there are three things I’d like to share with you today, dear readers. the first is, and you may have noticed this, I haven’t been writing about anything personal for a long time. probably since graduating in june. that’s because I spent four long months searching for a job, and the whole process sucked. and I didn’t want to bore you with all of the details, because it would have sounded like this: “well, I applied for three jobs this week, went on two informational interviews, revised my résumé five times, went to job club (thank goodness for job club!), and am still waiting for an interview.” boring, right? but I was lucky to have amazing family and friends supporting me along the way, and I was also lucky enough to get offered several jobs. I accepted a job at a great nonprofit that offers high-quality medical services to people who might not otherwise have access to primary care physicians. I’ve been working since november, but have been hesitant to write anything about my job, because it was so new and such a great fit for me (i wrote SO many policy analysis papers on access to affordable health care!) that I didn’t want to jinx anything.
so now I’m working, and mike’s working, and things are really busy (in a good way!). which brings me to the second thing I want to share with you: meal planning. this is something a lot of my friends and coworkers have been talking about lately. very early on in our relationship, Mike and I learned that if we don’t meal plan, we have hunger-fueled cranky evenings where we try to decide if we should exercise or just go to the store, but can’t even agree on what we would buy at the store. so, we decided many years ago that we needed to sit down on the weekend and plot our meals for the week ahead. this avoids hunger crankiness (all me, by the way), frees up our week nights for exercise, and means we both always know what’s for dinner in case the other person has to work late.
so, usually after breakfast on Sunday, we sit down with my computer (where I’ve saved lots of food blog posts from the previous week with recipe ideas), plus a couple of cookbooks, and toss out ideas. we look at the week ahead and gauge how many meals we need to make and how much cooking time we have, which varies if we have weeknight commitments, etc. then we try to figure out recipes that have a variety of grains, vegetables, and protein sources. we also try to pick recipes that are big enough to yield lots of leftovers for lunches, but we always have a few frozen meals in the freezer and bread, peanut butter, and jelly in the fridge in case the leftovers don’t stretch through all of the lunches we think they will. we also don’t meal plan breakfast, but always have staples like granola, yogurt, fruit, toaster waffles, and oats around.
I bet you’re wondering what a typical meal plan looks like? for all the work and thinking we put in, it’s embarrassingly simple. this is our meal plan for the upcoming week, because we have dinner plans tonight (for the super bowl!) and tomorrow:
- Tuesday night: corn quinoa soup with avocado spread on toast on the side
- Wednesday night: spinach soufflé and brussels sprouts
- Thursday night: polenta with roasted root vegetables (see the 2012 update)
I know it looks really simple, but we worked on varying protein sources, grains, and vegetables, figured out how much time we would have to cook on specific nights and when we wanted to exercise, and we will have enough leftovers for lunches. so that’s what we do. what do you all do for meal planning? or do you eat on the fly?
ok, I know this post is getting long, but the third thing I want to share with you is a recipe for vegan, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that are chewy and flavorful and the most like normal butter and flour cookies I’ve ever made. enjoy!
one year ago: parsnip and carrot soup
two years ago: quick chili
three years ago: lemon bars
four years ago: applesauce oatmeal muffins
gluten-free chocolate chip oat cookies
yields approx 2 dozen cookies
borrowed from edible perspective
- 3/4c & 2T oats
- 3/4c ground oats (i pulsed 1c oats in my food processor for this)
- 1/2c almond meal
- 1/4c sugar
- 1/4c (plus a little more – i love chocolate!) chocolate chips
- 2T ground flax seeds
- 3/4t ground cinnamon
- 1/2t baking powder
- 1/4t salt
- 1/4c pumpkin puree (i love this kind)
- 3T coconut oil, melted
- 3T maple syrup
- 1t vanilla
- preheat the oven to 375°
- combine the oats, ground oats, almond meal, sugar, chocolate chips, flax meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl
- whisk the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a separate bowl
- pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined
- place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes
- then, use your hands to mold the dough into 1″ balls
- place the balls onto a greased cookie sheet (we used some more coconut oil to grease), and use a spatula to press them down a bit
- bake for 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheet (approx 20 minutes)