My Vegan Fridge

Since I had leftover falafel last night, I thought I would write a post giving you some insider views of what I usually have in our house food-wise. This was taken right when I got back from Trader Joe’s so it was stocked for the week and I had enough for 6 meals. This is what I usually have in our fridge in the beginning of the week, and as the week goes on we have a lot more Tupperware piled with leftovers as well. In our fridge I stockpile fruits and veggies in the bottom drawers like lettuce, green onions, carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, spinach or kale, and apples. I have leftover vegetable broth and I always keep some sparkling water like La Croix or Trader Joe’s brand, kombucha (they finally got mango back at TJ’s!), and of course some prosecco. There’s some rice and leftovers on middle shelf, and dates, berries, tomatoes, and salsa, marinara and guacamole as well on the top. I have tons of different sauces, garlic, and bouillon jars in the door and have a Brita of lemon water in the door as well. My mom will probably wonder why I’m showing you my disorganized fridge, so I’m definitely not showing a picture of my packed pantry!

In my freezer I keep frozen berries, bananas, corn, edamame, leftovers, veggie gyozas, garlic, and veggies.

On top of my pantry I use my old trifle dish to hold my onions and peppers, then a bag of potatoes hides up there as well.

I always have a bunch of bananas on the counter and a bowl full of fruit. Lately I have grapefruit, avocados, lemons, limes, and nectarines. These are great grab and go snacks so I always have them on hand.

I won’t show a picture of my pantry, but I’ll tell you some things I always have stocked. I keep lentils, canned beans, flax and chia seeds,extra sauces, pretzels and rice crackers, rice, pasta, quinoa, nuts, nutritional yeast, almond meal, rice cakes, dried mango, McDougall soup cups, baking stuff, dark chocolate, a full rack of spices,and Lara bars.

These are things I usually have in my house at all times and you can pretty much make anything from these ingredients. Keeping a vegan stockpile isn’t hard to do, and all of these ingredients are very affordable and your grocery bill will thank you. Some people don’t know where to start or what food to keep in your house when going plant based vegan, so this might help with a reference of what my fridge actually looks like. It’s not organized in matching Tupperware or glass jars, it’s not overflowing with greens, it’s just what my reality really is.

And here’s my simple fruit and tea breakfast I’ve been enjoying and my leftover falafel pita with High Carb Hannah’s tzaziki sauce.

Meal Planning 6.10.18

I made this Sesame Tofu and Broccoli the other night and didn’t include the sesame oil, and I didn’t coat the tofu because I baked it instead of frying it until crunchy. It was okay, but wasn’t fantastic. I’m not sure if it was just from the missing oil, but it tasted too tangy like the rice vinegar in it and I couldn’t balance it out with a little maple syrup and soy. Feel free to try it here- https://www.budgetbytes.com/pan-fried-sesame-tofu-with-

I had my first full week of summer at home and most breakfasts were roasted potatoes and fruit or oatmeal and fruit, lunches were leftovers, and I tried to keep last week’s dinners pretty simple. When I went out I had sushi and salad which kept on HCLF pretty well, then I went out for date night and had margaritas, too many chips, a tofu taco and a hummus and veggie taco with rice and beans. I definitely had that as my off plan meal for the week, but if you haven’t tried Taqueria Tsunami yet you should really try it. It’s good and so affordable! They just opened one right near us, so we’re excited about it!

This week I also wanted to keep meals pretty simple and follow HCLF. The pounds are being stubborn coming off now and so I’m trying hard to really stick to the plan and do the best I can to see if I can shake these off. This is what I have planned-

Bean and rice Burritos– I have some leftover rice so I wanted to use it up and I’ve been craving burritos. Instead of going to pick one up, I’m going to make them with fat free retried beans and rice with other toppings wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

Veggie Pad Thai- I’m going to use the box of rice noodles I bought to make a simple pad Thai with broccoli and mushrooms.

Fiesta Black Bean Salad- This looks like a perfect summer salad with black beans, mango, peppers, etc.

Baked beans, potatoes, asparagus- easy as that! Canned baked beans, roasted potatoes and asparagus for a simple summer dinner.

Mushroom and Pea Risotto- This is a creamy risotto made with veggie stock, wine, mushrooms and peas.

Falafel Wraps- For a quick dinner, I’m going to pull out my premade frozen falafel patties from last time I made them and put them in a pita with a High Carb Hannah tzatziki sauce.

Have a wonderful week everybody!

Summer Meal Planning 6.4.18

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^ lobby of the Wynn, Las Vegas

We’re back from Vegas and after a lot of oily and more processed food than I’m used to, I’m ready to get back into my eating routine. Only a little more than month until Italy! It’s amazing how your body craves the food that you put into it and now my body was craving greens so bad that we went straight to get a salad on our way home to lighten things up. Believe me, the waffles and oily food was good going down but I feel so much better eating high carb low fat, so as much as I want to eat those things, I crave feeling good after I eat a meal. You don’t feel so weighed down and tired when you eat fresh, whole plant foods so I’m back to normal! Here’s what recipes I planned for the week while waiting in the airport to fly home yesterday. You can meal plan anywhere! You just need your phone, which everyone has with them at all times anyway and I went to Trader Joe’s this morning after I tutored.

Lemon Garlic Asparagus Pasta- I’m going to make a combination of recipes for a cashew cream sauce with a head of roasted garlic and fresh lemon, brown rice fusilli, asparagus, spinach, and fresh lemon thyme from my friend’s herb garden.

Kale, Mushroom, and Roasted Chickpea Rice bowls– This is a simple, healthy, and filling meal that will put us back in line with eating this way.

BBQ Roasted Vegetable Pita Pizzas– I’m going to roast mushrooms, zucchini, onion, and cauliflower and top a whole wheat pizza with BBQ sauce. I’ll top the pizza with the roasted veggies and a shredded potato to mimic the cheese texture and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Sesame Tofu and Broccoli- I’m going to crisp tofu in the oven and then make an oil free sesame sauce to add to the tofu and sautéed broccoli and serve over brown rice.

Mushroom and Eggplant Sloppy Joes– Chopped mushrooms and eggplant in a sticky sweet tomato based sauce on a toasted ciabatta roll and salad… what could be bad about that?

We usually eat out or order in one dinner a week usually Friday or Saturday, so I get enough meals for 5 or 6 dinners.

Happy meal planning everyone!

Meal Planning 5.20.18

BBQ Potato and Avocado Salad

BBQ Potato and Avocado Salad

Above: quick lunch of leftovers today! I diced some leftover potatoes with onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper then baked on 425* for 30-35 minutes then put them on a bed of spring mix, carrots, tomatoes, and avocado. I used a little bbq sauce and green goddess dressing as dressing for it.

Today was a good day! I spent most of the day with my parents at their house and we watched the replay of the royal wedding, ate lunch, and I cleaned out my clothes that I still had stashed in my old closet. I kept things that I liked but didn’t fit anymore, so I tried it all on and was so excited that THEY FIT! I was fitting into things that I wore after I lost all my weight after Nutrisystem again… things I haven’t worn in years. SO EXCITING! I’ve been glad to have lost 11 pounds, but also frustrated that I’ve been stuck with weight loss the past month or so but today just confirmed that it is coming off. That I’m doing things the healthiest way for me this time and it’s slowly but surely coming off and that’s an exciting thing. I need to be happy with where I am now and keep eating things that make me feel healthy and happy and it’ll eventually come off.

Onto this week’s meal plan, I got most of the recipes off of my McDougall Starch Solution app I have on my phone. They’re approved by the Dr. himself who created the plan so I know they’re healthy oil-free options.

Lentil Sloppy Joes– These are so delicious and filling. I’m topping a ciabatta roll with this saucy, sweet, sloppy mix and roasted broccoli on the side.

Cauliflower Dal– This looked like a tasty recipe with red lentils, cauliflower, and potato with spices served over rice or pita.

Baked Penne Florentine- This is a cashew based creamy sauce swirled with pasta, spinach, and I’m adding mushrooms and baked.

Falafel Wraps– I’m finally trying out the Trader Joe’s falafel mix and adding them to a warm pita with lettuce, tomatoes, and a tahini based sauce.

Crock Pot Pizza Potatoes– This sounded weird, but interesting and I never use my crockpot anymore so I thought it would be worth a shot. It’s thinly sliced potatoes topped with sauce and toppings and cooked on low for 6-8 hours.

Taco Casserole Tacos– I’m making a mix of beans, peppers, onions and salsa and baking then filling tortillas with this mixture.

Have a great week and hopefully one of these (or more) will be tested by your family as well!

Mother’s Day Munchies

Berry Summer Salad

Berry Summer Salad

For Mother’s Day we went to church, had lunch, grocery shopped, and then had a picnic in my Grandma’s backyard with the family. I have a big family so it’s always a party whenever we get together! Everyone (except moms) brought something to share so it made it easy, and I was in charge of salad. I also made a vegan potato salad because I knew there would be a regular version we couldn’t eat so I made one to share. Everyone really liked it, and you would never know that it had a tofu base. It was quick, simple, and perfect for a summer cookout. Also, my salad had berries, pecans, and avocado and I made an oil-free raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. For appetizers I had cowboy caviar (recipe on blog under Josh’s 30th) with tortilla chips, and for dinner I had grilled zucchini, baked beans, salad, potato salad, and fruit. It was a delicious meal for a really hot evening. I hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day!

Summer Berry Salad

1 bag spring mix

1 bag baby spinach

10-12 strawberries, sliced

2-3 handfuls blueberries

3/4 large avocado diced

1/2 cup halved pecans

1 tbsp brown sugar

Oil Free Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 

3 tbsp raspberry jam

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

water to thin

salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a small pan, add brown sugar and pecans and then toast them and the sugar will melt. Toss to coat and then lay on parchment, separate, and cool.
  2. Add lettuce to a large bowl, then all other ingredients and toss with dressing.
Dill Potato Salad

Dill Potato Salad

Classic Dill Potato Salad

3 lbs mini gold potatoes, diced

5-7 stalks of celery, chopped small

1 lb soft organic tofu

1 tbsp dijon mustard

3 tbsp yellow mustard

3 tbsp fresh dill

juice of one large lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp paprika

  1. Boil diced potatoes for 10-15 minutes until soft but not falling apart. Drain and add cold water and keep changing water until potatoes are cool then drain.
  2. In a food processor, add tofu, mustard, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and paprika and put on high until smooth.
  3. Add dill and process until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl combine potatoes, celery, and about 3/4 of tofu mixture until potatoes are coated.
  5. Top with a sprinkle of paprika and more fresh dill.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! You’re the best in the land!

Meal Planning 5.12.18

Eggplant and Mushroom Pizza

Eggplant and Mushroom Pizza

Josh and I decided we need to start having weekly date night like we used to because the grind of work and school are wearing us down and we need something fun to look forward to every week to get out of our routine. We had an impromptu date last week and tried out an Italian restaurant that has been open for a year about 5 minutes away from us and it was delicious! It’s called Zuzzu off Oak St. if you’re in the Roswell, GA area and it’s a great place for Sicilian pizza, salad, pasta, etc. We split a garden salad with balsamic, and I got an eggplant, mushroom, and garlic pizza which was fantastic, and Josh had a pasta dish with pine nuts, dill, and raisins. We usually go to the same restaurants every time so we want to start exploring new places and see what other great places are right around us!

Since I didn’t make burrito bowls that night, they’re getting pushed to tonight’s dinner, which simple is good after a night of bar food and drinks last night. We went to Josh’s cousin’s 30th surprise party at Punch Bowl Social and had a blast.

My weight loss is at a stand still, which is always annoying but I’m at the same weight I was for years before I got married. I think my body likes it here, so I’m trying to go back to basic starch solution guidelines this week and do some more basic starch/veggie based meals and see if that helps.

Beyond Meat Burgers, Dill Potato Salad, Berry Salad- For Mother’s Day we always have a picnic in my Grandma’s backyard (tent and everything) so this year I’m in charge of making the salad. I thought a mixed green salad with strawberries, blueberries, avocado, toasted pecans, and a raspberry balsamic vinaigrette would be good and I’m bringing Josh and I some no meat burgers to grill out for the mixed grill. I’m also making a dill potato salad with silken tofu and a dill packet as the base of the dressing.

Lentils, Mushrooms, Spinach, and Rice- This is one of my most basic favorites because it’s so simple, and delicious. I’ll make a side salad with this too. Recipe on the blog.

Creamy Avocado Asparagus and Potato Salad- I just found this recipe in my Oh She Glows cookbook and it looks like a light, yummy, summer dinner. It’s potatoes and chopped asparagus and the dressing is avocado based with fresh dill and lemon juice.

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms and Broccoli over Brown Rice- Anyone else love the garlicky roasted mushrooms from the Whole Foods Hot Bar? They’re so good! I’m going to try to replicate those with no oil and add some broccoli in as well and serve over brown rice.

Tofu, Mushroom, and Bok Choy Ramen- I don’t think I’ve made this since last fall, but with the stormy weather apparently coming this week it sounded good even though it’s 90* right now. Recipe on the blog.

Portobello Fajita Tacos- I don’t know why I plan tacos a lot on Fridays, but it just seems like a ready for the weekend food! These are easy, delish, and only have a few ingredients. Recipe on the blog.

I know. Mushrooms galore, but they’re really good and full of protein and a great meat replacement.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend and have a great week!

 

Meal Planning 5.6.18

Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast Sandwich

As school is coming to an end and summer is approaching, I’m exhausted! It’s also Teacher Appreciation week so I’ll go easy on myself and make some easy meals that don’t have tons of ingredients or lots of prep. The weather has warmed up by about 20 degrees in two weeks so the time for soups and hearty dishes feels like its over and it’s time to start coming up with lighter, cooler dishes. This past week I’ve been trying to really make a conscious effort to only eat when I’m actually hungry and not just because it’s a normal time to eat. I’ve been having an apple or banana when I get hungry in the mornings around 9:30 and trying to only finish the food on my plate until I’m full and not stuffed. This is helping me get better at intuitive eating and not just eating out of boredom or because it’s breakfast or snack time.

Here’s the menu I created for this week! I tried to use some basics that aren’t much effort, and still cook some new stuff to try out this week.

Picture above- I used the leftover tofu scramble to make a tasty breakfast sandwich on sprouted grain bread with a grapefruit on the side.

Black Bean Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, and Roasted Brussel Sprouts– We’re having my parents over for Sunday Supper tonight and I’m making these burgers that I haven’t made in a while topped with avocado, tomato, and lettuce (maybe bbq sauce or mustard?) on a ciabatta roll with a side of homemade sweet potato fries and roasted Brussels because they’re my mom’s favorite.

Veggie Sushi- classic, easy, and healthy. Once the rice is cooked, it’s easy to throw together and it’s always delicious.

Singapore Rice Noodles- I’ve ordered this a few times for take out, but the last time I had to pick out the chicken and so I figured I should just learn to make it. Brown rice noodles, veggies, and curry- shouldn’t be too hard right?

Burrito Bowls- Black beans over brown rice and toppings… I said I wanted easy this week and this is as easy as it gets.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta- I’m roasting mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, and onion and mixing them with quinoa and brown rice fusilli with balsamic vinegar. I might throw in whatever other veggies I have leftover as well.

Picture below- I used whatever I had leftover in the fridge to make lunch. I sautéed leftover brown rice with kale, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and then put the mix on a bed of spring mix, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers and topped with salsa. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but it was healthy!

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Have a great week and enjoy the warm weather!