Wow! What a response from last week’s post. I guess people care about what I eat, and how I write about it.
So…here we go again. I’m pretty excited about this week…they’re really tasty. As always, the lunches are vegan, no added oils, mostly salt-free (I used a hot sauce that has some salt in it), with an eye on nutrition…not just avoiding things. These are also gluten free with the simple omission of Hing. I’ve been laughing all week about something I heard. A friend mentioned that a vegan can happily sit down to a meal of potato chips, diet soda and a bowl of white sugar and be totally “on-plan.” I’m aiming for something higher than that. In these meals, I’ve been thoughtful about protein, carbohydrates both simple and complex, greens, and other things hoping to really refuel my body mid-day.
I also really love the dutch saying “You eat what the pot serves”. We use this as a family to remind the kids that whatever is cooked is eaten. There’s no short-order cooking in our house. When I decided to move away from the mainstream of my family’s eating habits, and become Nutritarian, I didn’t want to also overburden the budget. I’ve tried to employ the old dutch saying to also mean, You Cook what the Cupboards Serve.” What this translates to is an adventure of combinations. I literally take a look in the refrigerator and pantry and see what can be combined for my lunches.
This week, we had a really gorgeous cut of winter squash and a giant parsnip from our CSA box. So, here we go.
Main Dish: Pumpkin Coconut Curry
- about 4 cups winter squash, peeled, large cubes.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed (I usually cook my own beans, but felt lazy)
- 1 box of creamed coconut (could sub with a can of coconut milk)
- 1 TB garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- a few shakes (1/4 tsp?) Hing (asafoetida) (could sub with garlic or leave out)
- 2 capfuls Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup cashew pieces (I buy the broken ones…they’re much cheaper)
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- a few handfuls of baby greens (my mix was various kales and spinach)
Method to my madness: I used my Instant Pot for this, but it could easily be simmered on a stove.
- Heat up the Instant Pot for sauteing.
- saute onions. If they stick a little, toss in a tsp of water and stir. I don’t use oil for this)
- When the onions are translucent enough for you, add Hing, turmeric and Garam Masala. Stir to coat.
- Add vinegar and scrape any “stuck bits” from the bottom.
- Toss in the squash, beans, and broth. Stir it up.
- Pressure cook on manual setting for 4 minutes
- Use quick release when it’s finished cooking.
- Stir in cashews, raisins, greens and coconut milk
- Allow it to sit long enough for the greens to wilt.
- Serve over rice
For my four lunches, I add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of rice and cook in the Instant Pot on manual for 4 minutes. Allow for natural release then fluff with a fork.
Citrus Roasted Parsnips:
- 3 cups cubed parsnips (I had one GIANT parsnip)
- 1 TB Red Miso Soup paste
- 1 TB dried thyme
- 2 TB garlic paste
- Yuzo Sauce (Trader Joes) If you don’t have this, you could probably use some lemon juice and some kind of hot sauce to substitute)
- preheat oven to 375 F
- Toss all ingredients to coat well
- spread evenly on a baking dish (I used a 1/4 sheet cookie pan)
- Roast for 45 minutes, turning half way.
- When they’re done, shake some Yuzo sauce on them to your liking.
Simple Mushroom Dal
- 1 cup urad dal (Black Gram Lentil)
- 2.5 cups broth (Usually 3, but the mushrooms give off a lot of liquid)
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I had baby portabellas)
- A few handfuls of baby spinach
- Chuck it all in the Instant Pot
- Give it a little Stir
- Pressure cook on manual for 14 minutes
- Quick release when completed
- Stir in a few handfuls of baby spinach and allow to wilt.
- Stir it more if you like it creamier, less if you like the lentils intact.
Now to just get them in the freezer, and over to school Monday morning. So…what do YOU do for lunches?