For the last two weeks, I’ve been preparing and planning my meals using Shalane Flanagan’s cookbook Run Fast. Eat Slow. In general, it has not been a difficult transition from how I normally cook, and my family has been enjoying the new recipes.
We’ve talked about meal-planning here on Salty Running before, and I have to say that one of the easiest ways to meal plan is to make recipes that either leave behind leftovers for easy lunches or that can be the base of a new meal with just a couple of additions the next day.
The great thing with all the recipes I made this week is that they produced perfect leftovers, which actually allowed me to cook less than normal. The breakfast cookies were breakfast for several days, dinner one night was lunch for the three following days, and one salad was big enough to be the salad we ate the next night too.
Oh, and per your suggestions, I’m adding the total Prep & Cook time to each recipe!
Root Lovers’ Winter Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
This recipe calls for two pounds of roots vegetables, so I used what I had on hand: an orange yam, a white sweet potato, and some carrots. I peeled and cut them up into one-inch chunks, then tossed them with salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper, reserving the peels and ends for my next batch of broth. Roasting veggies is my family’s favorite way to eat them, and this recipe calls for a can of drained garbanzo beans added after 15 minutes, too. While the vegetables roasted, I shook up the apple cider vinaigrette (all three of the salad dressings I have made so far are shaken up in a Mason jar). I have never made a vinaigrette with apple cider vinegar (money saver!) but I actually love it and am glad to know when I run out of balsamic there’s another easy and cheap option.
After the veggies were done, I mixed them with five cups of arugula and served it with the dressing on the side for drizzling. The flavors and textures in this recipe are delicious; sweet roasted vegetables, crisped garbanzo beans, the spicy bite of cumin and arugula with the kick of the dressing. Honestly, this salad could easily be an entire meal for me. My husband liked it too, though the kids were not fans mostly due to the arugula addition. My daughter loves arugula raw and unadulterated, but it gets wilty in this salad when mixed with warm vegetables. My son likes the roasted veggies but thinks arugula is bitter and gross. Next time, then, I’ll keep the greens and cooked veggies separate.
Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: A, Taste: B+, Family-Friendly: C, Prep/Cook-time: 1 hour
Gimme Veggies Fried Rice
I love stir-frys because they are quick, healthy, and please everyone in my family. We had a busy night planned and I needed a recipe that didn’t require a ton of prep; this one checked that box because I used a short cut. I buy the big bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables from Costco for nights like these. The mix is just the veggies, no sauce or seasoning, and is a fantastic mix of rainbow carrots, broccoli, green beans, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, onions, water chestnuts and red bell peppers. It goes for about $7.00 and is enough for several dinners using this recipe. Affordable, fast, and a simple way to incorporate a ton of vegetables!
The stir-fry starts with a bunch of minced ginger and garlic and is finished off with soy sauce, sesame oil, and cashews. Although there are two scrambled eggs and brown rice, I made marinated, baked tofu to add protein to the meal. This ended up being useful because the two tablespoons of soy sauce called for was not enough to get the four cups of rice tasty enough, so I used the left-over tofu marinade I whisked together (3T soy sauce, 3T sesame oil, 1T apple cider vinegar, 3t brown sugar, 1t Sriracha, & 1T toasted sesame seeds) to flavor the fried rice up.
Everyone lapped up dinner, my son and husband both immediately packed a container for the next day’s lunch, and my husband suggested next time I add shrimp instead of tofu. Brilliant idea!
Cost: B (cheap for me because I had most of the ingredients in my pantry and used frozen vegetables; if you have to buy the sesame oil and all the other ingredients the cost would add up quickly), Ease of Recipe: A-, Taste: B+ (needed more sauce), Family-Friendly: A, Prep/Cook-time: 30 minutes (I used frozen veggies to cut down prep-time & had the rice left-over as suggested in the recipe)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I feel sort of like I’m cheating including this in my review of new recipes, because this really isn’t a new recipe. It’s the most basic way to make Brussels sprouts in the world. Cut them in half, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes at 425°. The end.
If this is already how you do Brussels sprouts, *yawn*, but keep doing them this way because they are delicious. If you still have the left-over-from-childhood attitude that Brussels sprouts are gross, grow up and make them this way. They are very affordable, fast, and three out of four members of my family like them. Heck, that Root Lover’s Salad would taste great if you added some of these to it.
Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: A, Taste: A, Family-Friendly: B-, Prep/Cook-time: 35 minutes
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies
We planned on attending a march in Eugene on Martin Luther King Day, so we needed to get out of the house early. I wanted an easy to pack but filling breakfast option, so I made these the night before. The recipe called for baking the sweet potato for an hour to mash it, but I cheated and used the microwave. The bulk of this recipe includes rolled oats, sweet potato, almond meal, ginger, cinnamon, coconut oil, raisins and maple syrup. Each cookie is a 1/4 cup of this mixture.
The cookies were a hit, the flavors were delicious straight out of the oven and even better the mornings following. The texture improved each day too; getting more moist and less crumbly. One cookie, a banana, and a cup of coffee kept me full and satisfied all morning. Definitely keeping these on hand for busy mornings or for post long-run or after-school snacks!
Cost: C (several spendy ingredients if you don’t already have them), Ease of Recipe: A, Taste: A, Family-Friendly: A, Prep/Cook-time: 40 minutes (I microwaved the sweet potato to save an hour of bake-time)
After the MLK march, we met up for a potluck lunch with friends, who asked me to bring my kale salad. I had some RFES Apple Cider Vinaigrette left over, so I used that on a hybrid of RFES’s Kale Raddichio Salad and my kale salad. I added dried cranberries, then decided to make these toasted seeds in place of the raw ones I normally use. I melted butter, turmeric, yellow curry powder, honey, and salt in a sauce pan, then tossed that with the mix of raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds I keep in my pantry. I roasted them in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring after five and they were done.
My family unanimously loved and 100% consumed this salad, and the seeds were a wonderful and easy way to turn a great salad into a spectacular one. We ate the seeds that weren’t tossed in the salad by the handful. Because the recipe is so easy, I see myself not using raw seeds very often anymore!
Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: A, Taste: A, Family-Friendly: A, Prep/Cook-time: 15 minutes
Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos
Who doesn’t love a breakfast burrito? Shalane’s recipe is unique in that it makes six large burritos so you can freeze some for later for busy mornings, using whole wheat tortillas, eggs, spinach, your favorite cheese, and beans. I used Colby Jack for the cheese and while the book recommends their recipe for spicy black beans, I didn’t have the time in the morning to include them, so just used plain black beans. Overall, these burritos come together quickly.
I had some left-over baked potatoes, so I cut those into cubes, sprinkled them with a little taco seasoning and fried them until they were a little crisp and threw those in, too. The kids and I ate ours right away, while my husband took his and one for his boss with him on the road for a meeting. Like the other breakfast recipes I’ve tried already, this one kept me full and not snacky until lunch a full five hours later.
This basic burrito can easily be adapted by adding a meat option of your choice or fried veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms. I spiced ours up with Sriracha while the kids dipped theirs in ketchup.
Cost: A, Ease of Recipe: A, Taste: A, Family-Friendly: A, Prep/Cook-time: 20 minutes
So ends another week of eating like Shalane; all the recipes I tried this week will definitely go into my normal meal rotation!
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We’re nearing the end of my month of eating like Shalane, are there any recipes you’ve made and loved that I’ve missed so far that our readers need to hear about?