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!

Meal Planning 4.26.18

Roasted Eggplant and Hummus Pita

Roasted Eggplant and Hummus Pita

I made this roasted eggplant and hummus pita one day for lunch this week and used up some leftovers I had from the lasagna. I toasted the roasted eggplant in the toaster oven topped with some low sodium soy and nutritional yeast so it formed a glaze on the eggplant and then added hummus, cucumber, and tomato in a whole wheat pita and had mango on the side. Delicious and nutritious lunch!

I meal planned a little bit early this week (is it weird that I think it’s fun?) and wanted to get organized before going to the grocery this weekend. We’re having my cousin and her fiancé and my brother over for sushi night on Monday so I want to be prepped! The plus side of meal planning is it really keeps me prepared and I know exactly what I’m making that night and I know I have everything for a healthy meal. The negative side ( which is really a plus) is that by Friday I just want to go out to dinner or order in and relax, but I know I can’t because I already have all of the ingredients to make dinner tonight and don’t want to waste them. Soooo guess I’m cooking tonight, but Saturday my UberEats app better be ready!

Here’s what I’ll be making this week if you want some ideas! You might be apprehensive to eat this way because people think starches= fat, but actually fat=fat. I’m really enjoying eating this way and losing weight. I’m down 11 lbs now since the end of January and I’m thrilled that all my old clothes are fitting again that I haven’t worn since before my wedding two years ago. This is the first time I’m losing weight without feeling deprived or miserably hungry. I can eat until I’m satisfied and love the food that I’m having. No more astronaut food, it’s nutrient dense and fueling my body. It’s the best!

Sushi Night– several kinds of vegetable and brown rice sushi, vegetable dumplings, and edamame

Tempeh Lavash Pizzas– These are SO good and not hard to prepare. I’m topping lavash with tempeh “sausage” crumbles, mushrooms, marinara, onion, and kale sprinkled with nutritional yeast.

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl– I’m throwing whatever veggies I have leftover so far this week in a buddha bowl with roasted chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, and who knows what else!

Easy One Pot Pasta- Apparently you throw lentil pasta in a pot with veggie stock, onion, and some other veggies and cook it until it makes a pasta. I made throw in some spinach too.

Chickpea and Potato Curry- I’m making a quick coconut red curry with chickpeas, potatoes, and kale over brown basmati.

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I made these banana bread oats this morning and they were really good! It’s so nice to be able to take time to eat breakfast on the weekends so I like to make something I usually don’t have time to make during the week. This keeps you full and oats are so good for you, so I try to fit them in.

Banana Bread Oatmeal

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 ripe banana

splash of vanilla

sprinkle of cinnamon

Raspberries and 1 tsp brown sugar for topping

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine oats, milk, water, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon and boil until liquid has evaporated. (about 10 minutes)
  2. Top with brown sugar and raspberries.

Meal Planning 4.16.18

Well it’s already been a week back in normal life mode and it’s sped by. I didn’t share what I made last week getting back in routine because I was sharing about Atlantis but I made lentils and rice, chickpea balls with pasta and roasted kale, portobello burgers, easy faux-cheezy broccoli potato soup, Chinese chickpea stir fry, and I can’t even remember what else… oops.

As I was planning for the week, I was thinking about how much my palette has expanded since going vegan. The amount of food items that I eat now that I didn’t eat before is crazy! I used to not eat oatmeal, peppers, beans, lentils, dates, kale, nutritional yeast, sprouted grain bread, tofu, tempeh, greens, tomatoes, coconut aminos, spring mix, etc. Your taste buds really do change so much and I crave fruit and vegetables now and rarely ever crave sweets. It’s amazing!

I didn’t know what I wanted for lunch so I grabbed the pack of ramen noodles I got from Whole Foods a few weeks ago and used some leftover eggplant, tofu, zucchini, carrot, and green onion to sauté and mix with the noodles and soy sauce and coconut aminos. (above)

I got to meet one of my best friend’s babies this morning that was born yesterday! It was so exciting and I came home and made them dinner for tomorrow night. I went ahead and made our lasagna and their baked ziti that both will be served with garlic bread and salad. Here’s the menu I planned for the week-

Eggplant, Mushroom, and Spinach Lasagna- I roasted sliced eggplant and layered it with homemade basil marinara, whole wheat lasagna noodles, spinach tofu ricotta, and mushrooms. It looks really pretty, so can’t wait to bake and eat it tomorrow!

Refried bean, onion, pepper, and mushroom tacos- One of my school friends tried these last time I made them and really enjoyed them so she was requesting them and I decided to make them this week! They’re really easy to make, but really flavorful and filling. All you need is a scoop of guac and salsa on the side.

BBQ Chickpea Salad- I’m roasting chickpeas and tossing them with BBQ sauce and topping them on a bed of lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, and roasted corn. I’m still wondering what dressing I’ll mix with it?

Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli-On the night Josh is working late, I’m just going to make a simple meal of roasted potatoes and broccoli with garlic powder, maybe curry powder for potatoes, and nutritional yeast on broccoli. I can dip in ketchup or BBQ sauce.

Balsamic Portobello and Quinoa Stuffed Pitas- I’m slicing up portobellos, peppers, and onions with balsamic and spices, mixing with quinoa and greens, and serving inside a warm pita and side of asparagus.

Mexican Rice and Bean Bake- I found this recipe on Forks over Knives and it’s brown rice with black beans, peppers, spices, tomatoes, and a faux nacho cheeze sauce and baked.

It’s a rainy Sunday here in Georgia and Louis is loving watching the rain fall as I’m spending the day in the kitchen. Have a great week everyone!

Meal Planning 3.19.18

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This was my weekly grocery haul that I got this morning from Trader Joe’s. Guess how much?? (answer at the bottom) If you don’t go to Trader Joe’s, you’re probably spending too much! Their produce is fresh and they mostly have organic of everything and it’s so much cheaper than the big chains in our area. I go once a week and get everything we need for the week, but of course I always forget one or two things and have to go somewhere during the week. I made my list and that helps me stay on track and not buy things we don’t need. I’m going to try really hard to eat the best I can (no oil or alcohol) until we go to Bahamas in a few weeks and see if that helps so I stocked up. Here’s what I’m planning on cooking this week-

Sunday- leftover black bean burgers and baked fries

Tempeh Gyros- Since Josh is Greek, he loves a good gyro! Since lamb isn’t an option, I found these tempeh gyros on Pinterest that look amazing! Marinated tempeh sliced thin and baked, stuffed in a warm pita with all the veggies and homemade vegan tzitziki sauce and a side of no-oil greek potatoes.

Lentil and Rice Soup- I’m making a soup with lentils, kale, carrots, and rice and a ciabatta roll on the side.

Vegan Caesar salad– I found a Caesar salad recipe on my Dr. McDougall app and I’m going to top the salad with crispy chickpeas and tomatoes and ciabatta roll on the side.

Tofu and Veggie Noodle Bowl- I couldn’t find asian rice noodles at TJ’s so I just got the brown rice spaghetti and I’ll mix it with crispy tofu, eggplant, bok choy, mushrooms, and zucchini with my oil free teriyaki sauce.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes- I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a while but the cheese sauce is so hit or miss that I keep saying I’ll wait so here it goes! I’m going to top a russet baked potato with roasted broccoli and a vegan oil free cheese sauce for a simple and HCLF dinner creation.

For lunch today I felt like whipping up some veggie sushi with leftover veggies and we’ll also have that for lunch tomorrow as well.

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Answer- $79… I know! 

Have an amazing week! Spring is coming!

Meal Planning 2.24.18

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

After eating out a lot more than normal and I’m sure eating way too much oil, I wanted to get back to eating HCLF no oil this week so I planned some basics that would fit the bill. I was doing well with weight loss on this lifestyle so it’s best to just jump back in after veering off while out of town (and ordering Thai coming back in town.) I wanted recipes that I knew could be done without oil, and I mixed some new things with some tried and true meals.

This morning I had leftover potatoes I made at the beach for breakfast one morning, so I put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes and they were just as good! I diced a bag of small multicolored potatoes and sprinkled them with rosemary, Italian seasoning, and pepper. I baked them on a nonstick baking sheet on 400* for 30-40 minutes until crispy and served with ketchup and berries. You can sprinkle them with salt after they come out of the oven, but if you do it before it kind of dissipates.

Here are the meals I’m planning on cooking this week if you need some HCLF meal planning ideas.

Maple Mustard Buddha Bowls– I’ve been craving roasted Brussel sprouts since we haven’t had them in a while, so I decided to make a buddha bowl out of it. I’m roasting Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, onions, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and kale and making a maple syrup and Dijon mustard dressing to drizzle on top.

Pita Pizzas– Josh LOVED these the first time I made them, and when I asked him what he would want this week these (and sushi) were his suggestions. I’m going to go ahead and roast extra mushrooms, onions, kale, and a diced eggplant with the vegetables for buddha bowls, so that the veggies are done and just top a pita with sauce and the veggies for an easy dinner.

Eggplant Rollatini– I’m planning on stuffing thin sliced eggplant with my tofu ricotta, and baking with oil free marinara with a side of pasta and asparagus.

Lentils and Rice- I’m going to make lentils and rice in the rice cooker and throw in whatever extra veggies/spices I have on hand. I’ll serve with a side salad.

Veggie Sushi– This is becoming a fast favorite/ weekly dinner in our house. It’s healthy, easy and delicious.

Refried Bean and Veggie Tacos– I’ve made these before and they were so good! Corn tortillas spread with refried beans, stuffed with roasted veggies, folded, and toasted in a pan for a yummy taco night!

I hope these ideas help you with meal planning this week! Meal planning is weirdly one of my favorite things to do now and I always have a hard time narrowing down the choices. We’re going to Bahamas in a month so I want to make sure my eating stays on track. There’s always next week for all of the other things I wanted to make!

Meal Planning 2.3.18

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This is my view this morning while meal planning for the week. Read more of The Starch Solution, Louis on my lap watching Animal Planet, and a fire in the fire place because it’s COLD! As Josh said last night “it’s been a good week” for dinners in our house, so now I feel the need to keep topping myself and keep proving that low fat, plant based meals can be satisfying and delicious as well as healthy. You’ve seen pretty much everything I eat and I’m down a few pounds since I started eating high carb low fat two weeks ago, so I’m excited to try all the recipes that fit in this lifestyle. We’re going to be traveling a lot this year as it turns out so I want to be looking and feeling my best.

HCLF Breakfast ideas-

Oatmeal– quick oats with water, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and berries

Hash browns– shredded potatoes and veggies topped with organic ketchup and side of berries

Fruit

What I’ve been having school mornings- Brown rice cakes topped with a little raspberry jelly and a sprinkle of Everything but the Bagel seasoning, sometimes I do a mix of rice cakes and one piece of sprouted whole grain toast. Haven’t gotten tired of it yet!

Lunch- I usually have leftovers or make a lavash sandwich with no oil hummus and spinach, tomato, and cucumber with a side of fruit. You could also have potatoes with veggies, rice or pasta with veggies. Half starch, half veggies.

Snacks– FRUIT! pita and no oil hummus, dates and tea, banana with powdered peanut butter, air popped popcorn with dill pickle juice and spices

Since doing this, I haven’t been craving sweets which is really odd for me. I used to have a piece of dark chocolate most nights. If I am in the mood for sweets, I grab a date or two with my tea and it satisfies the craving. Since I fill up on dinner, I’m usually not hungry for anything after that.

HCLF Dinners this week-

Super Bowl Sunday-  Bean Chili topped Potato Skins, I got this idea from The Chew this week. They scooped out potatoes and broiled the skins to make them the crispy “chips” for the bottom layer and then topped them with nacho toppings, but I thought it would be delicious topped with chili. I might even try to make a vegan cheese sauce.

General Tso’s Chickpeas– I’m going to use the oil free teriyaki sauce recipe from last week and mix it with crispy chickpeas and roasted broccoli on brown rice.

Lentil Shepard’s Pie- I’m going to use the insides of the potatoes from the potato skins to make mashed potatoes and make a lentil, veggie mixture to go under them.

Baked Ziti- Baked Ziti used to be my specialty in high school, I made it for all of my friends for every gathering. This is going to be a little different than my ground beef and Ragu classic. I’m going to use tofu to make a “ricotta” with spinach and mushrooms then mix it with ziti and marinara then bake until you get those perfect crunchy noodles on top.

Sushi- We might be having my family over to try some veggie sushi, and we’re trying to think of some other veggie combinations that would be good. Ideas? The avocado, cucumber, carrot, scallion, and spring mix is a keeper, but want something else too.

Bean Burgers and Fries- kidney beans, oats, and spices make these some simple, low fat burgers with a side of roasted potato fries.

Hope this helps you come up with some ideas! I hope it’s another “good dinner” week in our house!