A Weeknight Dinner Narrative

What’s a lady to do when she’s had a long day at work, went to the gym, husband’s working late and it’s 6:30 before she even starts thinking about dinner?

Before she even solidifies her game plan, she puts on a pot of whole wheat rotini.  She hasn’t had pasta in a while, and it’ll come together quickly.

She assesses that her pantry and refrigerator and the first things that pop out to her are: a bag of carrots, a bunch of kale that won’t be good much longer, an avocado, 1 orange pepper and 1/2 a yellow pepper, some broccoli sprouts, some garlic.

She grabs the biggest wok she can find, adds a glug of olive oil, puts it on medium heat, and sets out to chop the carrot, mince the garlic, tear the kale, dice the pepper and avocado.

She adds the carrot to the sizzling wok first, followed by garlic.  Then comes to the kale, left for a few minutes to wilt, then the peppers.  She leaves this to do its thing quickly while she drains the pasta.

Back to the wok.  Now everything is nice and bright, hot and crisp-tender, it gets doused in a squirt of lemon juice, a big pinch of dried basil, generous pinches of salt and black pepper, and LOTS of nutritional yeast.  Mmm, cheesy, cheesy nutritonal yeast.

The pasta gets added back in.  Everything gets tossed together.  Then plated.  Then topped with the sprouts and avocado.  And some hemp seeds for some protein.

And some hot sauce, of course.

– Crystal

Oatmeal, Three Ways

I used to think of oatmeal as only being that flavoured stuff in the packets that you pour hot water over.  No more!  Oatmeal is so easy to make, there’s no need for the packaged stuff.  Oatmeal…three ways!
“Simple, Quick Countertop Oatmeal” with peanut butter, coconut shreds, goji berries, hemp seeds, banana and maple syrup

Simple, Quick Countertop Oatmeal

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 tbsp chia seeds (they give a really nice fluffy, chewy texture and add nutrition)
Non-dairy milk to cover mixture
As many mix-ins* as you like
Combine oats and chia seeds in your bowl, and pour on enough milk to cover mixture and allow for the oats and chia to soak up some milk.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Microwave for 2 minutes on high, stir, and add in mix-ins.

Simple Stovetop Oatmeal

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond or rice are best)
1/3 cup water
1/2 a banana, sliced thinly
1 tbsp chia seeds 
Pinch of salt
As many mix-ins* as you like

Combine oats, water and milk in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add sliced banana.  Once it begins to bubble, vigorously stir to whip the banana in.  It will pretty well disappear into the mixture.  It will take approximately 5 minutes for all the liquid to be absorbed.  Pour into bowl and top with your mix-ins.

Overnight Oatmeal – no cooking required

Equal parts old fashioned oats, non-dairy milk and non-dairy yogurt (anywhere between 1/3 and 1/2 cup)
Any mix-ins* you like, added in with your oats (except things that are crunchy – add those in the next morning so they don’t get soggy)

Stir together your oats, milk and yogurt, put in your mix-ins, cover and put in the fridge.  That’s it!  The next morning, your oats will have soaked up all the liquid and will be good to eat.

* The options are really endless.  Some ideas for mix-ins to get you started:  peanut butter, coconut shreds, hemp seeds, fresh berries, dried berries, chocolate chips, almond butter, banana, apple, peach slices, figs, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, crumbled graham crackers, granola, crumbled up muffin bits, cookie bits, maple syrup, jam, dried apricots, canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices, apple butter, non-dairy yogurt, raisins…

– Crystal