It’s March! Can you believe it? This is the time of year when we get the itch to get out and explore new things. The monotony of grey winter skies has grown old, and we want to emerge out of hibernation like bears – with chapped lips and stomachs full of hearty soups and chilis. It’s around this time of year I want to get outside to hear the slow trickle of a nearby brook melting for the first time. Nestling by the fire is nice and all, but it may be time to exchange the holiday hangover for some healthy eats.
The key to eating healthy is to have fun with it and make stuff that energizes you to get out there and explore what excites you. For me, I’ve always felt at my best when the sun is shining, eating fresh fruits and vegetables; I love the spring and summer when all of that is in abundance - at my disposal. This might seem like a wistful daydream, but we can bring home a slice of paradise with a few easy recipes and perhaps trying a new fruit or veggie from the market can make it fun too. Today we are going to share a “day” full of vibrant and fun vegan recipes to mix up what you are cooking in the cozy comfort of your kitchen (made possible by your presumably high oil and electric bills.) I’ve been gluten and dairy free for about 5 years now, and I’ve experienced first hand how eating clean can change a person’s life. I have more energy, ambition, and joy; even my skin and hair feel better. I’m not a vegan, but I do eat and enjoy vegan meals. Here’s a sample menu that I have followed. The trick is not feeling like you are depriving yourself.
Breakfast: Pina Coladas shouldn’t be saved just for the beach! Try “Pina Colada Oatmeal” to brighten up even the dreariest Monday mornings. All you need is coconut milk, shredded coconut, oats, and water. I promise, they put you in a great mood. The more toppings the better, add the fresh fruit and almonds to add a little crunch.
Lunch: Forget your typical Cobb salad (although that is good too). Try something new… “Zoodle Salad with Lime Peanut Sauce.” I prefer any recipe that is fuss free, but most of us are more apt to eat better if there’s a tasty, savory sauce. This salad is super simple, all you need is carrots, cabbage, zucchini, some coriander, onion and sunflower seeds. If that sounded boring, the dressing is the star! Whisk together some olive oil, lime, hot sauce, peanut butter, sea salt, sesame seeds, and cracked black pepper. Squeeze some fresh lime on top, and it’s like you are eating Pad Thai without feeling weighed down afterwards.
Snack/Treat: To eat vegetarian never let yourself get too hungry and don’t forget to add the protein. I don’t go anywhere without a protein bar in my bag or other snacks. Since I moved to Washington, D.C., I have been thrilled with all the gluten free and dairy free options, but there’s definitely less choices at home in Connecticut, so I cook more there. Try this favorite snack – “Edamame Hummus and Oven Fries.” Fries are a family favorite – if you have an air fryer – even better! Dip them in hummus for a healthy twist. You won’t feel deprived and you might even consider tossing your Heinz ketchup to the back of the fridge. Chickpeas, edamame, lots of garlic, cumin, lemon, sea salt and pepper, and pine nuts can be chopped in minutes with the help of a food processor. Trust me on this one, it’s a win.
Dinner: Assuming you’d like a little heartier dinner, try “Creamy Kale & Pea Risotto.” Surprisingly, this only requires a few ingredients. Garlic is always a key player in any good meal; but you need onion, rice, vegetable stock, nutritional yeast, green peas and a handful of kale. Another great option is to roast whatever veggies you have in our fridge, add some gluten free soy sauce and ginger, some riced cauliflower and a protein of your choice and build your own rice bowl. You can even make your own gluten free or vegan veggie quesadilla with the leftover fixings.
While you probably aren’t going to convert into a crunchy granola hippy just by trying out a few new recipes – there’s no denying how great it feels to eat fresh and beautiful food. Mixing up your kitchen menu is a wonderful way to excite your day and it doesn’t have to stop with a recipe; many of the authors in our book “Vegan Bowls for Vegan Souls” have social media profiles that you can follow. Keep learning, and be inspired by them anytime you feel a little blah by the day to day, mix it up. You may also want to pick up our companion pieces: coconut bowls, wooden fork and spoon sets or our chopsticks to make eating your vegan bowl fun. Don’t forget to wrap them with our Reusable Beeswax ZWRAPS too!
Happy cooking, we hope that your version of the recipes turns out just as beautiful as your favorite island resort. Don’t forget to use promo code VACATION until 3/15/20 to receive 20% off your order!
Explore What Excites You,
Sarah and The Piper and Dune Family