Week 1 of the #eatplants Challenge

Here in Colorado, a new season is upon us! The spring skiing is in full swing, mountain bikes are being polished and tuned, and I’m kicking off a 30 day #eatplants challenge.

Starting April 2nd, I’m committing 30 days to a plant-based diet and a holistic approach to health…more veggies, less processed foods, more movement. I’ll be posting recipes & grocery lists on my blog for all those wanting to follow along. Below is the grocery list for next week’s meals (I’m posting 3 recipes and the grocery list that coincides with those meals – feel free to eat completely plant-based for all meals – there are plenty of recipes on this blog).

Hope you join – and feel free to comment below!

Things you may want to have in your pantry

Nuts, Oils & spices

  1. Coconut oil or Avocado oil – both have high heat indexes (olive oil will work too!)
  2. Salt, pepper
  3. Cumin
  4. Bay leaf
  5. Garlic (whole)
  6. Walnuts, almonds, cashews
  7. Amino acids (similar to soy sauce, so that would work too)

Week 1 Meals

  1. Farrow bowl with sweet potatoes, spinach, butternut squash, lemon/mustard dressing
    1. Cook the farrow as directed (use 1/2 water, 1/2 veggie broth for more flavor!) – usually I cook about 1 cup – which is enough to feed 2. Cook more if you’d like leftovers.
    2. Cube sweet potatoes. Toss with butternut squash in 1 1/2 tablespoon oil (avocado is what I use), pepper & salt, and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes – until tender (may need a few minutes more)
      1. If you bought a whole butternut squash, cut it in half, scrape the seeds out and roast separately, with a bit of coconut oil rubbed onto the meat of the squash, at 375 for 25-35 minutes. Let cool & peel the skin off. You can find butternut squash already cubed in the grocery store – so much easier!
    3. Make the dressing – squeeze the juice from the entire lemon into a small bowl, 1 tablespoon of mustard, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, salt & pepper. Mix.
    4. Once the farrow is done & sweet potatoes and squash are roasted, put about a cup of farrow into a bowl, top with spinach & the sweet potatoes and squash, then top with dressing! Enjoy!
  2. Black Bean & Spinach quesadilla with caramelized onion & avocado (chipotle aioli optional)
    1. Slice the onions into long slivers. Toss with 1/2 tablespoon of oil & garlic. Saute on med-low for about 10-15 minutes, until translucent and a bit brownish.
    2. While the onions are sauteing, rinse the cans of beans and put into a pot. Add some garlic, chili powder, and pepper. Once they get a bit warm, mash them a bit with a fork.
    3. If you’re going to make the aoili, I use veganaise – a vegan mayo, and add pepper & chili powder with a squeeze of fresh lime.
    4. Warm up the tortillas (in the microwave or oven) and slice the avocados.  Top the tortillas with the beans, onions, avocado & aioli. Top with hot sauce! I often top with spinach. Feel free to make a side of brown rice too!

3.Baked Cauliflower wings & sweet potato chips – with a side salad

  1. Wash the cauliflower & cut into florets. Lay on a baking sheet (sprayed with a bit of oil, so they don’t stick) and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Take out, toss in a bowl with the hot sauce, put back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes as thin as possible. Toss with salt, pepper, garlic and 1 tablespoon of oil. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Take out, flip the chips over and bake for another 15 minutes (keep an eye out on the really thin ones so they don’t burn).
  3. Top with extra hot sauce if you wish & serve with a side of veganaise (add 1 tablespoon of almond milk to thin it out a bit & some garlic powder or dill for flavor)- to dip the cauliflower wings in – and a side salad!

Grocery List

Week 1 grocery List

  1. Veggie broth
  2. Baby carrots – big bag should last 2 weeks
  3. Onions – 2
  4. Lemon
  5. Avocados (2)
  6. Spinach – big bucket
  7. Butternut squash
  8. Farrow
  9. Sweet potatoes – 3
  10. Head of Cauliflower
  11. Cilantro
  12. Can of organic black beans
  13. Tortillas (I usually get whole wheat or spinach)
  14. Hot sauce (cheapest one that has the most simplistic ingredients you can find)

 

Have any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below. Enjoy!!

Sunday Funday Meal Prep

Meal Prep. Oh, the gloriousness that is an afternoon full of cooking!! Yes, it is time consuming. Yes, it takes planning. Yes, you are in the kitchen for the hours you set aside to take on the task. And I say it is a beautiful and delicious thing!

I don’t meal prep every week, although I try to meal plan. This ensures a healthy plan for weeknight dinners and helps me organize my shopping list. Although I do work from home, so have it much easier than most, it’s hard to think of ‘what’s for dinner’ at the end of the day, especially if you have other things going on (which we always do!). When I don’t meal plan, I often cook the same old things – which isn’t horrible, but begs for variety, or go to the dark side of frozen pizza!

So this weekend, after a Saturday of hiking and brewery visiting, Sunday came & we shopped super early, so I decided to meal prep! The first step to a successful meal prep is to organize your meals with common ingredients. You have a lot of carrots? Incorporate them into two dishes. You want to use up that spaghetti sauce? Don’t be afraid to add to leftovers to spice up your dishes. Second step is to set out all of the ingredients for each and every meal you’ll be making. This way, you can have two things cooking at once, without having to stop and search for the oregano!

I had butternut squash from last weeks grocery haul, leftover beans from yesterday’s breakfast, we bought carrots, peppers & mushrooms in bulk and have been meaning to pre-make something healthy and quick for breakfast….so, came up with the below menu.

If you plan to make all at once, follow the meal-prep instructions – or feel free to make them individually!

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Meal Prep Plan – Tackling all 4 recipes at once! 

Baked Oatmeal Fruit Cups 

Mushroom, Carrot & Barley Soup 

Roasted Butternut Squash Curry and Carrot Soup

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Bowls 

  1. Set out all of your ingredients (including fresh, but excluding the almond milk – grab that when you need it), spices, soup pots (2), mixing bowls(1),  muffin pan (1) spatulas, roasting pan (1), immersion blender (or blender/cuisine art)
  2. Prep your veggies. Cut carrots, mushrooms,  slice Roma tomatoes, mince garlic, slice peppers. Put in piles or bowls to keep out of your work space.
  3. Cut butternut squash (follow the below directions for both the Soup & Enchilada recipe) and roast.
  4. Start your soups – adding the said oils, carrots, spices.
  5. Add mushrooms to the mushroom barley soup, add the broth to the curry soup.
  6. While the veggies for the soups are cooking, slice the strawberries and put aside in a bowl.
  7. Make your oatmeal mix.
  8. Roast tomatoes & your hot peppers for the enchilada sauce.
  9. At this point, the soups will be simmering, so you can finish up your baked oatmeal, pop them in the oven with the roma tomatoes to roast (make sure the oven is turned down to 350), then make the enchilada sauce and prep the rice.
  10. Voila! Today’s prep (with beer breaks and football watching) took about 4 hours total.

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal & Fruit Cups (took the recipe from The Wholesome Dish, cut the sugar & made it vegan) 

2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 flax seed eggs (how to make a flax seed egg)
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 1/2 cups of almond milk
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 cups rolled oats
Handful of sliced strawberries
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/4 cup of raisins

 

Directions

  1. Make your flax seed eggs and put in the fridge so it gels (5-8 minutes)
  2. Mix the coconut oil, sugar & egg when it’s ready
  3. Add the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and mix.
  4. Fold in the oats & baking powder.
  5. Add 1/4 cup to your muffin pan – use muffin liners or spray the cups.
  6. Top 1/2 with sliced strawberries, the other half with raisins & walnuts.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Carrots

Mushroom, Carrot & Barley Soup 

1 1/2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
4 small cloves of garlic, minced
Salt
3 bay leaves
Pepper
4-5 large carrots
4 1/2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms (button mushrooms would be good too!)
32 Ounces of Veggie Broth
1 cup of water
1 cup of Barley

 

Directions

  1. Put the sliced carrots in a large soup pot with the coconut oil & garlic, salt and pepper. Cook with the lid closed for 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms. Cook with the lid open for another 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mushrooms will let out liquid, so you want to evenly distribute it.
  3. Add veggie broth, water, bay leaves, and barley.
  4. Cook for 20-25 minutes on medium low heat, stirring 2-3 times and cover.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Curry and Carrot Soup

Ingredients: 

1 medium sized butternut squash sliced in half
4-5 Large carrots, sliced
2 cups of veggie broth
1 cup of water
32 Ounces of veggie broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of almond milk
Curry powder
Cumin
Salt

 

Directions: 

  1. Split the butternut squash, scoop of the seeds, then sprinkle each half with a bit of count oil,  1/2 teaspoon of cumin & 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder.
  2. Bake squash for 30 minutes at 375.
  3. Add carrots to dutch oven (or soup pot) with 2 tbls of olive oil, 1 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of curry powder. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
  4.  Add 2 cups of veggie stock to the carrots. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. When roasted squash is done, let cool, peel off skin and add to the soup. Add 32 ounces of veggie stock, along with 1 cup of almond milk (coconut milk or full fat coconut milk would be amazing too!)
  6. Add another tablespoon of cumin & 1 tablespoon of  curry powder.
  7. Blend your soup with an immersion blender (if you don’t have one, a Cuisinart would work or a blender).
  8. Cook for another 10-15 minutes. Add salt to taste.

 

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Bowls 

This recipe is a good one to prep for eating the next day or a night during the week. While I was roasting squash for the soup, I roasted another squash for this recipe, but will assemble it completely one night this week. Also, the enchilada sauce took a bit of time (roasting wise) so is good to plan ahead. Same thing goes with the rice. If you have time during the weekend to prep these items, it makes the weeknight meals non-stressful and absolutely delicious! I didn’t actually make this today, but prepped everything for the week.

Enchilada Sauce 

5 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 Jalepeno pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 dried chipotle pepper, re-hydrated (just put it in some water)
Chile powder
2 gloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Put the sliced roma tomatoes & peppers on a roasting sheet. Sprinkle with chile powder to taste.
  2. Roast at 350 for 30 minutes.
  3. Pull out of the oven & let cool a bit, then put in a cuisineart and mix with chipotle pepper & garlic.
  4. Salt to taste.

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Bean Bowls 

1 can of black beans
1 butternut squash, halved
Chili powder
1 cup of brown rice
2 red peppers, sliced
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions: 

  1. Take the halved squash, sprinkle with chile powder, spread a bit of cocunut oil on the flesh, & place on a roasting pan. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the rice.
  3. When squash is done, let cool and peel off skin.
  4. When I cook this, I plan to sauce the red peppers for 10 minutes, add the black beans and squash, seasoning with chili powder to taste. Will saute mixture for a good 5-8 minutes.
  5. I plan to eat this over rice, topped with avocado, kale, tomato and the enchilada sauce (which I’ll most likely heat up!). Will post a picture when I’m done!

Happy Sunday!

 

 

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Fried Rice

Welcome to Day 1 of the #Forward21 challenge & the first Meatless Monday of the challenge.

Incorporating more whole foods & veggies into your meals not only boosts you nutritionally (whole foods have vitamins, minerals, live enzymes needed for your health) but helps lesson the carbon footprint we leave. Consuming a plant-based lifestyle takes less water, less land, and less resources overall.

So, today’s Meatless Meal features loads of veggies, good fat and a plant-based protein: Watch my YouTube Video showing you how to make it!

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Ingredients

1 cup of kale
1 small onion, minced
1 cup of carrots
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 block of tofu, drained & cut into cubes
1-2 handfuls of brussel sprouts, cleaned & cut in half
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of amino acids
1/2 tablespoon of toasted sesame seed oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
Sriracha (to taste)

Cut head of cauliflower into smaller chunks & put into a food processor and pulse until it’s as fine as rice.

Heat coconut oil in a wok on medium low heat. Add garlic & onions & saute for 3-5 minutes.

Stir and add tofu & saute for another 3-5.Tofu should be browned on one side.

Stir again, then add brussel sprouts and carrots, turning up heat to medium for 2 minutes.

Stir then add cauliflower along with a tablespoon of amino acids. Cover, turn down heat, and let sit for 3-5 minutes to let veggies simmer.

Let simmer, stir again, add the peas along with another tablespoon of amino acids for a minute or two, stirring under medium low heat. Add the sesame seed oil then top with kale and saute another minute.

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Scoop & enjoy (I put a bit of sriracha on mine)!

Happy Monday!