Breakfast: 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats simmered in 1/2 cup lite coconut milk and 1/2 cup Edensoy Extra soy milk with 1/2 cup frozen juice pulp made from kale, spinach, apples, and clementines, three dried apricots, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and 1 Coconut Cream Pie Larabar stirred in.
Upon returning from Alabama, I faced a close-to-empty refrigerator lacking the standard fresh kale, spinach, apples, bananas, and almond butter I usually enjoy stirring into my oatmeal. Luckily, before my departure for the deep south, I had blended up some green juice with which to travel, leaving behind its yummy pulp in the freezer. The pulp fully satisfied my leafy green meal guideline, but only partially checked off my fruit requirement. Thus, a Larabar (I constantly stock the little rectangles of energy in my pantry) chock full of fruity dates and coconut came in handy, also fulfilling my preference for eating nuts with breakfast. Never yet contemplated stirring a Larabar into oatmeal? Try it! I can vouch for its tastiness.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—soy milk, almonds and cashews in Larabar. Whole Grain—gluten-free rolled oats. Fruit—apples, clementines, dried apricots, dates and coconut in Larabar. Leafy Green—kale, spinach. “Power Food”—chia seeds.
Lunch: Mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts (including lentils, beluga peas, and chickpeas), dill, and 1 medium carrot, all tossed with 2 tbsp vegan pesto from Carlanna Gardens thinned with 1 tbsp water to create a dressing-like consistency, then topped with a generous forkful of seaweed sauerkraut and a chickpea-avocado mash.
After paying a much-needed visit to the Willy Street Coop, I restocked our refrigerator to its regular impressive capacity with plenty of goodies and proceeded to whip up my usual gargantuan salad for lunch. But, you may realize that I ate this not out of a Tupperware container, but a bowl! Perhaps this doesn’t seem too exciting, but this Wednesday constitutes one of the first in months on which I’ve eaten a relaxing lunch at home, not on the cold hallway floor at school. Gotta love winter break.
Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpeas, walnuts in pesto. Whole Grain—none. Vegetables—alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, carrot, basil in pesto, dill, avocado. Leafy Green—mixed greens, sauerkraut (cabbage).
Dinner: Inspired by this recipe from Fragrant Vanilla Cake, a pilaf-salad hybrid of wild rice, black beluga lentils, roasted sunchokes and shallots with rosemary, raisins, and parsley in a simple dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and dijon mustard. Rounding out the leafy green portion of the meal, a simple saute of lacinato kale and napa cabbage with cumin, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar.
My changes to Amy’s original recipe: added 1/4 cup beluga lentils and about 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley, roasted the sunchokes with dried rosemary rather than tossing the salad with fresh, substituted raisins for cherries, omitted the pecans (I felt that my previous meals contained plenty of fat/nuts already), omitted the maple syrup from the dressing, reduced the amount of dressing. The nuttiness of the wild rice with the sweet raisins and smoky roasted sunchokes created a medley of succulent winter flavors with lovely textural contrast. My quick saute of greens didn’t turn out too shabbily, either! Cumin and balsamic vinegar can elevate any savory dish.
Meal Checklist: Protein—lentils. Whole Grain—wild rice. Vegetables—sunchokes, shallots, parsley. Leafy Greens—kale, cabbage.
Local Ingredients: Shallots from the Plahnt Farm. (Nothing else because the next indoor farmers market doesn’t occur until January 7! How will I ever survive?)
After-Dinner Beverage: A glass of Vita Coco coconut water.
After spotting coconut water cropping up on countless vegan blogs, I finally caved and bought a carton to sample. While I don’t necessarily agree that coconut water will hydrate you any more efficiently than regular old tap water, it does boast an impressive amount of potassium and vitamin C. The flavor, certainly redolent of coconut, seemed a bit sour/bitter to me, and I’m not quite sure that I will start incorporating the beverage into my regular pattern of eating. Perhaps I’ll try another flavor next time, like Tangerine or Peach & Mango.
Nighttime Tea: Organic Golden Ginger from Traditional Medecines.
A blend of ginger and chamomile, this calming tea soothes digestion and tastes great.
Comment Provoking Questions: Have you eaten Larabars in any way other than straight out of the wrapper? What is your favorite flavor of Larabars? Do you usually eat lunch at home or pack one to take along somewhere? How do you feel about coconut water?
Until next time, Ali.