I’ve been asked the same question, multiple times, over the past few years: Do you cook ALL DAY!? Anyone who follows me on instagram may have that same question. I post pictures of my homemade, plant-based creations on a daily, so it may seem like I spend all day in the kitchen. I WISH!!
What I’ve learned in my food journey is that a little meal prep goes a long way! In March 2013 Mike and I decided to go pescatarian and now eat about 80% plant-based, which completely changed the way I looked at, prepared, thought about food. I’ve always loved to cook, but now it was with vegetables.
I’ve picked up a few easy-to-follow tips along the way that have maximized my time in the kitchen, making meal prep quick, easy, and delicious! And most importantly, FUN! The kitchen experience should be happy above all and your meal should fuel you, have flavorful taste and be healthy.
Want to know what works for me? Email me at Thehappykitchenlife@gmail.com and I’ll send you my Free Meal Guide. No strings attached, just passing on things that have worked for me in my happy kitchen, My goal is to educate and hopefully pass on some ideas to make cooking with good, real food, enjoyable. Healthy is a lifestyle – live it well!
I’m constantly on the hunt for inspiration. I want to be moved, pursue things that move me, head out into the great unknown for an awe-inspiring adventure! Who doesn’t!
But back in reality there is work to be done, chores to be complete, mundane tasks that you need to tackle for every day life. Why do we look at these things as draining? As sucks on our creativity, our passion, our drive to be inspiring?
I’ve been obsessed as of late with Rich Roll & his amazing podcast. If you’ve never heard of him, I encourage you to listen to one. He speaks passionately, but real-ly. He has accomplished incredible things, both physically and in his own life’s journey. He is a plant-based athlete, but that’s not all his show focuses on. He invites speakers of every walk of life: spiritual, athletic, creative, poetic, intellectual, plant-based, food revolutionists. Really, I can’t say enough and you just have to check him out.
He had WUDE on recently (check out his story) and he spoke of finding peace, gratitude, beauty in simplicity.
““If you don’t have the ability to celebrate what you have now, nothing you get—and I mean nothing; nothing material, nothing experiential, no amount information, no amount of experience, no amount of material possessions—is going to teach you how to celebrate.”
How true. How simple. How amazingly right.
Be here, now. Look around and notice the amazing things in front of you. Your beautiful garden or flower box. Notice the way the sun sets in your neck of the woods. Enjoy the simplicity of cooking a deliciously simple meal and enjoying it with someone you love. Appreciate your surroundings and the simplicity of taking a stroll through the woods. I headed to Lookout Mountain in Golden yesterday after work to relish in the gorgeousness that is Colorado.
Find gratitude in the simple things. You will be flooded with awe-inspiring moments if you can do so.
Seriously, step away from the vending machines! Get out of the fast-food line! Please, your body can’t take it!
I get it. Eating healthy isn’t always convenient. We’re busy and we have to commute, work 9 hours a day, work out, run errands, do wash, clean the house, do the dishes…..then do it all again the next day. Who the FRIG has time to make their own healthy lunch!?!?!??!
You have time to make a simple, healthy, nutrient dense lunch. Yup, YOU!
Here are 13 ingredients you probably already have in your house (or can easily get at your local grocery store) that you can use to construct 5 healthy lunches you can eat throughout the week. With a little bit of prep, these lunches take no time at all to grab and go. Your body will thank you for feeding it real food.
1 cucumber peeled & sliced
1 tomato sliced
2 handfuls of almonds (raw/organic) chopped roughly
2 cups of spinach
1 can of organic garbanzo beans
5 radishes – chopped
4 slices of multi-grain organic bread
2 cups of shredded carrots
4 spring roll wrappers
4 nori sheets
4 tablespoons of olive oil
If you’re making all of these fabulous lunches at once, prep all your veggies first and put aside. Shred your carrots, chop your cucumbers, slice your radish.
Use 1/2 the can of garbanzo beans to make a homemade paste – putting 1/2 can in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Peel the avocado and slice.
Veggie Spring Rolls
Take your spring roll (one at a time) and wet with warm water. Place on a plastic cutting board. Lay a nori sheet ontop. Put about 4-5 pieces of raddish, 2 slices of avocado and a tablespoon or two of shredded carrots in the middle of the roll. Fold in and roll up. Make 4 – these are delicious with hummus, a peanut dipping sauce or just plain! They’ll keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Open face hummus sandwich
Toast two pieces of wheat bread. Slather with your hummus and pack each with radish, cucumber, avocado, a few pieces of tomato and 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
Spinach Salad with garbanzo beans
Pack a big bowl with most of the spinach. dump half the chopped almonds, garbanzo beans and a few radish for crunch. Top with a few slices of avocado. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon (as much as you want!)
Take two pieces of bread and cut into bite size pieces. Toss with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Toast. Take a few slices of tomatoes and cut into bite sized pieces. Toss in a 1/2 handful of spinach, the rest of the almonds, a few squeezes of lemon juice and toss.
Layer the remaining tomato with the left over goods – avocado, hummus, shredded carrots, radish. Sprinkle with a bit of olive oil & lemon juice.
You can use more veggies, different veggies, more hummus, more bread…..whatever healthy additions you’d like. Top with seeds, more nuts, spices. Serve with an apple, banana, strawberries, blueberries, kale chips, sweet potato chips. There are a million variations here!
With a little bit of prep and a little bit of conscious thinking, you can make a huge difference in the way your day goes, the way you feel, the way you allow your body to feel.