Thursday, January 8, 2015

You're Vegan What Do You Eat? Bowl of Stuff.

I feel like we generally eat pretty simply (you know: fruits, vegetables), but simplicity gets complicated when you’re traveling 1000 miles, and it’s the holidays, and you’re the only vegans.  No matter how anyone might sugar-coat it (about how being vegan is easy and the holidays are a snap), I am here to tell you that it is really hard.  It can be done though, with lots and lots of planning, lots and lots of packing questionably perishable produce, and a willingness to subsist on Clif Bars (or spoonfuls of peanut butter from the jar) if the going gets too rough.

We did pretty well on the first day of our drive, because I had packed us hummus/veggie wraps, apples, and baby carrots for lunch.  And for dinner, we found a Chipotle in Lincoln, NE that had vegan sofritas.  (It’s the one on campus. I kind of couldn’t believe our vegan luck in Nebraska!).

When we arrived in Illinois, Rob went to the grocery store to pick up a few things, and when he got back, I was faced with the task of finding my way around someone else’s kitchen and assembling these items into dinner.

The results were fantastic.

What we ate boiled down to this: a bowl of mixed greens with seasoned couscous, roasted brussels sprouts, and chickpeas. 

As soon as we got home, I tried to recreate our fantastic meal, while at the same time making it even more creative.

We now call this meal “Bowl of Stuff,” and we have eaten it probably at least once a day since we discovered it.  There are no rules with the Bowl of Stuff… you can add anything.  The red pepper that’s been in the fridge for a week and needs to be eaten soon or thrown out?  Dice it, toss it in.  The left over black beans from last night’s dinner?  Put that in the bowl.  Beyond Meat Chik’n Strips?  Yum.

Bowl of Stuff is obviously a dynamic, constantly evolving dish, but our latest favorite rendition tends to include the following items:

IMG 4678 His ’n Hers, Bowl of Stuff.  I recommend pairing it with an Odell’s seasonal ale.  Rob recommends water.

Bowl of Stuff

  • Greens (can be mixed greens, spinach, kale, mustard greens, whatever)
  • Roasted vegetable (Brussel sprouts, FTW)
  • Cous cous (I’ve been using the Near East brand boxes, but only because I haven’t been to Whole Foods or Sprouts yet to buy it in bulk)
  • Tofurky vegan kielbasa, sliced into rounds and browned in a skillet (Yes, this is a kind of weird ingredient, but it is super high in protein and very satisfying when you are trying to run a 170 mile month).
  • Spicy sriracha dressing (basically, everything I eat is just a conduit for sriracha).

One thing about this meal is that it seems like it would be fast and easy, even though I would say it’s not, particularly when it comes to cleaning up.  I mean, you’ve got a lot of pots and pans going on, what with making the couscous, roasting the brussels, and browning the Tofurky slices.  Plus, it is kind of hard to have all these things ready at the same time.  I actually like to have all the Stuff cold on top of my salad greens; Rob prefers the Stuff to be warm, but he’ll eat it however.

Here’s another shot of that Bowl:

IMG 4681

Will, of course, is difficult and he won’t eat this meal as is.  But he is getting braver, and he’ll eat the couscous and tofurky slices with a raw fruit and raw vegetable as a side.  He also says he wants to learn to clean up the kitchen so he can help me.  Love.

The beauty of this Bowl, and in general of being vegan, is that you can basically just throw a bunch of stuff together and it turns out amazing.  It is like a clearinghouse for whatever leftovers you want to get rid of in your fridge.  The possibilities are endless, but the basic pattern to the goodness appears to be:  

  • A bed of greens
  • A roasted vegetable
  • A grain 
  • A protein

Hearty, delicious.  I’m glad we accidentally stumbled upon this during our travels and that we’ve been eating it ever since.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks good!! You should really create a cook book!! for all those WHAT DO YOU EAT folks!!! your pictures look amazing!! Just add the 1 minute chocolate cake and your meal is complete!!!😉 LUV you mama