Winter comfort food roundup

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Tis the season!

To layer on tons of clothes every time before you go outside.

I’m back in Toronto for the holidays and it’s been a hard transition from California. I almost slipped and fell on ice 2x, my skin is embarrassingly dry, and I resent having to wear 2 layers of pants on some days.

Anyway, now is the perfect time to make comforting meals that make you feel cozy and warm, like getting a hug from the inside.

Here are some healthy, vegan stews and soups that I’ve been making and / or are planning to make this winter:

Quick Beefless Stew (Gardein)

I made this tomato-based stew a few days ago (pictured above). It’s chock full of veggies, beans and flavor and comes together so quickly. I added extra mushrooms and peas and eat it with a side of brown rice.

15 Minute Vegan Kimchi Tofu Stew (Brothers Green Eats)

I haven’t made this yet but I love kimchi (the vegan kind that doesn’t contain fish sauce) and it reminds me of another Korean dish I also love called soondubu. The base is miso and vegan kimchi, which are both fermented foods that are supposed to be good for your gut. Some enoki mushrooms would also be really good in there.

Spicy Mapo Tofu (Vegan Miam)

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Mapo tofu, aka grandma tofu, is one of my favorite dishes. I finally found this vegan version a while ago and made a week’s lunch worth. I find it so flavourful & satisfying, and I also love bean paste. I think the spiciness and mushiness (in a good way) are perfect for cold weather.

Simple spicy butternut dhal (Jenny Mustard)

This dish looks super healthy, with lentils and tons of veggies. I have been really getting into Jenny Mustard recently and binge watched her videos.

Spicy Pumpkin Peanut Soup (Peaceful Cuisine)

Soup with peanut butter? Uh, yes please. I will eat cardboard if it has peanut butter on it. Even if you don’t make this soup, you will definitely enjoy watching this artfully created video.

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What are your favorite vegan winter meals or holiday treats?

I hope you’re all having a great holiday — not stressed — and enjoying this time of year 🙂

Meal Prep Sunday – Week of Oct 9

Meal Prep Sunday | Project Meal Prep

I just realized that I haven’t done a meal prep post in 2 months!

A few weeks ago I was on vacation in Vietnam and it took me a while to get settled back into my routine, but now I feel like I’m back to normal.

Here are two vegan dishes that I came across frequently while I was there, and that I really enjoyed:

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Morning glory greens
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Tofu with tomato sauce

The photo of the greens were taken at the family home of someone who was serving us a private dinner. It was really impressive and delicious!

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I also ate a lot of dragonfruit and had the opportunity to try mangosteen. It was delicious but I didn’t have a knife so eating it was kind of an ordeal.

On to what I made this week…

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This is a basic chia seed pudding made with almond milk. I made it on Sunday and left in the fridge without the fruits (pear, pineapple and strawberries), which I kept in a separate container. In my experience with overnight oats, for some reason they start to go bad if they’re mixed in. I didn’t have to add any sweetener because the pineapple was already sweet enough.

I found a blog called Vegan Miam that specializes in Asian vegan recipes, and lo and behold, they had a recipe for one of my favorite Chinese dishes, ma po tofu.

I went on a morning-long hunt for this spicy bean paste that’s important for the recipe, and it was very worth it (even though I accidentally bought one that was extremely spicy).

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Normally the dish is made with pork, but this recipe subs in seitan instead. I was sweating my ass off every time I ate this because of how spicy it was, but it’s so good.

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Bell pepper, cucumber, carrot peelings, cilantro, avocado, tofu, and mint.

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For dinner, I cut up some veggies and tofu in advance to make fresh spring rolls, not following a recipe. The last time I made fresh spring rolls, it took forever because I had to fry the tofu. This time, I just bought a package of already-marinated tofu and baked it for a few minutes.

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The last time I pre-rolled everything, I had to wrap each roll in damp paper towel to preserve the moistness of the rice paper, and the paper towel ended up sticking to the rice paper.

This time, I soaked the rice paper sheets and rolled them at dinnertime. It didn’t take that long because I wasn’t trying very hard to do a good job LOL. As long as I can pick it up and eat it, I don’t really care.

 

Tomorrow night, I’m going to a knife skills class at Sur La Table. The class was on sale so I paid half price, woohoo. I’m excited because I have the worst cutting skills and I’m surprised I haven’t cut off a finger yet. Have a good week 🙂

Meal Prep Sunday – Week of July 31

DINING IN TOKYO

I didn’t do a proper meal prep this week because I’m travelling and knew I was going to be having meals with other people, so this will be more like a recap of what I ate.

Project Meal Prep | Vegan red velvet cake

I mentioned last week that there were some birthdays and I ordered a vegan red velvet cake. I think everyone liked it, despite knowing it was vegan (I wasn’t able to keep it a secret!)

Project Meal Prep | Penne Arrabbiata

We also went out for dinner to an Italian place for my boyfriend’s birthday. I ordered penne arrabiata, which is penne in a spicy tomato sauce with olives and red chili peppers, cooked in olive oil. It was so good, especially because I love pasta and rarely have it. I ate half of the serving (which was plenty), a trick I learned from The Skinny Confidential.

Project Meal Prep | Pumpkin overnight oats

For breakfast throughout the week, I made overnight oats mixed with canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and walnuts.

Project Meal Prep | Brussels with beefless tips

When I went grocery shopping, I bought a lot of broccoli, brussels sprouts, avocados, Gardein Beefless Tips, and a box of meatless Vegetarian Breaded Chicken strips that I ate throughout the week.

This plate has half a bag of the Beefless Tips, half a small avocado, and brussels sprouts. I pan fried the brussels in olive oil, sprinkled them with garlic salt & chili flakes, and squeezed lemon on them.

Brussels sprouts seem so boring, but the lemon + garlic salt + chili flakes combo makes it so good.

Project Meal Prep | Fruit party tray

I also found a party tray of cut fruit at the store that was 50% off (so $5 CAD) and snacked on that.

Project Meal Prep | Grilled veggiesProject Meal Prep | Grilled veggies

One night, I had dinner at my sister’s place and she grilled a crap load of vegetables: zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and portobello mushrooms. I brought some marinated tofu as well.

Project Meal Prep | Vegetable stir fry mix

On Friday night, we took a trip a few hours outside of Toronto to visit some relatives. I didn’t have time to cook, and I didn’t wanna be all up in their kitchen cooking, so this is what I made…

Project Meal Prep | Veggies & tofu

… I bought a container of cut up veggies meant for stir frying, but I just ate them raw. I also got a package of Soyganic Smoked Tofu, which I simply microwaved. It’s already so flavorful that you can eat it just like that! I threw some guac & pesto on the side, and it made for a really, really, REALLY fast and convenient meal that only requires a microwave.

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.

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.

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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.

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?