Roasted Winter Bowl with BBQ Tempeh and Help Seed Ranch Dressing from the First Mess: The dressing for this is fantastic, and makes enough that you can use it for several meals. For the two of us, I used two sweet potatoes, a block of tempeh, and a head of romanesco cauliflower. We had enough leftovers to build a hearty salad the next night for dinner (I used shredded kale because the density of the sweet potatoes and tempeh needs something hearty).
Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce by Oh She Glows: This was the first meal I cooked for Andrew, and he didn’t notice that it’s vegan! The Avocado Cream Sauce makes it so rich you don’t notice the lack of cheese. I’ve made it both by cooking the sweet potatoes as mentioned, and by roasting them in the oven – an extra step that adds a great level of flavor and texture. I like adding some thawed frozen corn into the mixture. Take the 5 minutes to make the enchilada sauce – it’s so easy and tastes so much better! Ideas for leftovers: mash up the enchiladas into a “hash” and fry up some eggs (breakfast or dinner!); crumble leftovers into a salad (especially good with basil-avocado salad dressing!).
Big Veggie Stir-fry flavored with ginger and Braggs, served with rice. Top with toasted nuts or seeds, always.
Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato from Kris Carr
Spicy BBQ Chickpea Burgers by Oh She Glows
Red Lentil and Chickpea Burgers from the Thrive Cookbook (note: use 1T salt)
I haven’t had luck making my own oven fries, so I use store-bought, and serve with a salad. Leftover burgers can be frozen (I fry mine first and then freeze, reheat in the oven or in a skillet), crumbled on top of a salad, or added to a breakfast scramble (especially the black bean burgers).
I make hearty salads for our lunches. They vary with what I have on hand, but often include some roasted vegetable (squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, etc). Sometimes I add a hard-boiled egg for protein.
My two salad dressings on rotation right now are the hemp seed ranch dressing above and this Honey Dijon Dressing from the Detoxinista. This is our current favorite salad dressing – really versatile, goes on lots of different salads.
These all make great lunches – pint canning jars are a good size – along with a salad. We freeze extras in single-serving sizes.
Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup and Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup from Oh She Glows: I’ve made the Spiced Red Lentil Soup several times, and we both love it. The broth has an awesome flavor. I’ve swapped out the greens with other veggies we have on hand, e.g. cabbage. The Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup is fantastic – I used a mix of red and black lentils and prefer cabbage as a sturdier green.
Kimchi Soup from 101 Cookbooks: This has an amazing flavor and easy to make – great when you’re feeling under the weather.
The Best Vegetarian Chili from Serious Eats: The multiple types of chilis give this chili depth of flavor, and the mashed garbanzo beans give it a meat-like texture (to save washing a dish, I used a potato masher instead of processing them).
Buttermilk Biscuits from Alton Brown. These are super easy to make and turn out great every time. They are not healthy, but make a meal feel like a treat.
- Peanut Butter & Honey Chewy Granola Bars from the Detoxinista: These are incredibly easy to make and are awesome because they maintain shape at room temperature. They’ll keep you full until lunch, or are a great afternoon treat (I kept one wrapped in tinfoil and munched on it while I was on the slopes!). Even better, they freeze perfectly – keep them in a ziplock bag. Pull one out and let it defrost, or stick it in the microwave for a little bit to eat immediately.
- Cinnamon Raisin Snack Bars from Everyday Detox: (“Look Inside” and you can find the recipe). These are Larabar-style. I substitute cranberries for the raisins.
- Glo Bars from Oh She Glows:
- Larabar-style bars: Once you get the basic idea down, there are endless variations!
Banana Bread from my mom (via a circa-1980s Whole Foods recipe): I seriously have never found a better banana bread recipe (however I never really tried because this one is so good). These also freeze wonderfully. To defrost, pull them out the night before and let them sit on the counter or heat them in the oven or microwave if you’re in a rush. They’re so moist they don’t need butter, but I prefer it that way 🙂
Mini-frittatas (or a slice of a frittata).
Freezer-friendly Breakfast Sandwiches from the Kitchn: These turned out pretty fantastic. Toasting the top muffin (if you have a toaster – we don’t) would make it extra good, but it’s amazing that they go straight from freezer to the microwave to your mouth.
Caramelized Onions! This is a secret weapon. Make a batch of 1-2 onions and store in the fridge for a week to use in dishes to really take things up a notch: Eggs, salads, macaroni and cheese, and as a quick start to many meals that call for you to start with sautéed onions.
Sauces! They really are the secret sauce. I try to make one a week, either a dressing or a sauce (e.g. Andrew will add this cilantro chimichurri to almost anything – eggs are especially good), that we can slather on our meals . It makes everything seem much more pulled together 🙂 I’ll list some favorites soon.
Toasted nuts! I seriously add these to almost any meal and especially salads. The crunch just makes a meal more satisfying. A simple one I return to again and again – rinse sunflower seeds and put in a skillet over medium heat. Stir continuously until golden. Remove from heat and sprinkle shoyu/soy sauce and stir to coat. Let cool and store in the fridge.
Banana Soft Serve: Honestly, my favorite dessert right now – and it’s only one ingredient! Healthy and made-to-order. Our favorite variation: add some vanilla and cinnamon, tastes like a snickerdoodle!
Tumeric Ginger Lassi: We drink this a couple nights a week! We use fresh turmeric and ginger and sub 1 can of coconut milk for the yogurt and omit the honey.
Freezer Fudge from the Detoxinista: So hard to keep from eating the whole thing!
Almond Butter Blondies from the Detoxinista: You won’t believe that these don’t have any flour in them! Absolutely delicious.