Navigating the Business Lunch Like A (Vegan) Boss

Navigating the Business Lunch Like A (Vegan) Boss!
Navigating some noodles

Hello dear readers,

I hope that you are having a magnificent week! I am personally coming off a high from yoga teacher training this weekend. We’re really being pushed to our emotional and physical edges and I’m loving it!

But no matter what we’re up to, Steph and I are always thinking about you guys, our podcast, and our upcoming blog posts.

Last week, I had the chance to write a piece for I Eat Grass, where I recorded my tips for navigating business lunches. It can be hard! Sticking to any diet while dining with new people — without being seen as difficult — can be a minefield.

I used to get silently anxious over The Business Lunch. Luckily, as one of those people whose job sometimes includes up to 2 or 3 business lunches a week, I’ve gotten a lot of practice. Read more at IEatGrass.com.

White Bean Garlic Dip and Homemade Tortillas

White Bean Dip

Michael Pollan once said that the key to a healthy, sustainable diet was to “eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.” And I couldn’t agree more! Cutting out processed foods (or at least applying the good old 80/20 rule to how much you consume them) is the simplest – though not necessarily easiest – way to eat healthier. Shopping around the outskirts of the grocery store, eating more whole foods, and making things at home by hand: these are wise tips I’ve heard time and time again and that I try to remember when feeding myself.

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Luckily, I absolutely love making things by hand. Most of the time, not only is it really fun to get my hands dirty (it makes me feel like a kid again!), but the results are better than storebought, and of course usually healthier too. Take these tortillas, for example. They only need a few ingredients, were straightforward to make, and came out absolutely and totally delicious. I couldn’t stop eating them! Plus I didn’t have to feel guilty because despite the fact that I used white flour, I knew there weren’t any added yuckies like preservatives or chemicals. Win!

The delicious white bean dip was quite simply an experiment-gone-right! I had some cooked beans in my fridge, no hummus or other spread to speak of to dress up my tortillas, and a bunch of garlic that was calling my name. So I threw it all into a cup and blended it up with my hand blender and voila: a perfect spread that does double duty as a yummy dip for veggies.

Safe to say, I felt like a Domestic Goddess for the rest of the week.

White Bean Garlic Dip

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Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp oil of your choice (I used canola)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of cooked white beans
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • about 1/4 cup of water, or enough to achieve desired consistency

Directions

Blend up all the ingredients using a  food processor or blender. Add water a little at a time until the dip is the texture and consistency that you like best!

Homemade Tortillas

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I followed Angela’s recipe from Oh She Glows using regular all-purpose flour (the only kind at my local supermarket) and it came out absolutely perfectly, as do all of her recipes in my experience. Head on over to her page to see the instructions!

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These tortillas are great because they’re very pliable, perfect for rolling up or using as a wrap.

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I spread mine with the white bean dip, added some fresh tomatoes and bean sprouts, and called it a (totally delicious) meal.

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Another great combo was tofu with barbeque sauce, a little of the spread and some sprouts. I actually didn’t think the white bean dip went perfectly with the BBQ tofu flavour (some vegenaise would have been better) but it was yummy nonetheless. If I had happened to have any fresh avocadoes, I would have thrown those onto both types of wrap with little-to-no hesitation at all. To finish my indulgent lunch, I spread one of the tortillas with peanut butter, a little honey, banana and cinnamon and was as happy as Larry. Clearly, the possibilities are endless, and endlessly tasty. And easy as (easier than) pie!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

-Steph

Laura’s Best Brussel Sprouts

IMG_0400I’m on a major brussel sprout bender right now. I’m obsessed with how they look (like crazy brains!), I dig the way they taste, and I love the way green veggies make me feel. This recipe is my vegan response to Steph’s Best Brussel Sprouts recipe that also looks absolutely smashing.

A note on my ingredient swaps: Steph likes to top her dish with a fried egg. The avocado in this recipe mimics that creaminess. I’ve also replaced the parmesan cheese she uses with nutritional yeast flakes. Nutritional yeast (or “nooch”) has a mild cheese-like or nutty flavour. It’s also protein-rich and is a vegan source of Vitamin B-12 (which helps in the production of red blood cells). I replace the butter with Earth Balance, a vegan substitute. Both nooch and Earth Balance can be found at most health stores or in the health section of many regular grocery stores.

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brussel sprout love

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brussel sprouts, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsps Earth Balance (or another vegan butter)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 portobello mushroom, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 avocado
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (walnuts and pecans also work)
  • chili flakes (optional)

Method

  1. Pan-fry your chopped brussel sprouts in the Earth Balance until slightly browned.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, and portobello mushroom and continue to stir until the onions begin to turn clear.
  3. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, pepper, chili flakes, and pine nuts and fry for another few minutes.
  4. Remove from stove, and top with sliced avocado and pepper.

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Feel free to be liberal with the toppings! (This is what nutritional yeast looks like)

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And that’s it! If you’re looking for an easy meal to incorporate more veggies into your diet, this is your guy. Enjoy!