Saturday, October 10, 2015

A week in the (fridge) life

I've been wanting to lay out a typical weekly menu on the blog lately. I love seeing what other people cook and eat, especially runners! I am always curious how athletes get their nutrients and what whole foods they eat. So if others are equally curious, here's some info on what's been working for us! Also, a lot of people assume "organic" and vegetarian diets must be expensive and bland. In fact, my meals, my health, and my wallet have all benefitted from going veggie.

Breakfasts are always coffee and toast (or waffles) with peanut butter and bananas, plus some other fruit (kiwi or pear). Lunches are leftovers from the night before, plus an apple, a snack (right now it's roasted pumpkin seeds - but is also frequently Puffins or Wheat Thins). On long days, I grab a Picky Bar, too.

Dinners are the main event! So here is a peek into our kitchen...

Monday: Chickpea Sandwiches
(Adapted from Thug Kitchen)

The easiest dinner ever - just takes a can of chickpeas, a dallop of Vegenaise, celery, and onion. Mash the chickpeas in a bowl before adding the other ingredients. I season with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. We add sandwich fixins - like pickles, lettuce, and avocado - and stack it all on sourdough bread. Noms.

Tuesday: Charlie Hong Kong Bowls
(Inspired by CHK in Santa Cruz)
An early beta version with tempe and sans bok choy.
Bok choy is a super underrated ingredient - it's always really cheap, but it's delicious and adds a lot of nutritional value. Check out its ranking on "worlds healthiest foods":
  • Boy choy "provides good, very good, or excellent amounts of 21 nutrients. Unlike some other members of the cabbage family, these ranked nutrients include omega-3s, as well as the antioxidant mineral zinc."
  • AND "Recent studies have identified over 70 antioxidant phenolic substances in bok choy. These phenolic antioxidants included numerous hydroxycinnamic acids, which have often been referred to as "chain-breaking" antioxidants due to their method of scavenging free radicals. In this context, bok choy has also been included in some current and ongoing large-scale human studies about dietary antioxidants and cancer prevention."
  • And if you still aren't running out to buy bok choy right now, you should know "bok choy ranks as our 11th richest food in vitamin A. Significant amounts of other carotenoids—for example, lutein—are also provided by bok choy."
The main players in the bowl are soba noodles, the (badass) bok choy, and dry-fried tofu. The supporting actors are sautéed garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Add raw shredded carrots and chopped green onion at the end. It's topped of with a spicy peanut butter sauce (and lots of hoisin and sriracha).

Wednesday: Mac'n'Cheez Casserole

This is such a clutch dinner dish. Stephen throws everything together in a deep pyrex and takes normal mac'n'cheez to a whole new level. He uses regular pasta noodles (whatever kind you like), adds broccoli florets, and pours a homemade, creamy "cheezy" sauce over it all. He mixes in Daiya, sprinkles more Daiya and Panko crumbs on top, and then bakes for about 20 minutes.

Detailed recipe coming soon!

Thursday: Roasted Vegetable Gnocchi

Trader Joe's has bomb gnocchi in the dry pasta aisle. It's a really inexpensive way to have dinners stocked up in the pantry. We roast asparagus in the oven - tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper. In a deep pan on the stovetop, toss halved cherry tomatoes and quartered artichoke hearts (available canned in water at TJ's too) with olive oil and a bit of salt. They sear nicely, and at the end, we add a toss the vegetables and cooked gnocchi with a handful of fresh spinach, which wilts nicely. If you haven't cooked gnocchi before, just be aware that it cooks really quickly - and if you overcook it, it will just turn to mush. When they float, they're done.

Friday: Veggie Spring Rolls

Warning: requires some assembly :)

The ingredients are simple - dry-fried tofu, sautéed mushrooms and onion, sliced cucumbers, chopped avocado, and greens. We also boil mung bean noodles, and then wrap everything in Banh Trang wrappers. I like to make a wasabi-soy sauce dipping sauce. Stephen goes with sriracha and hoisin on his. If you wanna get fancy, add mint and sprouts!

Minimalist baker has a great spring roll recipe (although a little fancier than ours).

Saturday: BBQ Pineapple Pizza

(Full recipe on our earlier blog post)
Premade pizza dough makes this dinner really easy. Plus we use canned pineapple and canned artichoke hearts - which are so easy to keep in the pantry. I like stocking up and then never worrying about having necessary ingredients.

Pairs nicely with Menage a Trois table wine!

Sunday: Beyond Meat Chicken Pot Pie

(Full recipe on our earlier blog post)
My favorite dinner of the week is pot pie night! It comes together surprisingly quickly and makes leftovers for a day or two!

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