Dec 20, 2016

prep ahead + winners of "the essential vegan travel guide"

Greetings all! Hope everyone is enjoying the ending of another year. I am so into learning about the patters of history and what brings us to where we are now, that I highly recommend The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe [AMAZON]; it turns out that we are on the cusp of a recurring Crisis. Very interesting!

I'm not into apocalypse theories so this one is really up my alley. Crisis doesn't mean the end of the world; it means a huge change that is measurable, especially in hindsight.

With that in mind - get your travel on while you can! The winners of the giveaway for The Essential Vegan Travel Guide [AMAZON] are....

US winner (of the paperback): Comment number one. Kellyanne, please contact me by December 28 with your mailing address.

International winner (of the Kindle edition): Comment number two, a bunch of random numbers and letters. Again, please contact me by December 28.

Congratulations to you both! zsu [at] zsusveganpantry [dot] com

It's been hard to miss that I've been cracking my head over how to make dinner faster, to the point that I've tried Dump Dinners (very limited in terms of possibilities) and I've tried Pantry+ recipes, but my pantry is not your pantry and let's face it, I doubt anyone actually follows pantry recommendations.

I do want to make meals faster, but I also want to make them healthy and use whole foods as much as possible. To that end, I created a few weeks of menus (testing things out before springing it on you) and I've come up with Prep Ahead.

Take one day, mine is Wednesday because CSA gets delivered on Tuesday, but if you work outside the house, that might mean Sunday, and use it as the Prep Day. Of course, pick whatever day works best for you.

Use the Prep Day to prepare whatever is possible to prepare up to 6 days in advance. A few recipes have night before prep required, but you can do that while you are finishing the daily meal.

The menu is varied, includes soy and seitan, each once a week. One pasta, a few bean recipes, a salad, a soup and a sandwich. All the meals are balanced, with grain, greens and protein.

Prep Ahead Week 2 consists of Italian Mushroom Ragu served over pasta (or rice, if you like). This is a slow cooker meal and I recommend serving it on Prep Day. It makes dinner ready when you are.

Meal 2 is Curried Chickpea Sandwich served with Bok Choy and Carrot Kinpira. Kinpira is an easy and flavorful way to cook vegetables fast. The vegetables are braised in a flavorful liquid and are ready in about 5 minutes.

Meal 3 is Chili Corn Chowder. This is another slow cooker recipe. Chowder and Chili meet forces to create a warm and hearty meal. Serve it with tortillas, tortilla chips or crackers. 

Meal 4 is Steak Salad. Cook up the prepared seitan you made on Prep Day and serve it warm over a bed of greens. It is served with Garlic Yogurt dressing and crostini - which is fancy talk for toasted bread. 

Meal 5 is Mexican Lasagna. Tortillas are baked with a vegetable and bean loaded filling. Serve with vegan sour cream or salsa and loads of radishes and jalapenos (if you like heat.)

Meal 6 is Brussels Sprouts and Balsamic Pasta. This pasta dish is brimming with roasted Brussels sprouts that are finished cooking in balsamic vinegar and served with black beans and walnuts. 

And Meal 7 is Souvlaki of tofu and zucchini served with Rice Pilaf and Spinach. Yogurt-marinated tofu and zucchini sit on top of a bed of deliciously toasty rice pilaf. This interpretation of the Greek dish is highly addictive. 

If you are game to try this Prep Ahead Menu, I have prepared a shopping list, what to do on the Prep Day, what to do on the Day-of serving and all the recipes to make this go as fast and smooth as possible. All the documents are in PDF. 

I recommend you print out the Day-of Recipes and cut the pages in half. Staple them together in the order you are planning to serve them.

Overview [comprehensive look at what is going on].


  1. Thank you thank you thank you so much for this! It's truly helpful. I love that you choose a wide variety of whole foods. Can't wait to try this.

  2. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well and i love to try all food it looks yummy. Thanks for sharing this information. And I’ll love to read your next post too.

    Kim -


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu