Food Assembly for Incredibly Lazy People

Well, my streak of being boring and lazy continues, even as the weather has somewhat improved in my part of the world.  For whatever reason, I still cannot find the motivation or inspiration to get out my knives and pans and actually cook something.  At times like these, I essentially have three options.

1) Requiring the barest minimum of effort, I can go out and buy something to eat:
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…which is tasty, though not the healthiest or cheapest option.  Btw this is a close-up of yucca fries from the Whole Foods hot bar–SO AMAZINGLY GOOD.  Like a cross between a french fry and a donut.

2) Also requiring little to no effort, I can have something pre-packaged that I only have to heat and serve:Amys
…also not the healthiest or most economical way to eat.

3) Or I can muster enough gumption to at least assemble something decent to eat!  Lately I’ve been trying to shame myself into trying to put something together most days.  Some recent examples:

Of course, the ultimate exercise in food assembly is a smoothie. Even on my most apathetic mornings, I can usually find it in me to put things in cup and hit a button.
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This one was a lovely cherry-chocolate concoction. I gave myself bonus points for color-coordinating it with my outfit.

Assembly: blend stuff.

This morning I assembled what I am taking the extreme liberty of calling a Breakfast Quesadilla.  There is no semblance of queso in this and so the name is based only on its appearance and the fact that a corn tortilla has a vague connection to Mexican food.
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Assembly: simply spread on PB&J, add half a sliced banana, then fold over and go.

The laziest tofu sandwich of all time, using pre-baked SoyBoy Tofu-Lin tofu (because God knows I’m not baking my own tofu these days), reduced-fat Veganaise (which I am in LOVE with btw), and romaine lettuce, on an Arnold’s whole wheat flax sandwich thin.
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Assembly: spread Veganaise on one half of sandwich thin and cover with romaine.  Slice one block of Tofu-Lin in half, then in half again, and place it on the romaine.  Cover it with the other half of the sandwich thin.  Done.

Lazy pizza. Everything is storebought except the cheese sauce (I used Jackie’s, which I now just keep on-hand in the fridge at all times).
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Assembly: Preheat oven. Spread some sauce around the crust then toss on some toppings (I used jarred roasted red peppers and manzanilla olives). Bake it and then pour cheese sauce on top.  Not gonna lie, this was tasty as hell.

Ten-minute (or less) taco salad.
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Assembly:  Warm up a meatless taco filling (I used Meatless Select…review coming next week).  While it’s warming, chop and rinse some romaine.  Once it’s warm, put the romaine in a bowl, add taco filling, salsa, sliced avocado or guacamole (I used this two-ingredient one—avocado + NW Elixirs Verde Hott), and cheesy sauce (Jackie’s again).  Add taco sauce for dressing and some tortilla strips if desired.

You could use lentils cooked with taco spices as the meatless filling but again, that would require cooking. In the interest of full disclosure, I did actually *make* the tortilla strips in the salad above. This grand culinary endeavor consisted of brushing a corn tortilla with olive oil, sprinkling it with cumin and salt, and sticking it in the oven until I was ready to break it apart and eat it.

I really can’t tell you how I became this lazy.  For now I’m just rolling with it, in the hope that once our farmer’s markets open up again, I will be reinvigorated and find some fresh cooking inspiration.  Cross your fingers for me!!

Vegan Food to Lift My Mood

Have you ever noticed how sometimes life seems to wake up from a long sleep and decide it’s going to happen to you all at once?

The best example I can ever remember of this was the six-month period of May to November 2011.  In those six months, I graduated law school, studied for the bar exam, took the bar exam, planned a wedding in 10 weeks, moved, got married, found out I passed the bar exam, moved again, swore into the bar, and started my first post-law school job.  It was…a lot.

Now, nothing as momentous as all of that has happened to me lately, but it has nonetheless been one hell of a week.  Most notably, after many, many months of watching and waiting, the proverbial doo-doo has hit the fan at work.  All this as I had been starting to make real moves in contemplation of my next steps in the employment arena (being that my current position is temporary, though as yet still undefined).  It’s been a total juggling act of jetting around to interviews and appointments, planning a last-minute mini-vacation, doing product reviews, hearing some sort of *thing* scratching around in the attic (eek!)…while also continuing to work at losing weight (10.2 lbs down!) and trying to, y’know, be good at my job.  Especially now.

I am totally behind on all of your blogs and I’m sorry for that.  There’s just so much stuff taking up space in my mind right now.  Although I am still forcing myself to stick to my training schedule for Ragnar, I’m not feeling that motivated to do any of the other stuff that normally brings me a lot of joy, even cooking.

Enter last night’s dinner.  I was in a pretty crappy mood, which I used as a justification to spend beaucoup bucks at the Whole Foods hot bar:
Blues 004
Clockwise from top right: sauteed collard greens, creole beans and rice (WFM was doing a whole Mardi Gras thing), BBQ “unchicken,” and carrot-ginger grilled tofu.  In the middle is some roasted fennel.

This was tasty and satisfying and did marginally improve my mood.  The rice was definitely the best part and I kinda wished I had gotten more of it!

On an unrelated note, sometimes I wonder if I eat too much tofu.  Then I stop wondering because I don’t actually care to find out.

Anyway, another thing that rarely fails to perk me up is discovering new vegan products.  This week I am loving these after dinner with my raspberry leaf tea:
New Vegan Products 004I love these.  They are super-soft (but not at all crumbly) and smooth and have kind of a fruity taste.  They are wonderful.

I also discovered a new yogurt from Nancy’s, a company that produces both dairy and soy yogurts:
Blues 005I was intrigued by the cute, petite package with its fitted plastic top, which in my mind not only makes this yogurt more transportable than others but also totally increases the re-usability value of the container.

I had mine for breakfast with 1/3 cup sprouted ancient maize flakes and 1/2 tbsp. hemp seeds:
Blues 006It was decent.  The grayish color was a bit unattractive, but that isn’t something that really bothers me.  The taste reminded me a lot of the old Silk soy yogurts (I haven’t tried their new “fruity and creamy” line), which was a little disappointing because I had hoped it would be closer to Whole Soy & Co. (my favorite brand, which apparently still exists, but which I haven’t seen it in a store for close to a year now).  That is, it had that kind of bland and not-very-strawberry taste.  I enjoyed the creamy texture though, and liked that it didn’t taste overly sweet (though the 6 oz. container does contain 12 g sugar).

I also bought the mango and vanilla flavors to try.  I’ll let you know if those are more exciting.

What new vegan products have you discovered lately?