Tag Archives: veganism

Return to meal planning

9 Jun

I stopped meal planning for a while because nothing sounded appetizing, and I was too tired most nights to cook. I’m back in the saddle this week, though! Here’s our menu:

Sunday:

  • Breakfast 1 — French toast
  • Breakfast 2 — Omelets and hash browns
  • Dinner — Barbecue jackfruit tacos
  • Monday:

  • Breakfast — Smoothie (repeated every weekday)
  • Lunch — Minestrone, fruit and nuts (repeated through Wednesday)
  • Dinner — Barbecue leftovers
  • Tuesday:

  • Dinner — Chana saag and rice (repeat Wednesday)
  • Thursday/Friday:

  • Lunch — Baked potato with black beans, fruit and nuts
  • Dinner — Soyrizo stew with chips and salsa
  • Saturday:

  • Breakfast — Pancakes and eggs
  • Lunch — Out
  • Dinner — Leftovers/use up veggies and pantry staples
  • That’s the plan! Three of the meals are slow cooker recipes from The Vegan Slow Cooker book that I just got. I’m excited to see how they turn out. I promise to report back!

    What’s on your menu this week?

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    News and Global Food

    7 Jun

    Cooking has not been my friend lately, which is a big part of my recent radio silence. The reason for my kitchen absence:

    We’re expecting a baby!

    We are thrilled, as you can imagine, but pregnancy has certainly not been without it’s less-than-fun moments. Still, I think I’ve had it easier than most, so I can’t really complain. And even if I wanted to, this blog would not be the place to do it.

    Now that I’m beginning my second trimester (!!!), I am starting to feel normal-ish in the eating department, so I have an entire home-cooked meal to share.

    I know I’ve mentioned one of my favorite blogs, the Global Table Adventure, a few times on here. Sasha is now working through the letter T, if you can believe it! Anyway, I read her review of Sri Lanka recently and knew I had to recreate it in its entirety. Here’s Mr. X’s plate:

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    We actually cooked the rice in the rice cooker, and it turned out perfectly. It was my favorite part of the meal! I’m not usually big on the flavor of turmeric, but it wasn’t overwhelming here. It served as more of a back note to the vanilla-y pandan leaves, the delicate-but-exotic spice of the curry leaves, and the familiar creaminess of the coconut milk. We added a few peppercorns, but I didn’t notice them too much. The rice is just perfectly fluffy and flavorful. It’s going into our regular rotation, for sure.

    The white dal was surprisingly subtle but also tasty. Next time I would add some hot peppers for depth (and a little kick, of course), but it was a nice, mellow, creamy dish that I think kids would love. The coconut roti had a wonderful flavor and was very simple to make, but I would definitely use the recommended white flour next time. I subbed in white whole wheat because it’s what I keep on hand. The result was a little stiffer than the soft roti I’ve had in restaurants. The shredded coconut was really good in it. I am not a fan typically, but it just melts into the bread. And we have a ton left in the freezer!

    Now that I have — or rather my husband has — discovered the magic that is our local Thai market, I am a convert. My next experiment will be with jackfruit, hopefully this weekend.

    Do you ever shop at ethnic markets? Preparing for this meal was actually my first time, but I will be back. I mean, $.79 for a bottle of turmeric? Yes, please!

    Lunch salads

    11 Apr

    I haven’t kept up with the Eat to Live diet strictly, but I did keep some of the habits since our last encounter in February. My favorite has been big lunch salads. Here are a couple from this week.

    First is Wednesday’s, which I also ate on Tuesday:

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    Mixed greens topped with roasted sweet potato, black beans, and peanut sauce (peanut butter, hot sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and hot water to thin). The salad kept me full through to dinner, which is the most important part, but it was also delicious! Peanut sauce and I have a longtime love affair, and sweet potatoes are my favorite pair for it.

    Here’s today’s salad that I plan to repeat tomorrow, too:

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    Greens with roasted beets and black-eyed peas tossed in pesto vinaigrette (just a tablespoon of my kale pesto thinned with red wine vinegar). It’s only 1:40 now, so only time will tell if it tides me over as well as yesterday’s.

    There are a million posts about building the perfect salad, so I’m not going to do one, too. And anyway, you can tell my method is pretty simple: greens with a good amount of another (often roasted) veggie, beans, and a flavorful dressing. That’s pretty much it. I’m planning more salads for next week (taco salad and another beet dish, though with different flavors). I will share those, too.

    What’s your favorite thing to bring for lunch? Soups and salads are my preference. Both offer lots of veggies and nutrition, but neither make me sleepy. Anything too heavy makes me crave an afternoon nap!

    Kale Pesto Pasta

    10 Apr

    Hi guys. It’s April, which means I disappeared for over a month again. Sorry. If you’ve been reading long, though, you know I do that kind of thing from time to time. There’s not always a good reason. Things just happen. I’m in no way a professional blogger — I’ve never made a dime from Vegging Out, and I’m more than ok with that. In fact, you’ll notice on the top right that I’m totally ad-free now. I want this blog to be a personal space and an opportunity to share some recipes with my handful of wonderful readers.

    So. Onto the good stuff: pasta.

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    This dish was dinner Monday and Tuesday, and it is my new favorite pasta recipe. It combines fresh spring vegetables with whole-wheat pasta and mushrooms (basically our favorite food).

    Kale Pesto Pasta with Seared Mushrooms

    Kale Pesto

  • 1/2 a bunch of kale
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Dried Italian herbs (optional – to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pasta

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or a heavy spritz of spray oil
  • Handful of greens from spring onions, chopped (or shallot would be great)
  • 1 pint mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly (I used cremini, but wild mushrooms would be great)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 oz pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated gouda, fontina or mozzarella, or 1/4 to 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino (optional for a vegan dish)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Steam kale using your preferred method. Meanwhile, put garlic and cashews in the food processor and pulse until combined and in very small pieces (though not a fine powder). Add kale leaves and the rest of the pesto ingredients and pulse until it becomes a paste, tasting along the way. Place in the fridge.

    Start the water for the pasta in a large pot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions (or shallot) and cook, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown. Add the mushrooms, stirring well. Let them reduce and release their liquid, and then add a pinch of salt, stirring again. Now step away from the pan and let them sear. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to directions/your preference.

    Check the mushrooms every three to five minutes. If they are sticking, add a little more oil. The goal is to brown them on both sides and draw out most of the moisture. Turn off the heat when they are done.

    When pasta is cooked, drain and them add to a large bowl. Toss with most of the cheese, if using, to distribute it evenly and get nice and melty. Now add half the pesto in small amounts at a time, stirring and tossing to coat. Add more as desired, though you will have some left over. Plate the pasta and top each serving with mushrooms, more cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh black pepper.

    Serves 4-6.

    We enjoyed our alongside an incredibly simple (read: just lettuce, parsley and dressing) salad.

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    The dressing was leftover vegan ranch. That stuff keeps a surprisingly long time and stays tasty.

    I hope the deliciousness of this recipe atones for my absence! Let me know how you all are doing, too. I have been way out of the loop.

    Eat to Live update

    27 Feb

    I’m currently on week three of my modified cleanse, so I owe you an update. I have decided to keep up the Eat to Live-style eating pretty strictly during the week and then not so much on the weekends. Why? Well, to be totally frank, I find anything eating plan that is too strict/regimented causes a flare-up of my past disordered eating. I also need a little more fat in my diet than the plan allows or else I end up binging. Sorry, I know these are not pleasant topics, and I don’t want to go into a whole thing, but they are part of why I’m modifying the plan.

    So that said, I have been loving the super clean breakfasts and lunches. Dinners have been great, too, though I’ve been snacky a bit. Here’s how a day of eating looks for me:

    6:30 a.m.: I have enjoyed a smoothie every morning, as well as a cup of hot tea with a little honey. As I mentioned, all smoothies include a tablespoon of ground flax, 2 cups of spinach, a banana, 1/4 cup of oatmeal, a cup of organic soy milk, and 1 cup of frozen fruit. For the latter, I always have strawberries, mango and pineapple in the freezer because that is what is affordably accessible to me (and I don’t hate, e.g. blueberries). I switch up the combinations. I also add cinnamon and ginger for flavor, anti-inflammatory properties, and help with blood-sugar issues. These smoothies really do keep me full until lunch. Poppy chills in the background with her hay.

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    8:00 a.m.: First thing at work, I have a cup or two of black decaf coffee. I will have one cup of caffeinated if I’m dragging.

    Between 10 and 11 a.m.: I eat an orange and tea, usually green. While I’m not hungry at this point of the day, I need the piece of fruit to keep my blood sugar in check.

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    12:30 p.m.: Lunch is a salad of greens, beans and one other veggie. The first week, I did mixed greens with raw or roasted veggies and hummus dressing (homemade oil-free hummus thinned with juice of half a lemon):

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    Then I switched it up to be garbanzo beans on the greens and a dressing of Dijon and lemon juice, with whole carrots on the side. No picture, but you can imagine. Immediately after, I have a mug of ginger tea to help with my digestion.

    Between 2 and 3 p.m.: I drink more tea (varies) alongside an apple with nut butter, either my homemade cashew butter or store-bought peanut butter (both with no added oils).

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    7 p.m.: Dinners are all bean-focused (at least one cup per serving) and generally have a side of steamed greens. In addition to the chili I shared before, there has been hot and sour soup:

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    Spicy tempeh salad:

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    And the unpictured spaghetti squash, Mexican-inspired salad, and chickpea soup.

    How Do I Feel? Great! As long as I remember to eat my snacks and allow myself some healthy fats. I’ve also relearned the hard way that peanut butter is a trigger food for me, so I can’t stash it in my desk at work without eating the entire jar. I also experienced some detox symptoms — mainly tummy unhappiness and the headaches — but they have faded.

    I will share some more Eat to Live-inspired eats this week, since I’m pretty excited about the meal plan!

    Rabbit food

    15 Feb

    I haven’t posted as planned this week thanks to a cluster of migraines. It’s been miserable. Somehow I got through the work days, but by 5:00 I felt like total and utter crap. I kept up with my eating, and I promise a post tomorrow on how it’s going. Spoiler alert: salad city.

    Instead of food, I have some exciting news to share: there’s a new vegetarian in our house!

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    Meet the newest member of our Hollywood home. Poppy is a 6-year-old mini lop. Her previous owners have to move out of the state next week, so they reluctantly sought a new home from her. Lynn put out a plea on her blog, and I instantly fell in love. We’ve been sadly without a pet since Sully’s death (in 2011), and though we’re not technically supposed to have one (shh! Don’t tell our building manager), we knew we couldn’t say no to her fluffy tail and wiggly nose. She’s been ours for less than 24 hours, but we already adore her. This morning, we had breakfast together:

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    We both had our greens. Mine was a smoothie, and hers were beet greens. In anticipation of her adoption, I’ve been saving the ends of carrots, stems of cauliflower, and greens from veggies in a baggy in the fridge for her. Rabbits need lots of vegetables (about four cups a day, according to my research), as well as unlimited hay, some pellets, and a smidge of fruit as a treat. She loves bananas.

    Expect more Poppy pictures in the near future. She’s a member of the family now!

    Eat to Live Day 1

    12 Feb

    Here’s how Day 1 of my Eat to Live plan went down.

    Breakfast:
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    A delicious green smoothie with 1 tablespoon ground flax, 2 cups of spinach, 1 banana, 1/3 cup frozen pineapple, 2/3 cup frozen mango, 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 cup soy milk, and a sprinkle of ginger and cinnamon. Alongside is a mug of jasmine green tea with a drop of honey (my one ETL cheat due to allergy prevention). At work, I had one cup of black coffee.

    Lunch:
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    Lunch was a big ol’ salad: ~3 cups of Trader Joe’s “power to the greens” (baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach), 1/3 cup roasted carrots, 2/3 cup roasted cauliflower, 1/4 cup hummus (homemade from chickpeas, white beans, salsa, and cumin), and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Immediately after, I had an unpictured mug of ginget tea.

    Afternoon snack:
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    An itty-bitty Fuji apple topped with 1 tablespoon of homemade cashew butter. This stuff tastes great but has lackluster texture, so I don’t want to share the recipe until I perfect it. It involves molasses, vanilla and cinnamon, however. I later had a mug of green tea.

    Dinner:
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    About 2 cups of chili, 1 cup of steamed (well, broth-sauteed) red chard, six tortilla chips (made from 1 corn tortilla), and 1/4 cup of salsa. I had a mug of peppermint tea in lieu of dessert.

    How I felt: I felt really good until the afternoon. I neglected to eat my mid-morning snack of an orange, and I think that was a bad idea. I also developed a migraine by late afternoon. I’m not sure what the deal is, but it was the fifth one in about 10 days. I hesitate to blame the way I was eating, though I will aim to eat more consistently the rest of the week.