You know those blog posts that talk about the person’s “typical day?” Do you find those as interesting as I do??
That’s my hope with the “What I Ate Wednesday” posts. I want to show you that eating healthy does not mean that you have to eat the same 10 foods over and over again. You can eat similarly for ease but with variety to keep things exciting.
This week is a perfect example of that…batch cooking a couple staples. I aim to batch cook a starch (potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, pilaf mixture, etc) and a protein (tofu or tempeh usually but sometimes dried beans, seitan, or veggie burgers).
I sauteed a couple packages of Trader Joe’s High Protein Tofu (basically extra pressed and extra extra firm) and made a large pot of brown rice to use in recipes throughout the week. You’ll see I ate both for lunch and dinner this day but consumed them very differently…check it out below!
Notes: As always, I’m only tracking the nutrients of concern on a plant-based diet including iron, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D. I think people can get a little number crazy and it’s more important to listen to your body and let it dictate the serving size instead of a random label telling you how much you should be eating. All the percentages are based off of the RDA for most adults and individual needs may vary.
2 thin slices of Dave’s Good Seed Killer Thin Sliced Bread – 1 with peanut butter + Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning + 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast and 1 with slab of Earth Balance Margarine and cinnamon (SO many amazing research and benefits coming out about cinnamon), coffee with fortified unsweetened soy milk
- Breakfast Total: Protein: 17 grams, Fiber: 9 grams, Iron: 14%, Vitamin B12: 200+%, Calcium: 23%, Vitamin D: 20%
1 medium sized apple
- Snack Total: Protein: 1 gram, Fiber: 3 grams, Iron: 0%, Vitamin B12: 0%, Calcium: 0%, Vitamin D: 0%
Trader Joe’s High Protein Tofu Sauteed (leftovers), 2 cups salad greens, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup cauliflower rice, large spoonful of corn and edamame, couple tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Almond Butter Turmeric Dressing
- Lunch Total: Protein: 23 grams, Fiber: 16 grams, Iron: 19%, Vitamin B12: 0%, Calcium: 16%, Vitamin D: 0%
1 cup brown rice (leftovers), 2.5+ cups of frozen vegetable stir-fry blend with Trader Joe’s High Protein Ultra Packed Tofu Sauteed (leftovers) and smothered and covered in my favorite peanut sauce and topped with hemp seeds. Peanut Sauce: 1 can of full fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup+ crunchy peanut butter, 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce or liquid aminos, 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, dash of brown sugar, dash of crushed red pepper flakes. I ate about 1/4 of the sauce give or take.
- Dinner Total: Protein: 39 grams, Fiber: 17 grams, Iron: 52%, Vitamin B12: 0%, Calcium: 16%, Vitamin D: 0%
1 piece of homemade banana oat walnut bread with melted 1 tablespoon chocolate chips and 1 cup of frozen cherries
- Snack Total: Protein: 4 grams, Fiber: 4 grams, Iron: 21%, Vitamin B12: 0%, Calcium: 7%, Vitamin D: 4%
Total nutrition: Protein: 84 grams, Fiber: 49 grams, Iron: 106%, Vitamin B12: 200+%, Calcium: 62%, Vitamin D: 24%
Breaking it down a bit:
- Like usual, more plant-based protein than I likely need despite working out today
- Plant-Based Diets are higher in fiber which help improve overall gut health for most people and increase microbial diversity!
- Iron for the day was found mostly in the tofu, peanut butter, and hemp seeds. A lot of times when eating plant-based iron, I aim to eat a source of Vitamin C with it. So for example, I love using hemp seeds as a topper and the Vitamin C in the broccoli (from the stir-fry) helps to absorb that iron.
- I consume nutritional yeast daily because I love the taste and I know it’s the largest source of Vitamin B12 in my diet.
- Calcium is in SO many vegetables and it adds up quickly. There’s a lot of research that points to plant-based eaters needing less calcium than meat eating counterparts because the calcium is leached easier in an acidic environment (a diet high in dairy, meat, processed foods.Vitamin D deficiency is real for more Americans than we even know (because there are often no symptoms other than perhaps fatigue). It can be found in mushrooms, fortified soy milk, and tofu – all of which I didn’t consume this day. I do take a multivitamin a couple times a week to help meet my Vitamin D needs and may be something for you to consider as well depending on what your diet looks like. If you want to check in with a Dietitian (aka me) and see how you’re doing with your intake, head over to the store section to book a consult with me.
Alrighty, there you have it! While I used a lot of leftover meal prep bases (brown rice, tofu) to decrease the amount of time spent cooking, by using different flavor profiles (salad type bowl for lunch vs curry for dinner), I had two very unique meals that were equally delicious. Meal prep can be your best friend and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
What is your favorite food to batch cook? I’m always curious and I’d love to hear from you!