[KMC | FOOD] Actually Prepping Shiznit for Once Because DISHWASHER

This was the first time in a long while that I actually meal prepped and it all came down to the fact I now have access to a dishwasher. Something I didn’t have before that was the single reason why I wasn’t cooking much of anything: I didn’t want to clean dishes. 

I have better things to do with my time than clean dishes. I enjoy loading the dishwasher and unloading it, as well as putting away the dishes themselves – it’s fun. It’s relaxing. But washing the dishes? The time I spend washing them – even if it’s a single spoon – is not worth it. GIVE ME A DISHWASHER, DANG IT. 

Now that I have a dishwasher, I decided to start meal prepping again. Unfortunately, there isn’t much room in the fridge and I made more dishes than the dishwasher can handle (no big deal! Just means I get to do multiple rounds of dishes!), so I paused for now. 

Before Prepping Anything

Before I even prepped anything, I ate this chickpea salad that I enjoy getting. I’ve eaten some variety of it, but the version I ate today is from Cedar. I put half of the container into a bowl and crushed a handful of walnuts into it. 

I’ve found in the past that when I grab a handful of walnuts, it’s about ¼ cup. I’ve also found in the past as well that walnuts calm the heck out of me when I eat them. If the initial ¼ cup doesn’t calm me down, I may eat another ¼ cup later on in the day and I usually notice a significant change. I find that so fascinating. I’m guessing whatever nutrients are in walnuts, my body needs and my body easily absorbs from it. 

I really like this chickpea salad. At some point, I’d like to make my own version that is oil-free, but for the moment…getting the store-bought one is good enough. The sweetness of the cranberries really helps to bring the flavor of the entire salad together. It’s filling to eat and I just love how refreshing it feels to eat it. 

I also ate a few potatoes that I had leftover. Initially, I wasn’t sure what I was going to dip them in, but then I remembered I had red pepper hummus I had to use up…so that’s what I dipped them in. That worked super well! 

I was dipping them in some sort of vegan ranch before, but I didn’t have any on me (I’m currently planning to eat whole-food vegan for the time being for a variety of reasons including increased energy levels and…I just want to feel hungry again lol). 

Prep Time! 

Chickpeas Part 1 

I knew I wanted to attempt making my own chocolate hummus using dates instead of processed sugar. 

Chocolate hummus, ever since I remembered it’s an actual thing, has been my favorite snack ever since. All the chocolate hummus I eat though contains oil and processed sugar…two things I’ve already determined aren’t actually needed to make the hummus in the first place. 

SIDE NOTE – Mostly for Fellow Vegans

If you’re vegan, you might be aware of nisin being a questionable product for us. Nisin itself is a bacteria and while available from non-animal sources, it can potentially come from cows. I know I’ve done research on it before because I was eating the chocolate hummus and realized I had no idea what the heck nisin was. 

Nisin is a natural preservative that seems to be used in like…all chocolate hummuses I’ve eaten so far. Other people noticed this as well and it’s difficult to find chocolate hummus without it. Not all chocolate hummus is clearly marked vegan either on their packaging, which makes the origin of the nisin questionable. Are we inadvertently consuming an animal by-product? 

Both Tribe and Cedar have clear markings that their chocolate hummus is vegan. 

Joseph’s is not marked vegan on the packaging, but their website lists it as vegan and I’ve emailed them before – according to their supplier, the nisin is not from animals. 

Sabra had a chocolate hummus (that literally looked, smelled, and tasted like brownie batter!) that I thought their website listed as vegan, but it looks like the hummus is no longer around. 

As for other brands, I literally have no idea.

All this info is subject to change, so…as always, check the labels! 

I wanted to make sure the chickpeas were nice and soft, so I pressure-cooked my dried ones for 45 minutes and then…ultimately let them sit on the “keep warm” setting for over 8 hours because I slept in-between. ✨

Soup! Soup! SOUP! 

I already knew exactly what I wanted to prep for a non-snack food: Spicy Red Lentil Soup from Forks Over Knives. It’s one of my favorite recipes, but I haven’t made it in a while. In fact, it has been so long, I don’t remember what modifications I made to it, but I swear I made some. Well, besides from using canned diced tomatoes instead of dicing a fresh tomato and swapping the parboiled brown rice for cauliflower rice. 

I hung my head as I was pulling out my frozen vegetables because I realized I forgot cauliflower rice. I was thankful though that I had gone to the store earlier and didn’t skimp on brown rice…at least I had that! (Not to mention, that was what the recipe originally called for.) 

Why the swap? 

I wanted to swap the brown rice for cauliflower rice. 

The reason? 

I wanted to add another vegetable and make sure that it was low-calorie. I wanted to let the red lentils be the bulk, not the rice. 

I have a habit of eating even when I’m not hungry and when I’m super full, most likely out of boredom or to attempt to curve anxiety. I love, love, love my (vegan) food though and I’m sad (in a light, playful kind of way) that I’m too full to eat more of it. 

Sooooooooooooo, based on previous experiments, I want to: 

  1. Eat only when I am actually hungry (and after I confirm that it’s not because I’m thirsty…which is pretty easy because I drink water pretty much all day long); 
  2. When I get full and want to eat, stick with lighter foods until I become hungry again. 

Okay…so what does number 2 mean? 

I actually really don’t like being full, especially when it makes me sleepy or it feels like it slows me down. It’s annoying. I’ve found in the past though, that if I am experiencing being full or super satiated for an extended period of time (where I don’t want to eat anything), if I stick with foods of a much lower calorie density, eventually, I’ll hit the point where my stomach is like “LET’S EAT SOMETHING HEAVIER AGAIN”. 

Usually this is maybe within a few days. 

In this case, I’m making this soup packed with lentils and some veggies – filling, nutrient-dense, and satisfying, but not heavy at all. After a few days, I suspect I’ll be ready to eat something a bit heartier, which will probably end up being potatoes. 

It’s not about starving myself – things like chickpeas, lentils, etc. are very filling – but rather eating something lighter on me so I can eat heartier foods at a later point. 

I used the Plant Strong Sweet Corn broth, plus water and a bouillon cube for the base, then followed the ingredients list as is, more or less…oh, but I doubled everything so I had plenty to eat. 

When it came to the tomatoes, I tossed in a can of fire roasted tomatoes, plus a can of petite diced tomatoes. 

Honestly, I think I could have added more cayenne pepper. It wasn’t all that spicy and I realized…I could’ve handled more spice. 

I think the soup could’ve used something else too – it tasted a bit too plain. I’m not quite sure what it needed though. Maybe if I had tossed in some onion, I’d like it better. Ah well…I guess I’ll sit on it for next time and experiment. 

Chocolate HUMMUUUUUUS 

I was going to try and make a guess for chocolate hummus with dates instead of processed sugar, but ultimately decided to just google a recipe, since I figured…I definitely couldn’t have been the only one to have thought of this.

And yep – I was right! The recipe I ended up using was the one from Kitchen at Hoskins because it was exactly what I had been thinking of doing…all with measurements! I did end up throwing in about 12 dates though because that’s what I had soaking. 

I ended up using the water I soaked the dates in to thin out the hummus. It felt kind of weird initially because like…the water is a golden brown color from the dates soaking in it, so it looks dirty. And I think for any other application, it would be. 

However, it was literally just…plain water the dates had been soaking in. 

It was more than fine to use in a hummus that was using the said dates. 

So, yeah…I made the hummus.

My verdict is that it tastes good, but there needs to be another ingredient to really bring the flavor all together. The bitterness of the cocoa powder, while greatly toned down, was still present. I keep coming back to using silken tofu, so perhaps I’ll try that next time. I could also probably use tahini, although I’m not necessarily a huge fan of using it for the chocolate hummus (the ones I eat without it taste much better to me).

I tend to eat chocolate hummus like it’s a mousse or a pudding, but I’m sure if I was dipping something in it, such as strawberries, it’d probably be more than fine. 

Next time, I definitely want to make a double-batch.

Prepping Chickpeas Part 2 

The chickpeas I made for the hummus are too soft for most of my needs, so I decided to do another batch to make a recipe from Forks Over Knives (it’s not on their website, but is available in one of the old magazines) that I’m doing more than a few modifications for based on what I actually have in my pantry and fridge. 

They’re done now though. 

Some Thoughts 

I love having a dishwasher.

That’s pretty much it. 

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