Tag Archives: vegan

What’s the Plan?

It’s been a while since I posted anything about what I’ve been eating (or planning to eat) so I figured I’d give you all and update!

It really has been quite the transition from basically being a homemaker to working not only nearly full time, but also an unpredictable and odd schedule. I’ll be honest, it’s sucked. Some nights I get home at 9pm or later. Some days I leave the house at 6am. It’s kind of all over the place and I’ve really struggled to figure out not only what to eat, but how and when to eat. Mix in trying to get back into some sort of fitness routine and well…like I said before, you parents are amazing. Multitaskers to the MAX and I am so impressed.

That said, I’ve been really trying hard to eat at least 4 times a day. Breakfast, a shake, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast has generally been a couple of scrambled eggs with a piece of toast. I’ve experimented with having loaded oatmeal but it just doesn’t hold me like eggs do. Oh, and coffee. I love my coffee. I don’t feel like a zombie without it, but I really just love the smell, taste and the ritual of coffee.

Lunch has been a bit harder since on most days, I start work at 2pm. Often I’ll sip on my smoothie for a couple hours, then go to my lunch around 4pm. Different types of ‘loaded’ salads have been great. Romaine, edamame, almonds and cabbage with carrot-ginger-miso dressing. Spinach with feta, cranberries, almonds and chickpeas with a balsamic or orange vinaigrette. Kale with black beans, tomatoes, baked yams, corn and bbq tofu with a homemade tofu ranch. They are filling and have really worked!

But. I’m getting bored. What do you do for lunch?

Dinners are the hardest thing. I’m so used to cooking at night. I love it. I love the time spent making nutritious food but getting home after 8pm just…doesn’t work. So I’ve had to really be better about meal planning and preparing recipes that my husband can help with so that I don’t turn into a hypoglycemia-monster when I get home at 8:30pm.

SO! Without further rambling – here is the plan for this week:

What’s on your menu? Do you have any favorite fast-and-furious meals that you can toss together in an instant? 

First Meals of 2014

Well, here we are in 2014 and we have no super futuristic meal replacement pills or Jetson like setups. Hrmpf. We do have Roombas which are  basically efficient cleaning robots, so that’s a start. I guess.

I’ve been eating like crap since I started working the late shift. I just don’t feel like cooking at 9pm. I realize many of you probably work longer hours and later shifts, but this is all new to me and I just haven’t gotten into the groove yet.  So. I vowed to myself that after the holidays, I’d buckle down and meal plan. I’d plan snacks and portable foods for me to take to work.  I’d plan some simple meals that can be whipped together in no time.  I’d plan meals that were healthy and would work with my fitness goals for the year. Less sugar. Less fat. More veg.

Well, today I did just that. I stayed in bed with a hot cup of coffee, several cookbooks and an iPad and went to town.

I’m pretty excited, I won’t lie.  I planned about ten meals to last over the next two weeks, (I leave a couple days for take out or alternate plans) and with what I had in the pantry and what my Dad gave me from his garden stash – I only spent about $130.  Maybe you’re a better budgeter, but for me, this is stellar!

Without further ado, here are a few of the recipes!

Rustic Tomato Rice & Kale Stew Healthy. Happy. Life.  I just made this one tonight and honestly, it’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made. Hearty. Rich. Flavorful.  EASY. You should add this to  your menu plan for next week.

Potato Leek Soup (Vegan)Fettle Vegan.  I’m excited about this one too. My Dad gave me a whole bunch of leeks and potatoes from his harvest this year that need to get eaten up. What better way to showcase them, than a 5 ingredient soup?

BBQ Cauliflower Salad Fork & Beans.  I’m hoping this will be hearty enough for a dinner salad since it has avocado and beans in it.  Maybe a hunk of crusty bread on the side?

Kung Pao TofuFettle Vegan.  I’ve tried a few kung pao recipes before, I’m hoping this one is a winner. I think I’ll add some toasted nuts to it for crunch and serve some broccoli on the side. Yum.

Chinese Tempeh SaladFork & Beans.  I’m SUPER stoked about this. I love tempeh and I love the asian style salads with crunchy chow mein noodles. I’ll probably bake my tortilla strips instead of frying them, but I will give the tempeh a toss in my cast iron for some texture.

Smokin’ Hoppin’ John Serious Eats. I was supposed to make this for New Year’s Day but…fail whale. I was lazy, didn’t feel well and ordered New Year’s Day Pizza instead. It was yummy and I’m sure this recipe will be as well. I might toss in a little kale since I have MASSIVE bags from Whole Foods that I’ll need to use up.

The other meals I’m planning on don’t really have recipes, but just in case you find some inspiration in them I’ve included them.

-Veggie dogs, baked beans and toast
-Sundried tomato basil white bean burgers & salad
-Black bean quinoa bowls with homemade salsa and avocado
-Tempeh reubens & salad
-Chili stuffed baked sweet/regular potatoes & salad

What are you making this month? Are you changing your diet at all this year? 

Happy New Year, friends!

My new BFF – Tahini (NaBloPoMo 5)

My friend Diane reminded me today, as she put one of my favorite recipes into her mealplan, that I am in the middle of a seriously torrid love affair. With tahini.

I’m serious. I LOVE the stuff. I’ve always had it on hand and have used it, but lately I seem to be making everything I can with it. Coleslaw with tahini dressing? ON IT. Warm rice bowls with tahini sauce? YOU BETCHA! Let’s just say I use it a lot. Thing is, it is actually really good for you. Really! Look here!

What IS tahini and what do I do with it? You ask? Well, tahini is just a paste made of ground up sesame seeds. Not all brands are created equal and I don’t really have a favorite. I like the more liquidy ones as they are just easier to deal with but they all have worked for me for most applications.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that involve tahini.

Source: Dinner with Julie

Stir-Fried Chickpeas & Asparagus with Brown Rice and Lemon Tahini Dressing – Oh you guys. This recipe. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this, or shared this and each time it’s a hit. My Mother in Law has shared it with her work, my Mom has taken it to school and to family dinners. Really, it’s a winner. The trick really is cold or refrigerated rice.

I love Dreena Burton‘s Kale Slaw (I know, I know, KALE. Trust me. Use Lacinato/Black/Dino kale and give it a shot.), but I use her Citrus Tahini Dressing instead of the one she uses. I have tried both, but just prefer the tahini one! I’ll be honest though, I’ve never tried a dressing from Dreena that I haven’t liked.  (Just a side note – I LOVE Dreena. Even if you aren’t vegan, check out her recipes. They are wholesome but still delicious and most, if not all are kid friendly as she has three little ones of her own! She also has a series on raising Plant Based Kids which is great too.)

I have been making this Sweet Tahini Dressing quite often too! I love it on regular cole slaw mix and would really love to try this whole salad recipe combination.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Oh, and I can’t forget these Miso Sweet Potato Broccoli Bowls. Aren’t they gorgeous? The dressing on these is what re-ignited my love affair with tahini. So creamy, rich and stands up to the heavy vegetables and rice.

Do YOU like tahini? Have you ever used it? What is your favorite recipe that uses tahini? 

Food Finds – Vegetarian Friends Edition

Howdy friends!

I’m back with a whole new round up of food stuffs. I am going to try to make this a bit of a regular thing if I can manage.

Firstly, this magazine. I’ve always loved it and so many of Eating Well’s recipes are in my favorites rotation but could rarely stomach spending over SEVEN DOLLARS on it in Vancouver. (Insert rant about the cost increases on books/magazines in Canada vs. US here. Even E-BOOKS!) The photography is so gorgeous and while it isn’t vegetarian, I still love the inventive recipes and quality food tips. It just so happens that a Groupon came around a month ago, offering a subscription to this magazine for $5.00 and I couldn’t help snatch it up. If you get an opportunity, or desire a regular subscription, I’d highly recommend it. I have yet to crack this cover but it has this weekend written all over it!

2013-10-18 12.41.28

I have been doing quite a bit of recipe sharing with some fellow vegetarians and foodies lately and some seriously good food has come out of it!  Two meals from this week came from Ashley, who I am very quickly learning to trust when it comes to dinner!

First there was this vegan corn chowder from the ever lovely Isa Chandra, from her Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook. I omitted the red peppers and used fresh poblanos that I found at the farmer’s market. It was delicious with a sweet bite of heat that I loved. I served it with a cabbage and carrot slaw, tossed with this sweet tahini dressing.  Probably not a match made in heaven but both the dressing and the chowder were fabulous. (I have yet to make the full rainbow slaw, but I bet it would be amazing! I’ve been obsessed with the dressing as is.)

Then, my favorite of this week (or so) was this Lentil Shepherd’s Pie.

Honestly. It was SO. GOOD.  As usual I did make a few tweaks for my own taste buds. Your mileage may vary. Instead of just onions, I sauteed the full holy trinity (diced carrots, celery and onions) and I also added some minced garlic and mushrooms to the pan before tossing in the lentils. I increased the sauce/flavoring ingredients a little to make up for this extra volume. The best part of the whole thing was the sweet potato and white potato mash. It was so delicious and worked perfectly with the savory filling. This will absolutely become a staple here. I’m already thinking that it would make a great Thanksgiving entree.  Thanks for the recommendations Ashley!

This Smitten Kitchen recipe for Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowls was also a smash hit in this apartment. I added some sauteed tempeh to the mix and it was such a perfect bowl. I can’t wait to eat it again. Can you tell I’m loving tahini in everything?

There are a couple things I’m loving lately when meal planning too.

Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils – As usual, TJs takes the work out of just about anything. These are such a perfectly easy way to throw some protein and fiber into your meal. I’ve added them to quinoa and veg with a bit of dressing for dinner. I’ve tossed them into savory bread pudding for a protein boost. I’ve warmed them in a bit of olive oil, tossed with goat cheese and paired them with some crusty bread.

Forbidden Rice – Oh boy, do I love this. It comes out chewier  yet softer than brown rice and not as…woody. We love it and have been using it a lot. It certainly holds up to heavier sauces like miso gravy and tahini dressings and cooks just like regular rice does. It was perfect in the miso bowls.

This post is long, I know but it shows you just how much I think about food! How about a few (okay more than a few) tasty food links that I am itching to try?

Pumpkin & Black Bean CasseroleFat Free Vegan
Easy Vegetarian CROCKPOT Refried Beans (without lard!)Kitchen Treaty (I guess I’d better get moving with buying a crockpot!)
Hot Cheesy Roasted Brussels Sprout DipCloset Cooking
Homemade Pumpkin PastaMinimalist Baker
Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake BarsAverie Cooks
Balsamic Onion & Roasted Garlic JamDinner with Julie
30 Super Fast Vegetarian Dinner Recipes in 20 Minutes or Less!Kitchen Treaty

Lastly – a little food for thought from my favorite food writer, Mark Bittman. How to Feed the World. 

What are YOU itching to cook or eat? Are there any old standby recipes you’re bringing out or maybe some new ones you’re looking to try? Please! Share!