Sunday already? Wow! Sad to see this pleasantly quiet weekend end. The weather was windy, cold, and rainy most of the weekend which was a great excuse to stay home and enjoy the fireplace.
Yes, Miko is passed out on the hearth with my sock that he somehow got out of the laundry hamper, sneaky little guy!
Weekends are a good excuse to have a splurge breakfast like pancakes, chia seed pudding, or loaded oatmeal. But that just hasn’t been the case for me lately, I’ve been sticking to green monster smoothies since they work so well for pre-workout breakfasts, especially for being hydrating, nutritious, and non-bloating before a run. And I did sneak a nice run in Saturday morning when we got a break from the rain only having to dodge a few puddles and mud patches. My typical smoothie lately includes a complex array of ingredients to make a meal smoothie.
- 1 serving of plant-based protein powder (hemp, rice, pea protein, or a blend)
- 1 tbsp. of Vitamineral Green
- 1-2 servings of fruit, usually bananas, oranges, apples, or frozen berries
- 1 serving of greens, usually kale or spinach
- a chopped carrot or two
- handful of sprouts if I have any in the fridge
- Stevia for a little sweetening
- Vanilla, cinnamon and/or cacao powder for flavoring
- small chunk of fresh ginger
- Chia and/or flax seeds
Making breakfast smoothies has become a fun mix and match art for me every morning tossing in a combo of healthy ingredients and ingredients into the Vitamix to make it taste good. Years ago when I was first getting into a high-raw vegan diet, the thought of giving up cereal for a smoothie seemed awful. But I love it now and that I usually feel so satisfied after one, but not weighed down for getting the day started.
But I did indulge in a new vegan meat alternative this weekend that was much more hearty and weighty – Field Roast Classic Meatloaf.
I’ve passed this product by many times at Whole Foods while grabbing tempeh and tofu, but broke down and bought it last week because it was on sale and I thought it was a good thing for non-vegan hubby and I to try together. The high amount of fat is something that has turned me off from buying it in the past, but it also has an impressive amount of protein and fiber and looked like a solid sausage alternative for vegan stew.
I was impressed at the visible veggie chunks when I sliced into it.
It’s not gluten free, in fact it’s mostly wheat gluten which would explain why it tasted like compacted, savory bread when I sampled a raw chunk of it. I chopped the entire loaf into cubes for a huge veggie stew.
And threw the chunks into a large soup pot with a cute, mini kabocha squash from our garden, chopped onions, a couple of bay leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil.
After caramelizing, I poured in a soup base I whipped up in the Vitamix of:
- 5 cups of water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes
Then added a chopped zucchini and simmered the stew for about 20 minutes over low heat.
Removed the bay leaves then served. I noticed the Field Roast became spongy, some chunks even falling apart in the stew. But the flavors and fat from it simmered into the soup broth nicely and made the Field Roast chunks much lighter and less chewy, a plus for me since I’m not a fan of chewy and heavy fake vegan meat.
The stew came out wonderfully, perfect enjoyed by candle light with hubby on another cold and rainy night. Thumbs up for Field Roast even though it wasn’t cheap, that chunk was just over $4. Worth it for the number of servings, protein, and fiber. Plus I have plenty of stew leftovers to enjoy this week.