midwinter meal plan

 

zero Waste groceries

Hello everyone!  Another week, another meal plan- this week is going to be pretty simple.  Basically make a big pot of chili Sunday and a vibrant miso herb paste, then use them for 4 meals during the week.  You don’t have to prep them ahead though if you don’t want to, or if you have plenty of time on weeknights.  On Friday, we’ll make an easy winter salad and top with roasted potatoes to give it that warmth and coziness.

Next week I’m not sure if I’ll have time to create a meal plan so I may post a simpler one with links to others recipes and a shopping list.  Hope you guys have a lovely weekend, make sure to get out and stock up on veggies for the week xx

notes: if using dried chickpeas, make sure to soak and cook them ahead of time.  On wednesday, you will need about 1 hour or more to roast the whole sweet potatoes.  If you don’t have time for that, bake the sweet potatoes before bed on tuesday night and reheat wednesday.  I’m assuming you have basics like olive oil, salt, pepper, chili flakes, sweetener.

weekend prep:

black bean and mushroom chili (adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook)

1 pound cremini mushrooms, broken into rough pieces

1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds

1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

2 tablespoons oil (or water saute instead)

1 yellow onion, chopped fine

10 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons canned chipotle en adobo, minced

3 tablespoons chili powder

2.5 cups veggie broth

2.5 cups water

1 pound (2.5 cups) dried black beans

1/3 cup coffee liqueur like Kahlua, Patron XO, or sub regular coffee or a tablespoon of cocoa powder + 2 teaspoons brown sugar OR just omit

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 bay leaves

28 ounces of canned tomatoes

2 bell peppers (1 red 1 green), stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

salt to taste

  1.  Preheat oven to 325.  Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped and uniform in size.  Or chop with a knife if you don’t have a processor.
  2. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, toast mustard seeds and cumin seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 1 minute or until they become fragrant.  Stir in the oil, mushrooms, and onion, and cover, letting cook for 5 minutes.  Uncover and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until veggies start to brown and liquid reduces, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in chili powder and cook another minute.  Stir in the north, water, beans, coffee liquer, baking soda, an day leaves and bring to a boil.  Cover, transfer pot to oven, and cook for 1 hour.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and bell peppers, replace lid, and return pot to oven.  Cook for 1 hour or until beans are fully tender.
  5. Remove pot from oven and let cool before storing in the fridge.

toasted pumpkin seeds:

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds toasted in a hot dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring/tossing so they don’t burn, until the color starts to brown a bit and they pop.  Let cool before storing in a airtight container like a mason jar.

winter green miso paste: 

this paste.  I left out the rosemary and subbed 3 tablespoons sesame oil + 2 tablespoons tamari for the olive oil, but feel free to make it as written or adapt as you like.  Make sure to either put in in a jar where the paste fills all the way to the top to seal it, or float some oil on the top to prevent oxidation in the week.

green Miso paste cilantro Heidi swanson

the meals:

monday:  chili bowls with chipotle crema and all the fixings

Start the week off slow and easy enjoying the fruits of your labor from yesterday.  Measure out 1 cup of cashews into your blender and pour in 1 cup of hot water on top of them.  Let that sit while you warm up the chili and chop up a tablespoon or two of the chipotles en adobo (depending on how spicy you like it) and add the chiles to the blender.  Zest and juice 1 lime and add that too, along with 1 garlic clove and some salt.  Chop up your toppings now: cilantro, avocado, lime wedges.  Now blend the chipotle crema until very smooth and creamy.  Serve the chili in bowls and drizzle with the crema, then add all the toppings.  Sprinkle some of the toasted pumpkin seeds on top too for crunch.

Black bean vegan chili kahlua lime mushroom chipotle

tuesday: herby green miso chickpea noodle soup

Start a pot of water boiling for your noodles.  In another pot, saute 1 leek and 1/2 an onion with a bit of coconut oil for 5 minutes.  Add in 1 large sliced carrot and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add in the 1.5 cups leftover broth, 2.5 cups water, and 1 can of coconut milk.  Bring to a low simmer, then remove from heat and whisk in 3/4 cup of the miso paste, then add in 2 cups or 1 can of cooked chickpeas.  Taste and add more paste or salt to taste; this will vary wildly depending on the miso you used and the veggie broth you used.  I used a light miso and found I needed about 1/2 tsp salt.

Meanwhile, when the water boils, add the noodles and cook until tender, setting a timer for 2 minutes left so you can dump in 8 baby bok hoy (halved or quartered lengthwise).  Drain the noodles and greens.

Ladle soup into bowls,  divide between them the noodles and greens, then sprinkle on chili flakes, sesame oil, chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds to taste.  Serve with lime wedges.

green Miso chickpea herb noodle soup

wednesday: loaded chili sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 and piece 4 sweet potatoes all over.  Place in oven in a baking sheet or dish and let cook about 1 hour or until very soft.  Time depends on how big your sweets are.  Meanwhile, heat up leftover chili and gather your toppings: avocado, the leftover crema, chopped cilantro, green onions, lime wedges, toasted pumpkin seeds.

Split open the roasted sweet potatoes lengthwise and pile on the chili.  Add all the toppings and serve!

sweet Potato stuffed chili vegan cashew cream

thursday:  miso roasted tofu and broccoli bowls

Preheat oven to 375.  Start a pot of rice going (1.5 cups rice to 2.25 cups water).  Cube up a large block of tofu.  Wash and cut up a bunch of broccoli.

Toss the tofu in a large scoop of the leftover winter green miso paste and a tablespoon or two of the leftover sesame seeds.

Cilantro green onion ginger roasted tofu

Place on a lined baking sheet.  In the same bowl, toss the broccoli with another dollop of the sauce and place on another baking sheet.  Pop them both into the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, julienne or shred a large carrot, and chop up any leftover cilantro or green onion.

To assemble: place rice in bowls, the roasted tofu and broccoli.  Add a big scoop of kimchi.  Sprinkle over the carrots, chopped herbs, and any leftover sesame seeds.  Drizzle a little more of the miso sauce over and sprinkle with chili flakes.  Add sliced avocado.

vegan kimchi tofu rice bowl

friday:  bitter greens with warm roasted potatoes, apples, and hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 400.  Start a pot going with a small amount of water in the bottom and a steamer basket.

Chop up 2 pounds of yukon gold or red potatoes into largish chunks.  Place in steamer, cover, and steam until tender but still a bit firm.  Drain and dump into a bowl.  Add a scoop of whole grain mustard, a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Toss to coat and spread out on a lined baking sheet.  Place in oven and set timer for 20 minutes.

Wash 1 head of escarole or endive or any other bitter green you like and rip into bite size pieces.

escarole

Mix together the juice and zest of 1 lemon, salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil, drizzle of agave syrup or honey, 1 clove crushed garlic, and toss with the greens to combine.  Slice up 1 sweet apple and add it to the greens.  Pick leaves off parsley (about 1/4 cup packed) and set aside for garnish.

When the timer goes off, pop in a baking sheet with 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts on it and roast, with the potatoes still in too, another 10-15 minutes (careful not to burn them).  Remove both sheets from the oven.  Chop hazelnuts roughly.

Plate the salad first, them scoop the hot potatoes on top, sprinkle with hazelnuts and parsley, and serve.

roasted Potato salad hazelnut escarole apple

shopping list:

cremini mushrooms x 1 pound

yellow onion x 2

red onion x 1

leek x 1 small-medium

garlic x  2 heads

ginger x a big 2 inch knob

carrot x 2 large or 4 medium

bell peppers x 1 red and 1 green

potatoes x 2 pounds (red or yukon gold)

lime x 3

lemon x 1

avocado x 3

apple x 1 (sweet variety like Fuji, pink Lady etc)

baby bok choy x 8 small or 4 larger

broccoli x 1 bunch

escarole/frisee x 1 large head (sub any other green, arugula, spinach etc if you can’t find escarole)

cilantro x 3 bunch

parsley x 1 bunch

green onions x 3 bunches

dried black beans x 1 pound

cashews x 1 cup

raw pumpkin seeds x 1 cup

sesame seeds (toasted) x 1/3 cup

raw hazelnuts x 1/2 cup

coffee liqueur (if using)

can of chipotle en adobo

chickpeas x 1 cups dry or 1 can

rice x 1.5 cups or quinoa works well too

coconut milk x 1 can

crushed tomatoes x 28 ounce can

veggie broth x 4 cups

yellow whole mustard seeds

whole cumin seeds

chili powder

bay leaves x 2

noodles ( I used 4 blocks of GF ramen noodles, but you can use any noodle you want)

miso x 1/2 cup

tofu x 1 large block

kimchi

sesame oil

tamari

whole grain mustard

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

a frugal meal plan after holiday excess

cucina povera zero waste frugal

After the holiday cooking, feasting, gift giving and general excess I’m craving simpler things, meals, minimalism and fresh starts.  This week I’m drawing inspiration from la cucina povera, literally “kitchen of the poor” in Italian.  It refers to a simple way of cooking that elevates and makes the most of simple and humble cooking.   We’ll start with a simple pot of beans, some oven roasted squash, and a pot of chewy farro and stretch and cajole them into a few different iterations.  I’m assuming you have olive oil, chili flakes, sugar/sweetener, salt, and pepper in your pantry.  Each recipe serves 4, and at the very end there’s a shopping list + the prices I paid for each item if you’re curious.  It came out to $54.68 total, or $10.93/dinner for 4 ($5.47/person) for all organic food.

farro cannelini white bean mason jar zero waste shopping

the meals + recipes:

winter pasta fagioli (bean+pasta soup):  chop up 1 large onion, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery.  Heat up a few tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot (or use water if you’re oil free).  Add the veggies and sauté until they are softened, approximately 10 minutes (if you have + like fennel seeds, add in a teaspoon or two) .  Chop up 4 cloves garlic and about a tablespoon of fresh sage and add that, cook for 1 minute.  Then add 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes, 4 cups veg stock (or water) + 1/4 pound of spaghetti broken into 2 inch lengths.  Cover and simmer on medium for 15 minutes, uncover, stir in 2 cups of the cooked white beans (scoop the beans with their cooking liquid too) and 1.5 cups roasted squash and let simmer 5 more minutes until everything is heated through.  If too thick, loosen with more of the bean cooking liquid.  Top with chopped parsley and serve with chili flakes and lemon wedges.

winter vegan butternut squash pasta fagioli

farro, white bean, red onion salad:  toss half the farro with 2 cups drained white beans, 1 small thinly sliced red onion, juice and zest from 1 lemon, and the rest of your bunch of parsley, chopped.  Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds.  Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

farro salad vegan pomegranate avocado parsley onion

sausages with white beans in tomato sauce:  heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium.  Add in 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife.  Saute the garlic until golden (about 2 minutes).  Add in 4 vegan sausages and saute until browned, about 5 minutes (if you have + like fennel seeds, toss in a teaspoon or two as well).  Keep an eye on the garlic- remove and reserve it if its getting too dark.  Add in 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid, about 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, and 2 large fresh whole sage sprigs.  Simmer 5 minutes, then add 1-1.5 cups beans and 1/2 cup water or stock.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes, then uncover and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened if desired.  Serve with some crusty toasted baguette rubbed with garlic (or rice would be good if you’re GF).  If you can’t find/make vegan sausages or just want a lighter meal, this would be so good with greens or cooked cubed potatoes wilted in in place of the sausage.

vegan Italian sausage white beans parsley garlic skillet

white bean salad with arugula, squash, farro:  adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler and heat it.  Halve and slice 1 red onion, toss with little oil, salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet and broil until edges are charred and onion is soft, 6-8 minutes (check often and toss halfway through cook time) Whisk juice + zest of one lemon with 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup and 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss the rest of farro and the rest of beans with dressing, onions, 1 cup of the roasted butternut squash and about 6 cups baby arugula.  Sprinkle your reserved roasted squash seeds over and serve.

arugula squash dark red onion salad grain vegan bean

butternut risotto:   this recipe , but omit cheese and sub vegan butter or oil or omit entirely for the butter.  Sub veggie broth.  Add some chopped sage in with the onions and add the roasted butternut with the last addition of broth.

butternut risotto vegan parsley cast iron

 

meal prep:

white beans with garlic + sage: soak 3 cups white beans overnight (any type you like- great northern, cannellini, giant corona beans, or butter beans are all great here).  Drain beans, add 8 cups water, 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional), 1 head garlic (unpeeled, cut in half crosswise), 1 large fresh sage sprig, 1/4 teaspoon whole peppercorns, 2 teaspoons salt.  Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and let simmer 1-1.5 hours (start checking at 1 hour, depends on how old/what size your beans are).  Compost the garlic, sage, peppercorns.  Season to taste with salt/pepper.  Store in the pot in the fridge.

vegan Italian beans sage garlic Dutch oven

roasted butternut squash:  Preheat oven to 400.  Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds (reserve them).  Cut squash into 1/2 inch chunks.  Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper + place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Rinse the seeds and remove any fleshy membranes.  In the same bowl you used for the squash, toss the seeds with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place in a different baking dish.  Roast both dishes in the oven, the seeds for 15 minutes or until crispy, and the squash 35-45 minutes or until totally soft, and caramelized on the bottoms.  Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

 

 

farro:  bring a pot of salted water to a boil (like you would for pasta).  When it boils, add the farro and cook until tender, then drain.  The exact time depends on the type of farro and how old it is, but at least 15 minutes.

farro vegan meal prep

pomegranate:  de-seed this guy and store in a sealed container in the fridge.

zero Waste shopping vegan meal plan

shopping list:

3 cups dry white beans (try to get these in the bulk section to avoid plastic if possible!) ($2.99)

crusty bread x 1 loaf ($4)

canned plum tomatoes (like san marzano) x 28 ounce can ($3)

garlic x 2 heads ($1)

sage x 1 large bunch, fresh ($3)

parsley x 1 bunch, fresh ($1.59)

8 cups veggie stock (best to use a concentrate like better than bouillon (glass jar) or my package free: veggie broth so you don’t end up with a bunch of cartons) ($4)

onion x 2 yellow + 2 red ($2.50)

celery x 1 bunch ($2.99)

carrots x 2 ($2.69)

lemon x 2 ($1)

pomegranate x 1 ($2)

butternut squash x 1 large (2.75 lbs for $3)

baby arugula x 6 cups or 1/2 lb ($2.99)

spaghetti x 1/4 pound (1 package of gf Jovial brown rice pasta for $4.49)

Italian style vegan sausages x 4 (I’m making my own but I priced store ones at $4.19)

2 cups farro or any other grain ($2)

1.5 cups short grain brown rice or arborio rice ($2.25)

white wine (cheap is fine) $5

white cannelini beans dried soaked

december meal plan

green winter kale leek romanesco meal plan

Hello!  Here we are, back again for another meal plan this week- vegan, seasonal, and waste free as usual.  This week as per a suggestion from one of you, I’m including a shopping list at the end to make things easier- just keep in mind that I shop and cook for four + I’m assuming you have pantry basics like s+p, olive oil, vinegar, agave or honey etc.

This week’s recipes are a little more involved than last week’s, but not by much.  I’m drawing inspiration from the beets and citrus that are taking over the market right now.  You’ll notice I’ve started the week on Tuesday since Monday is Christmas for us.  It’s still 5 days of meals, so if you don’t do Christmas, just treat Tuesday as Monday.

If you’re curious, it’s just me, Joel, the kids, + Joel’s mom for Christmas, so our menu isn’t crazy.  I’ll be setting out some bulk olives + rosemary almonds for appetizers, maybe some kombucha cocktails (boozy for adults, regular for kids- but still in a fancy glass so they feel included), and for dinner: stuffed cabbage rolls + winter reds salad and baked latkes.  Happy holidays and have a lovely week!

French breakfast radish spinach winter farmers market

prep ahead:

big batch of oven steamed beets:  such an easy, flavorful way to cook beets.

roasted beets bay leaf thyme vegan meal plan

whole grain mustard vinaigrette:  1/4 cup whole grain mustard, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (minced), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, all whisked together.

mustard vinaigrette lemon thyme french

big batch of quinoa: 1.5 cups any color quinoa, boiled in lots of salted water like pasta until tender, about 8-10 minutes, then drained.  If you don’t care for quinoa or are tired of it, try any other grain like: farro, barley, rice, spelt, or millet.

lentils:  place 1 cup lentils in a pot with water covering them by 1 inch + a bay leaf.  Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till tender (25-35 minutes).  Drain any excess liquid, toss with a few splashes red wine vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cool before storing in the fridge.

lentils french bay leaf

roast hazelnuts:  1 cup, on a baking sheet, bake at 350 10-15 minutes.  You can dump them in a kitchen towel afterwards and rub the skins off if you like- I usually don’t bother to.  Cool and store in an airtight container at room temp.

hazelnuts roasted  organic zero waste

toast pumpkin seeds:  1 cup, in a hot, dry pan until they start to pop.  Cool and store in an airtight container at room temp.

pepitas pumpkin seeds

de-seed pomegranate:  a great meditation in action task, ha.  Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

meals:

tuesday:  beet soup with caraway and dill (sub coconut milk mixed with a few teaspoons lemon juice for the buttermilk) + spinach salad: toss spinach with the mustard vinaigrette, 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup cooked lentils, 1 cubed avocado, 1 sliced apple and some toasted pumpkin seeds.

vegan beet soup coconut milk dill bagel spice

spinach carrot apple avocado lentil vegan salad

wednesday:  quinoa salad:  toss quinoa with the rest of your dill, half the bunch of cilantro, half the bunch of parsley + a generous scoop of the mustard vinaigrette.  Chop up all of your cooked beets- put half in the quinoa salad and reserve the other half in a container in the fridge for another day.  Peel and chop up 2 oranges and thinly slice some radishes (reserve a few radishes for tomorrow).  Add to the bowl and mix.  Serve on a bed of arugula and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and half your pomegranate seeds on top.  Add a wedge of lime on each plate to serve.  This should make extra, so you’ll have leftovers for lunch(es).

quinoa roasted beet salad arugala radish hazelnut grain

thursday:  pick up a nice loaf of crusty bread on the way home.  Put the leftover beet soup on the stove and start it heating.  Slice up your bread, toast it, rub with garlic, add avocado and flaky sea salt, then layer thinly sliced radish on top.  Add some pumpkin seeds on top of both the soup and toast for a crunchy pop of flavor, chili flakes + some chopped cilantro on the soup.  Lime wedges to serve.

friday:  winter bistro salad (add in a can of drained chickpeas patted dry on a kitchen towel when roasting the veggies.  increase the smoked paprika to 1/2-1 teaspoon.  omit egg and add avocado, sub hazelnuts for almonds).  If you have leftover bread you can cube it up and bake on another sheet at the same time as your veggies for croutons.

saturday:  monastery lentil soup + leftover beet salad: chop them up and toss with a few tablespoons each of vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper, and 1/2 a thinly sliced red onion.  Let it sit while you’re waiting on the soup and when ready to serve, add in a sliced orange, sprinkle over toasted hazelnuts or pumpkin seeds, any leftover pomegranate seeds + serve with butter lettuce leaves.

beet Cara Cara orange red onion salad

shopping list:

onion x 4 (3 large yellow and 1 small red)

garlic x 1

leek x 1

carrots x 4 very large

parsnips x 3 large

red beets x 4 pounds

celery root x 1/2 large

radish x 1 small bunch

frisee endive or other bitter green x 1.5 pounds

spinach x enough for a salad one night

arugula x enough for a salad one night

butter lettuce x 1-2 heads (enough as a side for 1 dinner)

fresh dill x 1 bunch

cilantro x 1 bunch

parsley x 1 bunch

fresh thyme x 1 bunch

limes x 2

lemon x 1

orange x 3

pomegranate x 1

avocado x 3

a sweet apple (i.e. not green) x 1

whole grain mustard (I use Maille brand) x 1 jar

coconut milk x 1 can

tomatoes x 1 pound can

chickpeas x 1 can (or a batch of homemade)

quinoa x 1.5 cups

hazelnuts (or another type of nut you prefer) x 1 cup

pumpkin seeds x 1 cup

lentils x 2 cups (I prefer the smaller French green lentils or black Beluga lentils)

veggie stock x 3 cups

bay leaves (3, optional)

caraway seeds

dried marjoram

dry sherry (you can pick this up inexpensively at Trader Joe’s)

1 loaf crusty bread (pick this up thursday if possible)

another week of fall meals

IMG_1895.JPG

Here’s what we are cooking and eating this week- vegan, gluten free, seasonal, local, and waste free.

MONDAY: chickpeas with olives, chard, and lemon + herby pistachio quinoa.  this recipe (subbing chickpeas for the fish) + this recipe .

TUESDAY: butternut- shiitake ragout (recipe here) + this recipe (sub millet for GF) + a simple green salad.

WEDNESDAY: Yogurt tofu with ginger chutney: this recipe, subbing tofu for the chicken + coco yogurt for the dairy.  Sides: black rice with apricots and almonds (recipe here) + french carrot salad- iconic recipe here .

THURSDAY: soba noodle bowls with sautéed tofu, ginger and garlic sautéed bok choy, sautéed oyster mushrooms, cilantro, green onion, tamari and sesame oil.

FRIDAY: White bean chili with winter veggies +beet, orange, and arugula salad

SATURDAY: baked tofu with coconut kale: recipe here + kabocha squash puree (steam chunks then puree with a splash of coco milk, garlic, and ginger)

Other basics: almond milk, coconut yogurt, hummus.

Have a lovely weekend!  xx

a fall meal prep: basics edition

IMG_0977

If you can squeeze in a little time on the weekend, do this: head to the market and pick up fresh, seasonal fruits, veggies and greens.  Wash them and store them so that they are ready to use.  Then make a few basics- these will vary depending on your preferences.  For us, I like to make: a vinaigrette, a pot of beans, a pot of grains, hummus, baked tofu, and almond milk.  Maybe a baked good or snack too, if I’m feeling ambitious.  Having these things on hand and ready to go makes eating healthy really easy.  Here’s our basics for this week.

IMG_1198.JPG

vinaigrette:

1/2 cup ACV

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup minced shallot

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons honey, agave or maple syrup

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

salt and pepper

whisk all ingredients together and store in a mason jar in the fridge.

pot of beans: chickpeas this week, a double batch (one for hummus and one for eating whole).  3 cups chickpeas soaked overnight, drained, and cooked until tender with salt.

pot of grains: barley this week, 2 cups of the pearled variety, simmered in a pot of boiling, salted water (like pasta) for 40 minutes or until tender.  good for grain salad, morning porridge, as a side, in soup.

hummus: beet hummus this week.  I toasted some pine nuts, too, to serve on top.  a great healthy snack and delicious dolloped on a salad.

baked tofu: super simple, just slice a block or two of super firm up and bake plain or rubbed with olive oil at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes on parchment/silicone mat.  Menawhile, mix up 2 tablespoons of tamari with a teaspoon of maple syrup and a large minced garlic clove.  Remove from oven and drizzle with the tamari mixture while still hot.  Let cool and pack in a glass container to store, making sure to pour in any tamari left in the pan.

almond milk: I’m not sure if anyone even needs a recipe, but it’s 1 cup of almonds soaked overnight.  Drain in the morning and add to a high speed blender with 1 medjool date, pinch of salt, and 4 cups of water.  You can add vanilla too if you like.  Blend on high until smooth and pour through a straining bag- I simply use my organic cotton produce bags to strain and it works great.  You can use cashews, too, without soaking or straining since they are a softer nut.  Same with hemp seeds.

chocolate bark: what’s life without chocolate?  Having this satisfying crunchy little bite in the fridge is a life saver.  Just melt 8 oz. of dark (70% +) chocolate in a bowl set over a small pot of boiling water.  Turn off the heat and mix in whatever flavorings you like- chipotle, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, mint extract, almond extract- or keep it plain.  Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat and spread in an even layer as thinly or thickly as you like.  Sprinkle over toasted nuts, seeds, or anything else you want- freeze dried fruit, goji berries, hemp seeds, pepitas, hazelnuts, flaky sea salt, chopped crystallized ginger, cacao nibs- and place int the fridge until set, about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from fridge and break up into 1 oz or so pieces.  I store it in a glass snaplock container in the fridge so it stays snappy.

wash/prep veggies: wash and cut up carrots for snacks.  Wash, dry and store kale, lettuce, spinach, and chard.  Wash, dry, and cut up cauliflower or broccoli or brussels.  This way, everything is ready to use and eat.

Spending a bit of time prepping is a great investment in the week ahead.  When you have things made in the fridge, it’s so much easier to stay on track with healthy eating and stress less when things (inevitably) get crazy during the week.  Even if you only have time to wash your greens and make a batch of dressing, it’s worth it!  Hope you enjoy and be sure to tag me in your meal prep on Instagram @mamaeatsplants !

 

 

 

 

 

another week, another meal plan

I haven’t meal planned in about 2 weeks and as a result I’ve spent way more on food than normal!  So to get back into it, I’m posting my meal plan for this week.

This will feed my family of 2 adults + 2 kids for a week.  Breakfasts are smoothies around here 9 times out of ten so I wont bore you with those details.  I keep a big variety of frozen fruit in the freezer for smoothies and we are still getting fresh oranges from our tree.  Thankfully my little garden has recovered from the frost and is producing double time:

winter gardenLOTS of citrus, greens, and radishes.
pak choi swiss chard kale spinach

Mon: butternut squash soup with cinnamon croutons and fried sage leaves + green salad

Tues: Pistachio-herb quinoa + roasted garlic broccoli + caviar lentils (little black ones that cook very fast)

Wedns: Bibimbap (maybe going to sub tofu for beef in this recipe, or just omit)

Thurs: Citrus-black bean veggie chili

Fri: Green burgers from milking almonds and celine eats avocados (been drooling for a week over these babies)

Sat: leftovers (chili or burgers or both!)

Sun: working!

Along with all the stuff for dinner I will be getting lots of veggies and fruits too.

On my to-cook list is also banana bread, chocolate chip-fresh cranberry cookies, and maybe a raw dessert…cant forget the sweets!  So fun to make with the littles, too.

Also have my eye on this collection of vegan sushi recipes.  Does anyone else have this problem of wanting to make and devour every recipe you see!!!?

Anyways…hope everyone had a great holiday filled with love and good food.

Love, A.