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thrivingveg's Profile

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Hi-Temp roasting of cherry Tomatoes?

I've never bothered removing the skins on cherry tomatoes. Cook them down and enjoy. They're so naturally sweet that I don't think you need to bother with it. The skins will actually kind of start to come off on their own after you broil them a bit, but honestly I eat the whole thing.

Jan 12, 2013
thrivingveg in Home Cooking

Do I have to peel and seed tomatoes to make marinara sauce from scratch?

When it's summer and the tomatoes are nice I never do it. However, in the winter you might want to take the time to peel the tomatoes because the skins seem to be tough and bitter then. I don't usually bother with the seeds, though. I've heard it can make a sauce bitter, but I've never had that happen to me or I just don't pick up on it. I kind of like what the seeds add myself. Romas are generally a good bet year round. Those were not appetizing the last time I went shopping so I went with hot-house and the sauce was actually pretty good, for a fresh tomato winter sauce. Best bet in the cold months is to splurge on a can of San Marzanos. You won't regret it.

Jan 12, 2013
thrivingveg in Home Cooking

vegetarians: how do you keep your grocery bill down?

Avoid the faux soy processed meat replacements. They're often as expensive or even more expensive than real meat per pound. Tofu is economical, nutritious, and healthy.

It's excellent that you have lots of time and like to cook and bake from scratch. You can learn how to make your own vegetarian protein sources like seitan easily. Once you have some basic spices in rotation you can cook ethnic very cheaply.

The freezer is your best friend. Make large amounts of everything and freeze it for later. Consider baking your own bread. A loaf of my favorite at Whole Foods is over $5. I can make the same thing once I have all the ingredients for under a dollar. Buy in bulk. Compare the cost of packaged items over what's in bulk. You can even get a lot of organic items this way. It's much cheaper. Buy dried beans, legumes, and lentils instead of canned. Take care that the pantry moths don't destroy your food supply by keeping dried foods in the refrigerator or freezer if you can.

Grow your own vegetables if you're able to and can them to get you through the winter. Eat simple food. Make entire meals around vegetables. Often you just need a little bit of seasoning and nothing fancy. Be wary of anything prepared, ready to go, and packaged up all nice and neat for you. You can even make your own gourmet vinegars for pennies.

When you start with this way of thinking you'll see lots of opportunities to still eat well, but to do it for a fraction of what you're spending now. This seems to be a topic of interest these days and I plan to begin exploring it in detail on my vegetarian and vegan blog at Good luck!