Menu Plan Monday ~ 20th to 26th Jan & Butter panic

This weekend my mum came to visit and brought some oranges from Valencia. It’s so uncommon to find oranges that have not been covered with wax, I decided I HAD to do something with the zest. That’s how me made a Shirin Polow (Iranian Rice Pilaf) with cashews, carrots, saffron and brown basmati rice. I panicked they would not like it and used real butter, and for this reason I have not uploaded a pic here. I keep telling myself butter was healthier than margarine, and answering myself that it’s a lame excuse for not using olive oil. Finally, me make peace. Me and myself agree to relax and enjoy the journey, and maybe use a healthy substitute next time.

New dishes for this week are jacket potatoes, vegan pasta bolognese and the forever delayed seitan and eggplant stew and pan pizza recipes. We’ll see if this is your week!

Sunday

  • Lunch: Catalan-style spinach (with sultanas and pine nuts)
  • Dinner: Barley salad and grilled portobello mushrooms

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Menu planning saves me time, money and makes my life simpler. It just needs some practice and discipline, but sharing it with the community around I’m and organizing junkie does help a lot. Personally, I tend to combine old favorites and new recipes, all simple, healthy and with modest seasonal ingredients. Every week I do at least a salad, a soup, one dish of legumes, one dish of wholemeal organic cereal (such as brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal pasta, bulgur, etc), something my omnivore would cook and a meal from the freezer I can skip in case we eat out.

Healthwise, in addition to that, I take every morning a B12 and vitamin D pill (when I remember), add grounded flax seeds to dishes (when I remember), have simple oatmeal breakfasts (or toasted bread with olive oil), snack nuts and dried or fresh fruits (also I can’t help chips and nachos from time to time), try to drink two liters of water every day (usually only one), try to sleep at least 8 hours (usually it’s 7), do a very soft gym class once or twice a week (starting now!) and have and occasional glass of wine or beer (or two, hehe).

 

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Superfast simple baked leek in oats cream

Thirty seconds. 2 ingredients. Serve half an hour later.

Ever since I became vegetarian, I’ve been doing my béchamel sauce with wholemeal flour and a variety of vegan milks such as soy, rice and oats. Till I discovered organic oats and soy cream tetrapacks, may the gods of recycling forbid me. This one is hadcore healthy, because… let’s look at the ingredients. OMG, the oats version contains palm and colza oils, and the soy version has sugar! 😦 Mmm… still better than dairy cream and ¡vegan! ¿right? saving cute little cows from slaughterhouse. Yeah.

Let’s say…. oats cream is one of those tasty little sins that make your life easier when you’re in a hurry. If you have the time, for the sauce you can always do the superhealthy version: stir milk and flour in a pan. I might do a post on that one. Whatever. About the recipe.

You’ll only need:

  • Leek
  • Oats cream
  • Thyme, oregano, olive oil and salt

Instructions:

Preheat the oven. Cut leek. Place in oven plate. Cover with oats cream.

Top with herbs, a splash of olive oil and salt. Bake in oven for, well, that depends on you oven, mine is about half an hour. Serve. Receive compliments for your master cooking skills. Easy peasy.

Recipe review: Creamy Roasted Sprouts n’ Pasta (What smells so good?)

It’s been a while since I discovered this original recipe from Jazzijava and it has never failed me. I’ve tried it again and again in macaroni or spirulina black spaghetti, always boiling the frozen brussels sprouts.

This time though, I did roast fresh brussels sprouts as indicated, used wholemeal instead of white macaroni and grilled with grated bread. Also I used a pair of susbtitutes and grilled in the oven. Not such a bad result after all 🙂

You’ll need:
– Fresh or frozen brussels sprouts
– Any kind of pasta (better wholemeal organic)
– A piece of tofu (preferably firm)
– Lemon or vinegar (either grape or rice will be fine)
– Fresh ow powdered garlic
– Breadcrumbs (optional)
– Paprika
– Salt
– Olive oil (optional)

Instructions:

Boil the whole brussels sprouts till tender if they are frozen, or roast them in halves in the oven if they are fresh. If you go with the roasting, Jazzijava instructs to “spray a glass baking dish lightly with olive oil, add the sprouts to the pan and roast at 375 F for 10 minutes. Stir, and roast for 10 more minutes.” This is what I did this time and worked perfect, be careful though to spray only a pair of drops of oil.

Boil the pasta in saulty water.

Blend the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. I didn’t have lemon so I used a piece of raw yellow pepper and rice vinegar as a substitute, and instead of the onion powder, I chopped some spring onions, then blended together with the tofu, garlic, salt, paprika, parsley and water. If you use too much water, as it happened to me this time, you can heat the sauce to thicken it up.

Now mixing with the pasta will be enough. But if you still want to give it a chunchy final touch, drop some breadcrumbs and oregano on top and grill. Tadá!

Recipe review: Roasted Cabbage with Lemon (Kalyn’s Kitchen)

“If you lived on cabbage, you would not be obliged to flatter the powerful” – Diogenes of Sinope

Following this week menu, yesterday I did this recipe I saved 28 weeks ago on Pinterest through John and Roxanne McLain. Apparently, the original one comes from Eat Repeat, although my favorite is the more detailed adaptation from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

I’ve done it now for a pair of times and it really gives cabbage a different twist, although I never get to take it from the over at the right time: either too early or too late. I’ll keep on trying, because it’s yummy, fast and easy.

You’ll need:

  • Cabbage
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper

The idea is to cut every cabbage in eight pieces, but I was cooking just for me, so I only did half. Then place them in an oven tray.

For the juice I squeezed half a lemon and I confess it was too much, much less would do, but I did like the over-lemony citric taste. Placed together with two spoons of olive oil (I’m trying to control my fat intake, but of course more oil means more taste), fresh ground pepper and salt. I mixed it with the same spoon as I used for the salt, call me lazy, but if I use a whisk that’s a thing more to clean later. Then left it in the oven for 15 minutes but burned it. And tried it again, but I think I took them too soon.

Anyway even burned or semi-raw this was good. I can’t wait to try again and see if I get it right!