What We Eat
Some of the most popular posts on social media are the “What We Eat In A Day” posts. For many, the thought of making a drastic dietary change is overwhelming because they truly have no idea what they will eat if they don’t consume animal products and oil. If that is you, then this post is for you. I do a lot of prepping on the weekends with some daily prep as needed during the week. It all comes together depending on how we feel on a given day. Sometimes I have some waste. Sometimes I’m scrambling to put something extra together. It ultimately works.
We are currently in the midst of our Covid quarantine. Hubby feels pretty good. I feel pretty stuffed up, drippy, and sneezy. The youngest is here with us, mostly doing her own thing (not WFPB), but occasionally testing out Mom’s creations. I felt good enough yesterday to cook a little bit with plenty of tissues and hand sanitizer nearby, and of course comfort food was high on my list. Hubby liked the shepherd’s pie I made last month, so I figured I’d give it another go. There is no one recipe book that I have found to be my go to. The internet is my oyster mushroom for recipes. I have a few kitchen gadgets that have become my best friends, which I will share via affiliate links, so be aware that I might get a tiny kick back if you do end up buying something through one of my links. The links are mostly provided so you can see exactly what I am referring to.
On work days, I am a breakfast eater, but I eat the same thing every day. My go to is 1/3 cup whole oat groats, soaked in 1 cup water and a splash of cinnamon overnight in my 3 quart Instant Pot and cooked for 22 minutes while I am on the treadmill and in the shower each morning. I grind up a tablespoon of flax seeds in a coffee grinder, add 1 teaspoon of amla powder (more on that later), and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla bean powder. I thaw a significant quantity of frozen cherries and wild blueberries in the microwave, add them to my bowl along with the cinnamon oats and stir well. It is filling, satisfying, and very nutritious.
Lunch varies, but on work days, I usually pack a salad of organic spring mix and some cherry tomatoes. I may add other ingredients depending on what’s in the fridge and what sounds good. My favorite salad dressing has become balsamic vinegar that has been reduced so it is thick and sweet. You can usually find this at a health food store for about $6-$10. There is also an awesome company called California Balsamic that has a number of flavored balsamic vinegars that are pretty amazing. I usually have a soup or beans or some other leftovers from weekend batching that I take, and I almost always take a big bunch of grapes in case the urge to stress eat while I work hits me. Rinsed black beans and salsa also work really well on a bed of greens for a mini Mexican stack up.
Dinner depends on how we feel. We’ve recently discovered a new form of fast food in baked potatoes or oven fries. I scrub a bunch of russet potatoes, dry them, poke fork holes in them, put them on parchment paper, and bake them in a 450 degree oven for an hour. They turn out really crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Frozen broccoli goes into the microwave for a bit, then on the potato along with some nutritional yeast for buttery flavor and some Everything Bagel seasoning for a bit of saltiness (not ideal if you are having heart or blood pressure issues). When I’m really on the meal prepping game, I will usually have some “cheese” sauce in the fridge that makes an fantastic topper for our baked potato evening. My hubby has come to really like this sauce. It was a bit of a game changer for us as it is very versatile. Add in a salad topped with a variety of veggies, and this makes a very filling and satisfying evening meal. If you’ve got some vegan chili in the fridge, it also works great as a potato topper. Sprinkle some diced green onions on top and it’s a real winner.
Getting back to yesterday’s menu, since I didn’t go to work, I had a lazy morning that started with my weekend matcha latte. I dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder in a little bit of hot water and add two cups of Pacific Oat Milk (must be this brand for the right amount of oatie sweetness and creaminess) and pop it in the microwave for two minutes. Sometimes I have another cup. Later I decided to tackle the Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe from Minimalist Baker. I like to modify it to make it healthier by skipping the vegan butter and instead adding 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast when mashing the potatoes. You’ll want to save your potato water to thin them as needed for easier spreading. I also water saute my onion and garlic instead of using oil, but otherwise I follow the recipe as written. Be sure to cook the lentils long enough to get really soft. I do like to thicken my lentils with some of the mashed potatoes for the ideal texture. My hubby was very excited when this came out of the oven. Baby girl even commented that it tasted pretty good to her. Yay for still having taste and smell capabilities.
Supper found hubby going after another helping of shepherd’s pie. I decided we needed some greens, so I went back to Minimalist Baker and their Smoky Vegan Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens recipe. Again, I water sautéed the veggies instead of using oil. I have some “fresh” black eyed peas in the freezer so I used those instead of dried. Since I was out of my homemade broth and boxed broth, I resorted to instant bouillon cubes. These can be pretty high in sodium, so it’s best to go for the low sodium option when possible. I went a little heavy on the collard greens since they are really good for heart health and are a great source of calcium. The instant pot makes them very tender, and the smoked paprika and smoke sauce helped give them a bacon/ham flavor that lends to the comfort food taste. I used my bigger instant pot for this recipe. Yes. I have two. I’m an instant pot junkie. This was absolutely delicious from my perspective. Hubby isn’t a huge black eyed pea and greens fan, but he did taste the collards and was not repulsed by them, so there’s that.
In between meals, I keep plenty of fruit around: the now infamous binge worthy grapes, oranges, bananas, honeycrisp apples, medjool dates, and other fruits that are in season. I also have supergreens, mango and pineapple in the freezer for hubs to make a smoothie when he gets the urge. My Walmart pickup order is almost entirely programmed around produce.
Weekend meal prep usually involves a big pot of pinto beans in the instant pot, some baked potatoes, and the cheese sauce recipe. If I’m feeling especially energetic, I try to make some type of a soup. In warmer weather, I make a chickpea “tuna” that Hubby likes. I’ll share more of those recipe sources in a subsequent post.
Let me know in the comments if you think this would be doable for you.