Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Ideal Whole Foods Day

People have asked me what my menu looks like on a typical day. This is my menu on an ideal day. I probably eat this way 4-5 days a week. I am 100% vegan, but I do slide a bit on the whole foods part. I have bad days just like everyone else. It takes conscious effort and I do get back on track.

I try to incorporate as much FIBER as possible. And from the right sources. (Whole, unprocessed grains, veggies, fruits, and unrefined starches. And when I say whole grains, I mean the actual grain. Not flour!)

I am able to incorporate that fiber easily by following the idea that 40-60% of each meal should be raw veggies and fruit. I will offer that here so that you can get an idea:

Breakfast --

Always a Green Smoothie.

This Green Monster is from www.ohsheglows.com

It's basically a fruit smoothie with a BUNCH of greens added to it. I also add SuperGreens to make it super green!!! This supplement lasts at least six months in one smoothie a day.

If you struggle to incorporate greens in your life, or your kids wont eat green things, start your smoothies with 25% greens or less, and 75% fruit. If you add a lot of berries then it could look like this (picture also from www.ohsheglows.com):

Work yourself up slowly to 50% greens and 50% fruit. Then, if you're really ambitious, go to 75% greens, and 25% fruit. It has taken me about one year to work up to this, and now I don't like it any other way. Gotta have my GREENS!

And then for my cooked foods, which are also high fiber.

One of the following:

Steel cut oats or some cooked grain topped with fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, bananas), pecans, almond milk, maple syrup agave nectar or stevia.

Millet and Amaranth porridge

Creamy breakfast rice, etc (I strongly recommend a rice cooker from Costco -- best $30 I have spent! It will cook all of the grains mentioned above)

Cut steamed greens, if you are hardcore into lots of greens (Trader Joes sells a Southern Green blend with Collards, Dandelion, Spinach, and Kale all pre-cut for you)

Waffles (vegan-style, recipe soon to come) with fruit sauce, jam, honey, soy yogurt, or maple syrup

Paul loves cereal, but I have yet to find a cereal that I can eat that doesn't make me feel sluggish compared to the energy-infusing green smoothies.

For my Kids:

Hash browns (I recommend Trader Joe's)
Organic soy yogurt
Sprouted grain bread toast (topped with earth balance buttery spread and all fruit jam)
Vegan Breakfast cookies (Essie's favorite are Carrot Millet Breakfast cookies, I use craisins instead of cherries)
Home-made Granola with almond milk
Low-sugar cereal topped with fruit and plant milk
Blueberry Spelt pancakes, vegan style

Lunch --

Big vegan salad. Homemade dressing. On this salad I just threw on some Hummus from Trader Joe's.

Basic Salad:

Spring mix tossed with romaine or spinach
Microgreens (sprouts from Trader joes -- tasty)

Shredded green cabbage (also cheap at TJ's)
Broccoli slaw (also TJ's)

Then you can add:

Thinly sliced bell peppers
Nuts (I like chopped candied pecans -- basically toasted in maple syrup)

And go WILD! What is your favorite thing in a salad?

Sliced pears taste really good with certain avocado salads (look up "pear roquefort salad" on allrecipes.com
Spinach and strawberry salads are another yummy variation
Greek salad is Paul's favorite

Then I have leftovers from dinner the night before. Not a leftovers fan? Sprout and avocado spinach sandwiches with Hummus (TJs has GREAT hummus) is yummy! Or some quick pasta, cooked veggies, and marinara sauce. Another fast option is refried bean burritos with leftover rice, tofutti cream cheese, and chopped veggies with salsa and guacamole.

With this salad I had mashed potatoes topped with corn and green beans, and a simple vegan gravy.


I am usually tired of raw veggies by this point, and I just want something hot and flavorful.

But I make a green salad anyway (or use the leftovers from lunch) and put a small amount on my plate. If it's on my plate, I eat it. I don't always do this -- so I try to have a very veggie-packed main dish for dinner to cover my bases.

There is nothing wrong with having another fun version of a green smoothie -- more dessert-like that can even include coconut ice cream.

My kids love fruit so I usually try to have some kind of fresh cut fruit.

A good way to build your meal:

Start with a starch or a grain and build on it. Starches and grains are key because they help you be full and they are your replacement for meat. Instead of a meat-centered meal, you now have starch-based meals. Every day I try to use a different starch. Some options are: squashes (all kinds), potatoes (all types), yams, rice, quinoa, pasta, corn (polenta), breads, tortillas, beans (all kinds), etc. Its amazing what you can do with beans. Meatballs, veggie patties, soups, stews, salads, sauces, etc.

Next, choose a veggie for steaming/roasting/sauteeing. I love Costco's Normandy Style frozen veggies. Or their pre-cut broccoli. They are a great addition to any meal.

A great way to veggie-pack your day is to have your veggies incorporated into an entree.

Our favorite vegan meals for dinner/lunch:

1.) Pizza or Calzones (no cheese, or with a cashew-based cheese sauce, or sprinkled with sprouted, organic tofu)
2.) Veggie Pot Pie (Basic cashew sauce/gravy)
3.) Macaroni and Cheese (Basic cheese cashew-coconut sauce)
4.) Southern India Coconut Curried Veggies (potato-based) I like to make a fruit pizza with this, and some honey banana whole wheat bread
5.) Asian Stir Fries (with hoisin sauce and dry roasted peanuts) Over vegan fried rice (usually includes peas and chopped scallions)
6.) Pinto bean burritos with all the toppings, tofutti cream cheese, guac, salsa, or insted of tortillas we have Nachos and use chips with a basic cheese sauce
7.) 3 bean chili, slow cooked, with lots of veggies, salad, and corn bread. Could turn this into a baked potato bar.
8.) Fettucine Alfredo with normandy style veggies and homemade whole wheat bread or breadsticks and salad
9.) Creamy vegetable soup
10.) Ministrone over Quinoa (here is an example pic of Paul's and my fav ministrone)

11.) Veggie burgers with all the fix'ins (including pineapple rings and spinach), on sprouted whole grain bread that is toasted, and fries
12.) Vegan Lasagna
13.) I am working on a good panini sandwich with tomato soup or cream of mushroom soup. I think I have found one.
14.) Just your basic Black Beans and Dirty Brown or cajun style Rice, with steamed greens, maybe some corn muffins
15.) Biscuits and Gravy. With lots of veggies to replace the usual meat.
16.) Potato-Carrot soup
17.) Mashed sweet potatoes with vegan gravy/sauce, corn on the cob, salad, mixed steamed veggies, and bread
18.) Portabella fajitas with salsa, guacamole, romaine, and toasted no-lard tortillas

And LOTS more, which I need to post!

We love all different kinds of muffins, cookies, brownies, breads, and even homemade doughnuts. But I am careful to FIRST have a veggie-packed day, and then enjoy these more refined foods. All of these are fun to have around and are good quick-grab foods. A vegan baking book would be a good idea. I encourage the use of whole grain flours in baking, and unbleached flours in about a 3:1 ratio.

And dont forget the Dessert! And coconut ice cream!

Every night before I go to bed something is always soaking. It is routine for me now. Usually I have no idea what I will do with it, but by the next day I know, and need the soaking to have been completed.

Almonds for almond milk
Raw cashews for cream sauces
Steel cut oats (taste SO much better after soaking all night)
Rice or Quinoa (but not necessary)

This picture is terribly fuzzy, but it is an example of what I bring home from the grocery store.

Cooking the whole foods way can be overwhelming and time-consuming. So honestly I only make a veggie-packed main dish 4 nights a week, and I make it huge. We eat leftovers. Or, we freeze half of the UNcooked portion and bake/cook/heat it at a later date.

Moms are busy, but there is usually one day a week that we can bake. I picked Mondays, because we have no school that day, and it's a slow day. So, pick your slow day of the week, and plan for baking 2-3 different kinds of treats/goods that can be put into lunches and used as snacks or quick breakfasts on-the-go.

Thanks for reading, and lots of love! Ask questions.



  1. Do you have/know the recipe for the blueberry spelt pancakes?

  2. Do you wanna know what I had for dinner?
    stir fry!
    on bottom layer- brown rice
    next layer-
    teriyaki sauce (could use tamari or noma shoyu instead)
    with skillet browned onions and red pepper and fresh grated ginger and a ton of matchstik carrots
    top layer-cashews
    oh so yummy!!!
    Brandon invented it and I just added the cashews! Amazing taste!
    We also cooked chicken for the younguns but I ended up taking it all out of mine because it tasted better without the meat!!!
    Tell me what you had for dinner last night! I am dying to know to get more ideas going meatless! I have 2 meals now that I love that are meatless! need more......!

  3. Just went to Mom's house and forced Aimee to make her Almond Milk recipe! Just Teasing, I didn't force her, she joyfully volunteered to show me how she makes hers!!! I love her recipe, it is amazing!!! Yes it is sweet and creamy but I wouldn't have it any other way! I am officially addicted!!! Imagine never being able to enjoy cows milk all of your life because you knew what was coming next=huge migraines that keep me in bed for a whole day=not happy teachers all of my youth. Now I can drink almond milk by the cupfuls right before bed if I wanted to and not have to worry!!! I can gulp and blissfully sigh from the incredibleness of this stuff!!!

  4. Hi Carolyn!

    Your Dinner is AWESOME!

    Guess what, we had stir-fry last night for dinner, too! Although I must admit that yours sounds cooler than mine. I didn't like my Asian sauce very much. Neither did my kids. If my sauce is delicious, the kids will eat the veggies. They ended up just eating the "fried" rice with peas and green onions in it. Sigh.

    Aimee told me about how much you loved her almond milk recipe. I am so glad that you have found a food that helps your body instead of giving you those terrible migraines.

    I will post the spelt pancakes ASAP!


    1. Wow, we are living simultanously(my spelling skills have declined) without even knowing it! Love your new pics!!! Thanks for replying so quickly, I am so excited to learn what you have learned and glean a more healthier diet from you. I need it so badly and I don't have the time to do my own research. SO I decided to skip the heavy research and instead take the shortcut way by learning from you and Aimee and Mom instead! Thanks for pioneering the way for me!!! Love ya and miss you guys!!! Love Carolina

  5. Creamy Cinnaburst Almond Milk Recipe:
    2 Cups Raw Almonds, Sprouted for 2 days & Rinsed
    6 Cups Filtered Water
    3 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar
    4 Dates
    1 Tablespoon Kirkland Brand Cinnamon
    2 teaspoons Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

    2 Tablespoons Organic Flax Seeds, Optional
    (for flax milk version, SO healthy!)
    Blend everything for 1 minute, strain through a nut-milk bag.

    -Aimee H. :)

    1. you are the best Aimee, what would I seriously do without you? I love my sisters!

  6. Oh, I was going to ask you for this recipe, thank you Aimee! And I love the title of it also.

    Do you melt your coconut oil before you add it to the milk? Or do you just add it straight?

    Do you add your flax seeds and other flavorings after straining through a nut milk bag, or do you strain them also?

    Did you ever email greensmoothiegirl to find out if they have extra almonds? We would love to try to get some, too.

    Do you know when her next bulk foods order is?


    1. Yes, since you have a high speed blender, just plop the coconut oil into the mixture (that's what I do). The friction of the blades should warm it nicely. One thing I forgot to add to the ingriedient list is 1/2 tsp of celtic sea salt, it's super important as it helps the ingredients emulsify and puts important minerals into the milk that help your body obsorb the nutrients. Make sure it's a mineral rich, high quality himalyan or celtic salt, otherwise you'd just be adding unnessesary sodium.

    2. Oh! I forgot to tell you, I emailed the greensmoothiegirl support team and they put me on a waiting list for more raw almonds lol. The chance that I will get more before the next annual bulk foods buy is very slim (sadness!).

  7. Can you post the recipe for the vegan gravy and mashed potatoes? And the other ones you talked about lol

  8. Yes, I can do that!

    I am currently cleaning out my whole kitchen and reorganizing it because it's driving me crazy!

    So I haven't been cooking new recipes. But I can post the old tried and true!

    Thanks for emailing GSGirl about almonds.

    I am going to soak almonds today so I can make your almond milk tomorrow. Would it be okay if I posted that recipe on my blog?

    Also, what kind of camera do you have and how much did it cost?


  9. I would credit you for the recipe, of course.

  10. Yes, of course you can post my almond milk recipe! Feel free to tweek it to be just the way you like (I know you'll love it though!). I got my camera at Shopko for $145. It's a purple Nikon Coolpix- touchscreen. I like it because it has a pre-set "food" photo setting that works really well. I literally have like 45 recipe inventions with recipes and beautiful photos I would love to share but I can't figure out the stupid blog issues with my computer at home LOL. Someday I'll get the internet time I need to experiment! In the meantime I will just obsess over your beautiful blog. I'm probably your #1 fan LOL! I literally look at it every morning for a few minutes at work.