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“What do you guys eat in a day?” is a common and popular question that comes our way, and we get it! Few things are as fun as learning what others actually eat (or so we think, at least). Because we tend to only really show what we’re proud to show, right? Or perhaps more so in our case: show what you remember or have time to show. Because more often than not, plates are empty before we know it thanks to that runner’s appetite and with an energetic 2-year-old frolicking around, our focus is indeed on other things that snapping inspiring pictures of what we’re about to have for breakfast/lunch/dinner. You hear – it’s about time this post sees the light of day! We’ll start with the “what we eat in a day”-part and then move on to what we always keep in our pantry/around the house, which automatically doubles as our standard grocery list, which is something else many of you often express interest in. (Although naturally, we don’t plow through and need to refill exactly everything every time we shop – hello spice and condiment overdose ;))
Our breakfast looks the same about 300 days out of the year, and it’s of course the best “dish” the world has ever seen: oatmeal. We make ours using organic rolled oats and one serving in this household equals 1.5 dl of oats. Toppings are almost always fresh apple cut into cubes (unless berry season), cinnamon, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and a slab of peanut butter. A splash of oat milk in the bowl and voila – breakfast is served and we’re literally in heaven. I know it sounds ridiculous but my god I love that bowl so much. It’s also a nutritional powerhouse – sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds together bring a lot of iron, vitamin E and K, several B vitamins, potassium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, protein, fiber and good fats. (Basically, adding seeds to your diet is a brilliant idea.)
Our lunch game is a very seasonal affair. For about 8 months out of the year (September-April), we have an awesome routine of soup + sourdough lunches. We make two big batches of soup + one or two rounds of sourdough baking per week, and simply have the exact same lunch for a few days before changing up.. well, the flavors! Our Pantry Lentil Tomato Soup with Spiced Sunflower Seeds, Creamy Celeriac Soup With Potatoes and Thyme, Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup and Quick Butternut Squash Soup with Carrots, Apple and Crispy Chickpeas are some of our absolute favorites that we make literally all the time.
When May rolls around though, we’re not really feeling steaming hot bowls post sweaty runs anymore. Now we transition to other big batch friendly food, because if there’s one thing we’ve concluded over the past few years (and especially since the beginning of parenthood), it’s that we love (LOVE) not having to think about lunch or spend any time cooking it on a daily basis. So: summer lunches are spelled SALADS. Not a lettuce tower filling you up for about 7 seconds, but filling, nutritious ones that will actually satisfy us. We make potato salads often (Summer Potato Salad with Radishes, Sugar Snaps and Dill, Simple Potato Salad with Lentils, Sugar Snaps and Basil and Potato Salad Wrap with Kale for example), pasta salads with whatever we find in the fridge, and “salads” more like this Herb Rice with Spinach and Chickpeas and this Spinach Rice Salad with Cilantro and Lime concoction we just can’t get enough of.
Big plus here is of course that all these lunches – soups and salads alike – are super easy to pack and bring, making the threshold to everyday outdoor adventures as low as possible.
The daily routine typically goes breakfast-run-lunch… and then a big snack come 3 o’clock. There’s no way we can last until dinner before we refuel! And even though we try to always have prepped “proper” snacks on hand, we just as often resort to crisp bread or corn thins with peanut butter, fruit or a yogurt bowl. And I guess those are proper too? My point was just that we also try to make big batches of for example Baked Apple Pancake Bites, Date and Nut Bars, Granola Trail Clusters and such to keep on hand as well.
(We also have something we call “dipping”. It’s very possible we keep dark chocolate in a specific drawer – which people around, let’s say, 2 years old can’t see in to or reach – and on days where we need an extra pick-me-up, we break off a piece and then tell the other we “dipped”.)
The goal is always to sit down to eat at 5:30pm at the very latest – preferably 5 – but let’s just say we have dinner at 6 just as often as 5. Especially during the lighter half of the year! Here, we try to cook big enough of a batch so it will last us at least two days. But what actually does get cooked is heavily dependent on the season and what vegetables are available, either in our own garden or at the store. Things we never skimp on though, no matter the month of the year, are: portion size (second helpings yes please), energy and nutritional density, and flavor. If we had to choose 15 favorite dinner recipes, that list would look like this:
Spiced Lentil Salad with Carrots
Green Pea Fritters
Easy Sunflower Seed Vegan “Meatballs”
Peanut Chickpea Stew with Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili
Fennel Stew with Potatoes and Saffron
Zucchini Chickpea Curry
Creamy Lentils with Roasted Veggies
Vegan “Fish” Tacos With Breaded Celery Root, Cabbage and Lime Sauce
Loaded Kale Salad With Sweet Potatoes and Tahini Dressing
Loaded Kale and Lentil Lasagna
Black Bean, Butternut Squash and Kale Enchiladas
Crunchy Broccoli Tacos
Root Vegetable Minestrone With Lentils and Kale
Warm Lentil Parsnip Salad
Do we eat past dinner time? You bet we do. Or actually, this is the meal that tends to come and go a bit with training waves. In other words, there’s always an evening snack on heavier training days (actually most days), but depending on hunger status and need for more food, it’ll look a little different from day to day. It can be an apple with peanut butter one night, a heaping yogurt bowl with exactly all the toppings another, chocolate cake a third. Name of the game for us is to listen to body cues and respond accordingly – which also includes not saying no to said chocolate cake just because we had a rest day. We’re not afraid of food or any particular ingredients, but instead think everything in moderation is a pretty darn good motto… and that no ingredient is so detrimental to your health you can never have it (and similarly, that nothing is so spectacular you can live off that and only that). Sugar and kale happily co-exist here, albeit in different amounts.
That’s pretty much it. Good food makes life more fun, and choosing (especially the main parts of) your diet with care makes for a better, greener future for all.
So if someone did an impromptu food inventory at our house, they would find… well, first of all: a lot. We’re not ones to keep one box of pasta in the pantry, but instead prefer shelves filled and options many. We probably go grocery shopping less frequently than most – we used to do once a month but have transitioned to every 2-3 weeks – and like to plan out some of our meals in detail (as in, pick recipes beforehand) and for the rest, we just know what we typically cook with and make sure to always have that “baseline” pantry in place. A huge perk of eating (mostly) plant based is of course that most food lasts forever! We seldom have to worry about expiration dates around here (fruit and vegetables excluded).
Ready to peek into the cabinets and drawers and whatnot now?
Ok, here we go. On any given day in the Miracolo household, you’ll likely find:
Lentils (green, red and black)
Beans (black, white and kidney)
Nuts & Seeds
Pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, penne and fusilli)
Pearled wheat berries
Flours (wheat, rye, spelt, buckwheat* and barley)
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Onions (red and yellow)
(With huge variations in anything beyond those listed based on season)
In the Freezer
Greens (chard, kale and spinach)
Herbs (dill, parsley, basil and cilantro)
Berries (blueberries, raspberries and currants)
An assortment of home baked bread
Butter (we alternate between vegan and not)
Oat-based cooking cream
Some sort of yogurt
Other (which apparently is a fair amount)
An assortment of teas (black, green and herbal)
Barista oat milk
Tortilla breads (yet to master baking our own)
Baking powder + baking soda
Nutritional yeast (a must in a plant based kitchen)
Chickpea flour (another must)
Green curry paste
Eggs (we eat eggs on occasion)
White wine vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Spices (too many to list, but we’ll never be without salt, black pepper, cumin, caraway, coriander, smoked paprika, thyme, rosemary, oregano, curry powder, chili powder, ginger, cayenne pepper, cardamom and cinnamon)
*Technically not a grain, but fits into the category
And with all of that in hand, it’s somewhat easy to eat well, varied and feel inspired – even though we’re the first to admit that can be hard even for us, when time has flown by, everyone’s blood sugar is low and our little guy wants food NOW. Well, we do too!
That’s about it from us on this topic – hope you enjoyed the read!
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