Happy Meatless Monday y’all! We’ve got Natalie in the house from Toronto, with a super-balanced vegan menu. We love this series, because it inspires us to try new recipes and think outside the box. It’s so easy to get stuck in eating ruts, right? If you like it too, and have yet to send in a menu, don’t delay! Just follow the format below.
My dietary leanings: Vegetarian since January 2007, vegan since October 2011.
My favorite vegetable: Brussels sprouts. Kale is a close second. What can I say? I like my cruciferous veggies!
This morning I ate…
My usual is a kale smoothie with berries, mango, avocado, banana, sprouted chia-flax seeds, almond milk, and some brown rice protein powder, and a slice of chia-flax toast with whatever nut butter strikes my fancy at the time. But since I played hooky from my Sunday grocery shopping, I revisited an old favourite breakfast using ingredients I had on hand: oatmeal with berries, almond milk, sprouted chia-flax seeds, brown rice protein powder, and Udo’s 3-6-9 blend with vegan DHA.
As a mid-morning snack, I had some Sunrise brand peach-mango dessert tofu.
A quick and dirty fruit salad of kiwi, orange and apple slices, mixed berries, and raw pumpkin seeds.
As dinner time rolled around…
I was really looking forward to digging into some red quinoa and black bean salad. Post-grocery shopping, I made a slightly modified version of this Oh She Glows recipe, with corn, tomato, avocado, garlic, cilantro, lime, green and jalapeno peppers. It did not disappoint! Dessert was a leftover birthday cupcake–my mom makes a great vegan carrot cake with crushed pineapple–and some cherries.
Yum! Natalie, want to post that cupcake recipe (if you have it from moms)? Anyone else make good vegan desserts?
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 :)
Milkshakes for breakfast and pizza for dinner? This is an MM menu to get excited about. Thanks for sharing Hallie!
My favorite vegetable: Tomatoes! They’re a vegetable in my book…
Breakfast: We had some leftover orange/mango/cantaloupe juice that we had made with the juicer this weekend, so as a treat I made a smoothie with that and some vanilla whey protein powder. It was like a 50/50 milkshake for breakfast! Definitely not an every day thing… but such a treat.
Lunch: A pita bred sandwich with homemade black bean spread, grilled zucchini, fresh local tomtato, and spinach. The bean spread was super easy - I just stuck 1/4 cup of canned black beans in the blender with about 1 tbsp of salsa and the juice of half a lime. It was my first time making it and I’m pretty sure it will now become a staple in my fridge.
Snacks: Some crackers with peanut butter, and a green plum.
Dinner: Heirloom tomato pizza. Mixed up some good ricotta with lemon zest (to taste), spread that over raw whole wheat pizza dough. Placed slices of heirloom tomato all over the pizza, then sprinkled with fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt. Baked the pizza according to dough instructions, et voila! The ricotta is so creamy and mild, it really lets the tomatoes shine, but still holds up as a base sauce replacement.
Agreed—and that pizza sounds off the chain. Anyone else cooking with—or preserving—heirlooms right now, before they’re all gone?
I’m kinda nuts for nuts lately. They’ve got to be one of the easiest, most delicious and satisfying whole foods on the planet, don’t you think?
I get the feeling some people are scared of nuts because of their high fat content. But when you flip that fear mongering on its head the facts are this: Nuts contain many of the key nutrients we need in one tiny package, including healthy fats, fiber, proteins and, yes, carbohydrates—all of which we need plenty of.
When you’re busy or on the run, it’s easy to reach for crappy food out of convenience. But these days, if I’m starving and my next meal is a little ways away, a handful of nuts is the perfect tide-over to keep me focused.
Lately, I’ve been especially into almonds and pistachios. The latter are not only delicious, but I love popping them out of their shells, like a little reminder that we once had to do some work for our food. What’s your nut of choice?
According to the Mayo Clinic, nuts can also prevent heart disease. Nutrients do vary by type, but most nuts contain omega-3s, vitamin E, plant sterols, and l-arginine. Most of these are proven to be good for our hearts and health in multiple ways—not to mention our skin!
Fun Ways To Eat Them
Inspired by Siobhan’s seed post last week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite creative ways to eat nuts. Got any fun nutty recipes?
—In dessert. I still love this recipe that features salty almond butter in Greek yogurt.
—In soup. And this one too.
—In stir frys. Cashews, almonds, or whatever nut you have on-hand can add all kinds of texture and deliciousness to a fry.
—In salad. Especially good with asian salad dressings, like rice vinegar, miso paste, olive oil and green onions.
OK, you’re up.
We know that many of you are seasoned vegetable eaters and all but this challenge is about sneaking in MORE fruits and veggies: like ten servings. That can be a lot even by our crunchy standards.
So, since we’re all in this together, let’s share our best tips. And while you’re at it, tell us how the challenge is going for you (and tell the truth!). Recipes are always welcome, of course.
If you’re having trouble staying motivated, remember the Japanese farmers (!), and also this sort-of-silly-but-also-awesome “study” of how vegetables actually make you look glowy and tanned.
Here are a few ways I’ve been upping my number of servings, and a few other ways I plan to in the coming days (and weeks and months, because the point of these challenges is to help create better habits, right? Right.) Nothing groundbreaking here, and a few things we’ve harped on before, but voila:
- Salads: This is a total duh but I often make pretty simple green salads. You can get five fruits and veggies into a salad in a blink, watch: cucumber, tomato, avocado, grated carrot, artichoke hearts. Done.
- Smoothies: Another no-brainer, but if you really don’t enjoy eating fruits and/or vegetables this is the easiest way to slam a bunch down in one sitting. Spinach, berries, weird stuff from your CSA box, not much can’t be blended into smoothie submission.
- Soups: A.k.a. winter’s smoothies, especially for this girl who can’t stomach too much raw food in the colder months. Even if you’re all thumbs in the kitchen, you can throw some spinach, cauliflower, broccoli (or all!) into a pre-made tomato soup and call it four servings.
- Omelettes: Onions, spinach, red peppers, zucchinis and any veggies that don’t necessarily sing on their own, can be julienned into an omelette for guaranteed deliciousness.
- Snacks: Precut veggies—especially good when dipped in Dijon—are an easy way to veggie-load. Carrots are delicious right now, and so are radishes and broccoli. When it comes to fruit, don’t forget your old schoolyard friends: apples and oranges. As an adult I’m always surprised by how delicious these are when I think to eat them (not often).
That’s all I got! Now, how are you guys getting more of nature’s treats in your tummies?