The Daily Beet

23 Jul Saving Time with Char: Dinner Time

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Saving Time with Char

Dinner Time

The weekend has come to a close.  I am tying up loose ends so that the new week is off to a good start.  Dinner is on my mind.  I am thinking of a “multi-task” dinner, which means that while a load of clothes is in the dryer, I’ll get dinner ready.  Not sure why I feel as though I am in a hurry, but I am hoping for an end-of- the-day trip to the gym, and truth be told, I am working on a season of “MADMEN” on Netflix.  I need TV time, okay?

Here are the specs for this delicious dinner.  Let me say that it helps to be a “batch” cooker, because I can easily pull things from the freezer for back-up.

Antipasto:  A mélange of cucumbers, grape tomatoes, steamed kale, two tablespoons of hummus, and a few black olives, which were rinsed in warm water.  Arrange everything  on a bread plate, and make one for each person having dinner.  Quick, easy, delicious.

Note:  When kale comes into my house, I strip it, give it a massage and either sauté or steam it as soon as I get home.  It is easier to store a container of cooked kale than it is to store a fresh bunch of kale.  Keep it in an air-tight container, and use it for various meals, etc.  .

Main Course:  The rice cooker is busy making enough rice for the week.  The steam basket in the rice cooker is getting some broccoli ready for dinner.  When everything is done, I get a bowl and stuff it with rice, kale and veggies.  A healthy sprinkle of nutritional yeast with some hot sauce, and dinner is a hit!

Note:  Making rice for the week (or as long as it lasts) is a great time saver.  You can use cold rice as a salad topper, sprinkle it on your fruit, or, have it ready as a side or main dish.

Dessert:  Grab a ten ounce bag of frozen mango.  Throw it in the Vitamix® (or a food processor, or a standard blender) and  add about  an 1/8 of a cup of almond milk (unsweetened), and make some mango sorbetto.  It is the best dessert.  Creamy and dreamy.

Note:  If you want perfect “scoops” of the mango sorbetto,  remove it from the blender, and place it in a food container.  Put the container in the freezer for about 30 minutes…when you remove it, you can then use an ice cream scoop and make perfect scoops of this delicious dessert.  Your friends will be impressed.  Garnish with some sprigs of mint or diced, fresh mango.

The reality is that I spent ten minutes making dinner.  It took me more than twice that to eat everything.  My point, always, is that, preparing plant-strong meals doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking that ends up being a distraction and deterrent to your health goals.  It should be fun to do, and fun to eat.

You might need some scaffolding in place, and that is mostly steaming and prepping rice and veggies for the week.  Keep the fun in what you do, and you will always have time for yourself!


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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • Fran
    Posted at 10:25h, 24 July

    Way to go Char! You are truly an inspiration to us all. You ROCK!

  • Stacey
    Posted at 11:26h, 24 July

    Love the mango idea, thanks

  • norah
    Posted at 19:19h, 24 July

    How easy and everything sounds delicious. I’m going to try this tomorrow. Thanks for the great ideas… keep them coming

  • just me
    Posted at 20:31h, 24 July

    I love how elegant our simple plant suppers seem. Easy to make but delicious to eat, that’s how I like it. Good idea about the kale. If it’s already steamed, I’ll be more likely to eat it up than if I have to steam it each time. Thanks

  • investigator
    Posted at 14:24h, 04 August

    recently read:”my beef with meat” love how he NOT put white flour, white rice, sugar into things and am considering the diet for myself. still i do like unsweetened coconut milk much better than the other milks. I also buy & use Stevia extract and use that to sweeten my food; since sugar is enemy #1!

    I never was much of a meat-eater so simply not putting it into my shopping cart is no biggie

    However; i do like & shop at Trader’ Joe’s as much as possible; their prices are good and their staff is great! had gone into Whole Foods; the prices are high and the staff are sour-mouthed folks who NOT want to work hard NOT want to help

    i much more into the T.J. approach which has looser dress-codes mixed with happy helpful hardworking staff

  • investigator
    Posted at 14:29h, 04 August

    When i read how Mr. Rip think oil bad i was shocked but not totally. I never did like Olive Oil and had read both online and in book (science of skinny) how the Canola Oil sold in fact contains TRANS FAT!

    I eat frequently to keep blood-sugar stable and have problems if/when i eat too much sugar; especially added sugar. I wish i had the money & equipment for all the great-looking recipes!

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