More and more vegetarian and vegan products are becoming available these days, although in a limited market like Kaua’i they can be hard to find or expensive. Costco had a couple of plant-based options that we picked up last week, but we discovered a motherload of vegan options at Walmart as well which was quite the surprise. I had never really searched in the freezer section there before and as the doors are almost always frosted over I had no idea they carried such a variety of items. They had several vegan brands available, like Quorn, Field Roast, Gardein (a favorite), and Morningstar Farms, all at affordable prices. They’re not something we use frequently, but they will give us several more meal and protein options.
Last week I found a website that listed 51 vegan products that Costco (supposedly) regularly carries – our Kaua’i store carries three of them. Shopping trips have turned into treasure hunts as we look for plant-based options. Besides what we found at Walmart, last week’s surprise discovery was grilled vegetable ravioli, imported from Italy. They’re vegan, the ingredients look delicious, but we sadly know they most likely won’t be available the next time we shop. We have so far refused to shop at the natural food stores on the island because of their ridiculously high prices. We can occasionally find some vegan/vegetarian products at Safeway, but prices there can be equally high, so the challenge is ongoing, and we’re grateful for what we do find. I never thought I would be thankful for Walmart, but when it comes to food prices here, they, along with Costco and farmers’ markets, are a lifesaver.
We had four Japanese meals on our menu last week: sushi, zaru soba with accompaniments, mabo nasu, which we made with plant-based ground “be’f,” and Japanese-style tofu patties with a pickled radish salad. The vegan ground beef substitute was delicious. I’m not sure how we ended up with so many Japanese meals in one week, but it’s our favorite cuisine, and is light and easy to prepare. Sunday and Monday’s dinners were chosen for the purpose of getting the refrigerator cleaned out before Tuesday’s Big Shop. New cheeses on our board this week were smoked gouda, English cheddar, and a soft Boursin with herbs. We liked the tofu patties and will have them again, but thought the daikon & carrot namasu was just okay. The radish was quite spicy and didn’t work with the pickling mix.
Sunday: Sweet corn ravioli with pesto; roasted peppers, zucchini, and onion
Monday: Mini pizzas with leftover meat sauce
Tuesday: California roll sushi
Wednesday: Zaru soba; hiyayakko; cucumber namasu
Thursday: Mabo nasu; cucumber slices
Friday: Cheese board
Saturday: Tofu patties; radish & carrot namasu; cucumber slices
We splurged last week and bought a giant Costco apple pie for our dessert for the next several days. Not the healthiest of foods, but cut into 20 servings the calories are the same as a piece of baked oatmeal, and it will give me a short break from baking. Also, after eating pie for 10 days we hopefully won’t be wanting any more for a long, long time. Costco’s apple pies are vegan, by the way.
Below are the meals I’ve planned for this week. We’ll be using up our next to the last package of ground beef to make the egg roll in a bowl, and will try out one new recipe: Ina Garten’s Summer Garden pasta. It looks easy to prepare, and the only cooking required is the pasta. The vegan corn dogs were one of our finds at Walmart. We used to love the ones from Trader Joe’s, and hope these match up.
- Grilled vegan burgers
- Summer garden pasta
- InstantPot bean burritos
- Egg roll in a bowl
- Vegan corn dogs
- Mini pizzas
- Cheese board
We had good week of walking in spite of some questionable weather on a few days. We got caught in the rain on Monday after finishing the perimeter and heading down from the clubhouse, and both of us got soaked as there was nowhere to take cover. On Tuesday we did our Big Shop, always an exhausting experience (nearly two hours pushing a big cart). We thought we were going to melt from the humidity on Wednesday or be eaten by gnats, and Thursday was still humid but very windy and we left just as some rain was arriving. We picked up another full bag of trash off the course that day and at one point had over thirty wild chickens following us, apparently assuming what was in the bag was for them. Looking over our shoulders at all the chickens behind us was like something from a horror film, but they eventually figured out there would be no food and dropped off. Friday afternoon was lovely: not too hot and a nice breeze the entire time we walked, and Saturday was lovely as well.
We found an unbelievable 68 lost golf balls this past week, with an astounding 30 of them found on Thursday, and the other 38 spread out over the other five days we walked. We’re still shaking our heads in amazement as the golf course has only nine holes and no water hazards. We honestly start out every walk at the park hoping to find just one lost ball, but we’re very good at keeping our eyes open and looking in unexpected places and always seem to do better than just the one. On Thursday, as we approached the last hole where we walk (the sixth) we had already found eight lost balls, a very satisfying number. The sixth hole is split over a wooded gully that golfers need to hit over, and we occasionally find balls on the edge of the course near the green, ones that don’t quite make it over are left behind. As we were walking along on Thursday, Brett spotted a ball a bit down into the gully and climbed down to get it; a few steps later I spotted a ball in another section and climbed down as well. I picked up the ball, looked up, and thought I had stumbled into an elephant’s graveyard of lost balls. By the time I came back up to the course I had 12 balls in my pockets, and Brett had found an additional ten of them from the area where he had been. To say we had a very good week would be an understatement: lots of good exercise and lots of lost balls.