I have great news! In an effort to be more frugal, I am now preparing all of the meals for both my husband and I from scratch. We’ve been all about simplifying our lives (even more) and “getting rid of (even more) stuff” lately. As I am the cook, he’s been eating vegan food. It’s a lot cheaper and better for the planet to eat good quality plant based foods than to eat animal proteins. He’s dropped a few pounds and is looking even hotter than usual. Hooray for easy vegan meals. 😉
We also rearranged the furniture at about the same time that we started to implement this, so now we get to sit down every night and share a nice meal and some conversation together. It’s really been wonderful, though I will have to admit, it is more time consuming than I thought it would be. In an attempt to not keep him waiting too long for dinner, I haven’t been as diligent at recording my recipes, and I haven’t really been using recipes, so much as throwing together simple, healthy, and very affordable meals with items we already have on hand.
While I prefer more raw food, he prefers more cooked food, and I want to be able to accommodate both of us, and also make sure he’s still getting some “roughage” since cooking destroys certain heat-sensitive vitamins, like vitamin C (which, as a friendly reminder, humans are unable to produce on their own like most other animals on the planet – we must consume it from our food).
After struggling over whether or not to post these ridiculously easy vegan meals, it struck me that this very thing was the original premise of my blog. My husband is actually eating and enjoying the vegan meals that I’m preparing. It truly is a “taste of two plates” now! =D
By incorporating some of my own dietary tweaks (which I also feed to my husband), I’ve seen additional improvements to my health as well. Since I cut oils (except for a little flax) out of my diet and started to treat nuts and seeds as condiments rather than snacks or main ingredients, I’ve dropped about 2% body fat (no lean tissue loss), have very sound sleep with minimal disturbances, have been getting up earlier, and have been feeling rested on less sleep. This is nothing short of a miracle for me. For all the health issues I’ve managed to reverse, I’ve still always needed a lot of sleep.
This evening’s dinner consisted of a large romaine and cucumber salad, some homemade sauerkraut (love the bugs!), and some sprouted lentils and quinoa with parsley and a honey mustard sauce (the only cooked part of the meal). Yes, I use local raw honey (to build immunity against local pollen), but you may use any natural sweetener you like (such as a fruit puree). I’ve been buying dried lentils, beans, and seeds, so I can soak and germinate them before eating, whether they will end up being cooked or eaten raw. This reduces the phytic acid content and makes them more digestible. Less phytic acid means you can absorb more nutrients from the rest of your food too.
- 1/2 cup dried quinoa
- 1/2 cup dried lentils
- large handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 TB cup organic mustard
- 3 TB water
- 2 TB ACV
- 1 TB naturally sweetened apricot fruit spread (e.g. Polaner's) - optional, but delicious
- 2 TB local raw honey (or preferred vegan sweetener - or just add extra apricot spread)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 head of romaine
- 1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
- 2 TB flax oil
- 2 TB raw ACV or lemon juice
- Dried herbs of your choice (optional - I used fennel and dill on mine)
- Tiny pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- The night before you want to make this, soak the quinoa and lentils overnight (in separate bowls), drain in the morning, and then leave on the counter, covered loosely with a towel, during the day. If you want instant gratification, you don't need to do this advanced prep work, but it makes them much more nutritious and digestible.
- Using a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa, cook the quinoa either in a rice cooker or simmer for appx. 20 minutes on the stove after bringing the water to a boil.
- Using a 2:1 ratio of water to lentils, simmer the lentils for appx. 30 minutes on the stove after bringing the water to a boil (test for tenderness).
- Combine in a bowl and mix in the parsley (bonus points if you grew it yourself).
- Whisk in a bowl until well blended: mustard, water, ACV, apricot spread, honey (or other sweetener), and sea salt.
- Pour the sauce over the quinoa and lentil mixture and stir it in.
- Layer greens and veggies on the plate.
- Top each salad with 1 TB each flax seed oil and ACV or lemon juice.
- Add some dried herbs if you like.
- For best preparation efficiency, start cooking the lentils first, then the quinoa. While those are on the pot, prepare the sauce, chop the salad vegetables, and retrieve your sauerkraut from the fridge.
- I use local raw honey because it helps to keep my allergies at bay. You are welcome to use any other natural sweetener that you would like in this recipe if you would like a truly vegan alternative.
- You are welcome to use any dressing you like on the salad in order to have a peaceful meal with the omnivores in your life. My husband and I do not use the same salad dressings. 🙂
- I like my food a bit on the spicy side. If the mustard is too potent for you in the sauce, feel free to add a little extra water to dilute it. Keep in mind that once it is mixed into the quinoa and lentils, they will soak it up and it will not be as strong.