21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: September 2012 Kickstart Forum: Making life easier...
Created on: 09/08/12 01:09 PM Views: 2288 Replies: 14
Making life easier...
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Even though I have been pretty much eating this way for a while now, I still discover things I never knew, or perhaps did not pay attention to. Like how easy it is to cook a big pot of brown rice, and bag and freeze it. I used the quart freezer zip-locks and froze 1/2 cup and 1 cup amts, and marked them. Then I just let it thaw a bit, and use in my recipe, or heat in the microwave. This is actually faster and better than the success bags I was using. Anyone else have any great tips out there?? Very Happy

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 1:16 PM

I like that tip.. One question.. You don't put the plastic bags in the microwave do you? I don't put plastic in the microwave.....

My tip is this time of year it is so cheap to buy the green peppers at the food stands.. just cut them up and put them in the freezer.. use them for soups..

also not everyone knows.. you can freeze those little tomatoes without blanching or anything.. just wash em, let them dry, put them in a bag/container and right into the freezer they go... i use them for soups, chili or sauce.

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Sorry, no, I do not heat in the plastic bags, just dump the rice into a small glass bowl, or if its just a 1/2 cup for me, I will briefly just reheat it on my ceramic dinner plate, then top with my beans, or veggie stew or whatever. Easy, peasy Laughing

And you are right, I never thought about freezing little tomatoes, are you talking about the cherry and grape tomatoes?

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 1:34 PM

yep they freeze really well. I leave them whole

Also.. Ginger.. i grate the whole ginger.. then put a little wax paper in a small container, a tablespoon of grated ginger, another small piece of wax paper, another tablespoon of ginger. then pop it in the freezer, take out what you need.

That way i have fresh grated ginger for those curry dishes. If i don't do that, i have to buy ginger every time.

Edited 09/08/12 1:35 PM
RE: Making life easier...
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Oh, good points, ladies. And what about cous-cous. It cooks very quickly.

Wash your back

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Yes, couscous is about the best 5 minute dish ever. I add a little chopped onion, some sun-dried tomatoes, and green peas for a great main or side dish.

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 9:54 PM

that couscous sounded sooo good that i might have to make it tomorrow!

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 7:15 AM

I cook a big batch of Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf, to which I add hull-less barley, forbidden rice and quinoa. I eat it all week. By itself, in soups or stews, with veggies. I love the idea of freezing the little grape tomatoes.

Vikki ~

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Hi Vikki, that sounds great! Do you just keep it in the frig for the week? Also, what is forbidden rice? Thanks.

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Yes I just keep it in the fridge for the week, it keeps fine. Forbidden rice is sometimes called black rice. It has a completely different texture. In ancient times only royalty was allowed to have it, hence the name "forbidden."

http://www.vitacost.com/lotus-foods-heirloom-forbidden-black-rice

http://www.vitacost.com/bobs-red-mill-whole-hull-less-barley

I absolutely love hull-less barley. It takes longer to cook than the other grains so either start it first or soak it overnight to shorten the cooking time.

I cook it all in veggie broth with whatever seasonings I want at the time. Maybe a chopped onion or some garlic cloves. Of course you can also wait and season it when you use it.

Vikki ~

Edited 09/09/12 10:42 AM
RE: Making life easier...
Posted Monday, September 10, 2012 at 8:52 AM

vegetable stock in the freezer - we make a big batch using scraps from other meals (carrot tops, peelings, beet tops, etc - the only thing we don't use are celery tops because hubby dislikes the slightly more bitter flavor it brings to the stock) plus onion, carrot, celery, garlic. Pop it into freezer containers of whatever sort we have handy (bags or solid containers). We can have soup, add some zing to grains, etc. in minutes without buying stock and with total control over the ingredients (like fat and sodium).

Bell peppers freeze well, as do onions. On occasion, we've taken a big batch of peppers and onions, chopped them all up, then frozen them in portioned containers - it's almost fajitas in a bag! Take them out, add some chopped portabellas and black beans, heat through with seasonings and you're done!

--DebR

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Dr McDougall's Rightfoods soup cups are perfect for work or hotels. You just need to add boiling water.

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Yeah, its hard to find "instant" or fast foods that are healthy. If its packaged, its probably really processed, the only problem with Dr. McD's stuff is unfortunately the few I've tried have not been very good. Maybe I just have not tried the best ones. Amy's has some very tasty options, but I doubt they are oil-free. Which brings us back to the best thing being cooking our own whole foods, and the ideas of prep-and-freeze, whether complete dishes, or basics like the onion and green pepper idea helps.

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM

MidasSkyze wrote:

Dr McDougall's Rightfoods soup cups are perfect for work or hotels. You just need to add boiling water.

If you plan ahead, many hotels, and even some motels, can have a small fridge (dorm size) and/or a microwave available in your room, as well as pretty much every room having a coffee maker which means hot water (just run the water through with no coffee in the filter basket). We typically do that and then bring a cooler with almond milk, containers of dinner food leftovers (soup, chili, mac'n'not-cheese, hummus, etc), homemade tortillas, cold cereal and/or oatmeal, etc. Then we eat breakfast, lunch, and most dinners in our room - and we plan for one (or more) nights out, depending on how long we're gone for and where we are. Saves money and provides control over the food. Of course, flying someplace would be a whole other matter. When we went to St Croix, we had the fridge and microwave in the room, then went to a grocery store after we got checked in and picked up almond milk, cereal, a good whole grain bread, peanut butter, jam, some snack foods (portable things like decent granola bars and trail mixes - not veg then and it was even before the kickstart existed), fruit, and so on. That way, we could eat pretty much how we chose for two meals per day and then eat out once (often we'd eat out at lunch, when we were out and about and then just grabbed a sandwich in the evening when we were all exhausted).
--DebR

RE: Making life easier...
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 5:16 PM

cch22 - thanks for the tip on ginger. Every time I buy it for a recipe, the rest of it goes bad.


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