We have a fabulous guest poster letting us peek into her everyday meals this week! She may be one of our most distant sisters, but she has been one of our biggest supporters for many years! I just love her! You can also find Karena at Traveling Well, her personal blog.
The easy way to describe our eating style is vegan, and yet that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Technically, a heck of a lot of things are vegan that I wouldn’t put in my maw if you paid me. A more accurate way to describe our meals is whole-foods, plant-based, low-sugar, no-oil… but by the time you throw in that many hyphens most people are starting to go cross-eyed. Either that or surreptitiously sidestepping toward the nearest exit.
I promise you I’m not a kook – at least not any kookier than the average around here. I promise you that my children are not malnourished. I promise you that I’m not going to try and convince you to go vegan. But if you’re looking for a few good, meat-free meals to add to your repertoire, I can hook you up. This week – for you, dear readers – I’m cooking exclusively for Lindsay Nixon’s Happy Herbivore website. She has a fantastic cookbook as well, and another on the way, but I’ve planned for recipes you can find online in case you choose to try any of them out.
I say I’m doing it for you, but it’s really my kids and husband I’ve got in mind here. Them, and my own sanity. The recipes on this site are consistent favorites in our house. They can all be on the table in less than an hour, and usually most of that time is simmering on the stove or baking in the oven, thus allowing me to oversee homework and referee sibling battles. I’ve also purposely chosen recipes that don’t require you to visit any specialty stores for secret ingredients. If you can’t find tamari – like me – sub soy sauce. If your store doesn’t carry red lentils, use brown. If your husband won’t eat cumin – like mine – leave it out. You can make all of these recipes work for your household.
A bit about the rest of the day…
Breakfast in our house is probably a lot like breakfast in your house. The kids have oatmeal and dried fruit. I have steel cut oats with a peach or banana. I prepare the oatmeals in huge batches and keep it in the fridge for easy morning prep. The husband is the last cold cereal holdout – I’ll have to pry the Grape-Nuts for his cold dead hands. Instead of dairy, we use rice or soy milk, or occasionally almond.
Lunches are nearly as predictable as breakfast. I’ve tried adding variety to the kids’ lunch boxes, but they’d much rather have peanut butter sandwiches, finger veg, and cut up fruit. What kid wouldn’t? The husband and I have HUGE salads with homemade dressing and soup on the side.
Dinner is when I get to play. This week:
Monday – Buddha’s Delight but with our own mix of vegetables, nearly always onion, red pepper, carrots and broccoli, with some baked tofu added
Tuesday – Red Lentil Dal with broccoli on the side (note: this is a spicy dish. to make it palatable to my kids I cut way back on the heat)
Wednesday – leftover dal
Thursday – Chickpea Tacos – we’ll have these with homemade tortillas which are a gazillion times better than store-bought
Friday – Moroccan Lentil Soup and some type of homemade bread
Saturday – leftover soup
Sunday - Yam Falafels
My son just read this over my shoulder. “Hurray! We get to have falafel this week!” At first glance, some people find the way we eat restricting. We find it abundant, filled with color and variety and taste. And all the usual family favorites, like falafel, and tacos, and pasta, and sloppy joes, and…