While I detest eating the same thing over and over again, at any given time I’m typically rotating through ten or so meals for dinner (and three or so each for breakfast and lunch). I love trying new recipes and getting ambitious in the kitchen, but most of the time I’m just trying to get something relatively yummy and healthy in my tummy as soon as possible so I can get back to wrestling my son/folding laundry/answering e-mails/what-have-you.
So, because everyone (including me!) seems to be on the lookout for new relatively-yummy-and-healthy-and-easy meal ideas to whip up on any given weekday, I thought I’d share some go-to breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I’ve been turning to lately as I’ve been gearing up for April Health Month.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to keep my first meal of the day vegan. These are three that I’ve been liking:
- Coconut yogurt with berries and granola and sliced almonds. I don’t know what it is with me and coconut yogurt, but that stuff is like crack for me. I’m not even a big coconut person, because I usually find anything coconut-flavored to be way too sweet, but a good unsweetened coconut yogurt is completely addictive. In fact, I’m eating it right now. I’ve been liking Coyo brand yogurt, but I’m going to try to make my own because that shiz is expensive.
- Coconut chia pudding with berries, mango and almonds
- Vegan pumpkin pancakes with almond butter and fruit of some sort
- As a post-breakfast mid-morning snack, I might have more fruit, a hard-boiled egg, a Larabar, or some gluten-free avocado toast with olive oil and salt and pepper
Lunch can be a bit of a crapshoot depending on what I have going on that day, but this is the gist:
- I’ve realized that I love having some kind of homemade soup in the fridge. Lately I’ve been rotating between chili, lentil, and minestrone.
- My go-to tuna salad (tuna, celery, dried cranberries, slice almonds, mayo, dijon, salt and pepper) is great for a dose of seafood in my week, but I also want to try making chickpea salad with vegan mayo for a vegan take.
- I’ve been loving what I call Cafe Gratitude bowls lately (we stayed at an Airbnb near the Venice location last month and OMG I love that place): quinoa, roasted sweet potato, black beans, avocado and arugula with a tahini sauce (tahini, lemon zest and juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper). I ate this the other day and it was SO DAMN GOOD I swore I would never eat anything else for lunch again. That’s a lie, but it’s seriously so delicious. And the only actual cooking is roasting sweet potato chunks with olive or coconut oil and salt and pepper, and making quinoa which is easy-peasy.
- I’m not a huge snack person, but if I need anything in the afternoon or while feeding Jack dinner I try to stick to fruit, Larabars, GF crackers or veggies with hummus, some chips and salsa, olives, or the sweet and salty pecans from TJ’s that are insanely good.
These are the current dinners in my rotation:
- Butternut squash enchiladas (also great with sweet potato)
- Quinoa and brown rice pasta (I like the kind from Trader Joe’s) with eggplant, tomato and fresh basil sauce
- Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken with mashed butternut squash and roasted broccoli
- Shrimp burrito bowls (I’m going to make them this week with black beans and cauliflower rice for an extra dose of veg)
- Tofu and veggie stir-fry (I saute scallion whites in sesame oil, add some garlic and ginger and saute for a minute, and then add veggies like zucchini, pepper and eggplant, then add cubed tofu and some bottled stir fry sauce, maybe some extra soy sauce or fish sauce and mix it all up. Serve with coconut rice (just google for a recipe, so easy and so yummy), and top with scallion greens and cilantro and Sriracha
- Maple-mustard salmon (just mix up a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup with a couple of tablespoons of dijon mustard, plus salt and pepper and any chopped fresh or dried herb you might have. Brush onto salmon fillets (I keep wild salmon in the freezer and just thaw in a bowl of cool water before using) and bake at 425 for about 12ish minutes. Broil for a couple minutes at the end to caramelize the top. Serve with any veg or grain you feel like)
- Gluten-free pasta with a good store-bought pesto (Gotham Greens from Whole Foods and TJ’s Vegan Pesto in the refrigerated section are both good), shrimp, and a veggie like zucchini and/or peas
- Turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash and a veggie side
- Homemade chicken noodle soup with gluten-free noodles and lots of fresh dill
- Total hack, but in a pinch, I love TJ’s gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza. I saute whatever veggies I have in the fridge (bonus: using up leftovers!) with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to pile on top, and top it all with fresh basil if I have any. Not super healthy or classy, but delicious and easy and relatively harmless as a back-up comfort food dinner, right?
So, there you go! Let me know if you have any healthy meal suggestions for me to try this month. I’m really hoping to find some new favorites as a result of this challenge—and of course, I’ll be reporting back with any keepers!