yay for earth challenge II: 5 days of v/gf meals

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!

-Please feel free to substitute when needed to make it accessible and fit right for you.  We’ve added notes next to certain ingredients so that you can get the right amount for you depending on how many people are eating with you.
-Meals include: alfredo pasta with lentil meatballs, greek salad bowl with falafels and tzatziki, butternut soup with spicy roasted chickpeas + arugula salad, red lentil coconut curry, and a spiced roasted sweet potato +black bean bowl.  
-Extras include dark chocolate granola with vanilla nice cream +an any day zucchini blueberry smoothie.  
-Recipes and photos will be posted 9/16 Friday.  Thank you for being a part of this!  We so look forward to seeing your cooking and variations.
produce:
-5-8 bananas (for dessert and smoothies)
-blueberries (for smoothies)
-1 medium apple, any type except a tart green one
-1 medium zucchini (for every 2 people eating)
-4 medium sweet potatoes (1 for every person eating)
-1x 2 lb butternut or other orange fleshed sweet winter squash like kabocha
-1 jalapeño
-3-4 medium cucumbers (about 1 for each person)
-2 carrots
-1 medium cabbage
-6 cups spinach or other type of green (about 1.5 cups for each person)
-1 large handful arugula for every person eating
-3 avocados (if for 1 person, 1 is fine.  If for 2 people, you’ll need 2.  For 4 people, 3.)
-3 limes
-3 lemons
-½ – 1 cup mushrooms for each person(shiitake/chanterelles/your choice)
-2 tomatoes 
-olives/capers
-2 red onions (1 medium + 1 small)
-2 yellow onions (1 medium + 1 large)
-1 small red bell pepper
seasonings and herbs:
-fresh parsley
-fresh cilantro
-fresh dill 
-fresh basil
-1 large head garlic
-2.5 inch chunk of fresh ginger
-paprika
-oregano
-thyme
-rosemary
-cumin
-medium curry powder
-crushed red pepper flakes
legumes, grains, and seeds:
-1 cup brown lentils
-3/4 cup red lentils
-2 cups gluten free oats
-1 cup hemp seeds
-½ cup sunflower seeds
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds(2 tablespoons for every person eating)
-1 box brown rice pasta (or your favorite kind in bulk! I love the Jovial brand if I can’t find bulk) 
-3 cans chickpeas (save the chickpea juice too! (aquafaba))+ this equates to 2.25 cups dried if you’re making your own from scratch
-2 cans black beans(1/2 can for every person eating) + this equates to 1.5 cups dried if you’re cooking your own
-cashews
-optional: Flax seeds or vegan protein powder for the smoothie
-optional: 2 cups dried basmati or other long grain rice, to make the curried lentil dish heartier- 1/2-1/3 cup dried per person.
pantry:
-1 jar of tahini
-1 small bottle cooking white wine (you’ll need ¼ cup)
-olive oil
-2 cans full fat coconut milk
-grapeseed oil or avocado oil (or any high smoke point oil)
-coconut aminos or tamari or soy sauce( your preference)
-nutritional yeast
-1x 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes (or add 4 fresh roma tomatoes to your produce list)
-2 cups broth(either DIY or better than bouillon brand comes in a glass jar)
-cornstarch or arrowroot powder
dessert ingredients:
-1 cup gf oats
-maple syrup or brown sugar
-vanilla extract + almond extract
-½ cup cocoa powder
-½ cup chocolate chips
-olive oil or coconut oil
-1 can of coconut milk (or any other nut milk and you can make your own HERE)
-optional: Dried cherries, pecans or walnuts

#yayforearthchallenge : 5 days of vegan, gluten free meals

Zero waste groceries

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!

Zero waste shopping kit

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!!

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SHOPPING LIST

Produce:
1 small red onion

1 medium yellow onion

2 heads garlic

2 shallots

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 banana

1 apple

2 avocados

1 pint blueberries

fresh ginger

3 lemons

1 orange

spices and dried or fresh herbs

paprika

chile powder

chile flakes

salt (we like pink or other unrefined salt)

pepper

cinnamon

cumin

1 bunch fresh thyme

dried oregano

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

cocoa powder

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)

coconut oil

baking soda

optional add ons:
fermented veggies (kraut, kimchi etc)
 Yay for earth challenge
Monday:  Lentil meatballs + pasta
Tuesday:  Beet, chickpea, quinoa bowl
Wednesday:  Sweet potato hazelnut salad
Thursday:  Lentil and carrot sauce with crispy potatoes
Friday:  Nourishing sweet potato chickpea soup

Optional micronutrient smoothie- have it daily, once, twice, never, whatever.

RECIPES

LENTIL MEATBALLS (with ****spaghetti squash, zoodles, or pasta as base*** see note)
Adapted from www.willcookforfriends.com

 

Lentil meatballs zoodles

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)

Recipe:
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!
9. YAY!

BEET AND QUINOA BUDDHA BOWL:
Buddha bowl tahini dressings
2 small beets, with greens attached
1 shallot, sliced crosswise into rings
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 portabello mushroom or equivalent other mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced or chopped
coconut aminos, about 1 tablespoon or more or less to taste
1 can chickpeas (about 1.75 cups)
1/2 sliced avocado
citrus ginger dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1 small or 1/2 a large lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced (you can save your peels to make all purpose cleaner!  recipe HERE)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
grated ginger- amount depending on your spice level, I use about 1 teaspoon- if you have a high speed blender you can just throw a chunk in, no need to grate
1 small clove garlic
2 tablespoons maple syrup, or other sweetener of choice like agave or honey
method:
Cut 2 beets into wedges and place in a steamer basket, cook until tender.
Wash and add the beet greens to the steamer the last couple minutes.
Sauté shallot and garlic with a drizzle of olive oil and salt for a few minutes until softened.  Add quinoa and water and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook 15 minutes or until tender.  Turn off heat and set aside.  (can be made ahead of time).  Save 1/2 for tomorrow’s lunch if desired.
Meanwhile, slice your mushroom(s), and the onion (save the other half of the onion for tomorrow).  Place in a pan over medium high heat and cook, adding oil or splashes of water or broth until tender, then drizzle in the aminos and stir around until absorbed.  Set aside.
Drain and rinse your chickpeas.  If you have time/prefer crispy chickpeas, you can toss with a little oil, smoked paprika, and salt and bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes while the quinoa cooks.  You probably won’t eat all the chickpeas but you can save leftovers for lunch the next day with your leftover quinoa!
Blend all the ingredients for the dressing until super smooth.  You can also whisk it (really well) if you want.  This should make extra for lunches!  Keeps up to a week in the fridge in my experience.
Assemble bowl and drizzle the dressing on top and add avocado.
totally optional add ons: toasted pumpkin seeds and pickled/fermented veggies.
ROASTED SWEET POTATO HAZELNUT SALAD:
Lentil sweet potato hazelnut
1 sweet potato, cut into cubes or slices
3 tablespoons hazelnuts (small handful)
1 cup dry french or beluga/caviar lentils
handful parsley, either chopped or left in whole leaves
serving size of arugula
mustard vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
optional: bit of sweetener like maple, agave, honey etc (about 1/2-1 teaspoon)
method:
Preheat oven to 400.
Roast sweet potato (either drizzled with oil and salt or without, up to you) on a lined baking sheet (parchment or silicone mat) at 400 until tender, about 30 minutes. (alternatively, do this ahead of time to reduce overall time till dinner).  In the last 10 minutes, add the hazelnuts to the oven (either on a free spot on the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes, or a separate baking sheet.  Depending on the size of your hazelnuts, you may need a bit shorter or longer time to toast.  Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils. Cover with plenty of water and some salt in a medium pot, cook till tender (about 15-20 minutes), drain and set aside.  This can be also be done ahead of time.  Save half of the lentils for tomorrow.
In the bottom of a medium sized bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
Roughly chop a handful parsley.
Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts.
Into your bowl, add a few big handfuls salad greens.  Add as much or as little lentils as you like and toss to coat the dressing over.  Add the sweet potatoes on top and the parsley, and sprinkle hazelnuts over.
LENTIL, CARROT, KALE SAUTE WITH CRISPY POTATOES 
4 or so small baby (about 2 inch or so) potatoes
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped (I don’t remove stems but feel free to if you  prefer)
1 tablespoon oil
1 large carrot, shredded/grated
1 large garlic clove, pressed/minced/crushed
leftover lentils
1-2 tablespoons coconut aminos
chili flakes
1/2 sliced avocado
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees if baking- or not, if sautéing.
Into a pot with a steamer basket, add your potatoes and cook till fork tender.
On a lined baking sheet, place the potatoes and take a flat bottomed cup or glass a gently press down to smash them to a 1/2 inch or so thickness.  Brush with a bit of oil and bake until crispy, about 20-30 minutes (alternatively, you could pan fry if you prefer for a shorter time till dinner).
Put a dry (no oil) skillet over high heat and let heat up for a minute or two empty.  Add in your kale and let cook without stirring for a few minutes until the edges start to get a little toasty.
Now add in your oil and stir fry the kale around the pan, tossing until tender- about 3 minutes or longer depending on how soft you like it.
Add in the grated carrots and garlic and toss constantly for about 30 seconds until you start to smell the garlic (don’t let it burn).  Add in the leftover lentils and aminos and toss to heat through.
Serve with potatoes, leftover citrus tahini sauce, avocado and chili flakes.
NOURISHING SWEET POTATO CHICKPEA SOUP
sweet potato chickpea soup

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)

Recipe:
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!

MICRONUTRIENT SMOOTHIE
(Via Dr. Rhonda Patrick)

micronutrient smoothie vegan

½ -1 frozen banana
¼ apple
½ carrot
½ tomato
⅓ avocado
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

Flourless cookies vegan

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
6. ENJOY

saturday haul + what i’m cooking this week

market haul

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!

market cart spring

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.

grocery cart

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.

Peanut noodle bowl vegan kale radish sesame cucumber

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.

spring Quinoa fennel salad

Leeks vinaigrette vegan

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.

kale romaine vegan caesar gluten free chickpea

leftover carrot soup, loaded with veggies, quinoa and seeds a la this recipe.  this strawberry spinach salad with tofu feta on the side.

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).

mung Bean carrot salad vegan feta ottolenghi

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.

risotto artichoke springtime

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.

Chia pudding cashews dates nutmeg cinnamon vegan

big pot of chickpeas: to make hummus, and to add in lunches and meals and roasting for the kale caesar.

a week of meals at the end of winter

Kale avocado orange

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.

VegAn zero waste fridge

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

Fruit

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

nuts Seeds chocolate

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.

Butternut squash

I started a new batch of coconut yogurt (super easy) for school/after school snacks, kombucha, and a super quick hummus.

What I’m planning on cooking during the week:

split pea soup– easy recipe from Live Planted (Alyssa is an awesome vegan podcaster too)  photo from liveplanted.com

live planted vegan split pea soup

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

the first mess Golubka kitchen chocolate orange cake vegan gluten free

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

Kale slaw fennel cabbage cashew mustard Amy chaplin

butternut squash and bean winter minestrone

winter vegan butternut squash pasta fagioli

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.

plantain bowl vegan gluten free

general tso tofu bowl with extra sautéed/roasted veggies on the side: carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli on a bed of greens and or noodles.

Vegan gluten free tofu tso

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!

Kale caesar

 

 

breakfast meal plan

tangerine juice raw

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

green smoothie  vegan kale almond

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.

citrus green smoothie winter immunity

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.

vegan porridge zero waste almond milk

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.

vegan bowl breakfast coconut yogurt

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.

soup kale avocado vegan

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.

burcha vegan Loni jane breakfast

burcha bowl oranges blueberries omega 3 vegan

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.

If you’re not into the sweet potato idea, this gluten free nut seed and oat “bread” is super filling and tasty, or this GF millet buckwheat bread.

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.

sweet potato vegan toast avocado tahini

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!

Tofu scramble vegan breakfast