warming january meal plan

tangerine juice

We are enjoying relatively warm temperatures here in California, and lots of sunny days which has been great for my mood (I get SAD pretty badly when its gloomy and cold).  I know much of the country is experiencing bitter cold, so I thought this would be a nice week to focus on warming dishes.

I’ve tried to add in lots of colors and spices to bring some light on a monochrome day.  Some of you mentioned to me that you don’t like to meal prep- you prefer to cook fresh each day, so this week I’m not having you prep anything on the weekend.

notes:  If you’ll be using dried chickpeas instead of canned, make sure you soak and cook them ahead of time for Tuesday’s dinner.  As always, I’m assuming you have basics: like tamari/soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili flakes.  A lot of the spices you’ll probably already have on hand, but I’ve included them on the list just in case.

If you scroll all the way to the end, there’s a shopping list for your convenience.  For more meal plans, check out the “meal plan” tab in the menu.  Thanks so much for sending me your photos of food you’ve been making with my recipes!  I love seeing it.  So much fun to share food like this with you virtually.  Have a lovely week!  xx Amanda ❤

monday: roasted veg + marinated lentils

start the roasted veg first, then when you put them in the oven, start the lentils.  They take about the same time to cook and it’s mostly hands off.  Garnish bowls with avocado and extra chili flakes.

mixed roasted rainbow vegetables fennel chili flakes Meyer lemon

mixed roasted winter veg:  Preheat oven to 375.  Cut: 1 red onion, ends removed along with the tough outer peel, into 8 wedges.  1 large fennel bulb, tops and tough core removed, cut into 8 wedges.  1 bunch of carrots, tops removed and cut into 3 inch pieces- you may need to halve these if your carrots are thick, I used quite thin ones.  1 meyer lemon, ends removed and the rest sliced thinly, remove any seeds too.  1 bunch of radishes- french breakfast (pink with white tips if you can find them- if not, the red ones will work, slice in half or quarters if large), tops removed.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes.  Roast for 25-35 minutes until veg is soft and caramelized.

Bay leaf french lentil clove onion

marinated lentils:  this genius recipe by Patricia Wells is such a good one!  I do extra vinegar and toss in whole parsley leaves and a small minced shallot to serve. 

tuesday:  spicy bulgur + chickpea soup

recipe here.  OMG you guys, this one is so good.  Ottolenghi is my personal favorite chef and does amazing things with vegetables.  I have both his veggie cookbooks, Plenty and Plenty More and can highly recommend.  The flavors here are incredible, lots of warming spices.  I used 3 tablespoons of harissa spice (powder) instead of paste because thats what I had.  If you’re GF, just sub quinoa, brown rice, millet, or any other grain of choice for the bulgur.  I obviously omitted the creamed feta paste and just added in a splash of coco milk I had in the fridge, but honestly I don’t think it needed it.  I did, however, sub veggie stock for the water since I knew I wasn’t getting the savory boost from the feta as written.  You could sub a non dairy yogurt for the feta and make the paste with that.  I just added a ton of whole cilantro leaves on top and it was perfect.  This would be great with some spinach or chopped kale/chard mixed in in the last few minutes of cooking.  Whew, so many notes- sorry!

bulgur chickpea harissa soup spicy ottolenghi vegan

wednesday:  garlicky chard, lentil, quinoa bowls with tahini drizzle

Wash and remove stems from 1 large bunch or 2 small bunches of chard.  It will seem like a lot, but it cooks down a ton.  Trim any tough ends off the stems and thinly slice those guys.  Slice the leaves up separately.  Slice up a yellow onion.  Warm some olive oil in a large pan or pot.  Add in the sliced onion and the chard stems, salt, pepper, and chili flakes.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and soft, about 10 minutes.

While thats going, in a pot, add 1 cup quinoa and 1.5 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, reduce to low, and cover.  Cook for 12-15 minutes or until tender.

Back to the onion pan: add in your chard leaves, toss as well as you can, and cover to steam a bit, 2-3 minutes.  Remove lid, crush in 1 clove garlic, and toss to incorporate everything all the way.  Cook another few minutes until chard is wilted and tender, then add in 2 cups of the lentils.

Mix up your smoky tahini drizzle.  In a bowl, layer the quinoa first, then the chard/lentil mix, then drizzle the tahini over it.  Serve with chili flakes.

thursday: curried coconut red lentil soup

vegan curry Indian lentil split pea lime chili cilantro

recipe here.  Heidi Swanson cooks how I want to eat all the time: fresh, vibrant, pretty, healthy.  I make similar red lentil curried soups all the time, but this one is delicious with the juicy golden raisins.  While you’re waiting for it to cook, cook your rice: 2 cups rice to 3 cups water and a pinch of salt. (reserve half of cooked rice for tomorrow night).

friday:  celery, cashew, tofu, tamari stir fry

vegan cashew stir fry celery tofu garlic

slice up 1 onion, quarter 15 mushrooms, and slice the rest of your bunch of celery (i like to slice diagonally).  Cut the block of tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and cut 1 head broccoli up too.  Warm up some sesame oil in a saute pan.  Add in the onion and mushroom and saute about 10 minutes, or until onion is starting to brown.  Meanwhile, steam or saute broccoli separately.  Add in celery and 3/4 cup cashews.  Continue to saute until celery is crisp-tender, about 5 more minutes.  Add in the tofu, 3 tablespoons tamari, and 2 cloves garlic (minced/pressed) and cook, tossing frequently, until garlic is fragrant, about 2 more minutes.  Serve with leftover rice and generous chili flakes.

shopping list:

yellow onion x 4 large

red onion x 1 large

garlic x 1 head

ginger x 2 inch chunk

celery x 1 bunch

fennel bulb x 1

broccoli x 1 head

carrots x 2 bunches or about 8 carrots

cremini mushrooms x 15 small/medium

meyer lemon x 1

radishes x 1 bunch (preferably french breakfast but red will work too)

french lentils x 1 pound

chickpeas- either 2 1/2 cups cooked or 2 cans worth

yellow split peas x 1 cup dry

red lentils x 1 cup dry

bulgur wheat x 3/4 cup dry

basmati rice x 2 cups

quinoa x 1 cup dry

cashews x 3/4 cup

parsley x 1 bunch

cilantro x 1 bunch

green onions x 1 bunch

chard x 1 large bunch or 2 small bunches

shallot x 1 small

avocado x 1 large

lemon x 1 large

harissa- either paste (2T) or powder (3T) works

tahini x 1/2 cup

tofu x 1 block extra firm

golden raisins x 3 tablespoons

ground cumin

ground coriander

caraway seeds

smoked paprika

curry powder

tomato paste x 1/3 cup

coconut milk x 1 can

coconut oil

veggie stock x 1 liter or 4-5 cups

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