Lately, dinner time has meant either one of two things: we need to go to a restaurant/get some takeout or I need to find out what I have in the freezer or fridge that I can somehow magically turn into a meal as quickly as possible. Being the proud owner of quite a few vegan and vegetarian cookbooks (see Exhibit A below), I decided to take charge of this problem by making a meal plan for the week. So this Sunday I planned out my meals, went shopping for ingredients specifically for the meals. This plan will also help us save money by 1) not eating out during the week and 2) only buying things at the grocery store that are actually needed for meals (NO impulse buys allowed!).
So, here's Exhibit A, my collection of vegan & vegetarian cookbooks:
And here's my meal plan for the week:
I'm incorporating some new recipes from The Happy Herbivore cookbook By: Lindsay Nixon and one recipe from Vegan Comfort Foods from Around the World By: Veronica Grace a.k.a. Low Fat Vegan Chef.
Both of these cookbooks happen to be written by authors who believe in the whole foods, plant-based, no oil, no added sugar healthy mindset, which is an excellent way to continue the second week of my recently refocused weight loss journey. (I lost 3 lbs. last week!)
Monday night, I made the first recipe on my plan: Chickpeas & Dumplings. I followed the directions to the best of my abilities, but I may have added a little too much of the spices. I didn't feel like mixing together HH's Poultry Seasoning Mix because then I would have some leftover. So instead I added a teaspoon of each spice from the Poultry Seasoning Mix. Now there are only 3 teaspoons in a Tablespoon, which I didn't think about at the time, and the recipe only called for one tablespoon of the Poultry Seasoning Mix. Since there were 5 spices in the mix, that means I added two extra teaspoons of spices. It smelled very fragrant, but I will definitely use less spices next time I make it. I also added peas because for some reason, there were peas and carrots in the picture in the book, but there were none in the recipe or ingredients list.
Here's a picture from during the cooking process:
I've never had Chicken & Dumplings before, so I was a little off-put by the taste and texture of the dumplings. Maybe it's because of weird dumpling-taste or the extra spices, but this recipe was not a big hit at my house. My husband is also not a fan of chickpeas, and he told me there were "too many chickpeas". I also wasn't entirely loving it because for some reason I was expecting the dumplings to taste more like cooked biscuits than chunks of unbaked dough. My final product turned out nothing like the picture in the book. Mine's a little goopy and brown and Happy Herbivore's picture had a whitish broth (plus the previously mentioned chunks of carrots).
I have liked every other Happy Herbivore recipe I've made before, so I will definitely be giving this recipe another try sometime in the future (with less spices) and maybe separate the mixture in half before I add the chickpeas (to appease the husband).