Friday, May 1, 2015

Greatest Hits... So Far

Going into meal planning, I envisioned myself making a wide variety of exciting meals. In reality, however, this week's menu planning conversation went a little like this:

Me: "What do you want for meals this week?"
Noodle Cups Prepped for the Week
Josh: "Noodle cups. And spicy taco quinoa bowls."
Me: "So you just want me to repeat last week's menu?"
Josh: "Yes."

On the plus side, this makes things easy. Menu, grocery lists and notes are as follows:

Lunch: Noodle Cups
Note: I bought fresh rice noodles this week because the grocery store didn't have ramen, and doing so made prepping these extra fast- I'll do that again!
Dinner: Tempeh Stir Fry
Note: I buy fresh, pre-cut veggies for stir fries. I have acknowledged that I don't like chopping veggies after work and that's okay.

Lunch: Noodle Cups
Dinner: Spicy Taco Quinoa Bowls

Lunch: Leftover Spicy Taco Quinoa Bowls
Dinner: Thai Stir Fry with Tofu
Note: This is cabbage, brown rice and baked tofu with peanut sauce, a knock off of a dish that one of my favorite restaurants stopped serving.

Lunch: Leftover Stir Fry
Dinner: Sushi Bowl
Note: This is brown rice, nori, whatever appropriate sushi fillings I have on hand and a sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin and a bit of hot mustard.

Lunch: Leftover Sushi Bowl
Dinner: Pizza
Note: This is a lazy, homemade pizza comprised of pre-made Trader Joe's pizza dough, pizza sauce and homemade cashew ricotta, plus veggies on hand.

Grocery List
Fresh Rice Noodles
Tofu (3)
Stir Fry Veggies
Cherry Tomatoes
Avocados (2)
Bell Peppers
Almond Milk
Peanut Butter
Pizza Dough
Fruits & Vegetables for snacking
(I had quinoa, black beans, cilantro and frozen corn on hand, plus necessary spices)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Back in the Game: Menu for 4/19 - 4/25

With sunny weather happening and seasonal allergies subsiding, we were reading to get back into menu planning. The menu for the past week was as follows, with linkies to the recipes if available:

L- Noodle Cups (These were super easy and made two days of lunches- winner!)
D- Cauliflower steaks & greens (Josh makes these with no recipe)

L- Noodle Cup
D- Spicy Taco Quinoa Bowl

L- Spicy Taco Quinoa Bowl Leftovers
D- Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Greens (My peanut sauce is just peanut butter, chili pepper flakes, soy sauce water and a smidge of agave, whizzed together in the blender)

L- Soba Noodle Leftovers
D- One Pot Thai Pasta (we wound up not eating this because it called for tamarind paste, which I couldn't find at the store- we did some roasted veggies and a boxed vegan mac and cheese we had in the pantry instead)

You down with OPP (one pot pasta)?

L- Leftovers
D- One Pot Pasta

Grocery List
Almond Milk
Wasabi Powder
Ground Ginger
Ramen Noodles
Soy Sauce
Brown Sugar
Tamarind Paste
Black Beans
Cherry Tomatoes
Two Red Peppers
Fruits & Veggies for Snacking

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ain't nobody dope as me, I get that pantry clean (pantry so clean, clean)

This week has been an experiment in getting the fridge and pantry cleaned out, born out of seasonal allergies and fatigue. However, it's been a good lesson for those days when I think 'I have nothing to eat' because thankfully that's never actually been true for me- more along the lines of 'I have nothing immediately available to eat'. To facilitate this, I made a list of the ingredients available to me in our fridge and pantry (not including spices and such) to give me a tangible way to see what all ingredients I had available. From there, it has been vastly easier to look at the list and put together a meal, rather than just staring blankly at the pantry and the fridge until I give up and get delivery. Oh, I have soba noodles, cucumbers, radishes, carrots and stuff for peanut sauce? Bam, dinner is made.

In the future, I'd like to do this with a bit more organization, looking at what I have in advance and putting the menu plan together from there but I'm enjoying this technique that lets me skip the grocery store for a week, though things got a little hairy towards the end of the week (plain bread for breakfast, y'all) but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

Our regularly scheduled meal planning will return next week.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Menu for April 5th - 11th: Exploring One Pot Pasta

Last week's menu included one pot pasta, something I'd never made before, which is appalling because it was delicious, easy and fast, which are my favorite qualities of a recipe. Here's the plan for the upcoming week:

April 5th - 11th

Dinner: One Pot Pasta
Note: I will also make a big pot of quinoa tonight to throw into tomorrow's salad and Tuesday's lunch, as well as making the lemon tahini dressing from Salad Samurai.

Lunch: Salad (using remaining veggies in fridge) with quinoa, Lemon Tahini Dressing & Baked Tofu
Dinner: Same, but with a sweet potato (Josh won't be home for dinner, and I will be home late, necessitating a quick and easy dinner)

Lunch: Quinoa Green Goddess Bowl, using the remaining quinoa, but with the leftover Salad Samurai Lemon Tahini Dressing
Dinner: Sugar Snap Pea & Carrot Soba Noodles

Lunch: Leftovers from the Soba Noodle Dish
Dinner: Easy Peanut Noodles

Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Spinach Artichoke Wonderpot

Lunch: Leftover Wonderpot
Dinner: Cheesy Vegan Alfredo with Peas & Kale

Breakfast: Pancakes (I use a mix that has been discontinued and that I haven't found a replacement for yet.)

Fruits and Veggies
Cookie Dough Dip with Apples

Grocery List
(This list assumes that you have items such as salt, pepper and olive oil on hand. It's much more comprehensive than last week's list, I'm getting better!)
Non-Dairy Milk
Soba Noodles (Three packages)
Frozen edamame
Sesame Seeds
Tamari/Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
Agave Nectar
Baked Tofu (I buy it pre-made for convenience)
Chickpeas (Two cans)
Sugar Snap Peas
Tomatoes (Two pints)
Avocado (Two)
Baking Soda
Artichoke Hearts
Yellow Onion
Frozen spinach
Frozen peas
Nutritional Yeast
Chocolate Chips
Nut butter
Sweet Potato
Any fruits or veggies on sale for snacks

Happy eating!

Picture unrelated: The view from our room at the Stanford Inn Eco Resort

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I'm back, baby! AKA I need to track my Menu Planning

So, it's been two years-ish since I've written anything on here. The quick version of this is that I got a fabulous job, married a wonderful man and adopted another cat and, as a result, kind of lost my desire to spend time writing aimlessly. However, I've been doing a lot of menu planning in an effort to reduce how much we go out to eat and I want to track what I've been doing instead of planning from scratch every week, so I figured I might as well do it here so that it can be helpful for anyone else who may be interested. Use it or don't, I'm not your mom.

Some basic meal planning info: I am planning for two and base my menu around plans for the week, as well as the weather (because nobody wants a comforting stew on a hot day). Also, I will link recipes as available. I don't really plan for breakfast because I can't handle anything more complicated than cereal or toast first thing in the morning. 

Week of March 29th - April 4th

Dinner: Cauliflower Steak with Mashed Cauliflower and Sauteed Kale

Lunch: Sushi Bowl (Rice with edamame, avocado, tomato, nori and a sauce of tamari, mirin and sesame oil)
Dinner: Dragon Noodle Salad from Isa Does It with a bit of fried tofu on the side

Lunch: Leftover Dragon Noodle Bowl (Note: wound up being a sushi bowl, we ate most of the Dragon Noodle Salad)
Dinner: Spicy Quinoa Taco Bowl from One Ingredient Chef - Great for leftovers 

Lunch: Out (planned for)
Dinner: Leftover Spicy Quinoa Taco Bowl

Lunch: Grains, Green and Beans (random mix of whatever grains, beans and veggies I have laying around) with Lemon Tahini Sauce from Salad Samurai
Dinner: One Pot Pasta (I've never made this before. We'll see how it goes.)

Lunch: Overnight Oats & Fruit

Lunch: Picnic! Leftover Sunflower Mac and Massaged Kale Salad
Dinner: Out (planned for)

Grocery List 
(This is not a complete list, just what I didn't have, as I already have a bunch of staples- I'm planning on doing full lists in the future.)
Avocados, 2
Asparagus (I only bought this because it was on super sale)
Bell Peppers (I could have gotten away with one but they were three for a dollar so I bought six)
White Onion
Rice Noodles
Salad Greens
Black Beans
Frozen Corn
Rice Vinegar
Snack fruits & veggies

This is me and Wishbone V. Debs. I hate posting without a picture.
Theoretically, check back next week for another menu!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chang Thai: Thai food worth the trip

Most vegans know that Thai restaurants can be a risky venture- fretting about fish sauce is a rough way to spend a meal. Located in Broomfield, Colorado, Chang Thai is the perfect solution to your worries. Vegan owned, you can order anything off the menu with the simple addition of "vegan please". This also makes Chang Thai incredibly omni friendly, creating the perfect pit stop between Denver and Boulder. I have yet to try anything off the menu that isn't stunningly delicious, but I recommend starting out with the Pad Thai. Chang Thai is located at 155 Nickel Street in Broomfield, CO.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Portobello: This is how it's done.

Most vegans will cringe at the option of a portobello. Generally either unseasoned or soaked in balasamic vingear and cooked beyond recognition, it can be an affront to all the senses. Doing everything they can to change this stereotype is Portobello Vegan Trattoria, located in Portland, Oregon. This is fine dining at its best- delicious food, cozy yet elegant atmosphere and down to earth service. With a rapidly changing menu, that varies with the season, Portobello offers some of the best vegan food I've ever had- not only delicious, but also creative and stunningly original. My dinner consisted of English pea ravioli with morel mushrooms, along with mint, while my dining companion's dinner was gnocchi with spring vegetables. A meal at Portobello is the kind of meal that you eat as slowly as possible, using a knife and fork to make everything last as long as possible.

An added bonus to dining at Portobello is the fact that they have fancy drink options for those of us that don't imbibe. I got the Sea Shepherd, the purchase of which also facilitated a dollar donation to Sea Shepherd. These mocktails are definitely not afterthoughts to the drink menu, all lovingly created to enhance the meal, without alcohol. In short? Don't skip this Portobello meal option, it's definitely one of the good ones.