My Go-To Recipes

BREAKFAST

I mainly switched between three different breakfasts during my internship – a buckwheat parfait (great for mornings where you need to take breakfast to go), banana-almond oatmeal, and fruit.

1. Buckwheat Parfait

I adore this recipe from Oh She Glows. I changed things up a little by using a cacao-maca powder instead of cocoa powder and didn’t always add the vanilla extract or cinnamon, but regardless breakfast was always amazing. Not only are buckwheat parfaits filling, but they’re as easy as soaking the buckwheat overnight and dumping everything in the food processor when you wake up. This was perfect for taking to work. More times than not I would top the parfait with shredded coconut, pack it up, pack up frozen raspberries in a separate container, and add them when I got to work (which worked out perfectly because the raspberries would still be a little cold, but not frozen). I also like to top it with banana or just eat a banana with it depending on if I’m eating on the go or not.

I highly suggest having a no-cook breakfast option such as a buckwheat parfait or overnight oats. Both of these require minimal time and are easily customized to what you like.

2. Banana-Almond Oatmeal

I saved this oatmeal for mornings I had some extra time on my hand and boy was it worth it! I switched the peanut butter for almond butter and omitted chia seeds most of the time – mainly because broke interns can’t afford chia seeds. I liked to top my oatmeal with sliced bananas, almond butter, maple syrup, and even chocolate chips when I was feeling crazy 😉

Banana-Almond Oatmeal

3. Fresh Fruit

I usually reserved fruit plates for weekends because I loved taking my time to plate and eat everything, but I almost always had some fruit for breakfast during the week. This ranged from a couple of kiwis or a banana to a mango if I happened to have one. Fruit in D.C. was expensive -much like everything else there- and being there during the winter months didn’t help matters. I was pretty repetitive with the fruits I ate (TONS of bananas and kiwis, grapefruits when they were on sale, and berries when I felt like splurging).

Fruit Plate

LUNCH

Out of all my meals lunch was the least planned and the most difficult. Between a hectic work schedule and social obligations I spent most lunches eating out. It’s important to know of places that have good vegan options and to go from there. It’s becoming increasingly easy to find vegan options at non-vegan places, and if all else fails a couple of substitutions will usually do it. When I did bring lunch I usually went with a soup, a quinoa salad, or a wrap of some sort.

Here are links to some of my favorite lunches that can be made ahead of time or eaten right away:

A Feel Good Lunch Bowl 

The best part about this lunch bowl is the possibilities are endless; you can use whatever you have on hand and what’s in season. My lazy variation of this is to cook quinoa, mix it with shredded dinosaur kale, and top with avocado, roasted sweet potato, roasted broccoli, and a mustard dressing. The Big Vegan Bowl is also a good choice.

The Best Shredded Kale Salad

This kale salad is one of my top five favorite salads. It’s more of a side than a full lunch, but there were plenty of days this was my main meal and snacked on vegetables if I got hungry later on. I like to make this salad the night before (it keeps really well). I didn’t always add the pecan parmesan and cranberries, but it’s best to add that before you eat it – it won’t taste as good if it’s sitting on the salad for long periods of time.

*I make a salad (or kale-slaw) similar to this with shredded dinosaur kale, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, and a Dijon olive oil dressing. Put this on top of roasted sweet potato and you got yourself a lunch!

Warm Quinoa Salad with 3-Herb Green Sauce

Quick. Easy. Flavorful. and it keeps well!

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos 

Perfect for lunch or dinner, these burritos won’t disappoint. They’re a little time-consuming, but the filling keeps well in the refrigerator and assembling them is a breeze. The recipe calls for Daiya cheese, but they’re just a good without it and if you aren’t used to vegan cheese (which melts differently and takes on a different consistency) you may want to skip it for now.

DINNER

I was always looking for quick and easy dinner ideas; these recipes made the cut.

White Bean and Kale Soup

I’ve been addicted to Whole Foods’ white bean and kale soup for the longest time now and the fact they posted the recipe online made life that much sweeter. I always use fresh tomatoes and carrots in the recipe, and change the spices up (I think the recipe is a bit bland). The longer the soup sits the better it is – making it the perfect left over meal!

Zucchini Noodles with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Without a doubt this is one of the best tomato sauces I’ve ever tried and is worth the time and effort to make it. The most labor intensive part of this recipe is dicing and seeding the tomatoes, but if you can do that you’re golden. Top some zucchini noodles with this sauce and you’ll have one of the most perfect, and satisfying, meals.

I highly recommending getting a spiralizer if possible. The one talked about and used more times than not is the Paderno Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer – which can be found here. Is it the most important kitchen appliance? no. BUT having the option to make vegetable noodles is a nice convenience and for $35 ish dollars, including shipping, I think it’s worth the investment.

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole

I. Love. Spaghetti. Squash. If it wasn’t for my oodles of self-control I’d probably eat this everyday for the rest of my life, but alas twice a week will have to suffice. I usually cheat and buy fresh guac from whole foods (it really is the best) and then add in beans or whatever else I felt like and bam. I also love eating spaghetti squash with sautéed kale (or other greens).

Vegan Lasagna

This isn’t the cheapest or easiest meal out there by any means, but I just had to mention it. There are few things as good as this lasagna and if you’re willing to put in the time and the money (macadamia nuts don’t come cheap) to make it it’s completely worth it. The recipe is perfect just the way it is, but if you’re looking for a meat alternative I’ve made it with Field Roast’s Italian Sausage and it turned out great! This is a good option if you’re wanting to share with friends or family who aren’t familiar or super supportive of veganism – the “meaty” texture and familiar flavors won’t disappoint.

New England Glam Chowder

Last but not least, glam chowder! This was a hit with my parents (and my dad usually refuses to eat the vegan food I make) and is perfect for fall/winter. It’s labor intensive and a little pricy, but once again the results are worth it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s