On My Plate

5 Favorite Grain-Free Plant Based Weeknight Meals

My calendar is always the most full from October-December but it’s also the time of year I want to make delicious, elaborate meals. Despite my best intentions, Pinterest boards and magazine tear outs the soccer practices and endless events can sometimes mean we have leftovers for dinner one too many times (anyone else?) I’m so glad to have built up a little bit of a repertoire of easy meals to make in advance so that a jam-packed day doesn’t mean jam and almond butter sandwiches for dinner. 

Cozy Oatmeal Updates for Autumn

My kids have oatmeal for breakfast at least twice a week. We buy an enormous bag of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats from Costco and they demolish that thing. Since O and I rarely eat oats anymore I’m able to make two cups of it and have leftovers to doctor up a few mornings later which has been a game changer in our house! My kids are garbage disposals to some extent so they aren’t weird about leftovers but if yours are, reheating this and rehydrating it with your milk of choice will have them convinced it’s straight off the stove. 

Back to School Series: Lunch

I’ve yet to have to pack a consistent lunch for my kiddos, but we do have a couple days a week that’ll require a packed lunch. Choosing my backpack and my trapper (does anyone remember trappers?!) was always the highlight of August as a kid, but choosing my lunch box was a very close second. If you, like me, are still holding the reins a bit when it comes to the lunch box (read: not Frozen or Paw Patrol) then this is for you. Here are the lunchboxes I get so excited about as a mom and all the goodies to keep inside with the most important factor: every food container is BPA, PVC and phthalate free. 

Here are my stand outs for the lunch game:

Those Hydroflasks are our favorite water bottle, hands down. If you’ve been following for any length of time, you know we all have one and use it on the regular because it keeps water ice cold for 12 hours. It’s crazy. Here in Texas where fall means temps dip to a crisp 98 degrees, ice water is key. Squeezing a little bit of lemon in there makes my kids think they’re sipping the nectar of the gods and they chug it at three times the speed. Give it a try!

The Mira Thermos is amazing because it will keep hot things (soups, hot chocolate, pasta…) hot for 5 hours and will keep cold things cold (cheese, yogurt…) for 10 hours. This is a game changer for sure.

The Bunny Snackers are first and foremost precious, but also make kids really excited to eat what’s inside. This is where i’ll store things like berries and veggies that might not be as appealing as the glitzy, glamorous sandwich.

Again, if you’re a gold & graphite reader then you’ve seen a Bento box or two. I’m a huge fan! Maybe it’s because I can’t stand my food touching and am projecting onto my kids, but I also love that food stays fresher and nothing gets squished. That’s the top priority for me- no squishing!

We’ve yet to move away from ziplock bags (I know, I know) but I’m doing my best to limit the toxins in our house and plastic bags will be the next to go. From a money saving standpoint and a health standpoint, the reusable sandwich bag and the reusable snack bags are a favorite. We have a couple snack stacker and it’s the perfect thing to pop in a backpack for sports practices or even road trips and flights. Berries on top, glutino pretzels on bottom is a repeat arrangement for us. (Also, white is my favorite, of course, but the color selection is so impressive.)

These freezer packs aren’t pictured, but they’re awesome and thin enough to stick a couple in a lunch box or bag no matter how small it is.

And lastly, my friend swears by these labels for her boys and they are so wonderful. They’re perfect for lunch bags/boxes, bento boxes, water bottles, tupperware and everything in-between!

Stay tuned for my favorite lunch recipes, but in the meantime check out this post to see what my plant-based and gluten-free toddlers eat in a day!

My Daily Smoothie Secret Weapons

I have a smoothie every single day (as many of you know!) and I try sneak as many heavy hitters in there as possible. Every time I share a smoothie recipe on Instastories, I get asked so many questions about why I add certain ingredients into my smoothie. Each powder and potion in my smoothie is tailored to me and what I need from it, but each ingredient benefits literally everyone on the planet! Since switching my diet to plant based a year ago I’ve found smoothies to be the easiest way to get all the nutrients I need in a meal in a single glass.