To get back into blogging, I thought I’d start by sharing what I’m asked about most frequently- with easy, healthy, inexpensive weekday meals being at the top of the list. If you follow me on instagram, you’ve likely seen my “un-recipes”, so this may not be new to you. But for those of you who haven’t, here’s what I love to have in the fridge at all times, how to make it, and how to prepare it.
Quinoa + green lentil mix:
This combination is magic. One cup of this quinoa/ lentil mix has around 12g of protein, and 8g of fiber. It’s good alone or a great base for adding pretty much anything to. PJ loves it. Ben loves it. The dogs love it- it’s a win for the whole family.
:: to prep ::
Because I’m all about ease, I cook the quinoa and lentils together in a pot even though they have different cook times and methods, and am always happy with the result. Typically I’ll do 2 cups quinoa + ½ cup green lentils for a higher grain-to-bean ratio. Note that this makes around 5 cups which is more than the other items below! It’s because I’ll often have a little bit of this on its own for a snack, and if it’s not eaten by the end of the week, the pups finish it- but feel free to halve if you don’t want as much.
- Start by adding the lentils along with 1T of olive oil and a pinch of salt to 4 cups of water or veggie broth, and bring it to a boil.
- Turn it to a simmer and cook for 10 mins before adding the quinoa.
- Once the quinoa is added, cook for 15-20 more mins. Be sure not to take off the lid off during this time to avoid it getting mushy.
- Fluff with fork, taste, and cook for an additional 5 minutes if needed, even if water is gone.
- Let cool and transfer to container for fridge storage.
:: to eat ::
To eat, I use a 1 cup measuring scoop (otherwise my hungry eyes can make me think I need about 4 cups) and heat up on the stove. Then I top with Tahini sauce and Sriracha, because food without some heat just isn’t the same! Enjoy alone as a complete anytime snack, or with the below as a hearty all-seasons meal.
Kale is such a beautiful nutritious and filling food. It’s been having its moment in the spotlight for several years now but it’s still my favorite type of green to consume. And while I love a good green juice, I prefer to eat my greens over juicing them. Not only am I always surprised by just how satisfied I feel after eating a bowl of raw kale, but I love feeling the fiberous leaves working as busy little scrub brushes cleansing me from the inside out. Curly kale is just as good as Dino, but for the below purpose I find it doesn’t hold up for as long as the coarser Dino.
:: to prep ::
Start by de-stemming 2 bunches of kale (the fastest way I’ve found to do this is to hold the thickest part of the stalk in one hand, while squeezing the leaves with the other, pulling them off at the same time), then chop, rinse, thoroughly dry it, and store it in the coldest part of the fridge. We usually keep it in the salad spinner or a tupperware and it keeps well for a week.
Sidenote- Save the stems! Our dogs are obsessed with eating them as treats, and they’re great for thickening smoothies and adding an incredible source of fiber and nutrients.
:: to eat ::
Kale is so versatile, I love having it on hand to throw into whatever else I’m making. But most often I eat it either rubbed or stirfried, two methods that serve to soften the leaves so it’s easier to chew and digest.
To rub the kale, simply add a tiny bit of olive oil and salt (and a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if you plan to eat the kale by itself), and massage it with your hands. The longer you massage it, the silkier it will get, but a good rule of thumb is rubbing it until it’s reduced in size by half.
To stirfry the kale, I love heating up a tiny bit of olive or coconut oil with fresh chopped garlic, chili flakes and salt, and then adding the kale, and stirfying for about 5-8 mins- just long enough for it to darken and soften but still feel fresh.
Garnet Yam/ Sweet Potato:
Another beautiful simple food that the whole family gobbles up. Although true yams aren’t often sold in US grocery stores, the orange sweet potato is regularly labeled ‘yam’, and the kind you want to get.
:: to prep ::
We do one of two things- roast or mash. Start by peeling (if you want- like many foods, the skins contain many nutrients) and chopping 6 medium-sized yams into uniform 1 inch cubes.
- To roast, toss the cubes in a bit of coconut or olive oil and salt and bake until browned and tender, around 50 mins at 375 degrees.
- To mash, add the cubes to a pot of boiling, salted water, cook until soft, drain and mash.
We eat them warmed up, plain or with tahini sauce!
Although these foods are delicious plain, the sauce is what makes me want to eat it all for every meal. I much prefer homemade dressings to store bought ones but in a pinch, Goddess Dressing does the trick.
:: to prep ::
Blend the following in a high-speed blender:
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked)
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 – 1 cup water (gradually add water until you reach your desired consistency. I like mine on the thin side)
- Salt to taste
So there you have it- what you’ll find me having for lunch basically every day. Eaten on it’s own or as a base to add other fresh toppings (I love adding pumpkin seeds, sunflower sprouts and avocado), this really saves me from eating out or snacking on emptier, less satisfying choices. Plus it winds up costing less than $2/ meal which really can’t be beat for such a complete source of vegan protein, carbs, healthy fats, and overall fresh nourishing goodness. Enjoy!