I have this bad habit of deciding to be intricate with my cooking in the middle of the day when it’s the hottest.
BUT, it paid off because I am full, satisfied, and re-energized, and that’s a good feeling.
Today after a long workout, I decided that I wanted to put some time into my lunch (which I normally don’t do a lot, as I’m sure most people don’t—particularly those of you with a 9-5 kind of day). I had a big bunch of kale in the fridge, a new package of tofu, some left over onions, tons of garlic cloves, and a huge sweet potato, and because these are some of my favorite foods, I had to put a lunch together featuring them.
Okay, so it’s not that intricate of a lunch, in reality. It’s just that I had to stand in front of the stove and let the potato cook for a good 30-45 minutes. So, here’s what I did:
I finished up my workout, and before I took a shower I washed my hands and face and got to work on preheating the oven and cleaning and cutting up the sweet potato and the kale. I cut the sweet potato in half and put one half in the fridge for later, and dressed up the other half with some coconut oil, paprika, cinnamon, and salt and put it in the oven at 425 degrees. This way, instead of just waiting and waiting hungrily for the sweet potato to cook, I did what I had to do and cleaned myself up.
When I got out of the shower, I started work on the rest of the dish. I had to chop up some onion, mince garlic, and drain and press the tofu. And frankly, this was done all very half-assed. I’m no chef, so mincing and chopping isn’t what it looks like on the Food Channel, and I only press out the tofu until I get bored. That’s that! This means that everything tastes just as good, but doesn’t look super pretty and doesn’t take up my whole day to prepare.
Then I simply took a pan and put a few small spoon-fulls of coconut oil in (just enough to help heat it up), and sauteed the garlic and onions for a little while (really, until I got bored… but ideally until you really start to smell them without anything burning… scientific, eh?), cut up a handful of tofu and added that to the pan for awhile, and then destemmed the kale, chopped it up and let it wilt a bit with some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos until they got nice and kelly green.
The result when all is said and done, is beautiful, in my opinion. Perfect dose of after-workout protein, flavors that are satisfying and filling, and a little bit of sweet versus pungent versus spicy.
Note: This is a large portion… if you ate a portion of meat as large as either the kale or sweet potato portion (which is typical in the Standard American Diet), any doctor with half a brain would bitch slap you. The nice thing about eating plant-based, is that visually it’s quite stunning and looks like a TON of food, but it filled me up without being too much. Also, the nutrition density of this dish far exceeds anything you could make with meat. Just something to think about as you re-conceptualize what a meal should look like.
What I used in the sauteed kale:
- a few leaves of kale (they can get pretty big, so it just depends on how much you want, and remember, it’ll cook down)
- a quarter of a medium sized yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids (soy sauce without the additives-gluten free!)
- 1 tablespoon… ish… coconut oil
- a shit-ton of pepper, ’cause that’s how I like it 🙂
Baked sweet potato (bake at 425 degrees):
- half a medium sized sweet potato, washed/brushed
- 1 tablespoon, ish, coconut oil
- whatever amount makes you happy of paprika, cinnamon, and a little salt (to taste)
What I did after taking the nicer photos:
I smothered the sweet potato in crunchy peanut butter (nothing but peanuts, ya’ll, get off of the sugary peanut butter kick!), and started attacking. PS-Don’t for get to eat the skin of the sweet potato, mainly because it won’t kill you (and vitamins and stuff)!
Also, a basic article that brings to light some of the complexities of food and our bodies: Count Your Hormones, Not Your Calories!
Try the “recipe” at home (it’s more like just throwing shit together), and let me know what you think!