We are so excited to finally post this winter meal plan! If you’re anything like us, February can feel a little gloomy, and inspiration levels tend to be low, whether with cooking or with anything else. This meal plan is here to prove all of that wrong and to show us that plant-based winter food can be just as exciting and tasty as any other season’s. I can definitely say that creating recipes for this plan got me out of a mini cooking rut.
So we’ve got vegan and gluten-free breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes that will feed you for a week. Everything starts with roasting up a bunch of root vegetables (the darlings of winter cooking), cooking beans (we are focusing on mung beans and black beans this time), and making a pot of rice. We’ll then mix and match those foundations to make delicious, nourishing meals. We’ve got you covered with the shopping list, as well as all the prep and planning. As usual, we are splitting this meal plan into two parts. This first part will focus on weekend prep, as well as breakfast and lunch recipes. Part 2 is here, and it’s all about dinner and dessert recipes. Ready? Let’s do this.
Yesterday was our new cookbook’s pub date, which is sort of like a birthday in the book world. It feels so good to finally have it out there, and thank you guys so much for all the support! We have a few book events coming up, and the first one is this Saturday, February 10th at Williams Sonoma in Tampa, FL. I’ll be doing a cooking demo for a chocolatey cake from the book and signing/selling copies. I would love to see you there. Click here to learn all the event details.
Now onto the no-recipe soup, which I’m so excited to share. I love simple, creamy soups and make them all the time, especially in the winter. I find that they are incredibly forgiving and perfect for utilizing whatever produce I have on hand that needs to be used up. The thing is, I pretty much never use a recipe. Instead, I’ve developed a sort of formula that I apply to basically any vegetables (and some fruit), and those soups always come out ranging from very good to really delicious. It’s not complicated, and anyone with a blender can do this. In fact, I bet you might have the ingredients for a tasty creamy soup in your refrigerator/pantry right now. I thought it would be helpful to share that formula here.
Beth Kirby is a photographer, cookbook writer, entrepreneur, and the creator of Local Milk, her food, travel, and lifestyle blog. We are endlessly amazed by Beth’s ability to present her work with both authenticity and style, and we were completely blown away by each one of her thoughtful and inspiring answers in this interview. It’s a true gem.
In this dialogue, Beth tells us about self-care as the foundation for happiness, having a schedule as a way to avoid stress, why she doesn’t believe in the idea of work-life balance, and how her routine has changed since becoming a mother, as well as her newfound love for weight training, the adaptogens and herbs she incorporates into her everyday potions, beauty, motivation, sustenance, and much more. There’s some amazing business advice here, too!
— Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free?
Routine is so very important to me. Routines ensure that time is carved out for the important things in my days & life. I’m super flexible with my routines so there’s no such thing as “failing”, but the closer I adhere to the routine, the more impact I tend to make in my day.
— What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning.
I actually just wrote a little guide to a slow morning routine that details mine! I usually wake up when my baby wakes up, between 6:30-7:30 AM. The first thing I do every morning is make the bed because I feel this sets the tone for the rest of my day. My husband takes the baby to give me 10 minutes to meditate (I love the Headspace app) and do a few sun salutations to wake my body + mind connection up. After that I brew my morning elixir, a simple lemon, ginger, and turmeric tea, and then I do some journaling while I drink it. After that comes breakfast & a matcha potion, a shower & getting dressed for the day, a quick tidy of my space if I need it, and then I’m down to work! I don’t always do every single thing, but the more of them I hit, the better my morning!
— Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well?
I’m so exhausted at the end of the day, I don’t usually need much help sleeping! I love making moon mylks with sleep promoting herbs as a little night time luxury. We keep the bedroom a “sleep only” zone with no television or computers, so it’s quite easy to pass out once I’m in my own bed (or whatever bed I happen to be in!)
— How has your routine changed since you had your daughter?
It’s gotten a lot more flexible! If she’s having a bad morning, things like preparing breakfast can take a lot longer or maybe I skip the shower (truth time!), but in a lot of ways, it’s made me more routine because if I don’t have a plan and stick to it, the day can slip away a lot more easily when you have kids. I kinda floated through my days doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted before she was born because I had all the time in the world. Now it’s make hay while the sun shines or forget having any hay! Haha.
Happy New Year, friends! We wanted to stop by with a round-up of 18 vegan and gluten-free New Year reset-friendly recipes that are vegetable-forward and deeply nourishing, but also satisfying and delicious. We’ve got you covered on healing soups and stews, vibrant mains, energy-boosting breakfasts and snacks, a powerful cold remedy drink, and even a minimally sweetened dessert that still very much tastes like a treat. Wishing you all the health and happiness in 2018 :)
No-Recipe Healing Soup (v, gf)
One of our most popular recipes of 2017. This is a highly customizable soup, built on a powerful broth made with immunity-friendly ingredients. It’s delicious and warming, but especially helpful to those under the weather or low on energy. Make sure to seek out 100% buckwheat soba noodles to make this recipe gluten-free.
Checking in really quickly with this olive oil loaf that we haven’t been able to get out of our heads. We knew that we wanted it to be vegan and naturally sweetened, with a pink, plant-based icing, but the rest took a bit of debate. Should it be gluten-free or not? Should we aim to make it golden yellow like traditional olive oil cake? We finally decided on a simple, spelt version (maybe we’ll tackle a gf one later?), sweetened with coconut sugar, and thus darker in color than your average olive oil batter. It is still moist and hearty, and the icing is so easy and very special :)
I love baking with spelt flour, especially sprouted spelt, which I used quite a bit for the baked goods in our new cookbook. The batter here is very simple, and yields a nice, crumbly yet moist dough, perfect for baking projects like this one. I would usually use coconut oil in this batter, but decided to go the traditional route and use olive oil. I love the subtle, earthy flavor that it brings to this loaf.
This happens to me pretty much every day at around 3 o’clock, providing that I’m working from home. I get up from my desk, put on the teapot, throw a bunch of things in the blender, whirl it all together, and end up with a cozy and satisfying latte-ish drink that gets me through to dinner time. I don’t drink caffeine anymore, because I’ve always been very sensitive to it, and found that avoiding it altogether really helps with even energy levels (I may have made a few exceptions in Italy :)). But this little ritual takes me back to the days when 3 o’clock meant a cup of really good tea or a matcha. There’s really nothing better.
I end up making a different drink every time, based on my mood and the ingredients I have on hand, but the general formula is the same. There’s always something for creaminess, something for flavor, something for an energy boost… So I thought I’d give a ‘no-recipe’ recipe here, as well as a few of my favorite combinations. Midday super-latte making is a really fun routine to add to your day if you’re around a blender, and it’s good for your in a number of ways: it gets you out of the busyness of the day and nudges you to take a break, it’s creative, and the beverage you’ll end up with will likely be good-for-you, warming and tasty.
Hot soup has always been my ultimate comfort food, and I know I will be needing lots of it in the months to come. Vietnamese pho is king when it comes to soups that warm you from the core, and I’ve been experimenting with vegetarian pho recipes during the past couple of weeks.The main component of any pho, but especially vegetarian pho, is the broth. This pho broth is first and foremost based on toasted spices – star anise, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, peppercorn, and clove – each bringing its individual character to the flavor profile. I’m not normally the biggest fan of cinnamon in savory dishes, but in this broth it balances with tamari, brown rice vinegar and chili to create a fragrant and deeply nourishing broth.
Amy Chaplin is an author and chef, whose approach to whole foods and cooking is endlessly inspiring. Her cookbook is nothing short of a kitchen bible to us. We had the pleasure of meeting up with Amy in NYC a few years ago and had the best time chatting about our favorite subjects like sprouted flours, cookbook publishing, and acupuncture. Needless to say, we were excited to get a peak at her self-care routine.
In this interview, Amy tells us about the valuable self-care tips she learned from her mother, her favorite meals made with pantry staples, the skincare brand she’s been using since she was a teenager, her approach to exercise, stress, and so much more.
I grew up with home-pickling and fermenting as the norm. Food in the Soviet Union was not only scarce, but also highly seasonal, so if you didn’t take care to preserve some tomatoes or cucumbers for the winter, you wouldn’t be able to taste any until the next summer. My mom made sure to stock our cool basement with jars of pickles, tomatoes, and fruit preserves every summer, as did pretty much every woman around. Other common fermentation projects included kombucha (or the ‘tea mushroom’ as we call it) way before it was cool, kefir, and of course sauerkraut.
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