Without running this past Sunday, I again had time to plan meals for the week, go grocery shopping, and prep everything. My new 5K plan has Sundays off, but I think I might make having Sunday off a permanent part of my routine. I love having so many lunches and dinners ready so that I have to do very little cooking and food prep during the week.
I’m in weight loss mode, so I need my meals to fill me up but also taste good and be quick and easy to prepare. I’ve been relying heavily on my Happy Herbivore cookbooks for those reasons. Lindsay doesn’t use any added fats in her recipes (oil or nuts), unlike most vegan recipes. And 99% of her recipes take minutes to prepare and have only a few basic ingredients. I was fortunate to be a recipe tester for four of her cookbooks, so I’ve tried most of the recipes and many are go-tos when I want something delicious, filling, and light. These are the meals I’m enjoying this week.
Nachos made healthy! This is essentially a salad with Mexican toppings and a quick nacho sauce–essentially, vegan queso. You’re supposed to add tortilla chips, but I didn’t. I made mine with romaine, green onions, roasted corn (from Trader Joe’s), and black beans. I meant to add salsa, but it was so good I ate it without!
Steamed Kale with Queso
I’ve already said that steamed kale with a sauce (gravy, dressing, anything delicious) is one of my go-tos for a very filling, light, and nutritious meal. I used leftover queso to top steamed kale for a side, and for another meal added Trader Joe’s meatballs.
I could count on one hand the packaged veggie burgers I’ve bought in the past few years. Happy Herbivore has so many different kinds of veggie burgers, and they’re much healthier than processed fake meat burgers because they’re made with whole foods (some combination of beans and oats). She even has one recipe that you can make using ingredients that you can find at the smallest, least veg-friendly supermarket while traveling and cook in your microwave in your hotel room! This week I made Pizza Burgers with marinara sauce as a topping. They’re good enough to eat without a bun.
Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Wraps
This is another thing I eat all the time. It’s just black beans, spinach, and smoky chipotle sauce in a whole wheat wrap, but it’s so good. The sauce is really easy to make: vegan mayo (or any mayo, or even pureed tofu if you’re desperate), hot sauce, chipotle chili powder, and a few drops of liquid smoke.
Cruciferous Crunch Salads with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
This is a cheat meal of the week since it’s already packaged from Trader Joe’s. I love this crunchy mix of kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. The salad dressing is delicious and spicy. I’ve been eating this as a side, but it would be easy to make it a meal by throwing in additional veggies and cubed tofu.
Raw Veggie Sides
Summer or winter, I eat raw, sliced veggies with every lunch and dinner. It’s not a vegan thing either. When I was a kid, my father had a huge garden, and I loved sitting in the garden plucking sun-warmed veggies from the plants and eating them raw. (I was young enough to get away with this while everyone else had to pick the veggies for canning/freezing, ha ha.) Those are some of my favorite memories, and eating raw veggies is still my preference.
Oats for Breakfast
I eat oats cooked with soymilk (sometimes almond milk when I need to cut back on protein and/or soy) and fruit every single morning for breakfast. The oats fill me up so I’m never hungry until lunchtime. I used to experiment with different fruits and toppings, but 90% of the time I mix in cocoa powder, stevia, and peanut butter–my favorite.
Cheat of the Week
Oreos are accidentally vegan. I can’t eat Peeps because they’re not vegetarian, so I had to try these. I don’t love Oreos, but these were one of the flavors I liked best. Still, I can only eat so many Oreos, and even though I’ve only eaten a few since I go them, I think I’ve had my fill and will be tossing the rest in the trash. Goodbye, fake flavor, sugar, and chemicals!