Hello everyone! So excited to announce round two of the #yayforearthchallenge, a 5 day v/gf meal plan put on by me and fellow fire sign sister Stevie @stevieyaaaay! Head over to the first meal plan HERE to get more of a background! We are so excited to put forth this free community offering and hope that you will join us. We will be cooking along each night in our IG story and would love to see you do the same! Tag #yayforearthchallenge so we can all see and get inspired by each other. Starts Monday 9/10!
Hi everyone! If you follow along on my Instagram you probably heard that I’m collaborating with Stevie (@stevieyaaaay on Instagram and of yayforearth.com, also read my interview with her HERE) to provide you all with a workweek of 5 gluten free, vegan, low waste dinners. There’s 5 meals, a dessert recipe, and a micronutrient green smoothie recipe. If you need healthy ideas for breakfasts, check out THIS post for plenty of vegan/gf breakfasts. We are SO excited to do this together as a community- getting more plants, less waste, and more energy from our food and living more compassionately. Read more on lowering your FOODprint and why what you eat has a direct impact on the earth HERE. We hope you can join us! Below, you’ll find a shopping list and all the recipes in the order we will be cooking them. If you’re curious about zero waste shopping, check out how I do it HERE. Fridge storage without plastic? click HERE.
If you’re planning on participating, let’s shop together this weekend (share your haul on your story and tag us!) and cook together all week! We will be kicking off on Monday and sharing on our story the process of cooking and the finished dish each day. We can tag and inspire each other along the way with the hashtag #yayforearthchallenge ! We would LOVE to see your grocery haul, cooking stories, and finished meals and how you tweaked them to your taste/local produce!
We are also BIG advocates of moving your body daily whether in a big or small way to feel amazing and boost energy levels, health and mood! Stevie loves to run and I love to do yoga and bike. If you’d like resources on it, check out THIS post about running and easy tips to get started, and/or THIS YouTube for beginner yoga classes I love- I’ve been practicing virtually with Ali for 5 years!
other notes: We’ve allowed for generous portions here to accommodate all appetites. If you have leftovers, they would be great for lunch the next day, perhaps eaten in a tortilla, collard wrap, or on a bed of fresh greens. We’ve also added 1 extra lemon and fresh ginger for daily hot water with ginger and lemon. When you wake up, heat up a mug of water and slice off a few thin slices lemon and ginger (adjust to how strong you want it) and place in your mug. Pour over the boiling water and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes while you go about your morning routine. After you drink it , you can add more boiling water on top to “brew” a fresh mug. I find you can get 3 or so cups out of the same lemon/ginger. If you’re looking for other caffeine-free healthy warm drinks in the morning, check out this turmeric latte and/or this medicinal chaga mushroom brew.
For the recipes, feel free to sub out ingredients based on local availability. That’s what makes it fun! Allow yourself to relax while cooking. Put on some music, perhaps have a glass of wine if that resonates with you (or kombucha haha)…either way just let your mind soften up and let go. Really pay attention when chopping, sautéing, washing, to the smells, sounds, textures, the sensual nature of the produce and your relationship with it. I promise it makes cooking so much more enjoyable and is like a mini meditation (in action). Before you eat, take a minute to pause and express gratitude for the beautiful abundance you are about to eat, for the pleasure it brings you, for the beautiful way you are choosing to nourish your body. We hope you find joy in these recipes.
Let’s do this!!
1 small red onion
1 medium yellow onion
2 heads garlic
1 medium portabello mushroom (or sub equivalent of other mushrooms)
2 large sweet potatoes
4 or so small baby (about 2 inch or so) potatoes
1 butternut squash
1 spaghetti squash OR 2 medium zucchini (for noodles)
2 bunches kale
1 bunch chard
1 serving size of arugula
2 beets, golden or red, with greens attached (or buy another green in their place like kale, spinach, chard etc)
2 large carrots
5 plum tomatoes
1 pint blueberries
spices and dried or fresh herbs
salt (we like pink or other unrefined salt)
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch parsley
legumes, grains and seeds
1 cup dried lentils (green or brown)
1 cup beluga or french lentils if you can find them, otherwise just get 1 more cup of the same ones as above)
chickpeas, either 2 cans or 1.5 cup dry and then soaked and cooked ahead of time (click HERE for a primer on how to cook chickpeas to have aquafaba leftover too to use for the brownies).
½ cup gluten free oats (to make oat flour)
1 cup quinoa
hemp seeds or flax seeds
3 tablespoons hazelnuts
milks and condiments
coconut milk (either one can or make your own)
1 cup any nut milk (optional, for the micronutrient smoothie- OR use some of your almond butter to blend it up- 2 tablespoons + 1 cup of water and blend till smooth and frothy)
braggs coconut aminos (tamari will also work if you’re ok with soy/already have it on hand)
olive oil/grapeseed oil/avocado oil (any will work)
veggie stock (homemade cubes, or store bought plastic free ones like better than bouillon)
apple cider vinegar
red wine vinegar
1 jar tahini
1 glass jar marinara sauce
whole grain mustard (I like the Maille brand and it comes in a glass jar)- if you already have dijon in the fridge feel free to sub that. Just don’t use yellow.
maple syrup (small amount is fine- will only need a few tbsp)
dessert list (optional but amazing)
1 cup almond butter
almond extract and vanilla extract
aquafaba (from can of chickpeas OR DIY from cooking your own)
1/2 cup coconut sugar (sub another dry sweetener if you already have it on hand)
chocolate chips (optional)
Optional micronutrient smoothie- have it daily, once, twice, never, whatever.
LENTIL MEATBALLS (with ****spaghetti squash, zoodles, or pasta as base*** see note)
Adapted from www.willcookforfriends.com
3-4 TBSP avocado or grapeseed oil
1 small/medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup green or brown lentils
2 ¼ cup water
1 glass jar of marinara (I use Raos) (or home made if you like)
½ tsp of pink salt
½ cup gluten free oats (blend into flour- tutorial HERE)
3 TBSP aquafaba (or 1 TBSP chia seed with ¼ cup water)
1 TBSP coconut aminos
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
Pinch of cayenne (if you want a kick)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
Pink salt & black pepper to taste (¼ tsp to start)
1 Spaghetti squash or pasta or 1-2 zucchini (depending on what base you want)
1. Rinse and drain lentils. Put aside.
2. In a saucepan, caramelize onions and garlic with 2 TBSP olive oil until lightly brown and translucent.
3. Add lentils, pinch of salt, water to saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer for 30-35 minutes. Should be mid-soft with chew. Add more water if you need or drain a bit out if it’s ready with too much water.
4. At the same time the lentils are simmering, process oats into flour using what you have (I used a magic bullet). In a large mixing bowl, put aquafaba (or chia seeds) at bottom of bowl.
5. Add oat flour and the rest of the ingredients besides parsley and salt.
6. When the lentils are done, put with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl. Mash with fork or masher until lentils are broken up and it’s sticky enough to be rolled into balls. Add parsley and toss in enough to combine.
7. On skillet (cast iron preferably) add grapeseed oil (or another high heat oil) and then add the lentil meat balls and grill all sides of each ball until nice and crispy brown on all sides.
8. Heat up your marinara sauce in a sauce pan.
8. Put your base at the bottom of your bowl, then load it up with your lentil meatballs then top with marinara sauce!
3 TBSP oil of your choice
1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
1 ½ tsp maple syrup
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 large sweet potato (small cubes)
1 butternut squash (cut in half long ways)
4 plum tomatoes or one can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Coconut milk (either ¼ can or home made before)
2-3 TBSP Braggs coconut aminos
1 cup chickpeas – either 1 can (save the aquafaba juice!) or make before from dried
5 kale leaves (chopped in small pieces)
3 chard leaves (chopped in small pieces)
salt/pepper/paprika/chili powder/cumin (about 1 tsp each and adjust to taste)
4 cups gluten free veggie stock (homemade cubes or glass or paper bought store condensed ones)
1 cup water (if you want it more soupier)
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop everything as directed.
2. Slice a butternut squash in half and place face down on oven sheet at 400 degrees.
3. In a big pot caramelize onions by adding oil, onions, spices, & maple syrup until onions are lightly browning and translucent on medium heat. Stir occasionally.
4. After about 10 minutes add cubes of sweet potato, garlic and braggs coconut aminos, sautee for 15 more minutes on medium heat. Cover with lid stirring occasionally.
5. Add veggie stock, tomato paste and diced tomatoes and let simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Take out butternut squash, dice and scoop out of skin.
7. Add butternut squash, coconut milk, chickpeas, and all the greens, and water if you want it to be more soupy. Let simmer a bit longer so the flavors can all hang out and party together.
8. YAY!!! Enjoy!
(Via Dr. Rhonda Patrick)
½ -1 frozen banana
2 leaves kale
2 leaves chard
2 big handfuls spinach
½ cup frozen blueberries
2 TBSP hemp seeds or flax seeds
1 cup alternative milk (home made nut milk/coconut milk or just water) OR blend 2 tablespoons almond butter with 1 cup water in the blender till smooth and frothy before doing step 1 for an instant milk
1 tsp cinnamon
3-5 pieces of ice
1. Add the kale, chard, spinach, and choice of milk or water to your blender, bullet, or food processor (whichever you have). Blend until smooth and no big green chunks present.
2. Add rest of items – frozen banana, apple, carrot, tomato, avocado, blueberries, hemp or flax seeds, cinnamon and ice.
3. Blend until smooth and creamy! Enjoy! This yields a really big 32 oz jar, it’s filling and a perfect way to get a big dose of micronutrients in the am!
FLOURLESS DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
1 cup almond butter
2 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp Almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp Aquafaba
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup Coconut sugar (you may want it more sweetened, try dough and then sweeten to taste)
⅓ cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In big bowl, mix all ingredients together. Stir until it is all combined and place in freezer.
3. Leave in freezer anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours! (I’m not patient so 20 minutes is just right for me)
4. Form into golf sized balls and place on a reusable silicone baking mat, parchment paper, greased aluminum foil or greased cooking sheet.
5. Let bake for 10-12 minutes
The past few months I’ve let go of meal planning in favor of buying whatever looks good to me and crafting meals from there.
The main problems I run into with meal planning is that I like to eat what I feel like that day and sometimes I don’t feel like eating what I’ve planned. I resent not having room for flexibility, in my meals and in my life in general, so I dropped meal planning and it has felt so good to me. But, this week I know things are going to be busy, so I did plan out a few dinners, but also bought some extra ingredients as wildcards to use how I like.
What are you cooking this week in spring? I’d love to know. Let’s share!
What I bought this week:
at the farmers market:
strawberries- for spinach salad and topping oatmeal and chia pudding
tangelos- best snack ever
pink lady apples- snacks with nut butter and cinnamon
brown rice- risotto, lunch bowls, breakfast porridge instead of oats, or rice pudding with cashew milk and cinnamon sticks and golden raisins and vanilla.
sourdough baguette- croutons for the kale caesar
avocados- self explanatory
leeks- leeks vinaigrette
spring onions- for roasting and for the quinoa salad
fennel- for the quinoa salad, and snacking
garlic and shallot and red onion
potatoes- to roast
asparagus- may make a chickpea fritatta with these of just roast with the spring onions.
baby artichokes- for risotto
peas- for risotto
kale- kale caesar.
carrots- soup and snacks with hummus or vinaigrette to dip.
radishes- for pickling. Simply slice radishes thinly and pour over hot apple cider vinegar (dilute with water half and half if you don’t like it as sharp) and a bit of salt. Let sit till cool and refrigerate.
red cabbage- I love making a slaw with this, braising it with apples and balsamic, or on sammies.
at the co-op:
red quinoa- for the quinoa salad, and topping the carrot soup.
almond butter- for lunches and snacks with dates and apples.
peanut butter- for the peanut sauce and lunches.
ginger- for the peanut sauce, the soup, and to steep as fresh tea with lemon slices.
stevia sweetened chocolate- a treat for lunches and sweet tooth.
gluten free pasta- for the noodle bowls.
mung beans- for the salad.
french lentils- for topping the leeks vinaigrette and for lunches.
cashews- for chia pudding.
cinnamon- for oats and to sprinkle on apples with almond butter.
tofu- for the tofu feta and to make with tamari and sesame oil for lunch sammies/bowls.
what I’m cooking with it all: (will update with pics throughout the week once I’ve cooked it)
peanut noodle bowls: peanut sauce on gf brown rice noodles with blanched kale, pickled radish, shredded red cabbage tossed with tamari and lime, julienned carrots, sesame seeds and avocado. Carrot soup on the side.
grapefruit, quinoa, mint salad: with segments of pomelo instead of strawberries, red quinoa, thinly sliced fennel, and this tofu feta. On the side: leeks vinaigrette (I steam them instead of boiling to keep more flavor), and will add some french lentils on top too.
kale caesar with creamy cashew dressing: roasted chickpeas and croutons from the baguette (slice or tear into pieces, toss with a little olive oil and salt, bake at 400 till crispy). I added extra lemon juice and chopped capers to the dressing and topped with my vegan parm on top and it was perfect.
mung bean salad with caramelized carrots + steamed and smashed/roasted potatoes (steam small potatoes till fork tender, place on baking sheet, smash lightly to flatten out with the bottom of a glass, brush with oil and salt, herbs, roast at 400 till crisp on edges).
brown rice risotto: I cook it quite similar to this recipe, omit the cheese and sub with vegan cheese or a little cashew cream/ricotta, also add baby artichokes, spinach, sub onions for leeks. This takes a long time of standing and stirring so be forewarned. So good though- meditate, listen to a podcast, or enjoy a glass of wine and put on some good music while stirring.
vanilla chia pudding: creamy and decadent, loaded with good stuff. I was out of vanilla so I did nutmeg instead and it was fab, kind of like eggnog. Another go to combo is orange zest and cardamom.
big pot of chickpeas: to make hummus, and to add in lunches and meals and roasting for the kale caesar.
Hello! This week, I thought it would be fun to share what I bought and how I’m preparing it to get me (mostly) through the week- I usually top off on greens and/or fruit at our Wednesday market. This past week I let my fridge get really empty, partly out of a desire to use everything up and partly out of sheer laziness because I couldn’t face going to the store when it was so nice outside.
We played hooky from the farmers market last Saturday because we took an impromptu day trip to the coast and I reallllly felt it. Yesterday we did a big shop to replenish, so I’m sharing what I got at the store/what I’m going to do with it all. Keep in mind I switch this up week to week depending on what’s in season, what’s on sale, and what’s local.
veggies: fennel + red cabbage for slaw, brussels sprouts + butternut squash for curry and soup, carrots for soup and snacking, mushrooms + cauliflower for stir fry.
herbs/spices: cilantro, green onion, onions, garlic, cinnamon, whole cumin seeds (i always buy whole and toast/grind my own for super deep flavor- and its cheaper)
greens: kale, mixed greens + romaine for salads/slaw
legumes: lentils for lunches, black beans for a bowl, canned chickpeas for hummus and curry (usually I’ll cook these but they were out in bulk this day), split peas for soup, tofu for school lunches, sandwiches, stir fries.
fruits: mango, pink lady and honey crisp apples for lunches, oranges and bananas for snacks and smoothies, lemons/limes for EVERYTHING
starches: quinoa, sweet potato, gf jovial brown rice pasta, brown rice, plantain, local whole wheat walnut bread (for the kids + joel)
fats/nuts/seeds: avocado for sandwiches/bowls, hemp seeds + pumpkin seeds for bowls/ the kids daily porridge, cashews for dressings/sauces/milk, almond butter for dressing/sandwiches/instant almond milk, coconut milk for curries, pistachios for the chocolate cake and to snack on
treats: cocoa powder+buckwheat flour for a gf choc cake and raw brownies, Theo chocolate bars (we love the ginger and cherry almond ones), decaf earl grey tea for morning lattes, raspberry jam (the crofter’s brand has a grape juice sweetened option that comes in glass with a metal lid)- my kids are obsessing over PBJ right now?!
condiments: balsamic vinegar for salads, coconut aminos and tamari for flavoring stir fries, dressings and sauces
I’ve been cutting up some of my veggies before storing in the fridge and it makes it so much easier to craft homemade meals during the week. I cut up my kale into 1/2 inch pieces (I leave the stem in). I trimmed and halved the brussels. I peeled, deseeded and cut up the butternut squash. I cut up the cauliflower into bite size pieces. I store all these in mason jars, pyrex glass bowls with lids, or glass snaplock containers.
What I’m planning on cooking during the week:
gf, date sweetened, orange and pistachio garnished chocolate cake from Golubka Kitchen’s beautiful new plant based cookbook, Simply Vibrant. photo via The First Mess
brussels, squash, chickpea coconut milk curry with rice from the same cookbook! similar recipe here
kale and fennel creamy cabbage slaw (a favorite recipe for me) photo via Red Online
plantain + black bean bowl: super simple, fast, seriously satisfying. sauté or roast slices of ripe plantain until golden/caramelized and sprinkle with a little salt. Heat up some black beans with cumin and orange zest. Serve with cabbage tossed with jalapeños, lime, cilantro and onion. Add in rice, quinoa or roasted potatoes if desired for more heft. Toasted pumpkin seeds or pickled onions are amazing on top too.
general tso tofu bowl with extra sautéed/roasted veggies on the side: carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli on a bed of greens and or noodles.
caesar salad: we like to do 1/2 romaine, 1/2 kale, this 5 minute hummus based caesar dressing, + top with green onions, avocado and cabbage or crispy roasted chickpeas and vegan parmven fries on the side- we just slice them up, toss with a little oil and roast at 400 till crispy. Once out I love to toss in garlic and chili flakes and parsley if I have it!
Hello again! I hope you have had a fantastic week! Lately I’ve received quite a few different questions about breakfast- what to eat for a vegan breakfast that won’t weigh you down but still keeps you full and energized. Someone messaged me and said her partner was going plant based and he was having a hard time getting full without the meat and eggs. So, for this “meal plan”, I thought I’d do something different and offer 7 different vegan breakfast ideas- both savory and sweet.
No matter what I eat for breakfast, I always start the day in winter with a quart of warm citrus water (lemon/lime) to warm up, hydrate, and get my liver and system functioning first thing. This practice has improved my digestion 100 fold. Also, I hardly drink coffee as I find it really irritating to my stomach and joints + it magnifies anxiety for me. I love to have herbal tea, reishi coffee, Pu-erh tea or an herbal off sub like Teecino (which I can get in bulk at Rainbow Grocery).
I hope this gives you some good ideas and inspiration for a healthy breakfast. I didn’t include pancakes mostly because I can’t stand sitting there and making them, flipping, waiting etc LOL but there’s so many great ones out there that use bananas and oats like this one.
monday: green smoothie
Greens make me feel SO GOOD. Seriously, amazing. Greens are the most nutrient dense foods you can eat, calorie for calorie, and it feels so great to get them in first thing in the morning. I love so many types of green smoothies, but our two faves lately have been this Erin Ireland green smoothie (pictured above- I use almond milk and almond butter and swap out the spinach for kale occasionally) and this Pure Kitchen citrus green smoothie (below- I put 1 whole peeled grapefruit instead of the juice and leave out the cucumber, sometimes I add spinach or whole peeled orange and frozen mango too). We also love a mango/orange juice/spinach/hemp seed/barley grass juice powder green smoothie.
tuesday: porridge bowl
You guys already know we are obsessed with porridge, right?! My kids eat it almost every day for breakfast with all kinds of variations depending what we have and what’s in season. Here’s our recipe. I always make it with hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and/or walnuts and pumpkin seeds for omega 3s, hefty doses of minerals and it keeps you full forever. This one pictured is from spring with cherries and blue velvet apricots! Fresh nut milk on top takes this to new levels. This baked oatmeal is also BOMB and you can keep extras in the fridge to eat for the next few days too.
wednesday: coconut yogurt bowl
If you watch my IG stories, you’ll know I’ve been experimenting with 10,907 variations on homemade yogurt. My favorite has been culturing coconut milk with blended cashews for thickness a la this recipe. If you don’t like coconut, there’s so many other types of vegan yogurt: soy, almond and cashew to name just a few. I love having it in the morning or afternoon with whatever fresh fruit is in season + hemp seeds, coco flakes, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Add whatever toppings/fruits you love, even go savory with sautéed kale or veggies, roasted squash or sweet potato or arugula/carrots + mix a crushed garlic clove and some lemon juice/zest into the yogurt, dollop on top and sprinkle a little toasted fennel, everything bagel seasoning, vegan parm cheese, toasted nuts or something like that on top.
thursday: soup and greens
Call me crazy but a nice hot bowl of hearty soup and sautéed greens is just my thing some mornings, especially when it’s really cold out. It’s super filling and sets you up with lots of greens and savory flavors to limit sweet cravings during the day. Any soup will do, I like a good minestrone, curried lentil, lemony spinach red lentil, or celery/wild rice. I sauté my greens until wilted, then stir in crushed garlic and tamari or aminos, and remove from heat.
friday: loni jane’s burcha
I am obsessed with Loni Janes burcha. It’s SO filling, packed with nutrition and plant based minerals/omegas + healthy fats plus tastes like a treat. I make a BIG mix like shown here and then either soak it as per her recipe overnight (a great grab and go breakfast) OR simply sprinkle some over almond milk and fruit in the am and let it sit for 10 minutes or so while I’m getting ready so the chia can gel (pictured). It’s the best hiking snack/meal, too because it’s small but gives you so much energy. Also it makes my digestion 10/10 and lives up to its “flat belly” name.
saturday: sweet potato toasts
These guys are SO good, full of whole plant foods to make you feel amazing, and nutrients, too. I saved this for Saturday because it took me a little longer to bake to get crisp, but this recipe says you can use a toaster to make them quicker. I don’t have a toaster, so I just preheated by oven to 400, sliced my large sweet potato into about 1/4 inch thick slices, and baked for about 30 minutes- toasty, caramelly perfection.
Obviously you can top them with whatever you love- PB&J, sautéed kale + hummus, cashew cheese, almond butter and banana, etc etc. I did them 3 ways for variety for the photo’s sake, but IRL I’d probably just do 1 or 2 toppings (AND this large sweet potato yielded 5 large toasts and 2 small toasts, I only ate 3 and my husband ate the rest). From top to bottom:
“italian” style with arugula, sliced avocado, everything bagel seasoning, toasted fennel seeds, chili flakes or harissa spice blend, and lemon.
sweet style with tahini, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, drizzle of maple or agave (optional) and sprinkle of maldon flaky sea salt.
“california” style: I mashed the other avocado half with a squeeze of lime and a little garlic, then spread it on with cilantro, red onion, toasted pepitas and my fermented hot sauce.
sunday: tofu scramble with almond flour or corn tortillas
Tofu scrambles are so easy to make and really high in protein. We have super tasty local bulk tofu here so we’re spoiled and make quite a few tofu recipes. Here I just sautéed red onion and thinly slice red and green bell pepper with some whole cumin seeds and coriander seeds (1 teaspoon each), then added in a block of crumbled tofu, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon harissa powder, black pepper, and some liquid aminos (or use tamari or just salt). Minimalist Baker has a good recipe if you want more technical directions/measurements.
If you have/can find black salt, that works great- it’s high in sulfur so it gives an “eggy” taste if you’re into that. I also added cilantro, green onion, lots of hot sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds. Pickled onions would go SO good on top too, or verduras en escabeche.
Roasted or pan fried country potatoes would be a great sub for the tortillas. Avocado on top is delicious too!