The quarantine food game pantry edition

Howdy!  I hope that you’re settling into the new routine a little more and feeling less anxious about the state of the world.  I’m used to working from home but hubby (and I’m sure some of you) are not quite sold on working from home yet.  I hope at least that some of those meetings that could be emails are actually emails now.

Last time I posted about some of the staples in our refrigerator and how we turn them and some batch cooked rice, beans, and greens into various meals.  This post is all about the pantry.   A little bird told me that a specific list may be more helpful than paragraphs, so here goes.

  • Grains and pseudo-grains are a must – rice, oats, grits, dry cereal, and quinoa (when I’m in the mood)
  • Beans – dry and canned for quick meals.  I usually batch cook and freeze beans in 2-cup increments
  • Pasta – whole wheat, whole grain, or gluten-free, generally elbows, spirals, and spaghetti unless I’m in the mood for lasagna
  • Onions
  • Potatoes – sweet and red, Russet, or Yukon
  • Shelf-stable plant milk (when I remember to grab some)
  • Nuts and nut butter – usually cashews, walnuts, and a mix for snacking
  • Flour
  • Sugar and other sweeteners (stevia, dates, maple syrup, and Lakanto products)
  • Unopened condiments – barbeque sauce, mustard, salsa, salad dressings, and the like
  • Pickles – cucumbers, green beans, artichoke hearts – Yes, we treat pickles as staples.  Don’t you?
  • Tomatoes – diced and stewed
  • Pasta sauces – We tend to favor Classico
  • Bread and tortillas
  • Crackers (occasionally)
  • Spices and seasoning mixes
  • Vinegar – red, white, champagne, rice, and balsamic are here at the moment
  • Oil – Mostly for the family – olive, corn, and coconut

Our pantry staples don’t seem like much on their own, but pairing them to what we keep in the fridge and freezer (post coming soon) shows that the basics can go a long way.  These meals and sides are pantry- and fridge-based:

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  • Baked sweet potatoes topped with black beans and barbeque sauce served with a simple salad
  • Stuffed Russet potatoes
  • Pasta and potato salads as lunch or dinner sides
  • Pasta with beans or lentil sauces or tossed with made with whatever veggies are on hand
  • PBJ or nut butter with fruit and a veggie or fruit side
  • Beans on toast (noms and thanks to the Brits for this one)
  • Home fries with a side salad if they’re not full of veggies
  • Chickpea “tuna” salad with crackers, on bread, or on top of a simple salad
  • Mac and cheese with a potato and carrot-based cheese sauce
  • Oats or oatmeal muffins for breakfast
  • Bean or nut-based sausage
  • Lentil loaf with mashed potatoes and whatever green veggies are in the fridge

There you go – a nice selection of meals and snacks for any time of day.  It’s easy to mix and match to suit your taste and cravings.

So, do you prefer paragraphs or a list?  Let me know and I’ll make sure to follow the preferences of the majority.  Sometimes this blog is a dictatorship, but it’s usually a democracy.

See you next time when I talk about the freezer.  That glorious beast!

How’s your quarantine food game? Fridge edition

Is your pantry stocked? The freezer?  do you have staples on hand so you can cook and eat all the goodness you need? If not, this post is for you.  The post works for you if you have stocked up.  There’s something for all the veggies and vegans here.  I’ll share what we keep on hand in my house and how we make it work for us.  I’m the only veggie in the house, but I will not share what the omnis add to their meals here.  This one is for us.

When you have pantry and freezer staples on hand, you can mix and match to make

culi fried rice

delicious and healthy meals.  Not sure about that?  Check out Miyoko’s Creamery on Facebook for live cooking demos featuring pantry staples.  Why?  Because Miyoko is a joy to watch and her products are banging.  She published a book all about the vegan pantry a few years ago.  The Homemade Vegan Pantry is one of my favorites and comes in handy in times of crisis and storm season.  If you have a busy schedule and don’t always have time to cook or shop the way you’d like, you should check it out.

What do I keep in my fridge?  Plant milk, condiments, and produce always.  The produce we pick up depends on what’s on sale and what looks good at the moment. After batch cooking, you’ll find rice, beans, and greens.  Depending on the condiments and sides, I can make different meals out of those goodies.  Add salsa, shredded lettuce, olives, radishes, and tortillas for Tex Mex night.  Arrange beans and green over rice with a little hot sauce and a  biscuit or cornbread for a Southern meal.  Turn the beans and rice into burgers (or sausage) depending on seasonings used and throw it on a bun, bed of salad greens, or bowl of grits.  Make bean burgers and serve them over rice and topped with mushroom gravy for a vegan take on Loco Moco (the link goes to Guy Fieri’s version, so don’t click if you’re not okay with looking at meat or dairy).  And there’s always soup or stew – throw everything in a large pot with sauteed onions, garlic, and water to cook until all is heated through,  Season it to your taste and there’s lunch or dinner.  Don’t forget about throwing veggies on a sheet pan to serve with the bean burger.  Try cutting carrots or turnips into fries – yum!

food prep

Sheet pan dinner ftw – toss with a little oil, water, or broth season, and roast.  Easy cleanup, too!

I hope this gave you some ideas on what to pick for the fridge.  If you want or need a specific grocery list, just ask.  I am always happy to help others find their groove in the kitchen.

Next time, I’ll focus on the pantry.  See you then!

 

February 2019?

Hi, all.

It has been too long without an update on the good old blog.  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know what’s been happening.  If you don’t, here’s a quick rundown.

I have Posterior Tibial Tendonitis in my left leg.  The tendon is responsible for some of my knee and ankle pain according to the Physical therapist and the doc told me recovery would be long.   Recovery and PT have been decidedly unpleasant but PT is working.  Slowly.supports

Due to the injury, my fitness game is limited.  I am not allowed to lift heavy or spend too much time on my feet.  Yoga, Pilates, and some walking in 30-minute increments make up the majority of my training schedule.  Yay.  The pain increases the fatigue, but it’s not anything new.  Fibro/CFS life, right?

Of course, my weight is having a negative effect on recovery.  Nutrition is the main focus for hitting my goals.  I’m currently following 2B Mindset and figuring out how to customize my plan.  2BThe program is helping me change my relationship with food and to get in more water and veggies daily.  It’s also helping me pinpoint exactly how much corn I can have before I have a reaction.  I’m not allergic, but am sensitive to it.  I’m losing inches and have fewer digestive issues all around.

I’m counting down to the big 5-0 and kicked off 2019 with the Shrimp & Grits 5K (one of 5k 2019the Charleston Marathon events).  There was a new course (all flat, baby), a new location for the finish and after party, and were veggie grits available.  There was also coffee which was awesome because it was COLD!

Meal prep is not just a one-day marathon anymore.  I break it into a two-day thing and find it a better fit overall.  As always, there are batches of greens and beans every week.

culi fried rice

Batch cooking this way makes it easy to throw together meals on the fly that I did not necessarily plan for.  I felt like Asian food one night, so I made Edamame Cauliflower Fried Rice with the baked tofu I batch cooked, a cup each of frozen edamame and mixed veggies, and two cups of cauliflower rice.

And now you’re up to date.  If you have any questions for me about my nutrition, PT, food prep game, or anything, feel free to ask.

Vegan Mofo 2018

Hi, all!

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie will participate in Vegan Mofo in September!  Vegan Mofo is all about the vegan food and you know how much I love food. This gives me an excuse to eat and share more nummy goodness.

VeganMoFo-2

For those who don’t know me, I’m an omni turned vegan married to an omni hubs and have two omni college kids (well, 24 and 20 years old).  The food I love is a mix of omni-friendly comfort food, raw goodness, decadent desserts, bowls, Southern goodness, and everything in between.  Sometimes boring, occasionally misses, but always colorful and full of love.  I love to cook and have no problem taking shortcuts when necessary.   I deal with chronic pain, so shortcuts and takeout are necessary at times.

I’ll be posting here, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so you won’t miss anything if you stalk – I mean follow – me like I follow some of you.

Keep an eye open for all the plant-based goodness all over the place! If there’s something in particular you’d like to see, give me a shout.

Until tomorrow!

 

Review: Orgalif Bento Lunch Box Containers

I received these containers at a discount from Tomoson.com in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions are mine and I would not recommend anything I did not believe in.

bentos

It doesn’t matter how on point your fitness game is if your fueling game is off.  Yes, your calories might be in check, but your optimal balance of protein, carbs, and fat may not be.  I log every meal, whether on plan or not.   Why?  It helps me see why I don’t make progress.  When there are more good days than bad, I either lose or maintain.  Before I started my current food plan, I noticed I reached for fat and carbs more than protein.  A lot more fat than anything else, really.  Yes, almond and sunflower butter are good, but not at the amounts I’d reach for on a daily basis. Oy!

Speaking of, I stepped up my food prep game a few weeks ago and am seeing results.

Note:  Results include increases in energy level, change in how my clothes fit, training gains, and changes on the scale.  No one result trumps or minimizes another.

I’m following the macros from Flexible Dining for Vegans and don’t feel deprived, disappointed, or hungry. One issue I do have, though, is sticking on plan when I oversleep, have back-to-back shifts, or am running around.  One thing that does help is having meals and snacks ready to go.  Instead of relying on shakes or bars for most of it (or trying to rush and fix a plate or bowl), I try to pack individual meals.  I received the opportunity to review a set of Orgalif Bento Boxes and put them right to the test.

The boxes are a good size, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe, and the different colored lids were a plus for me. I could reach for the meal I wanted just by spotting the lid.  You know how it is when you live with other people, the fridge gets rearranged whether you want it to or not.  Knowing that these containers are full of ‘that crazy vegan food’ tends to keep the family away.   They don’t know good eating!  I took a couple from the freezer straight to the microwave with no issues.   They washed up nicely in the dishwasher, too.  They’re about perfect.  I fill them on meal prep days and am ready to go for a few meals.  The containers are not leak proof, so I use them at home exclusively.  They do fit nicely in lunch bags, so just skip sauces and gravies and things should be golden.

Orgalif offers a five year, 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Five years!  That says a lot in this disposable world.   Go get yours, risk free, and get to prepping!