I eat a lot of sandwiches, wraps and bagels. I love them. It’s a meal you can hold in your hand, no utensils needed. Because I work at CTB, it is also really easy and convenient to eat that meal. And I have…for the past three months…for all my meals.
The past few weeks I have been listening to a few podcasts and re-introducing myself to the idea of cooking my food. Well, not cooking everything, but taking time to prepare meals that require silverware and some effort on my part. I can honestly say that before last Tuesday, I had not even boiled rice or roasted anything since Valentine’s Day when I made roasted butternut squash for our single’s dinner.
I was neither proud, nor ashamed of this, but realized I was in a rut. The beginning of a new month approaching gave me (and my coworker) the idea for a foodie challenge. Before I introduce my challenge, there needs to be the disclaimer that I am not changing my diet at all. I am still eating all the food groups (except animal products) and do not feel like my current diet has made me unhealthy. End scene.
[Example of a no-sandwich lunch at CTB]
So, my May challenge is no sandwiches, bagels or wraps for 31 days. The 31 days in May actually.
This sounded daunting at first. I’ll admit, I am not the greatest planner and usually like to spend the time I’m not running, biking or working reading or watching Grey’s…but I know I can do this.
To prepare myself for this challenge, I practiced batch cooking grains and beans last week. I made quinoa, millet, gnocchi and bowtie pasta over my last two days off. I have already finished the pasta and quinoa both with success. I made lentil/walnut taco bowls with the quinoa and both pasta Alfredo and pasta Marinara with the bowties. I remembered all the great things I love that aren’t sandwiches.
Another part of the challenge is to not repeat any grain. I did buy bags of quinoa and millet that will be a few more servings when cooked, but I am not buying the same grain twice. I want to try all the different grains there are which is easier when you don’t have other grains in your pantry calling your name. I plan to do the same thing with beans, but I also recognize that I get a lot of chickpeas from work, so they will be repeated often.
[Chickpea cookies anyone?]
Another thing I am experimenting with are raw vegan desserts. I am intrigued by this for the sole fact that 3/4 things I put in the oven get burned. If I do not have to use the oven, I waste less. This seems so practical for me, I cannot believe I had not thought of it before!
[Raw, vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting]
I am excited for this challenge!
If anyone wants to take the No Sandwich Challenge with me, let me know and we can share recipes! If not, what would be your May challenge? Any food rut you need to get out of?