Meet Elaine. She hails from Canada’s capital and her meatless menu sounds both delicious and budget friendly. So often we’re told that eating healthfully is pricier than eating poorly. But much like clean cosmetics, when you know what to buy in bulk, a super-healthy, veg-heavy diet can be cheaper than the cheapest of fast food. Do you have any great money-saving tips for healthy eating?
Name: Elaine Hometown: Ottawa, Canada My dietary leanings: On average, my diet probably balances out to be 60% vegan, 40% vegetarian. And very very rarely (read: a few times a year), I’ll eat fish in sushi form. My favorite vegetables: Carrots and sweet potato. But to be honest, there’s no vegetable I don’t like (though I’ve never had amaaazing asparagus). Disclaimer: I’m a student, so on weekends I try to make massive batches of meals (such as stews, grains, beans) to eat up during the busy weekdays. Trust me though, I don’t always have time to stock my fridge with healthy homemade food!
This morning I….
Ate a bowl of overnight oats topped with almond milk, roasted cashews, cinnamon, and homemade applesauce. I also drank a huge mug of green tea.
Then for lunch I…
Cooked up a grilled cheese (on homemade whole wheat) to go with some reheated homemade tomato, onion & pinto bean soup. While that was cooking, I munched on a carrot with roasted red pepper hummus.
As an afternoon snack I had an apple paired with a handful of roasted almonds.
Finally for dinner I…
Made a stir-fry with cabbage, carrot and edamame, topped with a sauce that I whipped together from tahini, almond milk and hoisin sauce. I had the stir-fry with a bit of quinoa on the side.
Last but not least, dessert…
A perfectly ripe banana, smeared with crunchy natural peanut butter – my absolute favourite!
Name: Katie Drummond
Home: Brooklyn, NY
My dietary leanings: After following a strict vegan diet for around 12 years, I’ve spent the past 16 months embracing all the food out there—from Greek yogurt and smoked gouda cheese to shrimp and (yes!) hamburgers. It’s been a wild, delicious, and overall very healthy (for me) transition. That said, my boyfriend and I tend to keep things vegetarian at home. For us, that includes cheese, eggs, yogurt, and milk. And my meat consumption is still fairly limited (although I’m open and eager to try anything, and really should eat more fish, because that stuff is good for you!). In previous years, I’ve struggled to eat enough for my active lifestyle, so I now make a conscious effort to eat regular, well-rounded meals.
My favorite vegetable: It depends what we’re talking about here. For easy, after-work meals or packed lunches, my go-to veggies are raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. All delicious plain, or dipped in hummus, guacamole, and even nut butters. If I’m actually preparing a vegetable, or enjoying some at a restaurant, I can never say no to Brussels sprouts, kale, or a big plate of roasted vegetables.
I get up pretty early to go to the gym before work (assuming I’ve slept enough the night before, and limited my wine consumption to a reasonable level) so I try to eat a small breakfast around 6AM even if I’m not hungry. Today’s was a sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread: Mixed greens, sliced tomato, two hardboiled eggs (from Trader Joe’s, because if I’m gonna turn on the stove…I’d rather cook something more interesting), and a generous slather of hummus. Of course, washed down with the requisite cup (okay, three cups) of coffee.
For a snack..
Ravenous by 10 AM, as usual, so I opted for a 2% Greek yogurt and a Honeycrisp apple. I’ve been eating this snack since I departed from veganism, and it’s my favorite, hands down. Something about the combination of apple and rich, plain yogurt…magic. Plus a ton of protein; can’t go wrong.
Today’s lunch was brought to you by the Indian place down the street from my apartment. A tupperware container of cauliflower-potato curry, chickpea curry, and a few Tandoori vegetables, polished off with a piece of whole-wheat roti. Okay, a little bit spicy for a midday meal at work (sorry, co-workers, about the breath thing) but totally worth it.
Dinner at home is usually where things get lazy. I’ve been up since 6, already packed a snack and a lunch for work that day, I’m tired, and I just really want to sit around and watch TV. Enter Trader Joe’s, where you can buy bags of shredded Brussels sprouts (among other wondrous convenience foods). Tonight, I decided to experiment: Sauteed the Brussels in olive oil, added mushrooms, a few handfuls of crushed walnuts, cubes of extra-firm tofu, the spices I had on hand, and some salt and pepper. A Brussels sprout stir-fry, I guess? Actually very good. Washed it down with two large glasses of wine, because it was Monday and because I love wine.
A homemade peanut butter and jelly bar (the recipe is from an old vegan cookbook of mine, and has been a family favorite for years). This is basically a crust made from flour, sugar, peanut butter, baking soda, and salt, a layer of strawberry preserves, and a chunky peanut butter topping. SO. GOOD.
Home: Brooklyn, NY
My dietary leanings: When I’m scanning a menu, the items I typically get the most excited about are the sides. I love vegetables! (I also love French fries.) As for restrictions, I’m Celiac, I don’t eat soy for health reasons and because I think it tastes bad, and I eat vegetarian approximately 80% of the time. When I eat animal protein, I go sustainable for fish and organic for everything else. I will, however, have a bite of just about anything off someone else’s plate.
My favorite vegetable: What kind of a person makes a girl choose her favorite vegetable?! My favorites include, but are not limited to, kale, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, fennel, broccoli rabe, tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes (which is to say, August tomatoes), cauliflower, and carrots.
I recently discovered that, at the Union Square farmer’s market here in New York, Our Daily Bread is selling gluten-free bread! They bake a few different kinds in a dedicated GF facility, and I like them all. The seedy whole grain loaf is my favorite; the caraway seed one comes in second. Today I had two slices toasted with a bunch of peanut butter and sliced banana. I also had a kale smoothie with the rest of the banana, some blueberries, and some unsweetened almond milk.
Then for lunch…
The best kind of leftovers. Last night I cooked for a friend and made a gigantic kale salad, among other things. The salad contains lacinto kale sliced into thin strips, salty marcona almonds roughly chopped, baby tomatoes, sliced fennel, shaved parmesan, dry-toasted pepitas, and carmelized cipollini onions. I hate peeling cipollinis, but it’s always worth it; they’re just so tasty.
My dressing was champagne vinegar (if you do not own any, go get some now—it’s life-changing), olive oil, pepper and a half teaspoon of Dijon. Because kale is so sturdy, this salad is even better the day after; the leaves don’t get soggy. This salad could be easily made vegan without the parmesan.
I’ll have a big bowl of that with two organic eggs on the side. When I get hungry around 4pm, as I invariably do, I’ll probably have some pistachios, or maybe an apple, or both.
For dinner, I’m planning on making…
Carrot ginger soup and some simple pasta (like the one shown). I have the simplest soup recipe and it wins every time: Stew some leeks in olive oil or butter on low heat until they’re transparent and slippery. This takes a while, but it’s worth it. In another pot, boil your carrots, chopped into inch-thick cubes so they cook faster. (If you prefer a silky-smooth soup, boil one small potato too.) Toss some raw ginger in the water while they soften.
Once the leeks are done, remove them. In the leek pan, toss in some more ginger, one clove of garlic and heat on low, being careful not to burn. Remove that, too, and put them in the bowl with the leeks. When the carrots are easily pierced with a knife, put them in a food processor without water, toss in the leeks and garlic and ginger, and blend until smooth. Use the carrot-cooking water to dilute your puree to desired consistency and add salt and pepper to taste.
Pro tip: I like to store the puree in the fridge without water. Then, when I want my next bowl, I put in a little water from the tap and heat it up.
In addition to my soup, I’ll have a bowl of corn pasta with a pile of vegetables. This is an easy weeknight dish that takes about 15 minutes to make, but tastes delicious. The noodles are from Italy, and the name escapes me (will add in the comments), but it’s my favorite gluten-free pasta, and it’s organic—and therefore non-GMO. I’ll heat up some garlic in a pan along with some more kale, some tomatoes, a handful of canned chickpeas, and some fennel. I’ll toss in and wilt some radichio right before I’m done cooking the other veggies. This whole process takes about 15 minutes. If I feel like it, I’ll sprinkle some nutritional yeast or parm on top. And voila!
Not a big dessert person! I may have a square of Wei of Chocolate in Infinite Love. And I’ll definitely have a glass or two of wine. Bon appétit!
(Writing this made me hungry. I hope it has the same effect on you.)
Let’s go off topic for a second.
There will always be more products to review, and we will continue to do just that; I have like 10 sitting in front of the pretty blue mirror near my bed, and at some point soon, I will review every single one of them—promise. But we’re a whole-life kind of site, with a whole-person approach to beauty, and lately all I can think about is…
The importance of the company you keep.
Why is this on my mind? Few reasons. I turn 34 tomorrow! Since a birthday is a personal new year, I’m feeling big-picture reflective. My life looks nothing like it did last year: I’ve said good bye to people I wasn’t ready to say good bye to (we never are), I’ve been challenged and rewarded, I’ve become my own best friend, kind of.
I’ve also been lucky to learn a lot. I’ve read lots of books, written hundreds of articles and edited even more of them. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people, in my personal life and at work, who inspire me to be the best version of myself, and who reflect that version back at me on the good days (which is most of them). I also get to laugh with these people as much as I like to laugh, which is a lot. I have funny friends. This makes me feel very, very blessed.
It’s my belief—and maybe I just make all this s#%t up to make myself feel better—that you feel this way when you’re getting some kind of payoff for following your heart. We all know what it feels like to look around and see something that feels just off. Maybe it’s an unfulfilling job, a bad skin day decade, someone in your midsts who makes you feel a little less than shiny. All of these things, I think, are signs on the outside that something on the inside needs your love and attention. But when it’s all aligned: How you feel, what you want, and what you see when you look around? Whoa. I’m not all the way there yet, but that’s what I’m working on.
Everyone who comes here knows that at No More Dirty Looks, we believe that what you put in your body and on your skin, what media you consume and the kinds of things you read, and the type of people you spend your on- and off-hours with are important pieces of the personal-health puzzle. As I’ve made clear, my attention has been drawn to the latter.
The kind of company I keep, personally and professionally, is a big part of what I’m focusing on this birthday year. Everyone is weird and awesome in their own way. Here are the things they all have in common.
We’d like to know what you look for in people—let’s go with 5 things, total—in the comments.
Here are mine:
1. They can laugh. A lot. Laughter, at themselves, at me, at the world.
2. They are giving. Million different ways to give. Some people give their time to Sandy victims who live in Redhook, some people make T shirts for you for your birthday, some people give you compliments that make you melt, some people never say no to the guy on the street who’s in need. But a generosity of spirit is a big one for me.
3. They’re right there. Being present. End of story.
4. They make you better. What’s better than that! Give me one thing. Seriously?
5. They have lots of love in them.
We love this menu for many reasons, not least of all becauze Kate just sounds like a lot of fun. Help answer her questions in the comments, and don’t forget to send in your meatless adventures.
Hometown: Los Angeles
My dietary leanings: I eat lots of veggies and fish. Occasionally I’ll eat red meat and goat or sheep dairy.
My favorite vegetable: Sauerkraut! That counts right?
Breakfast: Lately I’ve been having giant breakfasts and I’m loving it. My formula is a green, a protein, and sauerkraut. Today it was kale, brown lentils, and sauerkraut. Picked the kale from my generous neighbor’s garden, lentils are the pre-cooked Trader Joe’s kind (is that bad?), and sauerkraut from a local market. Garnished with lemon and a little olive oil.
Mid morning: After breakfast I’ll normally have tea. Today was raspberry leaf tea because I’m premenstrual and Yogi’s Skin Detox because my face is a mess. Not sure if that works but it tastes wonderful.
Lunch: A large salad with red lettuce, kale, garbanzo beans, a mound of sauerkraut, and a fresh peach. Topped with a homemade apple vinaigrette. Sometimes I put smoked trout (from the same place as the sauerkraut) on this and it takes it from amazing to spectacular. Like- “no sorry coworkers I brought a salad for lunch so go get takeout with me”- good.
Snack: If I’m still hungry I’ll have almond butter on a rice cake. Although I recently realized rice cakes have a really high glycemic index- which I try to avoid to keep myself and my skin balanced. So today I just had a tablespoon of almond butter. Any advice for almond butter receptacles?
Dinner: Normally pretty small since I eat a giant breakfast & lunch. Although when I get stressed I tend to crave large dinners. Today I had sliced persian cucumbers dipped in saffron hummus. 2 slices of sourdough bread with olive oil and sea salt. And more sauerkraut…I need to start making my own I go through the stuff so quickly. Advice? Please help I’m addicted!
After: Wine. The red kind. I’m in the market for a boxed organic red if you have any favorites :)