So, I don’t know about y’all, but I am tired of eating during this quarantine. Cooking used to be something I looked forward to. I would be excited about coming up with delicious meals for the kids to devour. But now that you have to basically risk your life just to get a can of tomatoes, I’ve been over it. Combine this with recently moving to an area of town with more access to bomb fast food…cooking has been a no go.
But I am now ready to get back in the kitchen. I had to find something that would challenge and excite me. For months, I had been going back and forth with wanting to make healthier changes. I started with keto, which did well, but I fell off and couldn’t fully get back on. Intermittent fasting has been the lifesaver and helped me keep most the lost weight off. But, I still felt like I wanted to go a little further. I’ve always played with the idea of getting rid of meat and playing with a mix of vegan and vegetarian meals. It seemed like the challenge that I needed during this quarantine. So why not? Enter Tabitha Brown and all of her vegan videos and my challenge was happening! I mean, how can you not want to try carrot bacon???
So, I am going to try to post the meals that I make during this challenge, weekly. I’m not sure how long I will be doing it for, but I am just going with the flow. Every meal may not be healthy( I won’t post those lol), but it’s a small change that will make a difference. I am also excited to see if I can get the kids into it. The point of these posts are to just show you different ideas that may not come into your head when you think vegan or meatless. You can always adjust and make modifications that work for you and yours.
1. Veggie Stir Fry
This is one of the easiest ways to get you and the kids to eat a variety of vegetables. My original plan was to make chicken and broccoli. Luckily, I had all these veggies in the fridge when I decided to make it a vegetarian meal. Now, this would be vegan if it did not include the rice, so you can make that call. The thing I love the most about this meal is it is all in one pot and super quick to make.
Here are the key ingredients…again…all interchangeable. Make it work for you and yours. I used broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, white onions, red bell pepper, olives, and green onions(add at the end for the crunch).
My kids don’t like peppers and onions so I have to cook them down really well. I start cooking those first with some butter and then throw in the broccoli. After that, I throw in everything else and let it cook.
The seasonings that I used were sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, lime pepper, roasted garlic seasoning, ground ginger(fresh is preferred), and ground flax seed. I like to sneak in flax seed whenever I can to help with digestion. Also, the chicken broth can be changed to vegetable broth or water to make your rice.
And of course, add in your fresh herbs at the end. I used rosemary and lemon thyme.
Serve over rice and there you have it. Quick, healthy and most importantly, approved by kids…
And dogs. 🙂
2. Jerk Salmon Patties
One thing I have finally realized is I really don’t like salmon unless it’s in patty form. I’ve tried to eat it grilled, smoked, baked…I just don’t like the texture for some reason. Now, normally, I would use fresh salmon, throw it in a food processor and create the patties that way. But, I’ve been bulk shopping since the quarantine and I have so many cans of this stuff. To keep with the healthy theme, I decided to use another pantry item that I have a ton of: Almond Flour. I won’t be frying these like normal either. Just a little olive oil and placing them on the griddle.
First things first, if you have never used canned salmon, there are bones that need to be removed. You will be able to feel and see the small circular bones that need to be discarded. The pin bones are okay to leave in, but squish them up really well so that you cannot taste them. Next, add in your green onions and seasoning. Mix together.
Add in your almond flour, 2 eggs, and the juice of half of a lime. Now you are ready to cook. Form patties and through them on the griddle. They cook up in about 10-12 minutes, depending on size. Serve them up with ketchup(traditional) or Sriracha. A nice hollandaise sauce would be perfect…but I wasn’t making that lol.
Remember when I told you about the craziness of grocery shopping during this quarantine? Well, here is an example. I was in the produce section of a store and they were in the middle of cleaning the shelves. Why were they cleaning during the middle of the day? Who knows…but that’s what was going on. People were scared to approach the vegetables and I was beyond annoyed because I just need a small bunch of collards. I went over to the bagged veggies and only saw kale. I didn’t want that so I went back over to the collards. I moved past everyone and picked up the first one I saw. Then I realized I had about 4 bundles in one! Needless to say, I was going to have to find a few things to do with these greens and quick.
Collard greens and cornbread is a southern meal I can eat any day of the week. I love throwing them in the crock pot and calling it a day. Now, I am not fancy and do not make my own cornbread. Jiffy works for me lol. This recipe isn’t even a recipe to me. You literally just clean the greens, cut them up, throw them in the crock pot with some type of broth, add your seasonings of choice(I used granulated garlic, granulated onion, smoked paprika, sea salt, and pepper), cut up an onion, and add a splash of apple cider vinegar. There you go! In a crock pot, it is best to let them cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve with cornbread and a few shots of hot sauce. The easiest vegetarian meal. (It could be vegan if you use a vegan substitute for the cornbread.)