I love to shop. And I don't mean clothes shopping, I mean grocery shopping. I only make 2-3 trips to the grocery store a month, but I really stock up each time I go. I never really buy anything unnecessary though; I stick to the staple foods on my shopping list. Lately I've been trying to see how long I can go with just the staples in my pantry, fridge, and freezer. That means I have to search my cookbooks and recipe databases online to find recipes that will utilize what I have on hand. Last night I made an "Ethiopian-Inspired Red Lentil Soup" from Fat Free Vegan. It wasn't as flavorful as I expected, and the tiny red lentils nearly disintegrated into the stew. I also substituted peas for the string beans and added some bulgur wheat. I'm not a huge fan of potatoes or peas, so I think those ingredients turned me off. It definitely wasn't bad, but next time I would prefer it spicier and with some injeera bread to dip in the stew. I also had some fresh basil in the fridge, so I made the pesto recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance, replacing the nutritional yeast with hemp seeds. I made the pesto a little too salty and garlicky, but it was delicious nonetheless. Just when I thought I was done cooking, I had an urge to bake. Since I had work at 5am the next morning, I decided to make a quick and easy recipe. The recipe for"Vegan Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies" was printed in my local newspaper recently, and despite the misleading title, it does not contain any artificial sweeteners! By "sugar-free" it just means without refined sugars. Instead, this recipe uses only 2 tbs. of pure maple syrup and bananas to naturally sweeten the cookie. I found the exact recipe online here, but don't be fooled by the horrible reviews! This cookie is chewy and moist, with just the perfect amount of sweetness. I added carob chips to some of them to give a chocolately flavor. I'm sure they are really versatile too--just maintain the same ratio of wet-to-dry ingredients. You could probably use almond butter, coconut flakes, dried fruit, nuts, etc.