On Sundays, I go to the local Farmer’s Market here in Hollywood and when I come back, I wash my veggies and prep my meal plans for the week. I usually make several side dishes that will keep well in the fridge in glass tupperware containers for several days. Making these in advance saves me tons of time on busy weekdays when I come home hungry and tired with no desire to cook!
Here are a few of my “go-to” dishes that you can pretty much always find in my fridge!
Heat the oven to 425.
Wash and cut up in desired sized pieces: Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Carrots, Fennel, Brussel Sprouts, Squash — any hearty, hard vegetable.
Coat bottom of baking pan with butter, ghee, or oil.
Add veggies to pan.
Bake at 425 until brown on top (brussel sprouts) or soft enough to put a fork through (potatoes, squash, beets).
Note: Beets, Squash, and Potatoes take longer than brussel sprouts. Depending on how small or large you have cut your pieces, cooking time will vary. Check on the status and when your veggies are about 90% done, turn oven OFF. Leave inside hot oven to cook the rest of the way.
*BEANS FROM SCRATCH:
Rinse beans in a colander.
In medium pot, add ⅓ beans with ⅔ water. DO NOT ADD SALT until beans are fully cooked!
Bring water with beans to a boil uncovered.
Cover and turn down heat to lowest temp. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness and size of the bean. Black beans or kidney beans can take up to 45 minutes. However, lentils don’t take a long time, so you will need to:
CHECK the status of the beans periodically! When the water is almost all gone and the beans are plumping, I turn OFF the flame underneath and leave the pot covered on the burner to cook the rest of the way.
When beans are done, let cool on counter. Then: Transfer from cooking pot into a glass tupperware container. Add spices!
I like to mix in, to taste: salt/ pepper/ paprika/ cumin/ turmeric/ garlic powder/ oregano/ olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil.
*VEGGIE STIR FRY
Wash and chop veggies!
Oil large wok or pan – I like to use coconut oil, grapeseed or sunflower oil (organic) for high heat. (Olive oil is not great for high heat cooking. It’s better to add after your veggies are cooked for additional flavor).
Chop garlic if desired, and/or fresh ginger or turmeric!
Start your stir frying process in the order of the “hardest” veggies first. So – carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, brussel sprouts – cruciferous veggies – would go in first. When those begin to soften a bit (but not all the way), add garlic, onions, zucchini, mushrooms. Keep stirring to mix everything up and cook evenly!
Add greens last. These don’t take long and cook quickly in a hot pan. I cover the pan and turn OFF the flame to cook the greens all the way at the end.
Season! Salt / pepper/ ginger / garlic/ turmeric/ oregano/ basil – whatever you want!
Drizzle with olive oil! Or add a coconut sauce for a thai vibe, a curry for Indian, basil pesto for Italian… Many possibilities!
*QUINOA OR BROWN RICE:
Whether in a pot on the stove or in a rice cooker, the rule with grains (as with beans), is: one third of your grain to two thirds water. So ⅓ of the pot will be your dry grain. Then add twice as much water.
Bring to a boil uncovered. Do not salt yet.
Once boiling, simmer on low the rest of the way. Quinoa (or cous cous) only takes about 10-12 minutes, so check its progress and turn OFF flame once the water is almost all gone. Let the pot sit covered on the hot burner to cook the rest of the way. Brown rice takes a lot longer than that! Can take up to 35 minutes or so, but that’s an estimate, so check its progress!
Once cooked, salt and pepper to taste. Add butter, ghee, olive oil or coconut oil. Your choice!
*TOFU WITH PEANUT SAUCE:
In a small bowl, combine:
1 tablespoon miso
2 teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of Garlic powder
Pinch of Cumin
Pinch of Ginger
Pinch of Paprika
Pinch of Black Pepper
Pinch of Salt
Saute organic tofu in any oil you would prefer that can take high heat. Coconut, grapeseed, or sunflower oil works well. add fresh garlic and fresh ginger, chopped. (I also like to saute onions, mushrooms, and zucchini along with the tofu!). Right before serving, I add my peanut sauce, stir, and cover the pan. Let it sit this way on the hot stove for a minute or so before eating. Enjoy!!