Posts tagged meal planning
How to get your man to eat more plants

We eat plants and only plants in our household. I am vegan; my husband Dan is not. He grew up on pretty traditional meat-and-potatoes fare (For that matter, so did I, but I always got excited about asparagus and the nights when we would have huge fruit salads for dinner, so my tastebuds may not be the most representative.) That means that the meals we make need to please both of us. I want healthy, fresh, well-balanced, and hopefully, if we're lucky, pretty, and Dan wants something that satisfies him with lots of flavor. No plates of lettuce and raw vegetables grace our dinner table (Although for lunch, when I am left to my own devices...). 

Since I went vegan over three years ago, I have learned a thing or two about turning picky eaters onto plant foods.  Here are my top tips:

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My go-to vegan cookbooks

I rely heavily on blogs for meal planning and menu prep.  When I'm browsing the internet, it's easy simply to add a recipe that catches my eye to our dinner calendar.  That said, I still love thumbing through cookbooks.   After seeing one of my favorite bloggers share her favorite cookbooks other week, I thought it would be fun to do the same.  Here are my most well-loved titles:

 

 

1.  Oh She Glows: most beautiful food

I have highlighted her work before, but it's worth mentioning again.  Blogger Angela Liddontakes gorgeous photography and posts fool-proof recipes.  Many of the bloggers who are more health-conscious have posted their fair share of rock-hard brownies and watery "cream" sauces.  Not so with Angela.  She relies on real, whole foods and her dishes are nutritious, accessible, and satisfying.  Everything with chocolate in this book is divine, as are her soups.

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I'm estimating on the conservative side of the spectrum, but granting that I have spent somewhere from thirty minutes to an hour in the kitchen at least four days a week over the past six years (about the time since I left my parents' nest and dorm life), I'm thinking that my guess isn't too far beyond the realm of possibility.   I haven't yet hit the 10,000 hour mark, so I cannot call myself an expert--nor do I pretend to hold a candle to those who have decades worth of cooking experience--but that doesn't mean that my skills haven't improved. It's no secret that I am a big proponent of meal planning and cooking, so I thought I would share a few tricks I learned along the way.


 

Eliminate Food Waste

 

1.  Freeze your greens.

Seriously.  I thought this sounded so strange at first, but Dan's mom turned me onto this trick.  The frozen greens are great for green smoothies, and the frozen texture is actually a boon because it makes the smoothies icy, cold, and thick.

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Well fed

Five of my good friends from college came to visit this past weekend, and I cannot tell you how--to use the words of one of those visiting friends--well nourished I feel now.  Emotionally, spiritually, spiritually, physically...on all counts.  Time with girlfriends is like enjoying therapy, massage, and comfort food all in one go.  Actually, that is pretty much what we did: we sat around the fireplace for hours talking about love and sex and God and earrings and bad TV.  We exchanged back and neck massages and stories about the glories of our entry-level jobs.  And we ate copious amounts of vegan food, some healthy, some not-so-healthy, which brings me to the subject of this post.  

I promised my friend Amy that I would share the recipes for this weekend.  We all know by now that I do not take pictures (Seriously, we have no photos from the entire weekend--well, that's not wholly true.  Everyone felt compelled to snap a picture of Dan's bar but somehow that is all we have to show for our time together, which I know realize is making it sound as though our weekend took quite a different direction than it actually did...but I digress.).  We eat with our eyes first, but you'll just have to imagine, okay?  If you need a recipe to pull out for your girls' (or guys') weekend or simply need to feel well fed, I hope that you will be inspired by the following spread:

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Texas made me do it.

My friends from Texas will roll their eyes and sigh when they read my musings on how Texas convinced me that we Americans eat too much meat, ask too much of environment, and care too little about the toll our standard of living takes on our fellow creatures.  They will say to me, "You're not really being fair to Texas!  Don't be so hard on us.  There are actually some really great things about Texas...when you lived in San Angelo, that wasn't thereal Texas."  

It's no secret that Texas was not my cup of tea.  At all.  But the truth is, as disparaging as I can be towards the state whose only claim to fame as I see it is that it does everything BIG (and no, although most men will not believe me, bigger is not automatically better--think kidney stones and Dolly Parton), Texas led me to veganism.  I cannot say the path was direct or that there exists a one-to-one correlation between living and Texas and becoming vegan (Frankly, I imagine very few people find that with each passing day in the Alamo that there meat consumption drops precipitously--I would guess quite the opposite, in fact.).  Maybe my becoming vegan was not so much due to my living in Texas as it was my having very little to do last summer except read blogs and peruse recipes.  Or maybe it had more to do with the fact that my college chaplain's continual extolling the merits of eating local and knowing the source of our food had finally, several years later, registered.  Or maybe I simply had the time--no, took the time--to think, really think, about why I put which foods into my body in the first place.

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