Turning my Kitchen into a Sproutworks

I’ve been going on about this new healthy eating for a bit now and its going pretty well. The advice I’ve been given by others is plan ahead and I have taken that to heart. Here is my latest tale of next level food prep planning…

My husband, who is also on the health tip although not vegan, had been buying healthy food at lunch time, salads, beans, grains etc from various lunch establishments near his work in Shanghai. He works long hours, works out a lot and is 6ft2 so the guy needs a lot of food. Just one of these salads is around 60rmb or £6.50 and sometimes he’d have two plus extras. That’s a huge amount of money just on lunch when you’re buying it every day.

When I first started eating a plant based diet I was cooking all the time. I have two children, the littlest one is at home with me and I was not spending enough time with him. He was coming into the kitchen and trying to drag me by the legs out of the kitchen to play with him. He’s pretty strong so he’d often succeed! Plus cooking all the time, too boring!

So I decided to turn my kitchen into a Sproutworks/Hunter Gatherer/(insert alternate health food cafe here).

I read through my lovely new cook book written by one of my favourite vegan food blogger/vlogger types, Niomi Smart, ‘Eat Smart’. I scoured through the website of my favourite ever cookery book author and vegan recipe creator extraordinaire, Jack Monroe, www.cookingonabootstrap.com, I found other websites and blogs and I also had a really good Waitrose magazine my Mum had passed on to me with healthy, hearty bean salads and the like. I spent some time eating in the lovely aforementioned healthy food cafes getting lots of lovely ideas. I created a plan of the dishes I was going to make, googled to make sure they’d be ok in a sealed container in the fridge for the best part of a week and put an afternoon aside to cook up a storm. So far I’ve been doing this for three weeks and its gone really well.

Some of the dishes I’ve created include:

Carrot, Cumin and Kidney Bean Burgers – Jack Monroe, www.cookingonabootstrap.com/2015/01/31/carrot-cumin-kidney-bean-burger-9p/

Easy Quinoa – Niomi Smart, Eat Smart

Pesto, Niomi Smart, Eat Smart

Winter Spelt and Butter Bean Winter Bowls – Waitrose magazine

Houmous, Niomi Smart, Eat Smart

Pearl Barley

Vegan Lentil Burgers, www.food.com/recipe/vegan-lentil-burgers-224363

Falafels, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cassies-pea-falafels-minty-couscous-salad

Avocado dressing, www.jessicainthekitchen.com/creamy-vegan-avocado-dressing/

Bulgar Pilaf, www.turkeysforlife.com/2011/01/bulgur-pilaf-recipe.html

Lots and lots of roasted veg and bunches of kale

A constant supply of noodles and tofu dumplings thanks to our lovely Ayi, Lily.

This is taking time and stress out of planning and cooking dinners and lunches every day and its absolutely keeping the weekly food bill down. I fill the fridge with containers and my husband and I can pile a plate high for lunch and dinner with whatever we choose.

I can post links to any recipes I find on the internet for people that are interested. For anyone in Shanghai, I’m planning a post on where to find healthy foods in the city.

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