Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October is Vegan MoCCO: Month of Cupboard Clean Out

It's the start of a new month and the end of Vegan MoFo VII. I didn't quite achieve my goal of cooking from all 24 of my cookbooks, but I did use 18 of them, so I'm pretty happy. MoFo forced me to cook and try new things and got me out of the cereal/take-out rut I'd been in for a year. And I hate to admit this, but my theme of using a new cookbook every day made me realize I don't need to buy any more. I already have too many great books that I don't use.

With MoFo over and my September grocery budget blown ($215 vs the usual $150), it's time for a cupboard clean-out. Once a year or so, I stop going to the grocery store and only eat the food I have at home. (I make a few exceptions for vegetables and ingredients that are key to a dish.) After 3-4 weeks, I'm usually out of everything except condiments. I'm oddly obsessive about keeping a mental inventory of everything in my kitchen, so doing this keeps the stock manageable. Now that I have a blog, I thought it might be interesting to chronicle my cupboard clean-out concoctions and grocery spending this month.

October 1
Grocery purchases:
almond milk $2.44
celery $2.29
raisins $4.49
grapes $3.91
total $13.13

Breakfast: blueberry smoothie
Lunch: Loco's for Taco Tuesday 
Dinner: tuna salad sandwich (see below)

And now, my first MoCOO dish: I saw Meatless Select Fishless Tuna at the Natural Food Patch for $1.29 a few weeks ago. I have an inexplicable affinity for mock seafood and buy every new kind I see. I had planned to use it to veganize a pregan guilty pleasure: Kraft mac & cheese with peas and tuna. (Yes, it's equally delicious and disgusting.) But I'm out of nutritional yeast and had a loaf of old bread to use up, so I opted for mock tuna salad sandwiches instead.
Somehow, I didn't have pickle relish (see, too much food in the house and my subconscious can't keep track!), but fortunately I had Tartar Sauce. Looking at the ingredients, it's mayo, pickle relish and Worcestershire sauce so I used that instead of mayo and relish. With a ton of celery and a little mustard, I had a delicious tuna/celery salad.
And here is my super ghetto looking (but environmentally conscious!) reused bread bag, packed with sandwiches for lunch at work:

Granted, it's been a long time since I ate tuna salad, but this seemed pretty close to the omni version. On its own, the tuna tasted decent and reminiscent of the real thing, but the texture wasn't quite right (I had my omni roommate taste it to affirm my conclusions). Similar to my feelings on most new faux meat products, this tasted fine and I enjoyed the novelty, but I won't be ordering it by the case. I love having the option, though!


  1. I like the idea of an annual cupboard clean out - my kitchen is in need of the same treatment!

  2. Great idea! I love your theme! Thanks for sharing your cupboard clean out journey with us!!