october market haul + what I’m cooking

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Can you believe its already October?  I can’t.  Leaves are falling here, nights are cool, socks are back, soups and warm drinks.  The days have been beautiful here, warm but with the most pleasant cooling breeze.  This morning we went to the farmers market and bought some fall goodies- apples, squashes, potatoes.  Here’s what I plan to cook with it + a video with some farmers market + storage tips.

frisee (chicory)- salad with a bracing mustardy vinaigrette and some thinly sliced sweet apples + plenty of crushed black pepper + toasted hazelnuts.

purple potatoes- steam, smash, brush with a bit of oil, roast at 400 till crispy, toss while hot with crushed garlic and parsley.

red kuri squash- to make more of my soup with chickpeas, because I can’t get enough.

honey nut squash- this small, sweet, and intensely colored butternut variety is amazing cut in half and roasted with cinnamon.

cauliflower- we are having a moment with cauliflower over here, I got both gold and white varieties.  Joel makes these buffalo wings with it (sub a mix of chickpea flour and white rice flour for the gluten flour), and I’m hoping to make this manicotti too.  We also love it steamed and tossed in vinaigrette, or roasted with thyme.

apples- plain or with almond butter.  Best snack.  We got Arkansas Black and Golden Delicious this week.

carrots- a staple for us, we eat them plain or shred and toss with vinaigrette.

I hope you guys are having a beautiful weekend!  Can’t wait to film the homeschool q+a video/write up a blog post for you this week.  I’ve gotten so many questions and I’m very excited to share, because its been a huge transition and so beautiful.  If you didn’t submit your question, please comment below or message me on IG.

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market haul + video

farmers market haul

We went to the market this morning and I took along the camera to film a bit of it.  Which ended up much harder than I thought, haha.  Joel’s been working very early on Saturday mornings and so its been just me + the kids at the market.  Which is beautiful, but having that extra set of adult hands to carry bags is so useful.  Sometimes as a mom I feel like I need to morph into an octopus to keep up.  Anyways, there was so many fall goodies!  I didn’t get a ton because we’ve been stocking up again midweek at the 2cnd market (we have 2 market days/week here).

curly kale: to saute for my savory breakfasts lately

red kuri squash:  one of my absolute favorite varieties, along with kabocha + no need to peel.  Roast wedges, steam, or cook into a warming fall soup.

broccoli:  love this so much in curries, or steamed with lemon + olive oil + garlic + chili + salt.

apples:  favorite fall snack + satisfies a sweet tooth with some almond butter to dip.  winesap, empire, and fuji are the ones we’ve been digging lately.

garlic:  an essential in our kitchen, we go through multiple heads a week.  these heads were the imperial variety.

carrots:  Nantes variety is my hands down favorite- sweet, crunchy, juicy.  Literally you cannot compare these to store bought woody/starchy carrots.  We shred them on salads, but honestly most often just snack on them whole + raw.  One of my kids favorite snacks.

Here’s the little video + how I put it all away to store it in the fridge without plastic.  Read more about low waste fridge storage HERE.

a june market haul + what I’m cooking with it this week

market haul zero waste vegan

Hello friends!  I’m finally getting around to writing up a weekly market haul, the past weeks I’ve slacked on doing this because we’ve been out on weekends.  But, here’s a lovely June haul + what I’m planning to cook with it.  Keep in mind that this is not ALL the food I have in the house- of course I have other bulk staples still in the pantry to round this out.  Let me know if you’d like a “pantry staples” type post to explain what I always have on hand to make healthy meals.  It has been HOT HOT HOT here and we’ve been out and about at the pool and day trips lately to cool down.  I’ve been making big batches of food so that I always have something on hand to pack in our tiffin for impromptu outings.  I ALWAYS bring food with us when we go out, because inevitably someone gets hungry, and then there just aren’t usually healthy, vegan, zero waste options readily available.  After getting in the habit of doing this, it’s actually pretty easy to remember.  I also keep a 1/2 gallon of filtered water in the trunk just in case (saved our butts more than once- I use an upcycled Kombucha growler), and some almonds in the glove compartment for emergencies.  Also: a set of silverware, a napkin or two, a mason jar and a few folded newspaper sachets for keeping compost like cherry pits or avocado skins until we get back home- see @zerowastechica post HERE for a how-to.

summer food

Ok, now to the food, here’s what I bought, and what I’m planning to make, with links to recipes when possible.

huge giant head of green cabbage:  for making a new batch of sauerkraut, an absolute staple in our house to top grain bowls, salads, sammies, toast and more.  I aim to include fermented food into my diet daily, and find that adding it to meals really improves digestion.  Find my recipe HERE.

 

various stone fruit: apricots, plums, peaches.  Getting them in as much as we can during their fleeting season.  We eat plain or top our morning oats of afternoon chia pudding with them.

limes:  I’ve been really into squeezing TONS of lime all over my salads and watermelon.

eggplant:  for more ratatouille, see the recipe and video post HERE.

ratatouille vegan

bell peppers: for more ratatouille, see above.  Also, to roast and add to this quick hummus pasta.  And to take to the pool along with other crunchy veggies for dipping in hummus or guac.

cucumbers:  for snacking and salads.

carrots:  for french style grated carrot salad with parsley and vinaigrette a la THIS recipe (and I like to add shallots and lentils too).  Keeps well in the fridge a few days and is perfectly packable for lunch.

pattypan squash:  for the aforementioned ratatouille.  Also, I love making THIS recipe for a simple, delicious rendition- btw, she has a lot of good simple recipes on that channel.

bananas:  we love making “nice cream” when the weather is hot- frozen bananas blended up with cocoa powder, vanilla and a splash of nut milk and pureed till smooth soft serve consistency.  Top with a dollop of almond butter and some cacao nibs or coconut flakes and it’s heaven.

romano beans:  if you’ve never had them before, I highly reccomend keeping your eye out for them.  An heirloom Italian bean, these are wide and flat green beans that have a really tender texture and superb flavor.  I simply steam them whole.  I’ve also made THIS recipe with them before (omit the feta or use THIS tofu feta recipe).

sun gold cherry tomatoes:  this variety is my all time favorite for cherry tomatoes.  Super sweet, nice acid balance, and tons of flavor, they’re perfect to snack on or add to quinoa salads, potato salads, or stew on top of polenta.  They also pair really well with vanilla like in THIS recipe that I’ve made a million times.

sun gold cherry tomato

early girl tomatoes:  a consistent, classic red tomato variety, I’ll be adding these both to the ratatouille and salads.

red onion:  for pickling.  Pickled onions pep up any dish and look so beautiful.  Recipe HERE.

pickled onions

parsley:  for the carrot salad, and I also like to pick off whole leaves and add them into salads for a delicious flavor (same with dill).

avocados:  california avocados are going strong and they’re quite cheap here.  We eat them a lot, on bowls, sandwiches and toast.

bavarian buttercrunch lettuce:  so crispy and juicy, I’ll be using this baby for salads with my citrus tahini dressing- recipe in THIS post– scroll down to the “buddha bowl” recipe.

salad citrus tahini dressing no oil

dried mango:  for another batch of Loni Jane’s burcha, so good in the morning or on the go, it really fills you up and is packed with nutrients.

French lentils:  I got a huge jar of these guys, I love them any which way, they are amazing because they cook relatively quickly and don’t get mushy or lose their shape like other lentils.  So, they are perfect to add to salads, grain salads, soups etc.  My favorite ways to cook them are THIS simple salad, adding them to the aforementioned carrot salad, or THIS recipe with cumin and tahini and tomatoes.

carrot salad vegan french David Leibovitz

organic soybeans:  trying my hand at making my own tempeh (one of my favorite foods, but comes in plastic always.). Recipe HERE.  I will use banana leaves to wrap instead of the plastic ziploc.

 

links to what I made last week:

chickpea tahini brownies:  so delicious and grain free, I used coconut sugar and maple syrup in place of the cane sugar and honey.  Recipe HERE.
chickpea brownies

moros y cristianos aka cuban style black beans and rice:  an easy one pot meal that’s super satisfying.  We brought this to a picnic dinner last week, packed in our tiffins and topped with avocado, pickled onion and chiles.  Recipe HERE.

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creamy macaroni salad:  this whole food, plant based recipe was so delicious and a perfect dinner or lunch for hot days when you want something cool, or for bring to a picnic or BBQ.  Recipe HERE.

macaroni salad vegan gluten free

 

 

groceries this week + thoughts on zero waste perfection

Fridge zero waste

Hi friends!  Hope you all are having a nice weekend.  It’s been beautiful here, low 80s and pretty breezy and sunny which means I’ve been in the mood to deep clean, haha.  I love the time of year where you can fling open all the windows in the morning, sit outside for breakfast, and just generally be out more.  My house is already pretty minimal I’d say, but I’ve been going through the baby stuff like books and toys and carriers and things I held onto for “just in case”, because two is the right number for us.  I got to hold my friends baby last night and it made me feel all the things!  I adore babies and sometimes I think about, what if we had 3?  But when I seriously asked myself (and Joel) that a few years back, the answer was definitely no.  For me, I almost feel like what’s sad about it for me is thinking of this era in my life being done forever, the childbearing years.  You know?  It feels sad to move on, but also exciting to move into the next stage.

Petunias

Not related at all, BUT this week has been super busy for me.  Some of you reached out to ask where my saturday market stories and haul was, and the answer is: I had so much stuff going on I didn’t even make it to the market!  I did send Joel there very briefly to pick up a few things, but it’s definitely not our usual large haul.  I just didn’t have the time to make a list and think of meals and go this week.  I ended up going to the grocery store this morning -the one closest to us- only 2 minutes away, which is more a regular grocery store.  Anyways, it got me thinking about “zero” waste and the amount of time and access that we all have.  The overwhelming majority of the time, living with less waste seems like a breeze to me.  But occasionally, when I get too tired or busy to plan ahead, things can slip.  And that’s ok.  The most important thing is simply to make the best choice you can that day, and every day.  Which will look different for everyone!

grocery haul low waste

Shopping in a more “conventional” grocery store is definitely more challenging to reduce waste than my normal co-operative that only has organic foods, many of them local, and lots of no packaging options.  At this store (Nugget Market for those of you local) there is a bulk section and even a bulk spice section!  However, they will not deduct the tare weight.  So I used my bags instead of the usual jars and bought rice, granola, red lentils, and chocolate chips there, plus some local and some non-local produce.  (Jars are pictured bc I didn’t have time to take the photo until now by which time Joel had transferred it from bags to jars).  All the produce had stickers and some things I wanted to get only came in plastic packaging, so I had to regroup and choose a different veggie.  I even bought a plastic bag of frozen acai to make acai bowls.  It was not a zero waste week.  It was low waste though.  For this lifestyle to be sustainable and enjoyable for me in the long term, occasionally I purchase things I can only buy in plastic, like sushi nori sheets, frozen acai, and spring roll papers.  Personally I’m ok with that, I think it’s not about being perfect and picking apart every single plastic “mistake” but about looking at it big picture and allowing a bit of wiggle room now and then.

So yeah, I bought something in plastic that I could totally live without.  I’ve been craving an acai bowl for almost a year and we will 100% enjoy every single bite of it (I had one this morning for breakfast).  It’s not a regular thing for us, but sometimes trash happens.  Absolute “zero” waste is not reality or even possible, just a goal we can work towards.  So forget any guilt and just do what you can with what you have!

Here’s my loose “meal plan” this week.  See what I cooked last week HERE.

what I’m planning to cook this week:

nachos:  We’ve got leftover hard and stale tortillas that I’ll cut up and bake to make chips, and also leftover refried black beans.  So of course nachos are in order!  I’ll make a quick pico de gallo (chop up tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeño and squeeze in lime juice and salt).  Sometimes we like them with a nacho cheese sauce too, sometimes just with a chunky guac and roasted corn and THIS fermented hot sauce.

dahl with cauliflower and potato mash:  cauliflower is so silky when mashed/pureed and we like to do half and half with potatoes for a yummy mash with boosted nutrients and fiber.  The dahl I make is similar to THIS one but I like to add some whole mustard seeds in and extra garlic.  I’ll make a simple salad to go with it.  Sometimes we do rice with saffron and cashews like pictured below.

dal

simple red lentil soup:  My other favorite way to use red lentils is THIS dead simple lemony soup from Amy Chaplin.  Quick, easy and delicous.  Switch out the greens as you like and serve with rice or bread or avocado.

amy Chaplin lentil soup

potato salad:  thinking about making this for the Wednesday picnic dinner at the farmers market.  Good hot or cold, this is flavorful and versatile.  Basically, just make a nice strong vinaigrette with lots of chopped shallot, thyme, black pepper, red wine vinegar, mustard (I use both dijon and whole grain), salt and olive oil and pour over sliced boiled potatoes while they’re still hot.  Then toss with cooked veggies- zucchini, corn, bell pepper, green beans, cauliflower, basically anything- and lots of chopped fresh herbs.  Basil is super yum, also dill, but again, use whatever you like!  Serve warm or cold, either way tastes great!

coconut broccoli soup:  THIS recipe is simple + easy – we have tofu and broccoli and it’s the first thing i thought of.  It packs a bunch of veggies but is creamy from the coco milk and my kids love the green color.

black bean brownies:  THIS recipe, and I skip the date caramel.  These are so good for a balanced sweet treat.  Gluten, grain and flour free, and the undetectable (really!) black beans add protein, iron and fiber.  I love bringing these to the park with us for an after school treat.  All kids love them in my experience!  These I made with pecans and coconut but you can definitely leave it out for a nut free option.

Black bean brownies

more lunchbox cookies: this has been Carmela’s ritual!  She makes them all by herself every Sunday and then we freeze them in a cloth bag and she takes them as needed in her lunchbox or for a snack.  She loves their taste and I love that they’re sweetened with banana and gluten free!

That’s all this week!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and take a few moments to breathe and relax tonight before Monday starts all over again, letting go of whatever happened or didn’t happen last week.  It’s all good.  Lots of love to you xx

market haul + cooking plans this week

Market haul zero waste

Hi friends!  Another weekend, another market day.  We love the farmers market (it’s twice a week here!) and the ritual of getting up, sleepy eyed, biking or driving over, and swooning over all the goodies.  It’s like a treasure hunt.  The kids bring their money and buy a pretzel or another goodie from the bread guy, I buy ALL the veggies, and Joel zips around behind me with the cart, handing me bags and cash and basically just being the best assistant.  I have anxiety in crowded public spaces- the farmers market is just that, especially if we get there a little later- so I’m really grateful for him being there to help me and make things go smoothly and remind me to breathe.

strawberry picking

We have our routine down pat and I know just what to buy to get us through the week (or half week) even without a plan.  Lots of fruit, veggies that can go raw into lunch boxes, greens always, starchy veggies and soup veggies.  Plus whatever looks good to me or interesting.  Although it’s easier sometimes cooking with a plan, honestly I hate being tied down to one.  That’s why sometimes you’ll see me say, “I’m going to cook A this week!” and then I cook Z.  What I outline is more of a rough idea/ inspiration list.  You can see my ideas/cooking from last week HERE.

Vegan food haul zero waste

Tonight, we are making bowls.  Rice, broccoli and portabello mushroom sautéed with garlic, shredded pickled ginger, tamari baked tofu (I just bake tofu plain in the oven at 375 and then drizzle tamari, sesame oil, sesame seeds, crushed garlic over).  I’ll cook those Tokyo turnips with their greens for a simple side (recipe HERE).  Update: here is the result.  I added radish to the turnips too!  And did THIS dressing by oh dear Drea for the sauce.  So good!

Rice bowls turnip radish tofu carrot ginger

Then, this what I’m thinking:  make a BIG pot of black beans for the week.  For more info on cooking dried beans, check out THIS post.  My epazote plant just put out so much new growth for spring, and it’s my favorite thing to add to black beans.  So I’ll flavor with that, garlic, chile, and bay leaf.  Some salt of course too.

Then, with the beans,  I’ll make a few different meals:

-Burrito bowls or nachos if I manage to coordinate package free chips.  +guac, maybe simple pico de gallo with tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime and salt + chipotle crema or simply coconut yogurt whisked with garlic, salt, lime, and water to thin a bit.  Broiled spring onions too.  If we make bowls, I will also make a cilantro rice (I blend cilantro, lime juice, salt, jalapeño, onion, and garlic together into a puree and then stir it through the rice after its don cooking but while still warm).

-black bean soup:  recipe in THIS post (so old!).  Still a favorite, so comforting.  Top with similar toppings as above, or pickled radishes or pickled onions and tortilla strips are always amazing.

black bean soup gluten free vegan low fat

-tacos papas y rajas:  something like THIS recipe, with the aforementioned chipotle or yogurt crema, cilantro, and salsa (chile morita is a personal fave but any salsa is great!) plus the beans and maybe a veggie side like a simple slaw or broiled asparagus and spring onions.

tacos vegan papas rajas

THESE plantain + black bean rellenos.  Honestly, is there anything better than plantains?  I love them to death.  Thinking to serve them with simple veggie side, like a simple caldo (like THIS one but I’d leave out the chickpeas) or a coconut slaw like THIS one.

Plantain rellenos

-The kale I bought is for another kale/romaine caesar (can’t stop won’t stop) and from the amount of photos you guys have tagged me in, you love this one too!  Simple, hearty, easy.  Recipe HERE.

kale romaine vegan caesar gluten free chickpea

-Cucumbers are for lunch boxes and snacks- I like to bring these to the park after school with a little jar of hummus (recipe HERE).  Allergy friendly and protein and fat for little minds.

-Those strawberries we picked ourselves and they are the most perfect, fragrant, juicy beauties!  Planning to eat some, freeze some whole (I freeze on a plate and then transfer to mason jars so they don’t stick together) for smoothie bowls, and make some into jam for pb&j (healthy chia jam recipe HERE).

-I’m going to make some cookies for Carmela’s lunchbox, too.  I haven’t decided which ones yet.  THESE are the ones I usually do.  I make a batch and then freeze them in a cloth bag so she can pull one or two out every day for her lunchbox/snack. They defrost in her bag and taste fresh.

Vegan lunch kid

That’s all this week!  It’s supposed to be cloudy and maybe even rain this weekend here?!?  Oh spring, you fickle thing.  We were just swimming this week.  Grateful to get the sun any day we can.  I hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend, with lots of sun and love.  xx