Sooooo… I never gave an update regarding June A. because my life was super full and B. because we did super lousy. But it wasn’t unexpected. We had many birthdays to celebrate, including the beau’s and my oldest friend from high school was getting married – as the MOH I had to plan the bachelorette and admittedly, that got a little out of hand. I remember filling the envelopes the first weekend in July and thinking, “okay, back on track this month,” and we did great!
Also to note, just because we blew our budget food / alcohol wise in June doesn’t mean we didn’t have any extra money to put toward debt, we put almost $200 toward student loans! Taylor participated in a market research gig and I made some extra YL cash. I need to do some more reading – Dave Ramsey – on how to control all cash in our joint account. I deduct all of our savings at the beginning of the month for upcoming expenses etc. but I feel like I don’t track the remainder amount. We could potentially be dumping more each month toward his student loans but I don’t like the idea of deducting all cash from our account, should an emergency happen or a spontaneous purchase. Any suggestions?
Now for July: we tried seven new meals! We did a ton of cooking this month and also ate out once or twice. I like how our attitude toward eating out has shifted – we’re both more selective in where we want to go. It feels more special. We’re both on summer hours now, getting out at 12:30 + 1PM on Fridays, so mid-month we decided to go out for lunch; something we never do. Ama Cocina is was! I have to admit, their selection for a vegan wasn’t as great as it has been in the past (they rotate their menu for the season and there’s a lot of summer squash on there = my least favorite veggie) but their sangria was two thumbs up! The waiter surely missed out on some extra cash by not coming back and asking if I’d like a refill because I gladly would have accepted. But maybe people drink less at lunch? Super delish – I need to find me a good red sangria recipe stat.
We decided to head out for TNO and splurge for the evening, pooling all of our leftover envelope cash for a fun night out. We drank beer and mimosas all over town, tried veggie dumplings, had brunch at 9:30PM, and I even purchased a new Free People shirt. It was a blast (and we took our first Lyft!) but we were hung over the next day, boooooo. But we did have $22 in our pockets, which was deposited toward debt.
Here’s a quick review of the seven new recipes we tried last month (thank you Pinterest):
Sloppy Joes! These are packed with veggies and taste just like a Manwich Sloppy Joe. The roasted portobello on the bottom isn’t needed but I personally liked the added texture and serving of veggie. A keeper!
“Beef” and broccoli with soy curls – this was our first time using the curls from the co-op and let me tell you, they were PERFECT in this dish! The beau is a sauce master and this tasted so SO GOOD, dare I say better than any Chinese takeout we’ve ever gotten?! Well, at least in the protein and broccoli category… I did love my Lee Lin dumplings back in the day! I’m scheduling this meal once a month – cannot wait for August’s serving! Inspiration recipe here… the beau tends to throw stuff together and have it come out awesome. He said the biggest difference was that he coated the curls in cornstarch prior to frying, instead of adding it directly to the sauce.
Spring risotto from Bosh – this recipe took a long time to chop all the veggies and stir stir stir that rice but it was worth it. Admittedly, it was a little too acid-y, so next time we’re going to pair back the lemon juice to one lemon and get a sweeter wine. Also, if you aren’t use to cooking with a lot of fresh herbs beware – this has quite the kick of freshness! I liked it and loved it even more the day after with a sprinkle of nooch. We’re already planning our next risotto meal with mushrooms and basil.
Vegan alfrerdo: I choose this recipe because I knew we’d have leftover peas from the risotto and the beau loves his pasta. It too was a delicious dish but admittedly a tad sweet; I used sweetened hemp milk. Whoops! I’ll definitely repeat this recipe when I bring home some regular hemp milk.
Jackfruit tacos: I’ve made jackfruit taco meat in the past using my crockpot but to be honest, I didn’t really like it because it was too sweet, despite using a spicy BBQ sauce. When I saw that Trader Joe’s was now selling jackfruit by the can, I randomly grabbed a can and got searching. That’s when I found this recipe – also a keeper! By baking the jackfruit for an extended period of time, it really dries it out and gives it s a great texture. It was a spicy recipe but perfect if you like that kick. We served it in a crunchy corn taco shell with a radicchio slaw.
Curried sweet potato and brussels sprouts via The Vegan Roadie. We met Dustin a couple years ago when he visited Troy and the shop – and even made a little video while in town. Now he’s working on a cookbook (!) and asked for recipe testers: we jumped at the opportunity! He sent us two recipes and this was the one that really stood out to me because the other one reminded me of the Moroccan meal we were eating that week, ha! I was hesitant but never said anything to the beau, and the evening I was prepping this meal, he admitted he thought he was going to hate it. Really, the recipe is super simple and looks to have odd pairings… we stand corrected! It was delicious! Good news: it’s a keeper in our rotation of meals. Sad news: I can’t share this recipe, as it’s not mine to share (and the cookbook hasn’t been released yet). Following along on his Instagram account has got me very excited for the book’s arrival, I’ll surely be grabbing a copy.
Last but not least: Gardein “fish” tacos. Super easy, super fast for a mid-week meal, and super tasty! All we did was bake the protein according to the package, toast up some corn tortillas, and add a slaw. The beau makes a killer slaw! Oh, and I added some pickled jalapenos for a kick. On the package last month I saw that Boulder Brands was holding a deal – buy any three items and send them your receipt, they’ll send you a $7 coupon. While we don’t buy these products on the regular, we did snag some chickenless tenders to keep in the freezer for a quick salad option. Worth it!
For July as mentioned, we only had the $22 leftover in regards to our food / alcohol budgets, but we did have close to $700 in other earned cash (Young Living, tax refund, market research) that was extra and deposited toward debt. That felt pretty good when clicking submit!
Post 2/23 for the month of August.