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.

IMG_1686.jpg

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.

Balsamic Portobello and Quinoa Wraps

Believe me. These were a lot better than they look! I couldn’t get a good picture without the wrap unraveling, but they were packed with so much goodness they just couldn’t stay put. I’ve never had a wrap with quinoa inside and it was really tasty. Did you know quinoa is a complete protein? I should use it a lot more than I should, especially because it’s as easy as boiling pasta and a lot better for you. You could add whatever grain or vegetable blend you’d like in these wraps and I’m sure they would still be a filling and simply delicious meal. I decided to use a burrito size whole wheat tortilla instead of using a pita because I thought it would be neater and easier to fill, but you can use whatever you’d like to use.

Balsamic Portobello and Quinoa Wraps

1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water

1 tsp Vegetarian Better than Bouillon Beef

3 Portobello caps, cleaned and sliced thin

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow onion, halved and sliced

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp Herbs de Provence

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp low sodium soy

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

Pepper to taste

Whole wheat tortillas, burrito size

Spring mix

1. Heat oven on 400* and add portobellos, peppers, and onions to a mixing bowl and mix with spices and soy, balsamic, and Worcestershire.

2. Add to a parchment lined pan and bake for 20-30 minutes until tender.

3. In a sauce pan, add quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add bouillon and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

4. Warm tortillas, I did in the toaster oven, and then add quinoa, vegetables, and spring mix lettuce to the wrap and roll up. Don’t overstuff or it will break.

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

This is the perfect summer salad! Yes, I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself seasonally, but I’m prepared. I usually don’t love salads as dinner options because I want something more substantial but this was filling and the BBQ flavor makes you feel like you’re having something savory. You can add whatever veggies you want to make this salad, I just used what I had in my fridge and used the roasted corn in my freezer as well. The avocado is always a great addition in a salad and I created an oil free BBQ based salad dressing because I didn’t think the ones I had would taste very good with the BBQ sauce.

Remember, make a huge salad, toss it dry, and then you can add the dressing to your own salad bowl so that you can have leftover salad the next day and it won’t be soggy. Josh is having this leftover for lunch and I packed the dressing on the side.

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

1 bag spring mix lettuce (TJ’s) or whatever lettuce you prefer

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/2 cup roasted corn

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, cubed

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup sliced cucumber

3 tbsp BBQ sauce (for chickpeas)

Seasoning for chickpeas- sprinkle with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and cumin.

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2.  Spread chickpeas on parchment and sprinkle with the above seasonings. Bake for 35-45 minutes until crispy and then let cool.
  3. Add lettuce to bowl then add other toppings.
  4. In a smaller bowl add chickpeas and mix with BBQ sauce then add to the middle of the salad.

Dijon BBQ Salad Dressing

4 tbsp BBQ sauce

1 tsp yellow mustard

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp coconut aminos

1-2 tbsp water to thin to the consistency of your liking

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna

Roasted Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna

Every once in a while I crave eggplant and it’s so delicious in Italian food. I haven’t made a lasagna in a while so I decided to build one with slices of roasted eggplant, sauteed mushrooms, and a spinach ricotta all nestled in between whole wheat lasagna noodles and homemade basil marinara sauce.

Tofu ricotta is so easy to make in your food processor and it gives the dish the same creamy richness as cheese would. All you do is add cubed firm tofu, nutritional yeast, minced garlic, basil, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to your food processor and blend until smooth. I added frozen and drained chopped spinach in after and then pulsed it for a few more seconds until it looks like spinach dip. It’s the perfect filling to replace cheese in vegan lasagna.

IMG_1605.jpg

I wanted the vegetables to be already cooked so they were just marinating in the sauce while cooking in the oven so it could be a faster cook time. I don’t precook my lasagna noodles so I make sure there is plenty of sauce in the dish so they cook while baking. It saves a step and I like them to be a little al dente so it holds the dish together and it doesn’t turn into a pile of mush when you lift out your piece.

I made my own marinara sauce this time, but if not I would have used Rao’s. I bought 2 large cans of peeled San Marzano tomatoes from TJ’s and it makes a yummy homemade sauce with only a few ingredients.

Homemade Marinara

2 large cans peeled San Marzano tomatoes

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves minced garlic

5-10 fresh basil leaves torn

1 tbsp italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Saute onion and garlic for a few minutes until translucent.
  2. Add cans of tomatoes and use hands to squeeze them and break them up, remove all tough pieces like stems and membranes.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes then use immersion blender to blend until smooth.
  4. Add in italian seasoning and basil leaves then stir on low for 3-5 minutes and use.]

Tofu Ricotta

package of organic firm tofu

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp italian seasoning

3-5 basil leaves, fresh and torn

salt and pepper to taste

1 bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed

  1. Add 3/4 block of diced tofu that’s been pressed dry to a food processor.
  2. Add nutritional yeast, italian seasoning, basil, and salt and pepper and process on high until smooth.
  3. Add in chopped spinach and pulse until combined, only a few pulses.

Roasted Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna

2 large eggplant, sliced thin and salted

10 oz button mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp italian seasoning

box of whole wheat lasagna noodles, dry

homemade marinara sauce (above)

tofu ricotta with spinach (above)

cashew parmesan for sprinkling on top

  1. Preheat oven to 450* and slice eggplant in 1/4 inch slices and lay on paper towels. Sprinkle them with salt and let sit for 30-40 minutes and release their water.
  2. Have marinara and tofu ricotta prepared.
  3. Use a paper towel to press the eggplant dry and then roast in the oven for about 10 minutes on each side then let cool. Turn oven down to 375*.
  4. Saute sliced mushrooms in a pan with a sprinkle of italian seasoning until tender.
  5. In a large 9×13 baking dish, add a layer of marinara to the bottom, layer of dry noodles, spinach tofu ricotta, eggplant slices, mushrooms, sauce, noodles, spinach tofu ricotta, eggplant, mushrooms, sauce, noodles, tofu ricotta, sauce and a sprinkle of cashew parmesan.
  6. Cover and bake for 45 minutes with a sheet pan underneath in case of overflow and then uncover for the last 15 minutes.

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!

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

It’s another day that ends in Y so Chinese sounded delicious! I was planning on making something else for dinner but I had everything already for this so of course I chose it. Also, it’s the weekend so Chinese cravings are strong and it gives an excuse to eat it in a healthy way and practice my chopsticks skills. I LOVE stir fries for many reasons but these are a few:

  1. They’re quick and can be made in about 10 minutes or less.
  2. They’re savory, sweet, saucy, and filled with flavor as well as nutrient dense veggies.
  3. They’re so versatile, you can throw in whatever you have or like to make something you’ll love.
  4. You can use different sauces, and serve over rice or noodles, or even in lettuce cups.

Chinese Chickpea Stir Fry

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 crown of broccoli

1 portobello mushroom, diced

a few baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

2 zucchini, halved and diced

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup shredded carrots

oil free teriyaki sauce

brown rice

  1. Add broccoli and peppers to a large wok over medium high heat. Stir a few minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and chickpeas and continue stirring.
  3. Add carrots and spinach. It’s important to add the veggies in order so that they cook for the length of time they need.
  4. Last, add in the teriyaki sauce and stir over medium low heat until sauce is thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve over brown rice and enjoy!

IMG_1540.jpg

Oil Free Teriyaki Sauce

This is my new go to asian sauce because it’s so tasty, and also oil free. It’s simple to make and only need 6 things. Here’s how I make it:

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup coconut aminos

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp garlic

1 tbsp cornstarch

Combine and add to stir fry.

IMG_1539.jpg

Easy Faux-Cheezy Broccoli Potato Soup

Easy Faux-Cheezy Broccoli Potato SoupThis was my first attempt at making my own version of vegan broccoli faux cheese soup and it was more of a throw it in as I go and see how it turns out. I’m happy it ended up pretty tasty! I had to trial and error most of the way through though. That’s what I love about cooking! You try things out and if it doesn’t work, you can add something else to make it better. There’s usually something that will fix it before it gets served and it challenges me on a higher level when I come up with my own dishes. I like getting ideas and then trying to come up with my own thing like it and see how it turns out. It’s minimal ingredients and it’s really easy to make, especially with an immersion blender.

I would cook the veggies in less liquid so it would be thicker first off, so I took liquid out before I blended it and then cooked it down until it was the thickness I liked. I’ll be giving you the recipe of how I would do it next time!

Easy Faux-Cheezy Broccoli Potato Soup

2.5 lbs small Yukon gold potatoes, diced

3 broccoli crowns, chopped

1 yellow onion, diced large

3 cloves minced garlic

32 oz vegetable stock

2 cups carrots, chopped large

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp paprika

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Splash of soy sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Red pepper flakes (optional)

1. In a large soup pot, heat the vegetable stock with one cup of water and add the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Bring to a boil.

2. Turn down to a low boil for about 10 minutes and add 2/3 of the chopped broccoli and continue for another 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

3. Turn off heat and add the nutritional yeast, garlic, spices, and soy sauce.

4. Use immersion blender or regular blender to blend until smooth.

5. Add the rest of the broccoli chopped very small and turn back on heat and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until thick and broccoli is tender.

6. I served over brown rice with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.