Meal Prep Sunday – Week of July 24

Meal Prep Sunday - July 24 | Vegan burrito bowl

Hello from Toronto (my home city!) — I took the red-eye two nights ago from San Francisco. My flight was delayed by almost 4 hours, so we left my connection at 2:30am instead of 10:30am and I was so tired during my connection at LAX.

I passed the time by catching Pokemon and reading magazines, one of which was Veg News. I had never picked it up before, and ended up really liking it. I got a lot of ideas and inspiration, and I also like seeing ads for new vegan products 😛

Meal Prep Sunday - July 24 | Veggie soup

Meal Prep Sunday - July 24 | Veggie soup

This week I only made breakfast, a morning snack, and dinner. For breakfast, I made vegetable soup. I cut up all the veggies (tomato, mushroom, spinach, and avocado) and put them into jars beforehand, with a spoonful of veggie broth. Then in the morning I’d just add water and microwave it for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms got soft. It’s really warm and filling, which is nice because it’s cold right now in SF.

Meal Prep Sunday - July 24 | Tofu chocolate smoothie

Meal Prep Sunday - July 24 | Chocolate tofu smoothie

There wasn’t much protein in the veggie soup, so as a morning snack I made a protein smoothie which I’d take to work. I adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. It has a huge block of tofu (about 1 cup) instead of protein powder. You can’t taste it though because the cocoa powder and peanut butter masks the tofu taste really well. I highly recommend it if you don’t like using protein powder.

Meal Prep Sunday - July 24 | Vegan burrito bowl

I didn’t make lunch because I just decided to eat the lunch we get at work. I normally don’t, because there aren’t many vegan options that are also healthy, so I end up eating the same thing on consecutive days.

For dinner, I made burrito bowls with Beyond Beef meatless crumbles, black beans, store-bought salsa, quinoa, and home-made guacamole. The guac did start turning brown on Thursday, but it still tasted perfectly fine on Friday. I ended up sprinkling some Daya shredded cheese on the beans because they were a little bland (I didn’t add any seasoning).

I decided I should start rating my meals based on:

  • taste
  • how much effort and time were required to make them
  • cost-effectiveness
  • how long they stayed good

So here it is!


Veggie soup

  • Taste: 5/5
  • Prep: 5/5
  • Cost: 5/5
  • Longevity: 5/5

Burrito bowl

  • Taste: 4.5/5
  • Prep: 4.5/5
  • Cost: 4/5
  • Longevity: 5/5

I’m about to head off to a very early family dinner / combined birthday celebration. I ordered a vegan birthday cake from a vegan bakery called Bunners. I’m debating whether or not I’m going to tell my family that it is vegan until they taste it, because I don’t think they’ll suspect that it is.

Anyway, have a wonderful week!

Meal Prep Sunday – Week of July 17

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Apologies for this blog post being late — Pokemon Go has taken over my life.

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I think about it all the time, and all I want to do is go out and find Pokemon. I don’t even like games normally, so I’m surprised at how into it I am.

The good part about it is my boyfriend is also obsessed too, so one person is not annoying the other 🙂 Also, we’ve been going on Pokemon runs: Part of the game involves “incubating” eggs, which hatch after you’ve moved 2, 5 or 10 km with the app open, so going on runs speeds up this process.

Meal Prep Sunday - Week of July 17 | Project Meal Prep

Anyway, I’ll shut up about Pokemon now.

Meal Prep Sunday - Week of July 17 | Project Meal Prep

Meal Prep Sunday - Week of July 17 | Project Meal Prep

This week, I made “raw oatmeal” for breakfast, I got the idea from Rawvana (video here).

Meal Prep Sunday - Week of July 17 | Project Meal Prep

I didn’t have to prep anything because you make it on the morning of. Basically I took 1-2 bananas + 2 apples + 1 date + protein powder and pulsed it all in a food processor until it was all chunky. Then I put it in a bowl with some almond milk and toppings, like raisins, walnuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. It’s so filling and I love it.

Meal Prep Sunday - Week of July 17 | Project Meal Prep

For lunch I made Panang curry (recipe here). It’s one of my favorite things to make because it’s filling, quick, and so flavorful. One of my coworkers (who is a meat-eater) even said it looked really good. It only stayed good until Thursday, however, and after that it started tasting like it had gone bad.

Meal Prep Sunday - Week of July 17 | Project Meal Prep

Meal Prep Sunday - Week of July 17 | Project Meal Prep

For dinner, I made lettuce cups / wraps with Beyond Meat beef crumbles, shredded carrot, and shredded zucchini. It was a nice light dinner, albeit a little awkward to eat.

I hope you’re having a good week and that Pokemon Go hasn’t taken over your life too.

Vegan in LA & Disneyland

LA Roadtrip

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I drove to LA to see Louis CK perform. The show was on Sunday, so we decided to go to Disneyland on the Saturday.

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Roadtrip - popcorn in the car

For the trip there, I packed a bunch of food since we were going to be in the car for about 7 hours and didn’t want to stop to eat dinner. We packed a bunch of wraps with Tofurkey, lettuce, tomato, and Just Mayo, as well as apples, bananas, bars, and popcorn. It was more than enough food!

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I did a little bit of research about vegan food in Disneyland, and I read that there were a lot of options. Wherever we went, I just asked if something could be made vegan, and I found that the staff were very accommodating.

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For breakfast (not pictured), the place we went to just had pancakes and and hash browns. The pancakes were pretty flavorless, so I put jam on top since the syrup they had contained corn syrup.

Disneyland bunless

For lunch I had a veggie burger. The bun wasn’t vegan but they offered to swap it with lettuce instead. It was really tasty but I was actually hungry just an hour later.

Disneyland Redd Rockett's Pizza Port - Forest of Endor pasta

So I shared the Forest of Endor (without cheese) from Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port with my boyfriend. It was actually really tasty.

Disneyland vegan burger

After almost 11 hours of being in the park, we finally had dinner, and I had burger yet again — it was the Vegan Burger from Carnation Cafe. I got fries instead of fruit, which is not the healthy option obviously, but I was hungry!

Disneyland - Minute Maid Soft Frozen Lemonade

Vegan desserts they have are frozen lemonade and this non-dairy soft serve ice cream thing called Dole Whip. If you’re curious what’s in it, here are the ingredients.

Overall this was not a day of healthy eating, but I felt fine, probably from walking and standing for 13 hours. Beggars can’t be choosers, but I did wish I could have eaten something in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.

Btw, I was worried they would confiscate outside food, but they didn’t, so you can totally bring your own snacks!

Cafe Gratitude - I Am Nourished

The next day, we went to our AirBnB in Venice Beach, and for brunch we went to Cafe Gratitude. Each item on the menu is named with an adjective, like drip coffee is “Courageous” and when you order, you say what you want by saying “I am…” and then the dish name, eg. “I am courageous”.

The dish above had tempeh, gluten-free french toast, kale, and coconut bacon. It was so good.

Cafe Gratitude - I Am Trusting

My boyfriend ordered the BBQ tempeh scramble (“Trusting”), which came with gluten-free toast and avocado. We shared both dishes.

Cafe Gratitude

For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Tocaya Organica. It’s a vegan-first restaurant, that has non-vegan options as secondary items you can add to your meal.

Tocaya Organica - Plantain chips with guacamole

To start, we had plantain chips (I think they were baked) with guac and pomegranate seeds. I don’t know what they put in the guac but it was like the holy grail of guacs.

Tocaya Organica - Horchata

Tocaya Organica - FAJITA DEL REY

I had horchata and a fajita bowl with soy chorizo, salsa, rice, guac, peppers and onions, some kind of sauce, black beans, and non-dairy cheese. It was delicious but a little too salty.

I highly recommend these two restaurants if you’re ever in LA!

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Where are you going this summer?

Meal Prep Sunday: Week of July 10

stuffed peppers

I went on a road trip to the LA area this past weekend — which I’ll do a blog post about — and did a meal prep Monday. I intended on making things that were quick, which I did for breakfast and lunch, but I somehow ended up making stuffed peppers for dinner, which were a little more involved.

tofu scramble with soyrizo

tofu scramble with soyrizo

For breakfast, I made something high in protein: scrambled tofu with Soyrizo (soy chorizo), bell peppers, and black beans.

zucchini

tofu zucchini

tofu zucchini with rice

For lunch I had tofu sauteed with zucchini and yellow zucchini, with a side of rice. I don’t normally eat white rice but I needed it for the stuffed peppers and accidentally made too much.

tofu press

I used my tofu press for the first time. I like how it works more quickly than my normal method of using heavy objects around my apartment.

Italian roasted peppers

Italian roasted peppers

For dinner I made Italian stuffed peppers, which I adapted the recipe for from Laura in the Kitchen. I veganized her recipe by using Yves veggie ground round instead of ground beef, Daiya mozzarella instead of regular mozzarella, and not adding egg. The recipe calls for charring the skin of the bell peppers directly over your gas burners, then peeling the skin off. It looks weird and seems dangerous but it’s really not, and the flavor you get from doing it is delicious.

Italian vegan stuffed peppers

I like this recipe because it’s low carb (aside from the small amount of rice inside) but really warm and filling.

 

I hope you’re having a good week! Stay tuned for my road trip blog post. I went to Disneyland and a couple of interesting vegan restaurants in LA.

How to organize your kitchen

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Hey guys, I’m alive. I know haven’t posted in a while!

Ok, after I saw a video of Khloe Kardashian’s hyper-organized pantry, I had a sudden urge to re-organize my kitchen (I don’t have an actual pantry). Most of it was already kind of organized, but there were a bunch of things scattered around in bags. I thought I’d write a post on how to actually go about the process of organizing since I just did it recently.

Organizing can be a pretty overwhelming, multi-day process, but it’s all the worth it in the end when you know EXACTLY where everything is and you can see what you have, and in the end, food prepping becomes that much quicker and easier. It also helps prevent you from buying too much food because you won’t forget what you have.

Let’s admit, it’s also really satisfying to look at.

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Spices
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My main food cabinet
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All my containers and jars
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My food drawer
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Some random stuff

So, here are the steps:

1. Purge

Take EVERYTHING out of your shelves, cabinets, fridge, freezer, and drawers and throw away anything that’s expired and anything you know you won’t eat. Yes, it’s a waste of food, so let it be a lesson learned not to re-buy that stuff or to buy smaller quantities (try shopping from the bulk section).

2. Clean, a little

Give the shelves a wipe since they’re probably full of crumbs and dried liquids that have leaked.

3. Measure

Now you’ll need to buy some bins, racks, containers, etc. but first you need to measure out all your cabinets and drawers. It seems crazy but it’s better than buying a bunch of stuff, realizing it doesn’t fit, and having to go return it all.

Get some measuring tape or a ruler and measure out the dimensions of each cabinet and drawer. Write down the width, length, and height on a piece of paper. Take photos just in case you need a visual of your kitchen while you’re in the store.

4. Assess the situation

Figure out what kinds of containers and how many of each you need. You’ll need to think about the quantities of each food: for things like flour and oatmeal, I got big jars because that stuff gets used up quickly. For everything else, I have either plastic containers that stack up, or mason jars.

You’ll also need to think of where to place the foods, depending on how often you use them. Foods you reach for often should be in easy-to-access places.

Write it all down so you know how many containers and labels to get.

5. Back to normal, for now

Put back all the food you took out for now, until you have time to go shopping.

6. Go shopping

Buy your containers and organizational tools. Some stores you might want to visit are the dollar store, Amazon, Walmart, the Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target.

Aside from containers, some additional tools I’d recommend:

  • a lazy susan: sometimes you can’t see what’s in the back of your shelf if items in the front are blocking your view; a lazy susan is basically a spinnable plate that lets you see everything
  • a tiered shelf rack: this serves the same purpose as a lazy susan, except it doesn’t move — items in the back are just elevated
  • removable labels

7. Organize

Once you get all your stuff, you can start putting all the food in containers and setting them up in their shelves. Don’t forget to label all the containers.

As you can see, this is a long process, so just be mentally prepared to spend a few days doing this. As I said before, it’s really worth it in the end, and not at all hard to maintain.

Additional resources:

Dollar store pantry organization video

Organizing a Pantry that Looks AMAZING video

My kitchen organization Pinterest board

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I hope this has helped you or inspired you to do your own kitchen. It’s so worth it in the end!