meal plan – week 8

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food-related / vegetarian meal plans

Spring has crept into Austin really early. I’m relieved to have the worst of the cold behind us, but admittedly nervous about what 80º days in February means for July and August. This meal plan may not be in time to plan the bulk of your Week 8, but hoping that you guys can pull some quick ideas for the remainder of your week or get a jump-start on your planning for next.


We have a regular rotation of breakfast tacos, oatmeal, yogurt & fruit, scrambles, and this time of year we have gigantic ruby red grapefruits. Dressing up our oatmeal this week and our toast is a little more special thanks to homemade bread.

  • Morning Glory Oats*
  • Honey Oatmeal Bread**


Meals (Lunch & Dinner)
The prep of these two meals accounts for the bulk of my weekend cooking and Francie (my electric pressure cooker) takes care of any longer cook times that may be required on weekdays. It makes the hands on time at the end of my busy work/school days much, much easier. I’ve made notes below to indicate the advance prep work in addition to my regular weekend batches of legumes and grains.

  • Samosa Shephard’s Pie (steamed potatoes and pressure-cooked split peas)
  • Peppered Tofu Crisps^ + Grain + Veggies (marinate tofu in AM before work, pressure-cooked brown rice)
  • Beet Ball ’n’ Fries Salad*** (prep work for beet patties)
  • Enfrijoladas (pressure-cooked black beans)
  • Taco Salads (portioned greens, pre-cut veggies, pressure-cooked black beans, pressure-cooked brown rice)
  • Cabbage Ginger Noodles
  • Tofu Simmered in Hoisin Sauce^ + Broccoli (pressure-cooked brown rice)
  • Nachos or Tostadas or Sopes

We are snackers and the better I am about keeping cut veggies and homemade on hand, the better we are about staying away from the chip drawer in the pantry. On really hectic work days, we’ll piece together “snack lunches” with whatever we have on hand.

  • Cauliflower Mini-Quichesº
  • Sweet Potato & Orange Smoothies
  • Banana Almond Milk Smoothies
  • Carrots & Hummus
  • Grapefruits
  • Roasted Beets

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Watching The People v. OJ Simpson in the background.
Enjoying the stillness of the house.
Daydreaming about my first swim of the year.

* Whole Grain Mornings
** King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
^ This Can’t Be Tofu
*** Salad Samurai
º The Heart of the Plate

lunch with the girl: phonatic

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all things food / austin

The following post was made possible by Phonatic

With the turn of the year always come resets and cleanses and vows to do more of this… less of that. I am not immune to these trends but we are generally in a good place with what we do with our food. Working a bit on cutting down pasta and bread, but this is more of a constant. Nothing new and exciting about it.

What does get me excited in 2017 is that the now-13yo is into trying new things. I’m not sure if it is a permanent shift, but I am taking advantage of it while it is here. And with that, I am starting a new series of posts – Lunch with the Girl. We’ll be hitting spots around town in hopes of finding new yummy vegetarian eats (that we both enjoy) and cozy spots to have working lunches.


First up? Phonatic. We went quite a bit when they first opened and really enjoyed the veggie pho, but our visits got more and more infrequent as the Texas heat kept our pho cravings at bay and we realized that the kiddo was defaulting to bowl of steamed rice + fried egg.

We were really excited to hear that they were expanding their vegetarian/vegan menu and jumped at the chance to try it all out. We tried a full slate of dishes including the Spring Rolls with Tofu, Crispy Salt & Pepper Tofu, the Veggie Pho and a new dish that they are testing out – Marinated Eggplant over steamed rice.


We ended with full bellies and the 13yo was an absolute trooper; taking bites and spoonfuls without questions. She liked everything, but her favorite, the Salt and Pepper Tofu,totally surprised me. She polished off the bowl in spite of its heat!

I’m looking forward to the eggplant dish making its way to the menu permanently, but am perfectly content with eating the Spring Rolls and Veggie Pho in the meantime. So good with lots of fresh veggies and hefty, sharable portions.


Phonatic has locations all over Austin.

P.S. We went for a second visit (in a month!) and the 13yo ordered the Crispy Tofu & Veggies in a salad and I had the Veggie Pho. Just as fresh and yummy as the first time and I declare any location that gets her ordering a salad willingly a winner in my book.

happy january

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vegetarian meal plans



Keeping meals nice and simple this week and mostly just working my way through the fridge stash ahead of our Saturday CSA pickup.

Smokehouse Chickpeas with Greens & Tomato Soup *
Potato & Kale Enchiladas
Soba Noodle Bowls
Quiche (with my new fave oatmeal & whole wheat crust)***
Quiche & Brussel Sprout Salad *
Sweet Potato Gnocci
Hummus Wraps

Rotating our usual suspects for breakfast and lunches will mostly consist of leftover or the quick preps from the list above. If anyone has recently fallen in love with a new cookbook with lots of breakfast recipes, please let me know. Looking for some inspiration!

Happy 2017, everyone!

* Salad Samurai
** Near & Far

CSA box – december edition

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cooking in season


I don’t ever seem to get around with washing and dealing with my CSA stash during the daytime, but I did start early enough to make sure that today’s spinach and cilantro went into dinner. Other stuff in my box today: beets, turnips, salad turnips, carrots, kohlrabi, fennel, broccoli, mustard greens, red lettuce, romaine lettuce, cabbage, green sweet peppers, and poblanos.

meal plan – almost december

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vegetarian meal plans



Hola from an unseasonably warm, late fall in Austin. All things that depend on climate are a bit confused (trees still have leaves, peppers still showing up in my CSA box, butterflies still hanging out, and our backyard owl is a no show so far). We had a nice long break last week and are feeling pumped for what is left of the calendar year. We’ve got a museum list, lengthy book lists, and lots of outdoor activities that we want to squeeze in before the weather gets too cold and our free time runs out.

As for cooking, I’ve been taking meals a day at a time. It works for the most part, but as every one well knows, creates the perfect conditions for last-minute and not-so-healthy meals out and about. Trying to squash the take out pizza urges, so here goes…

Greens and Grains Scramble *
Yogurt and Coconut-Pecan Granola
Breakfast Tacos
Overnight Oats
Huevos Rancheros
Oatmeal Pancakes
Sweet Potato Waffles

Meals (Lunch/Dinner)
Broccoli & Pasta Soup ** + Quiche
Kale Fried Rice
Butternut Squash Tortellini with Kale Pesto + Side Salads
Mixed Green Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
BLTs + French Barley Salad **

Pantry | Freezer | Baking
Stir Fry Sauce
Roasted Peppers
Whole Wheat Molasses Bread
Sweet Potato Puree for Freezer
Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Happy almost December!

* Whole Grain Mornings
** Moosewood Daily Specials 

almost thanksgiving

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celebrating / cooking in season

For the first time in a really, really, really long time… my CSA pickup will not be immediately before our Thanksgiving meal and I am going to have to plan a meal before shopping instead of planning a meal around my box. All the carbs are accounted for – cinnamon rolls, honey sweet potato rolls, and mashed potatoes – but all the actual food is still a big old question mark. I guess I’m hitting the cookbook stacks and farmers market this weekend. What are you cooking?

P.S. Anyone else feel like this holiday just snuck up on us? I swear it was just Halloween like two seconds ago.

last of summer and a recipe

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cooking in season / recipes

Temperatures make it a little hard to tell, but summer is wrapping up in Austin. We picked up what I am sure is going to be our last watermelon of the year with our tuber-heavy CSA stash. In the kitchen, I am closing out the summer with one last batch of my summer squash risotto.

I originally came across this risotto cooking method in The Bon Apetit Fast Easy Fresh cookbook. I’ve been making risotto this way for so long now that I can’t even remember how I used to make it. There is very little stirring (just enough to keep it from sticking) and it comes together so quickly that it is a no-brainer, go-to when I get home from the market on Saturday with a bundle of summer squash.  Great for a when you want to add a little more substance to a salad dinner on a weeknight, too.

Summer Squash Risotto

1 yellow summer squash or medium zucchini, grated
½ yellow onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
¾ cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan (optional)

  1. Melt butter or warm olive oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add diced onion and grated squash. Cook for a few minutes until onion and zucchini start to soften.
  3. Add arborio rice, stir until grains are well coated, and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add broth and bring to a boil (note: I like to use leek broth if I have it on hand, but any vegetable broth or water works).
  5. Season with salt.
  6. Lower heat to medium low and stir risotto occasionally to keep from sticking to bottom of pot.
  7. Cook until liquid has reduced and rice is nice and creamy. About 15-20 minutes depending on temp of your stove.
  8. Top individual servings with freshly grated parmesan and pepper if you’d like.

You can substitute butter for the olive oil and replace a ½ cup liquid with heavy cream if you’d like, but I find that the grated summer squash turns almost buttery (think zucchini butter) adding a creaminess without having to pile on any dairy.

eating at almost-thirteen

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The following is a list of what food items the 12yo has requested to have available for her birthday weekend:

  • Oatmeal pancakes
  • Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon
  • Tres leches cake
  • Juice (any kind)
  • Casa Garcia nachos

Lots has changed in the past year (height, maturity, etc.) but the only change in this list is (1) type of cake and (2) a preference for a plate of nachos instead of mac and cheese. Baby steps, y’all.

P.S. Post where I gush about all the growth and awesomeness to follow tomorrow, ’cause this kid rocks.

veggie meal plan – 8/15/16

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cooking in season / vegetarian meal plans


Good ol’ Hampshire College had a small farm on campus and a student-run coop with bulk bins, so I can pretty strongly delineate my attachment to eating local (hyper-local even) back to my college days. The practice started a little over 20 years ago and to this day, I (and now my family) eat what the local seasons and growers have to offer. Given that snippet of history, I hope you understand how disorienting the past few weeks have been. The grocery store offers up way too many options and it had been years since I have put together a meal plan BEFORE knowing what I have to work with.

Anywho… CSA, yay! Back to the point…

Zucchini lasagna
Vegetarian Chili (and some Frito pies)
Zucchini Quiche
Soup TBD (maybe a potato leek?)
BLTs with Tofu Bacon

Roasted okra
Roasted beets
Cucumber slices
Coconut cake

Fermented jalapeños
Fermented dill pickles
Golden habanero sauce
Peach sauce