One of my passions in life is to eat well and to create memories and experiences centered around incredible food. When my husband and I travel, we spend more time planning where we will eat than any other part of our trip. I get excited reading food reviews on TripAdvisor and looking at menus online. We experienced our first tasting menu last summer at a place called Coi in San Francisco and it was by far the most memorable part of our trip.
Although we love to eat great food, we tend to get lazy when it comes to cooking at home. I believe this is due to a lack of planning and because of my unusual work hours. If we have not planned to cook in advance, it is much easier to grab something from a local restaurant. It would be a total lie to say that I do not enjoy eating out. Oklahoma City has some incredible food and I greatly enjoy trying new places as well as frequenting our usual spots- Cafe Cacao, Republic, Guernsey Park, Big Truck Tacos and The Wedge.
It has been a goal of mine the past two years to cook at home at least three times a week. Even though that might not sound like much it is a number that seems to be realistic for Matt and I. It seems that at least 2-3 times per week we have social gatherings or work functions that keep us from eating at home and we like to dedicate the weekends to time with friends or a date night out for the two of us. In an attempt to better stick to this goal, we have recently subscribed to a meal-planning service called Cook Smarts. Cook Smarts provides four recipes per week that can be adjusted to vegetarian, paleo, and gluten-free. The serving size is for four, but we have been known to eat the entire thing when it was a meal we loved. So far, we have stuck to our goal and have been cooking at home more. I don’t know how long we will use this service, but I am learning a lot about meal prep and planning that I believe will make me more successful in cooking at home in the future. Since I was young, I have always liked rules and I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy following recipes. Although I have had some success “creating” new meals, I tend to do best when I stick to a recipe. Not to toot my own horn, but I am an EXCELLENT cook if you give me something to follow- I can follow rules all day long! One of our favorite dishes that I have prepared from Cook Smarts was a vegetarian version of Turkish Kebobs- I will share the recipe at the end of this post.
If you are looking for inspiration for tasty healthy food and beautiful pictures of said food, check out my friend Claire’s blog (you should follow Vidya anyways- she is always inspiring me), or check out some of Kris Carr’s stuff- her cookbook is full of simple and easy to follow plant based recipes. Life is too short to not eat well.
I wholeheartedly believe that food is the most potent drug that we can put into our bodies. In order to function at our best, we need good fuel. Virginia Woolf said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Do yourself a favor and eat some good food this week!
Evolve with me,
VEGETARIAN TURKISH MEATBALLS
- Onion – 1, diced
- Cauliflower – 2 heads, chopped
- Chickpeas – 1 can, rinsed and drained
- Garlic cloves – 3 , crushed or minced
- Parsley – 1/4 bunch, minced
- Cumin – 1 tbs.
- Za’atar – 1 tbs.
- Salt – 1 tsp. + 1/4 tsp.
- Chili powder – 1/2 tsp.
- Olive oil – 3 1/2 tbs.
- Persian cucumbers – 1/2 lb., chopped
- Plain yogurt – 2 cups
- Lemon – 1, juice of
- Pita or flatbread – 4
amounts are for 4 servings
- Onions / Cauliflower / Chickpeas / Garlic / Parsley – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Spices – Mix together cumin, za’atar, first part of salt, chili powder, minced garlic, and olive oil. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Divide onions, cauliflower, and chickpeas onto two sheet pans. Toss with spice mix and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, shaking and rotating racks once or twice.
- While vegetables are cooking, chop cucumbers. Mix with yogurt, lemon juice from half a lemon, and second part of salt.
- Toast pitas right before serving. You can just throw them in the oven for a few minutes at the end of vegetable roasting.
- When vegetables are done, save 2 cups of cauliflower (if some chickpeas make it in there, it’s ok!) for tomorrow night’s dinner. Toss the remainder of the chickpeas, onions, and cauliflower with rest of lemon juice and parsley. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Enjoy with your cucumber and yogurt and pitas.