Recent Discoveries and Strategies

Finally, a really free Saturday. It’s early afternoon and I’m still in pajama pants. I even threw caution to the wind and paid the paper girl in wild hair and full pajamas!  I just wanted to say hi, hope you are having a good weekend, and spread some veggie cheer and ideas.

1. Today I cooked the basic tofu scramble from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. She has it on her blog here. Wow, I found this recipe was way better than I expected. Tofu and I have a contentious relationship, to say the least. The only change I made was to reduce the cumin-I used 1 and 1/2 tsp instead of the 2 teaspoons. I’ve just learned that sometimes her recipes overwhelm me with too much cumin. Seriously, if you have been afraid to try a tofu scramble, this is delicious. Sorry, forgot to take a picture. Here’s a picture of the book I seem to be obsessed with.

2. A friend who is a vegetarian and works full-time gave me this suggestion: She buys a case of black beans and a case of canned corn at Costco. She mixes a can of corn and a can of black beans in a storage container and then makes things from it all week. I tried this (I bought the beans but used my frozen corn instead-I cooked it slightly). During the week, I added it to lentil enchiladas for two meals. Later in the week,  I pulled out Veganomicon (also by Isa Chandra Moskowitz) and found the essential ingredients of a vinaigrette-equal amounts red wine vinegar and oil, salt and pepper-and poured it over the mix. I added in lots of fresh cilantro and LOVE it. I made a light but satisfying dinner last night when I got home late.

3. I fixed this Gardein brand Mandarin Orange Crispy “Chik’n” for myself one night after work after everyone else had already eaten (I work long days, but only 2 days per week). Plant-based and very very tasty.

4. Meal Planning. This structure has helped me to make one list and one shopping trip per week usually (as long as I use the planning system, ha ha). I didn’t want to blog about it until I used it over a decent period of time. I have a history of meal planning failure, or should we call it opportunities for growth… I have used this system for most of the weeks since the new year began. I plan at least three cooked dinners, usually including one or two new recipes,  and try to make enough for leftovers. I might cook something simple for my lunches at work or home. “Other” is usually a dessert or just something fun I want to try if time permits.  I make a thorough shopping list and then make one big trip to the grocery for the week. I adapted mine from a similar sheet used by Diana at Veggie Next Door blog, who is obviously much more structured than me. Here is mine…created with the table function in Word.

meal plan chart

What have you been cooking? Whether you are a full-time vegetarian or not, I’m curious what you think of Gardein products if you have tried them…Let me know!


3 thoughts on “Recent Discoveries and Strategies

  1. I’m so happy to hear that Meal Planning is working out so well for you! I’ve found that even though getting started on it was challenging for me, now that I do it I can’t imagine NOT meal planning. It’s so nice not having to worry about what to make for dinner on a busy weeknight.

    Great tip on the beans and corn – come to think of it, I should look into buying beans by the case. I use several cans a week. I know I really should cook my own beans, but I never seem to have the time.

  2. Isa is so awesome! I love her recipes & attitude.

    We don’t have Gardein brand products in my country, but in my experience it is always infinitely more delicious & worthwhile nutritionally to find a quick recipe & make something from scratch than eat something pre-packaged.

    • Lissa–So sorry! I read your comment weeks ago and forgot to reply. What a month it’s been. Yes–I agree, the whole food is better. But sometimes I take the short cuts, knowing I can’t or shouldn’t let it become a habit. I’m looking forward to Isa’s new book in the fall. Sounds like it’s up my alley-geared to the weeknight cook!!

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