Thursday of Veggie Week

Ok, so I totally dropped the ball on getting this posted last week.
Is anyone getting tired of hearing how busy I am all the time yet? 😉

Thursday was the final day of my short veggies week and the pièce de résistance was The Big Vegan Bowl.
I had a Green Monster for breakfast and leftover falafel for lunch, both were good but when I got home and started prepping dinner I was excited.
This meal takes a little bit of prep work, but luckily Youngest Daughter was having one of those moments where she wants to help make dinner so I let her prep some of the veggies…
We used spinach, shaved carrots, lightly sauteed purple cabbage, sweet potatoes, chick peas, quinoa, avocado and hummus. I forgot the hemp hearts, which I have but just forgot to add. AndThe GingerBeard Man added some siracha and sour cream to his because that’s how he eats literally everything.
This meal was by far my favorite. So much so that while we were eating, The GingerBeard Man and I kept asking each other why we don’t eat this every week… or every night. Because it tasted fantastic and it was super filling and you can feel great about all of the ingredients.
Now, here we are, making our grocery list for next week and The GingerBeard Man asked me for the recipe because he wants to buy enough stuff to make The Big Vegan Bowl for dinner every day next week. I told him I’d be down with having it for lunch every day next week too. It’s just that good. And even if you aren’t interested in being meat free, add some salmon or chicken to it and walk away knowing that you ate something that was super healthy.

ps. I feel like I have to tell you that while the Oh She Glows falafel recipe was fine, I think I will probably go back to using my go to recipe for falafels as they are so good and hold together really well. I usually bake mine in the oven instead of making them in the crock pot, but the combination of ingredients here is yummy!

*photo credit: Oh She Glows

Wednesday of Veggie week

*disclaimer – I am totally eating a donut as I type this… and it isn’t even a great donut, it’s totally subpar. And I’m eating the last bite right now. Damn you, donut.

Tuesday night I got home and I made the Oh She Glows Burrito Bowl which was super yummy. There was enough left over for three lunchboxes. The Gingerbeard Man and I each took one for lunch on Wednesday and he took the last one for lunch today.

Wednesday morning I had the Happy Digestion Smoothie sans parsley because I bought four bunches of cilantro instead of two cilantro and two parsley. And people, I know the difference. I don’t know what happened.

For dinner, we had falafels and cucumber salad with some warm naan bread. The falafel flavors were great but the consistency didn’t exactly hold together well. The cucumber salad was yummy but I had to skip the red onions because: kids…

I will post Thursdays food later but I wanted to mention here that I do feel great (donut and chocolate cake aside), but when I went to start my grocery list for next week I was immediately like ugh, so much work. Not necessarily the cooking part, I don’t mind that. More the planning part. Picking meals, making sure I can tweak them to be kid and husband friendly and then the list and the shopping and the prep and the cooking. I’m probably just being a whiny pants because we have been so busy with all of the end of school year stuff… but when The GingerBeard Man said he had already started the grocery list I was like YAAAAAAAAAAAAAS. So next week will probably not be a great healthy week in my household. In fact, it will probably be the junk foodiest week ever since the kids are free from prison school… but stay tuned because I anticipate once the craziness of moving two daughters across the country has commenced, I will probably take it on again 🙂

Tuesday of my Veggie Week

Since yesterday was a holiday, my eating right week got a day late start. Which was great since my Mother in Law sent me a recipe for a very chocolate sheet cake that we made spur of the moment yesterday evening and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on that.
This weekend was ridiculously busy. The Gingerbeard Man was super sick last week, recovering literally in the nick of time. I was also a little under the weather midweek through the weekend. Nothing awful, just not 100%. We were celebrating my daughter’s fourteenth birthday with an Alice in Wonderland Murder Mystery Dinner Party which meant not just prepping food and costumes and cleaning the house but then also keeping ten thirteen and fourteen year olds preoccupied for about six hours. The party was hugely successful. My daughter has an amazing group of friends who all arrived in costume and in character. They had a great time 🙂
The next day we were going to my in-laws for some fajitas and pool time. My older two girls stopped and grabbed new bathing suits and then spent the majority of the day lounging by the pool. I am all for any time they get to spend together because I can just see it slipping away so quickly. That same evening, my oldest daughter decided it was a good time to move my grandkitties home for the remainder of the time she is here. She will be moving home in the next few weeks in preparation for the trip to Connecticut and with her and her roommates rarely home and moving their stuff out, she thought it would be easier on the kitties. I think she was right.
Monday we stayed oh so blissfully home. It was awesome. No plans, no chores… just leftover fajitas and salsa and playing Mexican Train dominoes and drinking sangria. Mid afternoon, we decided we wanted to have some of the sheet cake we had the day before with my in-laws and so we got the recipe and made a big chocolate cake and ate it with blue bell vanilla ice cream 🙂
It was pretty late by the time we were done with dominoes and cake and Game of Thrones but I was so excited about my veggie week that I went ahead and prepped mine and The Gingerbeard Man’s lunches for today. We kicked off the week with “Pasta” Primavera. I loathe cooked carrots so I kept mine raw when I reheated them for lunch today. The “pesto” is really great. Mine doesn’t look like the picture but it tastes lovely. I started my morning off with a Green Monster and for dinner we are having the Burrito Bowl.
I’m not weighing in or counting calories or anything this week. I’m just going to really try and eat a plant based diet as much as I can and see how I feel. I’m really all about feeling great by the end of the week and hopefully seeing my energy levels increase 🙂

Pressure Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Texas had a super mild winter this year… Personally, I don’t mind winter, at least not in a place where it never snows… And one thing I love about winter is cold weather foods.  I could a different soup every single day during the winter and be super happy.  Actually, I can eat some all year and be happy but my family dislikes soups during the hotter months so I usually reserve them for wintertime.  The area I live in typically cools off during the fall and stays that way until January, and about half way through January and for just about all of February, it’s as cold as it will get.  Which is pretty chilly for a south Texas gal.  This year, it never did it.  It stayed fall cold, with a few over night freezes, but that was it.  And during the afternoons, it was in the fifties and sixties or higher.

It was like we skipped winter altogether.

So this past week when we had a few cooler rainy days, my internal soup alarm was going off.  And pretty urgently since it probably knew that was the last little bit of winter like weather before we would be thrust kicking and screaming into the desolate abyss that is known as Summer.  Can you tell I’m not a fan?

Well, I wasn’t going to miss my last chance at some yummy soup that was appreciated by chilly family members, so I scrapped my original dinner plans for the night and scoured the fridge, freezer and pantry for some ingredients to make that happen.  Friday isn’t the best day for that since it’s the last day of our grocery week so I was surprised to see that I could totally pull it off.  And it was so good that I wanted to share it with ya’ll 🙂

Now I made this in my pressure cooker for expediency sake, but it could just have easily been thrown into the crockpot for the day.

Here’s what I did:
*2 frozen chicken breasts
*half of an onion, diced
*6 cloves of garlic
*2 quarts of chicken stock (mine was frozen, see below)
*1 chicken bouillon cube

I put all of that in the pressure cooker on the soup setting and let it go. Once it had timed out, I released the vent and opened it up. I shredded the chicken and added a bag of frozen corn and a can of black beans.  Then top with some fresh avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro and some tortilla chips.  Done!  So good and it seriously took me less than an hour to make, most of that time I was working and just waiting for the pressure cooker to do it’s thing.  Also, I think this soup got some bonus flavor from the stock.  We occasionally buy some rotisserie chicken(s) for dinner and when we are done with them, we boil them to make stock.  The stock used in this was from some of those chickens.  I froze it in a ziplock bag and added it to the pressure cooker still frozen.