendly dishwasher tablets (20 pack) comparable to a product (different brand) at the health food store for about 35 NIS

Tom's of Maine Cinnamon Clove toothpaste, not available here as far as I can tell (we need a new, unopened one for Pesach!)

Tom's of Maine Baking Soda Mouthwash (haven't seen this here, have you?) (also for Pesach!)

Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea (I got the peach flavor) - oddly it is cheaper to order tea from the States than to buy Wissotsky fruit teas here. And we drive past the Wissotsky production plant all the time. Talk about a local product...

Dried blueberries - MAJOR splurge, but I really wanted them.
Organic Milk chocolate bar (Splurge, again. but it was almost the exact weight i needed to fill up my box!)

Baking cups - unbleached, natural silicone coated, in 2 sizes. I have been baking a lot of muffins lately and while these are not necessary, the do make it so much easier!

Jason Tea Tree Shampoo (haven't seen this here. I have seen similar products in bottles half the size for about 40 NIS)

1 bag organic whole wheat pastry flour - 1.5 lbs (I have always used this for my hamentashen. And I really wanted to make them this year!)

Free samples: toothpaste, lip balm

So - did I waste my money or did I do ok? What do ya'll think?

Free vegetarian cookbook!

If you haven't already downloaded this one, here's another chance to get a vegetarian breakfast cookbook for free.
One day I will have time to review these before I tell you about them. For now, all I can say is, this is free today (this may be geographically restricted - apologies in advance if it is. Send me a message and I can lend it to you, or so it says...), so grab it! You never know when there will be a recipe that inspires you!


27 Delicious and Nutritious Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes (The Ultimate Guide to Vegetarian Cooking)



Let me know if you find any winning recipes!

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

Do you buy Natural health products? Altman brand are certified kosher and here's a coupon for you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade...

Today my kids laughed when they saw our meal out on the table.

Here's what we had:

Homemade Whole Wheat Pitot (Shortcut version)


Homemade Chumus (made with lemon juice from a lemon *just* picked from our tree)

Fresh Vegetables


Lentils (leftover from last thursday - time to use them up)

Homemade French Fries


Felafel balls

They asked when I was going to learn to make homemade felafel balls. They figured that would be so much better than those frozen store bought ones I've been serving.... One day...

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

This coupon is for people who live in the far North of Israel, or for those traveling to the far North of Israel for whatever reason (visit to the snowy Hermon, anyone?)

Looking for boredom busters? Use this coupon to save some money when you buy gifts for the kiddos at Kfar Hasha'ashuim in Kiryat Shmona! (exp. 29.02.2012)


Click here to go to the coupon!

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

Right now you can print out this coupon for 30% off the purchase of  Yoplait "Shtuzim - Lavan" (4-pack)
It can be used at Mega supermarkets, and is valid through 31.03.2012

Happy savings!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sorry for not posting meal plans

I have been completely burnt out when it come to the kitchen, so I have neglected my promise to plan meals in advance. I have neglected my obligations to my readers! Please forgive me.

Instead, I decided it is time for a little introspection.

If you want to know more about what's been on my mind, you can catch a little glimpse of it on my old blog that I am trying to resurrect, Northern Lights and Reflections. Perhaps if I spend a bit of time writing and thinking, it will help me keep perspective...
Let me know what you think!

More savings

Ok, so I told you all about Big Crumbs and how I love getting money deposited into my Paypal account anytime I shop?
So now, you'll notice that there are TONS of retailers out there on Big Crumbs, including Vitacost. A couple of weeks ago, I reported about both my iHerb.com and Vitacost orders.

So, if you want to double your savings, right now, you can get $10 off your first Vitacost order, and if you start shopping at Big Crumbs, you'll get a cash rebate (right now up to 8.4%!!) on the amount of your purchase. (But first click the link to activate your discount. Then go to Big Crumbs and start shopping!)
You can also get a discount when you order (first time) from iHerb.com, but they don't participate in rebate programs (use code QEJ101 for $5 off).

Awesome for natural-food loving ex-pats like me! Also awesome for my friends in the USA as well! Free stuff is always good!

Give it a try, and let me know how it goes!

Other deals that may work for international shoppers (all if you start at BigCrumbs): $39 glasses offers international shipping for $12.95, and right now Big Crumbs has a coupon for $10 off PLUS you can 5.6% cashback!
AbeBooks  offers 3.5% cashback and SOME sellers ship internationally

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

Shufersal has a coupon out right now for animal crackers/letter cookies

Click here to go to their Facebook page to print it!

Oh, and don't forget to follow my blog so you won't miss out on these updates! I know ya'll love coupons as much as I do...


Shopping online

Did you know that sometimes even confirmed frugal nuts, like me, have to buy things? So what do you do to minimize the expense?

I used to spend hours and hours combing coupon boards, trying to get the very best one - usually some combination of % off AND free shipping. Now, I do that less - and not only because I'm shopping less.

A couple of years ago, I signed up for Big Crumbs. At first, I did this because they were the only way I could find to save money on E-bay purchases! Well, E-bay has since cancelled that program, and I am STILL disappointed about that, but I still use BigCrumbs! We get cash back deposited into our Paypal account from nearly any online purchase we make (including plane tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals, when traveling - but haven't done that in a while)! It's not a ton, but sometimes it's 10% or more of the purchase (usually closer to 5%)! And they have combo-deals too, coupon codes that can be combined with their cashback program!

The trick is, you must start shopping at the Big Crumbs page in order to activate the cash back program. There are a few things you should know: You must sign up using an address in US/Canada/UK/Australia/Ireland. Your paypal account address needs to match the address you use to sign up. And in order to get cash back, you should ALWAYS start shopping at Big Crumbs!



Try it out! Let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shabbat Menu again! (and vegetarian cholent recipe)

MY SHABBAT GUESTS JUST CANCELLED!

So, I guess it's a good thing I forgot to defrost the chicken, now I'll defrost less than I had originally planned...

Here's my plan:


Split pea soup (Fri. nite) with lots of carrots (carrots are cheap right now, have I mentioned that?)

Cholent (for lunch - and now I am being pressured to replicate last week's cholent. Wish me luck! It had lots of onions, potato chunks, black beans, diced garlic, sweet potatoes - although those may get replaced with butternut squash, barley, and water and spices - the most crucial one is the smoked paprika. Cayenne Pepper is pretty important too...)


Chicken in BBQ marinade (easy, and delish!)

Potato Kugel (already done! actually I made 2, so now we'll have extra. They don't freeze so well. maybe I should stick one in the cholent, the way that Helen (my father's cousin, who took on the role of my grandmother in Israel) used to do?)

Rice (already done!)

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash (already done!)


Vegetarian Mock Deli Roll (I'll let you know how to make it after I try it out - if it's good!) - I already defrosted the puff pastry, so I'll make it even though this was an extra because of guests!)

Make your own salad (we have avocado, tomato, carrots, pickles, and purple cabbage, will that work?)

Dessert - Blondies, I think!

Shabbat Shalom!

Cute Freebie

Taster's Choice (Israel) has a cute promotion going on:
Go to their site and anonymously send a gift of single serve coffee packets to a friend!
When you get one, go to their site and find out who sent it!

(Who wants to send me one?)

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

Taster's Choice instant coffee is feeling the heat - a couple weeks ago Elite put out coupons for instant coffee, so here are the competition!
(Finally looks like couponing is growing in Israel!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

Looking for gluten free food? I doubt this is healthy, but sometimes we all need to rely on something convenient and easy (there are THOSE DAYS, you know?)...

Facebook fans of Tivall can get a coupon for 5NIS off the purchase of their *NEW* gluten free shnitzels!

Click here to get the coupon!

Free crock-pot cookbook!

Ok, so I am guilty of just downloading cookbooks and not always reading them... but here is another one. I am 100% sure it won't all work in a kosher kitchen...
But I use cookbooks for inspiration NOT recipes. (Maybe a bit unconventional, but that's just the way I am)

Anyhow - looking for crock pot inspiration?
Download this while it's still free!


Printable Coupon! (Israel)

I don't usually post these things, because I would really like to see everyone buy eco-friendly cleaning products. I know, though, that sometimes ideals are thrown out the window in order to deal with economic realities. So if you find yourself only sometimes buying eco-friendly cleaners, and sometimes regular, here's a coupon for dish detergent:

Make sure to print this large enough for a cashier to read the barcode

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

Here's a muller yogurt coupon, but one pack get the second one half price. Good at Shufersal and select other stores (but which ones will honor it is beyond me. They are not listed, sorry). Exp. 31.3.2012
Limit one coupon per purchase. (So don't print out 5 and try to get a whole lot of yogurt. Bring only one at a time to the store.)
Enjoy!



 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wild Greens, Butternut Squash, and Barley


My kids were so excited to see lots of wood sorrell and mallow growing out behind our house, and there is still a TON of milk thistle! (That milk thistle is really hardy and spreads really quickly...) So I took my scissors out, and gathered some milk thistle, trimming off the thorns, while they gathered up the mallow and wood sorrel...
This was the beginning of tonight's meal...

Here's what I did:

Heat olive oil in a pot (I used a hard-anodized pot this time)
Chop and reduce all your wild greens (we gathered  a large amount - probably about 5 cupfuls after washing and chopping) in the hot pot, stirring frequently.
Add: 1-2 diced onions, 1 small diced butternut squash, 2 diced potatoes, 3 diced carrots
Stir frequently, cooking for about 10 min.
Add barley (sorted, rinsed) and soup stock to the pot. (I added about 3/4 - 1 cup)
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 min - 1 hr.
Season to taste

I served apple muffins on the side...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Water, water...

We've had a lot of rain.
And they say there is more on the way.
To be honest, my feelings are mixed about this. I know we need rain. I know the Kinneret is still low.
But I want warm weather, and I crave sunshine any day that it's cloudy.
But to remind myself that rain is good, I make sure to keep tabs on the water level in our beloved Kinneret.
You can too!
Just bookmark this page and check back as often as you like!

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Today's menu was focused on easy:

I had a bit of vegetable soup left from Shabbat, but not enough to stretch for the whole family, so that served as a basis for my soup:

Carrot and Red Lentil soup (2 onions, diced, 2 cloves garlic, diced, 1 potato, diced, 5-6 carrots, diced. heat olive oil (1 T.?)  in soup pot, add diced veggies, and cook, stirring often, for about 10 min. Add 2 c. red lentils, sorted and rinsed, soup stock - and leftover vegetable soup!, and season to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 min. till the lentils are all soft. Serve hot) 

Whole Wheat Couscous (I love that this is like instant food, but still wholesome!)

Sliced Tomatoes


Veggie hot dogs (gasp! I bought them on sale and my kids love them so I serve them once every couple weeks) with ketchup. My kids won't put them in buns, so no bread.

This post was entered into My Legume Love Affair #44 
More info about the MLLA hosts here

Printable Coupon! (Israel)

This week, mega's printable coupon is for an 800 gram package of crinkle cut (zig-zag, as they call them) french fries. With the coupon, pay just 7.99NIS/package
Click here to go to their FB page.



expires 18.2.2012, so act fast!