Inspired by all the great “What I Ate Wednesday” posts, I decided to do my own little food diary entry today. I think it’s really helpful to see how other vegans construct their meal plans and it gives me ideas for things I can do to mix up the inevitable weekday monotony. Today was a lot of purchased foods because I got up too late for breakfast at home and was super busy at work.
Breakfast: Berry Upbeat smoothie from Jamba Juice
Lunch: vegan hummus wrap and Peet’s soy pumpkin latte. The wrap was pretty disappointing–bland hummus and the veggies consisted of shaved carrots and purple cabbage. Who thought that sounded like a good idea??
Snack: salad from my university’s cafeteria
Dinner: leftovers from a pretty disappointing casserole I made last week from the new book One Dish Vegan. It’s layers of butternut squash, potato, cauliflower, spinach, and walnut parmesan with a white sauce drizzled on top. It was super bland even though I added loads of fresh herbs and made extra walnut parm. It also makes for terribly unattractive food porn. Sorry, folks!
So, not my proudest day of food but at least it was pretty healthy! 😛
We got a ton of peppers in our CSA box last week so on Sunday Mr. HVC made this recipe (not vegan, from the food network) for sausage, pepper, and onion sammies. The only thing we changed about the recipe was the amount of oil (from 1/4 cup to 1 Tbs) because the veggie sausages can just warm up in the pan and don’t need to be fried.
I’d never tried the Tofurkey Italian sausages before and man, they were really good! I like that they’re made mostly from tofu and vital wheat gluten, and the texture was also really nice. We’re not much in the habit of buying veggie meats (I think it’s because there weren’t a lot of good products around when I went vegan and they were also expensive/hard to find so I just learned to do without?), so I don’t know which products are good. I was super happy to find something quick and easy and meaty enough for Mr. HVC.
This was also a really quick, partner-friendly recipe — 10 min to prep veggies, 15 min to saute. Easy!
In my CSA box this week were two beautiful acorn squash. Problem is, I don’t really know what to do with acorn squashes, aside from stuffing them. I did a little searching online and found this amazing recipe from Gourmet magazine for roasted acorn squash in a chile lime vinaigrette. It’s SO GOOD, guys. I’m not even the biggest fan of winter squash and I couldn’t get enough of this stuff. It’s super simple to make and is full of really great flavors, especially if you’re a cilantro lover!
In the comments people said that they wished they’d made more sauce, so I took that into account and did about 5x for the sauce. I added a little less oil and made it quite a bit spicier than called for. I also just did everything in the food processor. I couldn’t find my gloves and definitely didn’t want to cut all those chiles with bare hands, plus I didn’t feel like mashing garlic. At the end I threw in most of a bunch of cilantro and just pulsed everything till it was sufficiently chopped up. That’s how a lazy person does sauce! I also let the sauce sit for about an hour. Initially I could really taste the olive oil and that kind of turned me off but after some time all the flavors came together amazingly well.
-7 cloves garlic
-10 Thai chiles
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 cup lime juice
-1 cup olive oil
-3/4 bunch cilantro
I served the squash over brown rice with steamed broccolini (more CSA stuff!) on the side. Caramelized squash, tart and bright sauce, perfect for the end of summer! This is definitely going into regular rotation in our house. I’d say it’s even fast enough for a quick weeknight dinner. The squash only takes 30 minutes to roast and the sauce can be made in about 10 min.
Lately Mr. HVC has been trying to help out more in the kitchen. October will be his 1-year vegetarianniversary and he is slowly gaining more confidence in his ability to cook veg-friendly meals. Like many couples, we struggle with overcoming traditional gender roles in our relationship and to beat this one we’re trying to build a list of easy meals he can whip up without my help.
Last night Mr. HVC made one of our go-to weeknight dinners, pasta, which is easy to make but is also easy for a beginner cook to play around with. To spruce it up he likes to add sautéed onions, bell pepper, squash, and mushrooms, and a handful of broiled grape tomatoes.
We keep a stash of jarred sauce and a bunch of different pastas (whole wheat, veggie, different shapes, etc.), nuts, and beans in the pantry so he can pick whatever sounds good that night. We also try to keep basic fresh veggies on hand so he can put together a simple side salad.
Paired with some yummy bread (this time it was olive!) we had a super easy, healthy dinner.
I’m still working on a good list of beginner-recipes. Other favorites for us are tostadas and stir fry. What are some of your partner-proof dinner ideas?