I just can’t resist a behind-the-scenes peak at someone’s life, can you? I ever-so-casually scan the headlines on celebrity magazines in the grocery store checkout lines. I can’t help but click on dramatic weight loss stories when I find them on food blogs. And I get such a kick out of real-life Instagram photos.
We’re wired for this stuff, so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised by the positive feedback on my springtime “week in the life of a vegetarian” post. I was happy to hear that you guys found some inspiration in the humble, everyday meals that never make it to the blog. Artificial lighting and all!
Since every week is unique, I thought it was about time to share another week’s worth of meals. This week was different for a few reasons. For starters, the weather has changed. It’s cold outside, the days are shorter and butternut is the new rhubarb. Instead of eating at home all week, I drove home to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. I attended a couple of house parties and went out to eat a few times while I was there. I thought you might like to see how a vegetarian navigates those situations.
Last time, when I talked about my vegetarian, whole foods philosophy, I forgot to mention that it makes me feel great! I have plenty of energy. I almost never get sick. My weight is healthy and stable. I don’t take my good health for granted, so I try to support it with lots of fresh produce and other whole foods… which can be done regardless of meat consumption. You’ll see that I did a totally imperfect job of it last week (cheese! pie! no regrets!), but I’m trying to ease back into healthier habits this week.
Before I go, I owe a thank you to this post’s sponsor, Nourish Snacks. They’re a really neat new company founded by dietician Joy Bauer (you may know her as the nutrition expert on The Today Show). They offer a variety of wholesome, natural, vegetarian snacks in grab-and-go packages. Their products are super creative and on par with the kinds of snacks I reach for on a regular basis—nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and popcorn!
You’ll see a few snaps of Nourish Snacks in the photos below. If you want to try them out yourself, use code COOKIEANDKATE for 10% off snacks through the end of the year! Check out their offerings here. I think I’ll send my baby brother a sampler pack to keep him fueled up through finals week.
Left, brunch: A couple of friends had been in town from Denver all weekend, so we met up for one last meal together at The Classic Cup on the Plaza. I’m generally uninspired by vegetarian breakfast offerings here in Kansas City (c’mon chefs, you can do so many fun things with eggs!), so I usually just order a veggie omelet. I was excited to try this new menu item, which consisted of seasoned rice, black beans, kale, poached eggs, salsa verde and loads of hollandaise sauce. Thumbs up!
Right, snack: I was working on my pumpkin soup recipe and decided to roast the seeds with a totally addictive combination of olive oil, curry powder, brown sugar and salt.
Left, dinner: Belly full of pumpkin soup, batch two, which I photographed the next morning.
Right, breakfast: I attempted to recreate a granola bircher muesli that I found in the Heathrow airport. Yogurt, honey-sweetened granola, shredded Granny Smith apple, honey and pomegranate. Oh, and some dark chocolate for good measure.
Left, lunch: Leftover herbed quinoa and pomegranate salad, eaten right out of the bowl. Typical.
Right, dinner: My first attempt at my roasted cauliflower, freekeh and garlicky tahini sauce recipe. I couldn’t stop going back for more, which meant I was on to something!
Left, breakfast: Reheated leftover apple crisp with some redeeming organic yogurt and leftover pomegranate.
Right, snacks arrive: My shipment of Nourish Snacks is here! So many fun varieties, I can’t decide which one to try first.
Left, late lunch: Final version of my my roasted cauliflower, freekeh and garlicky tahini sauce recipe. Obsessed.
Right: Road snack. Cookie and I zoomed home to Oklahoma that evening. That freekeh has so much fiber that I was hardly hungry for the rest of the day.
Left, breakfast: I slept in late and didn’t want to spoil my appetite for Thanksgiving, so I just had a banana and some granola bites for breakfast.
Right, veggie turkey!: My aunt found a tutorial for a turkey vegetable plate on Pinterest (maybe this one?). My kind of turkey.
Left, lunch: Ok, this photo doesn’t do my mom’s meal justice! I was in a hurry to eat mashed potatoes already, so I didn’t bother making my plate look pretty. You’re looking at my great grandmother’s sour cream mashed potatoes, lots of roasted vegetables (sweet potatoes, bell peppers and cauliflower), raw bell peppers, cranberry sauce and a green salad. Not shown: pumpkin pie, of course!
Right: Where there’s food, there’s Cookie.
Left, Thanksgiving dinner: Lots of greens topped with warmed, leftover roasted vegetables, feta, balsamic dressing and a few crushed blue corn chips. I liked it so much that I might have to make a post about it. Not shown: More pumpkin pie. ‘Tis the season.
Right: Tuckered out with her tongue out.
Left, breakfast: Breakfast options at my parents’ house are pretty minimal, so I brought some random packets of instant steel-cut oats (Country Choice brand) home with me. Here we have oats, peanut butter and sliced banana.
Right, brunch/lunch: Surprise! A birthday brunch for my cousin at his parents’ place. Coolest house ever. Can you tell they’ve lived all over the world?
Left, brunch: A less-than-appetizing shot (sorry) of a delicious plate of food. They had a huge buffet spread so naturally, I had to sample everything. Green chili grits, bagel crisp, cheese, broccoli and, yes, more pumpkin pie.
Right: Meet Mickey, a very friendly and energetic Jack Russell mix.
Left, post-dinner snack: For the life of me, I cannot find the photo of my dinner. My mom made us some simple tortilla pizzas, topped with more leftover roasted vegetables, and some basic green salads to go with them. Then she plunked down some stovetop popcorn next to me, so I ate it.
Right, breakfast: I wanted something to tide me over until a bridal shower brunch, so I made avocado toast and topped it with pomegranate seeds and feta on a whim. I really love those flavors together (you’ll see them again soon!).
Left, brunch: A bridal shower for one of my oldest friends. Her mom, who reads my blog (hi Angela!), was really thoughtful and served me some butternut ravioli since the lasagna had meat in it. I would have gladly gotten by on salad, hummus and pita bread, but the ravioli was much appreciated.
Right, dinner: When you have a chance to eat your favorite nachos, you take it. Favorite nachos at my favorite college bar with my best friend. Done. (P.s. Those nachos were the inspiration for this nacho recipe.)
Left, breakfast: In a hurry to head back to Kansas City. Instant steel-cut oats with Nourish Snack’s “cinn-sational” cinnamon-spiced apples and almonds on top! On the drive home, I ate leftover pizza that I stole from my parents’ refrigerator on my way out the door.
Right, dinner: I returned home to an empty fridge, so we went to Chipotle for dinner. I always opt for a vegan salad bowl (all of the salsas!), since they have a heavy hand with sour cream and cheese.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Nourish Snacks (don’t forget to use code COOKIEANDKATE for 10% off!). I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!