Sunday is my day to relax and mentally prepare for a long week ahead of me. I love Sunday in my head but hate when it arrives. It is the anticipation that as the clock ticks down I am just that much closer to another long week. So I have started doing what I always resisted. Buying healthy lunch ingredients and spending Sunday preparing. I decided that as this would be my first week doing this I would keep it simple. Salads and cereal and sliced bread for my breakfasts and lunches at work. It took my roughly 10 minutes to make (4) lunches for this week. It turns out it was a great idea because as the day went on my cold kicked in and my body got more and more tired. It is going to be a long week. Despite it having a holiday Wednesday. But I am prepared. I won’t need to run to CVS for a quick Asian microwave dinner bowl or Panera Bread for a veggie sandwich that (calorie-wise) I should not be having except as a treat. So I went to Whole Foods, bought 1 container of baby kale, 1 container of mixed spring greens, 4 avocados, chopped mangoes, chopped berries, and a loaf of Iggy’s pecan cranberry bread. I already had the rest of my staples so I headed home. I made a quick salad with (4) glass and plastic containers out for sorting. layer of kale, layer of spring greens, layer of berries, layer of mango. I then took out the avocados and placed them in a separate bowl, diced with lemon, salt, and pepper. Then took out a measuring cup. I needed 1 cup of cereal in bags for my breakfast. I keep a container of all my cereals mixed together. I think it is more fun than just one type of cereal. I scooped (1) cup portions into biodegradable zipper sandwich bags that I got at Whole Foods a few months back. I keep a cereal bowl at work and then packed myself some extra hazelnut milk and salad dressing. I then cut slices of the bread in half and put a thin layer of Earth Balance on each using the same knife from the avocados. I put the bread in the same type of bags as the cereal. Done. 4 days, 8 meals. I keep reusable utensils and dishes at work that I rinse and wash out in the bathroom. So I was all set. We have a kitchen downstairs too for more complicated cleaning. So it really is that easy. If you want a little something more add a rice cup or frozen dairy free gluten free Amy’s burrito to your lunch. I keep Weight Watchers Red Beans and Rice cups in my office just to throw on top of salads. It is easy, vegan, and fills me up. With just 10-15 minutes of planning you have your whole week of healthy yummy food ready. It is also cost effective. Better than $10 at Panera Bread each day or $5.00 for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts! Enjoy! ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Food is Love. The Hippie Gypsy.
When I was just out of college I moved into my first place on my own. I always had roommates or suite-mates prior to that point in my life. After about 2 months I moved out of that apartment because someone had stolen the tires off my car and kicked down my door to rob me in a 30 day time span.
In an effort at safety my parents had me move to a quiet remote spot. My parents helped me find the most magical beachhouse on Point Shirley in Winthrop, MA. I loved this little house more than anything. My parents even bought me my first grill since I had a porch and mini backyard with my beach view. I learned quickly that if you are having people over for a party in which you intend to grill. You should not turn on the grills gas ahead of time without igniting it or else it will all simply seep out and you will not be able to use the grill (I thought I was preheating it like one would an oven). Luckily people were only coming for snacks and dessert so I improvised my grilling techniques and held my grilled fruit kabobs over the open flame of my gas stove. The party was great and no one even noticed my poor cooking abilities and naivety. They did however love my kabobs!
Now that I am older and wiser (and giving recipes to others) I say, be like I was when I was 22. If you can’t complete a step because you don’t have that fancy tool or you live in a place that you can’t grill or what have you, Improvise. It will always work out. Food is nothing to be afraid of. If it looks terrible at least it may still taste good! If it doesn’t, there is always the company to enjoy! You just need to be creative. No one will die or go home hungry. They will just stop at McDonald’s.
Grilled Tropical Fruit Kabobs
1 container of Sweet and Sara (R) Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
1 box/bag of bamboo skewers (soaked 5-15minutes in warm water)
2cups Cubed Pineapple
2cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut
3 Starfruit sliced thin
2 mangoes cubed
1 container of melon balls (honey dew, seedless watermelon, or cantaloupe)
4tbsp melted Earth Balance (R) Butter Sticks (with a basting brush)
Vanilla Sugar (for sprinkling) ( I use Penzey’s)
1/2 bag of SemiSweet Vegan Chocolate Chips (melted in a bowl) (I use 365 brand)
- Prepare your grill or open flame to be of medium heat.
- Melt Chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or a fondue pot. Keep a spoon nearby for drizzling the kabobs.
- Place shredded coconut on a platter so that you can roll your kabob in it.
- Lightly baste all hard fruits that will be directly on the grill with melted Earth Balance.
- When stacking your fruit on the skewer, do not do it all at once. Place the thicker fruits like pineapple on first and place on the grill for 2-3 minutes (they need more time and won’t fall through the grate). Then the softer fruits and marshmallows and hold over the open flame like you are at a Camp Fire! this prevents them from falling through the grate or falling apart on the grill. Softer fruits will burn quicker and watery fruits may drip causing spitting flames so holding it over is a safer option.
- Once the fruits are dripping just a tad you know that the sugars are extracting and the kabob is ready.
- Drizzle the kabob with melted chocolate, sprinkle with vanilla sugar, and roll in coconut. Serve (or Eat) Immediately.
NOTE: These are always a hit and the kids love to be able to make their own! If you want to prepare some in advance for a kids party, grill some starfruit ahead of time then use all softer fruits and marshmallow along the base (for when they grill their portion) and top with the starfruit for a “magic wand” effect. You can also get graham crackers and make fruit smores as well!
The Hippie Gypsy