Monday, June 06, 2016

Meal Plan • June 6

I do not recall whether I have addressed it here or not, but one of the reasons I eat so clean for breakfast and lunch is so that I can be a little more decadent and easy-going with my dinners.  The children are more than happy to join me in green smoothies for breakfast and Rainbow Bowls for lunches, but even they would mutiny if I only served The Healthiest Foods Ever for every single meal.  And the husband?  Well, that would be no bueno.

He is very supportive of my nutritional proclivities, and for the most part he doesn't mind that half of the dinners I serve are vegan.  But he also likes cheese.  And eggs.

And if I'm being totally honest, I like them as well.  I don't like them all the time - as a matter of fact, I feel sick if I eat too much cheese, and so I limit it to dinnertime.  And even then, I still prefer to not have it at  every dinner.

Thus, we have reached a relatively happy dinnertime balance.  I manage to squeeze in around six servings of fruits and vegetables at breakfast and lunch so that I can loosen up a bit and have some pasta for dinner.  Or cheese.  Or something else that's a little less than ideal.  And a few of our dinnertime meals remain vegan, and a few of them are utterly ridiculous (like tonight's pre-packaged gnocchi cooked in oil and topped with mozzarella and parmesan).

All of life is a balancing act, yes?  It's about progress, not perfection.

MONDAY:  Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
This was an emergency dinner.  My client errands ran late, and it was after the witching hour before we hit Trader Joe's to get the week's groceries on our way home.  I wasn't sure what to make for dinner since we were running so far behind, so I grabbed a package of gnocchi and did a quick Google search when I got home.  This recipe was quick and easy to pull together, and was not only relatively healthy, but also surprisingly delicious for something thrown together at the end of a long day.  (Pro tip: I used the Power of Greens mix from Trader Joe's.  Spinach would work just as well).

TUESDAY: Chickpea Curry with Brown Rice Medley
The whole family enjoys this recipe.  It calls for coconut rice, which we found to be unnecessarily fatty, so we simply cook the Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley in vegetable broth to serve with it.  I have even cut half of the coconut milk in the curry itself - using vegetable broth for the other half of the liquid.  These little tricks cut a lot of fat and calories, and using vegetable broth ensures that you don't lose out on any of the flavor.

WEDNESDAY: Crispy Black Bean Tacos
This recipe isn't our healthiest dinner ever (see the cheese & the oil-cooking method), but it is one of our favorites.  And it is SO EASY and SO FAST - ideal for a quick dinner after a long day of work, especially if you throw together the bean mixture the night before and leave it in the fridge so that you only have to pull it out and spoon it into the tortillas with a little cheese before tossing them onto the skillet.  The beans and the corn tortillas are healthy enough, too, and a little cheese goes a long way here.   Serve it with some guacamole for a dose of healthy fats.

THURSDAY: Baked Tofu with Coconut Kale and Brown Rice
I can't wait to try this recipe.  I found it linked on the blog of a nutritionist I like, and it sounds scrumptious.  If you're a tofu newbie, this looks like a great one to try.  Bonus: the preparation looks to be idiot-proof.

FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY: I'll be at the Sea Island Southern Grown Food & Music Festival all weekend, so not only will I not be doing any cooking, I will be eating (a lot of) food prepared by some pretty phenomenal well-known chefs.  And I'll be at the beach.  And Jason Isbell is playing.  Pinch me.


Tania /// hillita said...

I definitely understand where you're coming from in terms of planning out breakfast and lunches. I am predominantly paleo... I still enjoy my rice and cheese in small helpings, but I noticed that I feel a lot better without bread. My husband doesn't follow such a diet so I try to leave dinners open for him as well. I think we end up balancing each other out in the end :)

Sincerely, Tania

Sarah Beam said...

Interestingly, I have read that our bodies can better handle those less-nutritious foods in the evening, when they have less of an effect on our energy levels.

All the best, Sarah