Hello from the Polar Vortex!
As you’ve no doubt heard, this week much of the country was gripped with record-setting cold temperatures. We were getting warnings that going outside was to be avoided.
(Spoilers: At its coldest, it got to -22 with a wind chill of -51.)
They warned that being outside for just 5 minutes threatened frost bite to exposed skin, and could make it feel like your eyeballs were freezing!
So David and I planned to hunker down. In the preceding days, we stocked up on the essentials. We geared up for all-day pajamas, kitty cuddling, and keeping a blanket close at hand.
I even bought a new basket for the blanket that lives on the couch. After watching her show, Marie Kondo inspired me anew to give things that bring me joy a proper place to store them.
Avon jumped into it the second I got it in the door. Obviously, he knows who really brings me joy.
Since we wouldn’t be leaving the house, I figured I’d have free time to document my meals for the day. For a long while, documenting my vegan breakfast, lunch, and dinner was a monthly occurrence here on the blog.
You can see a year of easy vegan meals here.
But it had been quite a while since I showed my regular, everyday meals – what I eat when I’m not creating a recipe for the blog. In fact, the last time was way back in May 2018 in this post called, What foods do vegans eat?
What Vegans Eat: Polar Vortex Edition
So onto today’s topic: What vegans eat during the Polar Vortex. (Hopefully this won’t be a recurring theme!)
For breakfast I started with one of my regular favorites – avocado toast.
I topped it with nutritional yeast flakes, Everything But the Bagel seasoning, and a few slices of baked sriracha tofu.
When I’m not using prepared baked tofu, I also like topping my avocado toast with eggy tofu and/or seitan bacon for an extra punch of protein.
(It’s pretty self-explanatory, but here’s a vegan avocado toast recipe for more info.)
A few hours later, I was feeling snacky. So I pulled out some chips and salsa to tide us over until lunch.
It really wouldn’t be a What Vegans Eat post without tacos, right? It seems like they show up in about 50% of this series.
But this day I went with a classic – chickpea tacos. I’ve been making chickpea tacos since I was a brand new vegan.
I sautéed chickpeas with onions, garlic, and red bell pepper. Then I added my favorite seasonings.
They went inside hard corn shells with spinach, onion, avocado, non-dairy cheese, and a drizzling of Truff sauce, my preferred hot sauce of the moment.
Around dinnertime, David and I were talking about how meal preferences seem to go in waves. For a while, you make the same thing week after week. And then one day, you stop.
Years later, you look back and go, “Oh, yeah. We used to have that all the time!”
It got us thinking about one such meal that we had weekly when we first went vegan – greens sautéed with onions & garlic with added seitan sausage.
Sometimes we’d have it on its own.
Other times I’d serve it with potatoes and/or sauerkraut.
Sometimes I’d add a drizzle of horseradish mayo, like I have in my vegan French dip sandwich recipe.
I even used it as a pizza topping on a cornmeal crust!
Over time and for no particular reason, I stopped making it. So we decided to have that for dinner.
This time I did a mixture of curly kale and collard greens with onions and garlic.
Instead of sautéing in plain oil, I used Ethiopian spiced infused oil that I always have on hand. It adds additional yum to any dish. The recipe is in one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Teff Love.
I had some leftover garlic sausage in the freezer from the Herbivorous Butcher Valentine’s Day pack. (You can see how I used the rest of it in my vegan risotto & vegan arancini.) So I browned that and added it to the greens.
Then we had it with tater tots that I cooked in the air fryer, because tots up the cozy quotient by at least 20%.
So that was our breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the worst day of the Polar Vortex. Although, we didn’t get through unscathed!
The next morning we woke up, and the pipes were frozen. So we were without water. We set up a space heater to blow on the pipes in the basement.
But what really got them going was David using a blow dryer on them. The water is back… And the pipes look so fancy with their new ‘do! 😉
Thankfully, the weather is turning around already. This weekend we’re looking at temperatures in the 40’s.
Phew! As nice as it is to stay cuddled up at home, it will be even nicer to go out and see the world again.