what i eat: an update and a tomatillo-avocado recipe

cilantro

One. I’ve changed this series name to What I Eat, instead of How I Eat. I thought about How I Eat, and I immediately wanted to respond with a , “I eat with my mouth”. So that just kind of killed it for me.

Two. I haven’t posted one of these in a long time. Originally, this was going to be a post about my Sunday at home (I know. Please…contain yourself). But as I sifted through photos, I realized, no this is totally a What I Eat post. And so, here we are.

salad

Romaine lettuce with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, hemp seeds and chia seeds.

Every chance I get, I’ll add hemp seeds and (sometimes) chia seeds to my food. Hemp seeds, in smaller amounts, are virtually tasteless and texture-less so it’s an easy extra dose of nutrition (essential fats, amino acids, protein, etc.). I add hemp seeds to most of my food, even if it’s just a small sprinkling.

I use chia seeds less since they have a crunchy texture when dry and a gelatinous consistency when wet. They are great sprinkled on avocado toast or in smoothies. One of these days I want to experiment with them in a homemade strawberry or raspberry jam.

mexican skillet

One-pan Mexican quinoa topped with tomatillo-avocado sauce (not pictured above / see tomatillo recipe below)

I’ve really taken to quinoa lately. Initially I disliked it, but I recently learned that I just prefer it smothered in sauce. In Sunday’s case, a tomatillo-avocado sauce. But my favorite is quinoa with steamed broccoli and mushrooms in a simple San Marzano tomato sauce. YUM.

stew

West African peanut soup. I added two sweet potatoes to the recipe to make it heartier and subbed the collards with kale. Not pictured: a side of brown jasmine rice.

sunday cooking

Monday’s dinner in the front, Sunday’s dinner in the back.

Sundays have been my go-to day for bulk cooking. At most, I’ve only been able to cook two  meals and some prep work for other meals for the week. My goal is regularly cook three meals most Sundays. Cooking on one day makes the following work week so much easier: No cooking, less dishes, more time—what’s not to love about that?

cupcakes

Cupcakes from Burgers & Cupcakes

Sugar is my weakness. Still working on that ravenous sweet tooth. Another thing I’m working on? Breakfast. Lately, it’s been my least nutritious meal of the day, i.e. lots of toast and bagels.

My main goal is to eat a mostly plant-based diet. As in veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes. I haven’t eaten meat in over a month now and I don’t plan to either. I’ve had very little temptation to do so and it’s usually fleeting, so it hasn’t been too difficult to abstain. That said, it’s been easier to eat well because other more nutritious ingredients get more play. I’ve been much more creative and adventurous with dinners. I’ve always been down for trying new dishes, but now I’ll take something that normally has meat and replace it with a vegetable or grain…or nothing at all! You can pretty much make anything vegetarian or vegan.

As for protein? This seems to be the common question when you tell people that you’ve stopped eating meat. I always say I’m not worried about it. There’s enough protein in foods like nuts, seeds, lentils and even fruits and veggies to help me get my recommended intake. I’m more interested in B12 and plan on buying a supplement this week.

tomatillo sauce

Tomatillo-Avocado Sauce
makes about 2-4 servings

1 tomatillo, husk removed and sliced
1/2 of an avocado
1 small handful of cilantro or to taste
1/2 lime, juiced
chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Blend all ingredients together. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to reach your desired consistency.

This sauce on top of the Mexican quinoa made the whole dish for me. Feel free to use on other foods like nachos, tacos or spicy potatoes.

6 responses to “what i eat: an update and a tomatillo-avocado recipe”

  1. rooth says:

    I’m enjoying your diet experimentation. My 2016 diet has been all sorts of weird after going super strict last year. I haven’t yet decided which permanent direction I want to go in

    • Jillian says:

      I find that whenever I’m very strict about my diet, I always fall off the wagon at some point. But being vegetarian doesn’t feel restrictive to me, so hopefully I can be in this for the long haul. I wonder what permanent direction you’re considering (?)

  2. I went completely off the rails this winter with healthy eating, and need to get back on track in a major way. We eat similarly- I’ve either made a version of the stuff you made, or totally would make it. Do you feel different not eating meat? I admit, that’d be a hard thing to give up in this house. I’m feeling more and more like it’s the dairy and sugar I need to give the heave-ho (please don’t go!).

    • Jillian says:

      I don’t really feel that differently not eating meat. I never really ate a lot of it to begin with, so the change was relatively easy. I mean, I guess I could say I feel lighter and healthier (but I think that’s more of a mind thing). Dairy is my weakness too. I’ve started experimenting with vegan substitutes, such as Chao cheese slices. They’re great (no, really). I think the original flavor is quite delicious, especially in sandwiches. I honestly can’t even tell the difference! Yes, it’s probably super processed, which isn’t ideal but I choose my battles. As for sugar…well, yeah. I love/hate it.

      Good luck with all that. I’ll be over here trying different non-dairy subs, so if you ever need a recommendation let me know!

      p.s. I have yet to find a decent non-dairy ice cream :(

  3. Janey says:

    Everything looks & sounds delicious! Jill, re: your hunt for a decent non-dairy ice cream, have you tried So Delicious Coconut milk ice cream? I thought it was good, obviously nothing can really compare to good old tried & true creamy delicious “regular” dairy ice-cream, but I thought it was a pretty tasty substitute.

    • Jillian says:

      I haven’t actually! But I’ve been hesitant to try that brand because I heard it has a strong coconut taste. I’ve heard great things about the new vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice creams but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere!

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