Meal Prep Hack: Chia Pudding

As I’m a student again and pretty busy, we have consistently meal prepped our food. We’ve very good and successful in doing this almost every week. This has reduced the amount of food we waste to almost nothing, but, more importantly, it has reduced my level of stress dramatically. I hate the feeling I get when I get home from school after a busy day, hangry, nervous and stressed, only to find that there’s nothing ready for me to eat.

One of the things I consistently prep every week is my chia pudding. I’ve been liking this a lot, and my friend La végé d’à côté suggested that I tried this as a healthy snack. Because I’m extra lazy, I prep an entire batch for the week, so that I’m always prepared in case I get hungry.

Here is what you need:

  • 8 tbs of chia whole chia seeds
  • 3 cups of plant milk (I use unsweetened vanilla oat milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Simply mix everything up in a clean glass container and place it in your fridge overnight. I give it a shake when go into the kitchen to make sure everything is doing ok during the first evening. After that it’s ready!

What I do once this is ready and waiting in the fridge: Every night when I prepare my lunch, I place 1/2 cup of chia pudding (it’s about 5 tablespoons) in a small mason jar and fill up the rest with frozen berries (my favourite is frozen dark cherries that I get from Costco: so fancy and delicious!). The next morning, it’s ready to enjoy! I really don’t miss the sugar because of the fruit and vanilla (a nice trick I learned when I went sugar free for two months). I find this super filling, and it makes the perfect snack to bring with me at school. I like that it provides a healthy dose of omegas and fiber. Mainly, I just love how delicious this is!

Let me know if you try it out!

Anne

What I’ve been eating for the last 2 months!

When I work on my blog, I like to experiment with new recipes, try out new products, invent new ways to eat ordinary foods. This worked for me for the last year or so. However, about two months ago, I started craving the same dish. Over and over again. So much in fact, that it’s starting to be a running gag in our house. My boyfriend will come home from work and say things like: “Can’t wait for my quinoa-tofu-broccoli tonight!” Yeah. That’s what I have been craving every day for two months now. Not chocolate cake (although I’ve had my days), not fancy and exotic fruits, not my mom’s food. Nope. Just quinoa, tofu and some kind of grilled veggies (it’s not my fault broccoli is so cheap), or salad greens if I want something fresh.

quinoa-broccoli-tofu

Now, here’s the issue. I have been feeling completely satisfied eating those quinoa bowls every day. There is something reassuring and structuring in preparing big batches of food and just having to plate your daily servings. No fuss, no rush. However, it’s difficult to blog about the exact same bowl you’ve been having. Now that the temperatures have been going up (finally), I’m hoping to crave something else and to hopefully have some variety back in my kitchen. I’m sure grilled broccoli, tofu and quinoa will stay in my heart for long though! Here’s a few tips if you are stuck in the same rut as me.

For your grilled veggies:

  1. I’ve been loving using infused olive oils to add an extra kick of flavour. Try lemon or rosemary infused oils for a fresh taste, or go for the classic chili oil. I usually rub about 1 tbs onto the vegetables before placing them in the oven. Yum!
  2. I’ve also like sprinkling some freshly ground pepper on the baked veggies. I know, it’s nothing groundbreaking (you see what I’ve done here, right?), but it’s a classic for a reason. Why not go crazy and try different types of peppers? I love white pepper for its spiciness, but pink pepper brings a whole different range of flavours. Experiment with kitchen staples!
  3. Add some lemon juice and lemon zest! Fresh lemon zest gives such a nice aroma to the most simple dishes. Plus, it makes me feel like a fancy chef when I zest lemons. You zest have to try it out!

For your tofu:

  1. Vary the type and bite size: I tend to go for extra firm tofu because I like how it crips up when you pan fry it. The smaller the pieces, the crispier they will be. If you feel like having some bacon, you can cut your tofu into small cubes and add a few drops of liquid smoke to your marinade or sauce. Soft tofu can also be a great option to mix things up a little. I love to gently cooking soft tofu in some soy sauce. Very simple, but so good.
  2. If you really don’t feel like cooking, you can simple cube your firm tofu and mix it with the vegetables. Put everything in the oven, and that’s it! Bing, bang, boom.
  3. If you really, really don’t feel like cooking, you can also substitute the tofu for canned beans. Rinse them well, and they are ready to go, but you can also cook them in some tomato sauce or curry spices for something a bit more elaborate.

For your quinoa:

  1. Make sure that you cook it in enough water. I usually use 4.5 cups of water for 2 cups of quinoa. I place everything in a pot on high heat. I then reduce the heat to medium once it starts boiling. I put a lid on the pot and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and let it sit until you are ready to eat. The result: light and fluffy quinoa! Yum.
  2. Add some stuff: I like adding some corn, chopped carrots or peas to the quinoa as it is cooking. It adds some bite to it and makes it extra yummy. Plus it adds a touch of colour to the mix.
  3. Make sure that you don’t add salt to the cooking water as it will harden the quinoa.

That’s it! This is perfect for meal prepping because you can prepare big quantities of everything and save your food in the fridge. It’s so quick to plate up and makes for great lunches to bring at work. Plus, you can add fresh veggies or sauces according to your daily cravings. So, yeah, that’s what has been going on in my kitchen lately. And guess what? I’m now heating up some quinoa, broccoli and tofu for lunch. Cannot wait!

My favourite fancy bowl combinations

I love fancy bowls! They are colourful, yummy, nutritious and so simple to prepare, especially if you food prep like I do. Here are my favourite ingredients to get you inspired, but really, you can make your own version of these by combining your choice of:

grain + protein + greens/raw veggies + cooked veggies + sauce

fancy-bowls

  1. Grains:
    • Wild rice: a classic for a reason! This will fill you up for long hours and it’s delicious on it’s own.
    • Creamy rice
    • Quinoa: packed with extra proteins
    • Polenta: because why not?
  2. Proteins:
  3. Greens/Raw veggies:
    • Lettuce
    • Kale
    • Avocado slices
    • Cucumber
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Bell Pepper
  4. Cooked Veggies:
    • Asparagus
    • Green beans
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Roasted potatoes
    • Mushrooms
  5. Sauce:

bowl

The possibilities are endless! I love that most of these things can be prepared ahead of time giving you a chance to take a break from cooking while still having an amazing meal. Also, if you prepare different ingredients, you can turn your meal into a DIY bowl where everyone can choose what they want to eat. Perfect and fun! Finally, this is the perfect option if you are on a cooking rut: this will keep you statisfied until you find something even more exciting! Let me know what your favourite fancy bowl is! Cheers!

Spicy Eggplant with Creamy Rice \\ Aubergine épicée et riz crémeux

With September coming up, I’ve started meal planning more seriously again. I love meal planning because it makes grocery shopping super simple and quick, I get to use my cookbooks and discover new recipes, and there is no food wasted. It also makes it really easy in the evening because I try to cook ahead and have enough for lunches as well. This gives me more time at night which is always great!

spicy-aubergine

Last night we got to eat some spicy eggplant in a ratatouille type dish with deliciously creamy rice. This was so good! It’s spicy, creamy, sweet and so flavourful. It also packs great as a lunch. It takes about 5 minutes to put together and 20 minutes to cook, which is perfect if you want to prepare it in the evening, but it also keeps very well in the fridge if you prepare your food ahead. Great!

spicy-auberine2

Here is what you need:

For the eggplant:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 can of chickpeas (or any other legume), drained and rinsed
  • 690mL strained tomatoes (about 3 cups; you can also use tomato sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs peanut butter (or any other nut or seed butter)
  • salt and pepper to your taste

For the rice:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs tamari or soy sauce

Here is what you do:

  1. In a pot, place all the rice ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Make sure there’s always some water in to avoid the rice from sticking and burning. You can also cook this in your rice cooker.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the eggplant into bite-sized pieces and place in a large saucepan. Add all the other ingredients except for the peanut butter and stir well. Place on medium heat and cover until in it starts to bubble. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the eggplant is cooked. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
  3. Serve the eggplant over the rice and garnish with some sesame seeds or green onions if you like. Enjoy!

This is seriously filling and so great as a lunch! I love how easy it is to prepare while still being extra flavourful and delicious. Let me know if you try it out!

spicy-aubergine3


Pour préparer ce plat d’aubergines épicées et ce magnifiquement délicieux riz crémeux, vous aurez besoin de:

Pour le riz:

  • 2 tasses de riz
  • 4 tasses d’eau
  • 1 c.à soupe de tahini
  • 1 c. à soupe de tamari ou sauce soja

Pour les aubergines:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 boîte de conserve de pois chiches (ou d’autres légumineuses)
  • 690mL coulis de tomates (environs 3 tasses; peut être remplacé par de la sauce tomate)
  • 1/2 c. à café de flocons de piment ou de poudre de piment
  • 2 c. à café de poudre de paprika
  • 2 c. à café de graines de cumin
  • 2 c. à café de tamari ou sauce soja
  • 1 gousse d’ail, finement hachée
  • 2 c. à table de beurre d’arachides (ou d’un autre beurre de noix ou de graines)
  • sel et poivre à votre goût
  1. Dans une casserole, mélanger les ingrédients pour le riz et porter à ébullition à feu moyen. Reduire à feu doux et laisser cuire jusqu’à ce que l’eau soit complètement absorbée. Assurez-vous de garder un oeil sur le riz pour éviter que l’eau s’évaporer trop rapidement et que le riz brûle ou colle. Vous pouvez également utiliser un rice-cooker.
  2. En attendant que le riz cuise, découper l’aubergine en dé et placer dans une grande poêle. Ajouter tous les autres ingrédients sauf le beurre d’arachides. Bien mélanger et placer sur feu moyen. Lorsque le mélange commence à faire des bulles, réduire à feu doux et laisser bouillonner jusqu’à ce que l’aubergine soit cuite. Retirer du feu et incorporer le beurre d’arachides.
  3. Servir les aubergines sur le riz et garnir de graines de sésame ou d’oignons verts. Régalez-vous!

Ce plat est parfait pour les soirées pressées car il prend 20 minutes à préparer et est parfait pour un lunch le lendemain. Miam!

Simple Pasta with Smoked Tofu, Perfect Lunch!

We usually bring lunches to work, and I know it can seem daunting to prepare extra food for the next day. To avoid this, I usually make sure I cook two extra portions that we can enjoy the next day. This recipe is perfect for this. It’s so simple and easy to make, it’s perfect for busy weeknights or lazy Monday nights. Plus you can cook this ahead of time and have lunches ready to go!

smoked-tofu-pasta

Here is what you need:

  • 4 cups dried pasta (I used gluten-free penne)
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 block smoked tofu (300g) ( If you can’t find smoked tofu in your area, you can marinate regular firm tofu with 1 tbs of tamari sauce and 1 tsp of liquid smoke overnight.)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 stalks green onions
  • salt, pepper, and red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Place 8 cups of water (or enough to cook your pasta) in a large stock pot. Add the laurel leaves, peppercorn and a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil and cook the pasta according to direction.
  2. While the water is warming up, dice the zucchini and tofu is small cubes. Chop the green onions finely. In a saucepan, add the coconut oil and warm up on medium heat. Stir fry the zucchini, half the green onions, and tofu until golden.
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves.
  4. Once the noodles are cooked, drain and return them to their pot. Add the zucchini, tofu, green onions and tomatoes. Season and stir well. Enjoy!

smoked-tofu-pasta2

I love this! It’s so fresh and simple. Perfect for busy days and great for lunch, this will keep you fueled up and satisfied. Let me know if you try it out!

Tamari-Glazed Mushrooms and Quinoa, Perfect Lunch!

I present you another simple lunch recipe! I love making this because it takes minutes to prepare, I can make multiple portions ahead, and have lunches ready during the week. You can of course add in beans or extra vegetables, but it’s pretty good as it is. It’s super filling and so yummy!

glazed-mushrooms-and-quinoa

Here is what you need:

  • 8-10 oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tbs tamari
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 2 green onion stalks
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Rinse the quinoa under running water. Place it in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and let simmer until all the water has been absorbed. Stir in 1 tsp coconut oil and add some salt and pepper if you like. Set aside.
  2. Cut the mushrooms length wise. Heat up 1 tsp of coconut oil in a saucepan and add the mushrooms. Stir until they are golden. Add in the tamari sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic and half the green onion. Give a quick stir until the tamari sauce is well absorbed. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place some quinoa in your plate and add some mushrooms on top. Garnish with the remaining green onions and enjoy!

glazed-mushrooms-and-quinoa2

This is clearly a very simple recipe, but it’s so delicious! It’s packed with delicious flavours and incredible textures. It makes the perfect lunch because you can eat it both cold or warmed up. The quinoa will keep you full for a while, so you’ll be able to run around all day. Finally, this is something you can prepare ahead of time to have ready to go when you need a flavorful and nutritious lunch. Let me know if you try it out!