Meal Prep Sunday: Week of June 19

MEAL PREP SUNDAY

This week was kind of crazy. I had stuff to do after work every single day of the week, plus I got sick in the middle of the week. Also, I ran out of dinner food on Tuesday night!

When I made this quiche, I used a store-bought vegan crust, which turned out to be sweet. I ate around it because it tasted so weird with the filling. The filling, btw, was soft tofu with spinach, basil, and some vegan cheese sprinkled throughout. It was so good!

Overnight oats with blueberries

For breakfast, I had really basic overnight oats.

Vegan chicken salad open faced sandwich

For lunch I made “chicken” salad sandwiches, made with Beyond Meat strips, grapes, and celery.

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When I ran out of dinner food, I bought a bunch of zucchinis and spiralized them to make zoodles with avocado cream sauce (avocado, lemon, garlic, water, salt, chili flakes). It was so fast and easy to make!

What did you all make this week?

Vanilla Milkshake Day

VANILLA MILKSHAKE DAY

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Today is National Vanilla Milkshake Day! Traditional milkshakes usually contain ice cream and are full of added sugar*, but have no fear: Here’s a recipe for a milkshake that’s just as cold, creamy, sweet and delicious but also healthy and vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk (or nut milk of your choice) OR full-fat coconut milk for a more indulgent shake
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Medjool date
  • 1 cup frozen banana chunks

Directions:

  1. Soak your date in hot water for a few minutes until softened
  2. Remove pit from the date
  3. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

 

* The difference between the effect on your body of just straight up sugar vs adding fruit is in the amount of time it takes for your the fructose to hit your liver. The fibre in fruit slows down your body’s absorption of this fructose, so your liver has time to process it.

From the Institute for Responsible Nutrition:

When consumed, [their] large doses of fructose overwhelm the liver’s ability to metabolize fructose. The liver responds by doing the most efficient thing it can do with fructose–it converts fructose to fat, which, over time, leads to metabolic syndrome by contributing to:

 

  • fatty liver disease (a precursor to diabetes)
  • liver insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes)
  • increased small, dense LDL cholesterol
  • increased triglycerides
  • increased uric acid (which contributes to hypertension)

Father’s Day vegan food roundup

FATHER'S DAY VEGAN FOOD ROU
Modified photo by Peter Baker on Flickr

Father’s Day is approaching! I’ve rounded up some recipes for if you’re planning to celebrate, or just wanna do something nice for him that isn’t, say, buying yet another necktie that he doesn’t really want.

I think cooking for someone is one of the most generous things you can do, so whether or not your dad is a vegan, these are some vegan dishes he’ll enjoy.

‘Filet’ with Caramelized Onion Gravy (Ms. Vegan)

No need to go to a steakhouse when you could make a faux filet mignon at home. This dish looks like steak, but it’s made with Gardein Beefless tips (which are delicious BTW).

Australian Meat Pie (Ms. Vegan)

I had no idea that “meat pie” was an Australian dish, but apparently it’s considered “iconic” in both Australia and New Zealand. I made these a few months ago and they are SO hearty, warm and filling. Kinda feels like getting a hug from the inside, but not in a creepy way 🙂

Pasta carbonara with shiitake bacon (Chef Chloe) 

This recipe is from Chef Chloe, who won Cupcake Wars a few years ago with a vegan cupcake. She now has a super popular vegan restaurant in NYC which I am dying to visit. Anyway, she came up with this amazing dish which she went on the TODAY show to make, and I also saw it in a magazine a few months ago, so it must be a crowd-pleaser! “Carbonara” is a name for an Italian pasta dish containing egg, cheese/cream, and bacon/ham.

Meatball sliders (Chef Chloe)

Another recipe from Chef Chloe. This is what she says about them:

I made these once for a pack of far-from-vegan guy friends and they scarfed them down. They were shocked to learn that they were vegetarian, let alone vegan!

I’m sold!

Cauliflower wings (Conveniently Vegan)

Wings — a classic pub favorite. My fellow blogger friend Meredith came up with a way to vegan-ize them AND make them healthy. If your dad enjoys wings, then it’s a win-win-win… is that the correct number of wins?

Vegan Guinness chocolate cake (Wallflower Kitchen)

Did you know that some types of Guinness beers aren’t vegan? There’s a part of the filtration process that involves using fish bladder, and there are trace amounts of it in the final product. The company is reportedly in the process of removing that step, making the beer vegan.

Anyway, this chocolate cake recipe looks delicious, and I personally don’t know many men who don’t like beer, so if you’re able to find a vegan lager, why not make it for the dad in your life?

Chocolate Chip Cookies (The Vegan Zombie)

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies, especially when they’re freshly warm out of the oven!

I hope you have an awesome Father’s Day!

Asian jackfruit tacos

HEALTHY ASIAN TACOS

I was at Whole Foods the other day and in one of my favorite sections of the store, the faux meats section, I came across Jackfruit.

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I had heard about the meaty texture of jackfruit, but never came across the actual fruit in the grocery store. I LOVE trying new products and get really excited about them, especially meat, dairy and cheese alternatives, so of course I had to buy one (no this is not a sponsored post — I’m way too insignificant in the food blog world heh).

It tastes different from anything I’ve ever had, but I liked it. I wish I could tell you if they taste jackfruit-y, but I can’t because I’ve never had it.

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Anyway, I decided to make Asian tacos with the jackfruit, adding a rice vinegar, soy sauce slaw and some Sriracha.

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Instead of using regular corn or flour tortillas, I went with sprouted grain tortillas.

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The jackfruit doesn’t have a lot of calories — 100 for 1/2 cup, so this makes for a light dinner that comes together so quickly. You can eat it throughout the week, preparing the slaw in advance.

Makes 12 tacos (2 tacos per serving)

For the slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage, regular cabbage, and carrots; I bought mine pre-shredded
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar or 1 packet of Stevia
  • a few slices of jalapeno (optional)

I can only tolerate a moderate amount of spice, so I just added the jalapeno in to let the flavor and spice rub against the other ingredients, but I don’t put the actual slices in my taco. But you do you, boo.
For the tacos:

  • 2-3 boxes of The Jackfruit Company Sesame-Ginger Jackfruit
  • 1 package small / taco-sized tortillas of your choice
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • Sriracha

Optional but recommended garnishes:

  • sesame seeds
  • a wedge of lime

Meal prepping directions:

  • Mix all of the slaw ingredients together in a container.
  • Wash a big handful of the cilantro and put it in another container.
  • Empty the packets of jackfruit into a third container.
  • Refrigerate all three containers.

Serving directions for 2 tacos:

  • Warm up 2 tortillas on a pan
  • In the meantime, microwave about 1/2 cup of the jackfruit, or as much as you want.
  • When the tortillas are done warming up, top with 1/3 cup of the slaw distributed evenly between them, then top with the warmed jackfruit.
  • Top with torn up cilantro, as much Sriracha as you’d like.
  • Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime if using.

Have you tried jackfruit before? How did you eat it?

A vegan and an omnivore sitting in a tree

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My boyfriend has quite a different diet from me — he loves eating meat, cooks infrequently, and there are days when he doesn’t eat a fruit or a vegetable (which horrifies me a little). We’ve been dating for 1.5 years now, and our diets have never been an issue in our relationship, so thankfully I don’t have to marry a carrot 🙂 Here’s how we keep the peace, and also what I do to sneakily make him eat less animal products.

Respect

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We respect each other’s dietary choices. If, as a vegan, you wouldn’t want someone pressuring you into eating animal products, give the other person the same courtesy and don’t guilt them about eating meat. No one likes to be told what to do.

Also, unless you want to keep having the same argument for the rest of your life, accept that the other person may never change their diet entirely in your favor.

Having respect for one another’s choices is the most important, because it guides everything you do and say around this issue.

Eating out

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When we go out to eat, we choose restaurants that have food we both like. Since most restaurants don’t have many plant-based options (depending on where you live), it’s going to be a test of patience for the omnivore to find a place where the vegan/vegetarian can eat.

I’ve gone out to dinner with some omnivores that are impatient about hopping from restaurant to restaurant to look at options on the menu. It ruins the dining out experience for everyone, because the omnivore is annoyed, and the vegan/vegetarian feels guilty and is stuck eating a meal they don’t like. To save time, do your research in advance before going out.

Additionally, my boyfriend is also totally happy with letting me drag him to vegan restaurants once in a while.

Trickery, muahahaha

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Ok, I’m not actually tricking my boyfriend. I’m just taking advantage of his weaknesses, which are convenience and delicious food 🙂 But how?

Make extra food

If I’m making a smoothie for myself, for example, I’ll make one for him. I’ll also always have a lot of bananas around, because he eats them frequently. I’ll also cut up fruits and veggies for snacking on, so it’s as convenient to eat a healthy snack as it is to open a bag of chips.

Make vegan versions of dishes he likes

Usually I’ll make meals for the both of us, and I try to make vegan versions of stuff I know he likes, like chili, pasta, and burgers. We’re fortunate that I like to cook and also that he isn’t a picky eater, which makes it easier on both ends. He still buys his own food sometimes if he wants to eat meat, but given the option of going to the grocery store, etc. vs eating what’s already being cooked, it’s just easier to choose the latter.

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Stock the pantry and freezer with vegan products

It’s pretty easy to swap out (for example) regular mayo for vegan mayo, cream for soy creamer, regular cookies for vegan cookies. I also know he likes eating prepared foods that are fast to make, like mac and cheese and burritos, so I’ll get vegan versions of them and leave them around.

Tell me, have you ever dated someone with a completely different diet than you? How did it go?

Live Like a Vegan King on $50 a Week – Day 6 Recap

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I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the next episode of this YouTube series. Basically, this guy (who’s an omnivore) takes on a challenge to eat vegan on a budget of $50 for a week. He’s come up with some pretty creative dishes so far.

In this episode, he and a friend make sweet potato gnocchi, with a sauce using leftover ingredients from previous dishes.

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What potato gnocchi looks like

If you don’t know what gnocchi is (pronounced n(y)ok-ee or noh-kee, naw-kee), this is what Wikipedia says:

Gnocchi are various thick, soft dough dumplings that may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or similar ingredients, with or without flavourings of herbs, vegetables, or sweet things like cocoa or prunes…  Gnocchi is usually eaten as a replacement for pasta as a first course, but it can also be served as a contorno to some dishes.

The dish originates from Italy.

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Here’s how they made gnocchi from sweet potatoes:

  • roast an entire sweet potato whole at 400F for 45 mins
  • add a sprinkle of salt to extract the moisture
  • add flour gradually (looks to be about 1/4 cup) and fold in gently
  • to test for flavor, make one gnocchi by forming a ball with two spoons
  • add to boiling water until it rises to the surface (3 mins)
  • taste gnocchi and adjust seasoning on sweet potato-flour mixture if necessary
  • form balls and cook the remaining gnocchi

The sauce they added the gnocchi to had a mixture of:

  • chickpeas
  • leftover mac and cheese sauce
  • leftover ramen stock
  • black beans
  • lemon
  • salt and pepper

I was hoping there would have been more dishes, but I thought this video was pretty cool. I’ve never made gnocchi before or thought it could be made with sweet potato, but now I’d like to try making it. Looking forward to the final episode 🙂

Meal Prep Sunday: Week of June 5

MEAL PREP SUNDAY

I went hard this meal prep, lol. I spent like 5 hours cooking, taking a break in between to go to acupuncture.

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I also started drinking wine into the afternoon.

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For breakfast, I made steel cut oats that I mashed some banana into while it was cooking, in order to avoid adding extra sugar or sweetener. I also threw in some goji berries and chopped apples to make it more filling.

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For lunch I made a salad in a jar, with pearl barley, arugula, sweet marinated tofu, edamame, and tempeh. I was kind of sad that the tofu didn’t look or taste nearly the same the next day as they did coming out of the oven. Thankfully I “sampled” some when it came out of the oven 😉

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For dinner, I made a lentil loaf with nuts and raisins in it (recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook). The glaze is sweet and ketchup-based, and adds so much moisture and flavor. I highly recommend making this loaf — it’s super dense and filling.

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I served it with chili-topped green beans and mashed cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast.

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My snacks were:

  1. Home-made protein bars that I kind of made up the recipe for. They have protein powder, almond butter, nuts, and dates. I keep them in the freezer because they taste the best that way.
  2. Cut up carrots and celery with this amazing cashew dip by the Cashew Reserve that I found at the grocery store. It’s so creamy and flavorful! If you come across it, I recommend you try it.

And that’s all, folks!