“I wish I had the time and money to cook (and eat) good food.”
This is a statement I’ve heard uttered repeatedly, especially in response to my electing to be vegan, and my mention of how much I cook.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted the above photo on social media, along with the following note:
“It only takes twenty minutes (or less) to turn a basket of teeny taters into cheesy mash. The fact that this tater basket was only $1 at the produce stand made last night’s dinner taste ever better. Local green beans, broccoli, red pepper, sweet onion, spinach and cabbage were steamed in a pan on the stovetop and enjoyed alongside this mash + a fresh juicy tomato & DIY goddess dressing.”
I also mentioned that I only gave this meal 5-10 solid minutes of prep and stovetop attention and the rest of the time I let it cook itself while I fed the pup, let him outside, went outside with him (with window open to keep an eye on the food), straightened up some things, washed a few dishes, changed clothes…etc.
Truthfully, I’m always slightly baffled (and bummed) when I hear someone say they don’t have the time or funds to cook good, healthy food. Believe me when I say, it doesn’t take fancy ingredients, excess money, or excess time to cook up a fresh, hearty, delicious, local meal, using just a pot and a pan.
Spring is officially coming at us this week! Consider celebrating the arrival of a fresh new season filled with green, by springing for plants—eat vegan for an entire day.
There’s still time to join the masses in making an official pledge to eat plant-based this Friday, March 20, via Meatout.org. Since 1985, this international Meatout event has helped raise awareness of the benefits of eating vegan: helping animals, achieving great health, and saving the planet. Each year, thousands upon thousands make a pledge and join in.
If you are thinking of springing for plants this season—by pledging to do so Friday, or any other day—here are some suggestions to help you eat vegan at all hours, any day you choose.
Last week I found myself up against a creative wall, riding waves of self-doubt, and needing much more positive affirmation than usual. I caught myself asking Andrew for feedback countless times, and spent an equal amount of time picking up the phone to call my mom for her words of wisdom. Rather than an “I can” attitude, “Can I?” was a question that played on repeat in my head. I felt far more inadequate than I did renewed.
The thing about opportunity finding its way onto your lap, is that no matter how wonderful it is, it often takes much more energy than we can possibly predict. For the entirety of last week, I spent the bulk of my waking hours glued to the computer screen, pouring my energy into new projects, on top of those already existing.
Despite my enthusiasm about the projects that have come my way lately, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated that this particular week was supposed to be a big running week for me. While struggling to focus on the work in front of me, I found myself daydreaming about the PR (personal record) I had hoped to achieve at the rapidly approaching New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, while feeling as though I was watching it drift out of reach.
In the evening hours, I had high hopes of switching gears to do “me” writing, some yoga, reading ,or maybe even finally unpacking from my holiday trip. Instead, I sat glued to the TV, watching episodes of “Cutthroat Kitchen.” My brain was all but mush.
Aside from an afternoon out and about on assignment, I rocked the same black on black attire the majority of the week, and barely left the house.
Something Andrew and I have discussed at length lately, is the fact that we human beings tend to only showcase the high points in our lives, not the ups, downs and everything in between. Intentionally or not, we show the parts of ourselves we are proud of and comfortable with, and much of the rest goes unseen.
As the summer heat and Florida humidity have been steadily on the rise as of late, I’ve been especially craving food that is what I consider to be stripped down, light and airy. Yesterday afternoon, I found myself dreaming of lettuce wraps. I have no clue what inspired this day dream of mine since it’s been quite awhile since I’ve munched on lettuce wraps, but it was pretty vivid. Minutes later I opened the fridge to figure out what I was going to eat after yoga, and lo and behold, our neighbor had given us a giant bag of green leaf lettuce. Clearly lettuce wraps were meant to be.
Lettuce wraps offer a great way to get some added roughage in your diet, and are an alternative to tortillas. While lettuce on its own may seem a bit boring or bland, I find wrapping food in lettuce to be nothing short of entertaining. Just like with tacos, you can literally wrap anything into a piece of lettuce.
For some lettuce wrapping inspiration, here is a quick look at how I rolled last night.
What do you cook when you are visiting someone afar and working out of a foreign kitchen that is less than stocked with any bare necessities, much less extra goodies, and you’ve volunteered to prepare a vegan dinner for a group of four that has quickly grown to be seven? I just so happened to be greeted with this welcomed scenario Monday night, in St. Augustine. The result appeared as follows.
Tomorrow (Thursday, March 20) marks the first day of spring. It also marks the internationally recognized Meatout Day. Participants from around the world have pledged to eat vegan on this day, in honor of animals, the planet, and individual health. The goal is to share the benefits and joy of a plant-based diet, and promote the widespread availability and expansive selection of alternatives to meat and dairy.
My hummus addiction is certainly not breaking news. In fact, it has been around for years. However, since recently acquiring a Certified Reconditioned Standard Vitamix High Performance Blender, I’ve started experimenting with making my own. I’ve been working on fine-tuning my hummus experimentations, playing with all sorts of peculiar combinations with the notion that I would eventually stumble on the desired outcome. This weekend, it happened. Naturally it was at a time that I wasn’t measuring anything out (which is pretty typical). I’ve learned that while the whimsical method of guess-timation works wonders for me, it’s not ideal for sharing the recipe love, and so I’ve gradually been adjusting my madness to become more methodical. Tonight I slowed down a minute, measured things out, wrote them down, and arrived at what I am calling my “Holy Spiced Citrus Hummus.” I finished up just in time to sit and enjoy it outside while basking in the sunlight, thanks to the return of daylight saving time.