Monday, April 25, 2016

A Cooking Hiatus!

vegan bolani
a super simple breakfast: A store-bought lentil bolani, a banana, some salsa, and the mandatory cup of hot coffee. I love these bolani breads so much, and I think the lentil one is my favorite right now. They're made with whole wheat flour and filled with lentils. They've got a lot of protein and they really feel like a satisfying and complete eating experience. Also, that salsa is seriously delicious. Thanks for the salsa tip from my friend Erika!


Obviously, I really love to cook. I probably wouldn't have a food blog otherwise. Two nights a week, we have giant salad for dinner, and I pretty much always cook dinner the other nights. Sometimes I make an old favorite recipe, but a lot of the time I make something new that I've never made before. I love trying out new recipes, and sometimes I'm cooking from a new cookbook that I've been sent to review. I'm sure you can tell that I really enjoy reviewing cookbooks too!

vegan ramen
Koyo Lemongrass Garlic Ramen, supplemented with kale sauteed with leeks and green garlic and grated carrot. Actually quite YUMz

vegan eats and treats

And yet, last week I just wasn't feeling it. I was sitting on the sofa, thinking about what to make for dinner for the new few nights... and all I really wanted was just to blow it off. So I did! Woo hoo! Such a luxury! I spent several days and nights just scrapping up various meals with things from the pantry and random veggies from the farmers market. Mr. V&ET always appreciates my culinary creations, but he was also such a good sport about fending for himself for a little while. So, I made myself various little odd ball creations and he would get take out or something pre-made from the grocery store -- and then we would eat dinner together.


ha ha - glorious culinary creation

Many meals were like this - steamed veggies, some fresh veggies, and some yummies to go with the veggies. In this case it was some canned refries from the pantry, some salsa, and some spicy Heidi Ho cheese sauce. Simple, super easy, and actually quite satisfying!


simple eats, vegan
A similar creation: sauteed broccoli rabe, refries - salsa - spicy Heidi Ho, sliced avocado, and an Obi probiotic "soda." A great dinner and super simple to make. I actually eat lunches like this fairly often, but I don't often also eat like this for dinner. I usually follow a recipe and make something more "cohesive" for dinner. 

vegan eats and treats

I know eating whatever you want from the pantry is normal living for most of you, but it's so rare for me. I lead a pretty structured life, which usually works pretty well for me. Twice a week, I sit down and go through my cookbooks and pick out recipes for the next several days, and then I religiously follow my list, and cook my pre-determined meals on the appointed days. Ha ha. It makes me sound like a nut, but it helps me to be organized like this because then I don't end up buying a bunch of random veggies and then watching them rot in my fridge. All that said, it felt super luxurious to just eat weird little combos of whatever I randomly found in the fridge and pantry. Somehow these didn't seem like meals worthy of feeding to someone else, so Mr. VE&T was happy to fend for himself.


vegan mexi wrap
One of my more excellent creations during my cooking boycott: A wrap made with: canned refries with lime juice / avocado / salsa / Heidi Ho / cilantro / more kale sauteed with leeks and green garlic /  all semi-rolled in some leftover lavash from the freezer. Quick and delicious!


some of the fun things I did with my extra time!

It was fun and relaxing to have so much extra time in the evenings since I didn't have to cook whole meals. In fact, I think I might take little cooking boycotts more often, just the joy of a break in routine, a chance to catch up on odds and ends in the fridge/pantry/freezer, and for all the free time it opens up. I enjoyed my little holiday! 










20 comments:

  1. It's good to take a break from routines once in a while.

    I am always proud of myself when I do follow my plans and lists. Most of the time I can't do it for longer than two days. I often wish I was organized better!

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    1. ha ha! It goes both ways! I am such a listy plan maker, I'm always envious of you spontaneous types!

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  2. You call it cooking hiatus. I call it a serious, well-justified case of Spring Fever!! Glad you're savoring your little Staycation. XO

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    1. Aw, thanks Mom! It WAS kinda like spring fever, now that you mention it!

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  3. This was fun to read.

    One thing you might consider is freezing some of your meals when you are in cooking mode and then when you want to take a break, you'll have some good stuff stashed away.

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    1. ha ha, I know! I actually do have some good stuff in the freezer, but I always forget about it. Just last night I was looking through the freezer and realizing that I gotta make good use of what's in there!

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  4. Everyone needs a break from their usual routine every so often, no matter what that routine happens to be. That said, I guess I never pictured you as a super structured person!!! You seem so lighthearted and spontaneous. :) (Except, of course, when you're giving one of your stellar dinner parties.) In any case, your 'hiatus' meals look pretty darn tasty — especially the first two. I'd be happy to eat them.

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    1. That's funny, I'm totally not a spontaneous person at all. I kinda consider it a character flaw of mine. I love to everything to be very structured and predictable. I'm so crazy structured in all aspects of my life actually - it's a bit much. Sometimes I just want to break free and run around like a nut. But whenever I give myself too much open-ended freedom, I tend to lose my way and just kinda sit around and don't end up feeling great about it. I guess it's all about balance!

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  5. I totally hear you! Most of the time, cooking sounds like a fun past-time. However, there are occasions when I really wish there was just a pill that would make me full, so that I wouldn't have to make anything. Sometimes too I get decision fatigue. I cook almost all of my meals, and so there are times when I just don't want to have to make a choice. I'd just like some food in front of me. Your thrown together meals look very tasty!

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    1. YES! It's the having to make a choice. "Decision Fatigue" is the perfect word for it. Sometimes I just feel like "I really don't care. I just want someone to bring me some food." ha ha. I guess that's how it works out for Musty almost every night!

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  6. Your regular routines don't sound crazy to me at all... because they sound pretty much like my routines. Reading cookbooks and picking out new recipes to try (I almost never make the same thing twice), writing down what recipe I will make on a certain day, planning a shopping list... good times.
    But it does get a bit much sometimes. Sometimes I will spend an hour going through cookbooks and I can't find a single thing that I want to add to my meal plan (which is ridiculous because I have a million cookbooks, which probably equals a trillion recipes I could make). Next time I am in a rut like this I will take a leaf from your book and just have a break from recipes!

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    1. high fives soul sister! I definitely feel like you are a kindred spirit! I know just what you mean about going through a million cookbooks and not finding anything that really hits the spot. The break from recipes was so refreshing, I highly recommend it!

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    2. I do the same thing! I'll either get something from CSA or I have leftover veggies and I am baffled by the lack of options in my cookbooks! Like beets, it is always a recipe for a salad or soup and I can't help but feel like there has to be something else. lol

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  7. Pantry mis-matches is pretty much how I eat all the time! I love the creative process when potlucks and dinners with family & friends come up. I totally park myself in front of the cookbook shelves and plan out all the possibilities. Glad you're having fun with your cooking vacation!

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    1. ha ha - you pantry-freestylers are the envy of my eye. It seems so fun and creative. <3

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    2. ha ha - you pantry-freestylers are the envy of my eye. It seems so fun and creative. <3

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  8. I am pretty organized as well, but I am going through a cooking strike too. But that is partly because I am a few week pregnant *crosses fingers* and I just don't feel like eating what I had planned. But planning is the way to go, I would have so many rotten veggies otherwise!

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  9. Haha, I totally feel like a rebel when I throw out my meal-planning for the week or day or whatever. It's so freeing! (but I still really like things to be planned, ha.)

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  10. I love the sound of your cooking boycott although that was at least a two or three night a week plan for me when I was at home! I can never stick to a food plan unless the plan is mac & cheese every day!

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  11. Coking hiatus are definitely needed once in awhile =) There is usually one night a month when I can't stand looking at the kitchen, despite my love of cooking and we order vegan pizza. It's a nice break once in awhile.
    I'm with you on being organized with my meal plans for the most part, but there are nights where I like just throwing stuff together too.

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