Joanna Anastasia


Vegan beet hearty stew

January is always a month when everyone wants to eat healthier- after the holiday over the top eating habits we all feel like it’s time for more wholesome foods and better everyday routine. But usually, February hits and resolutions fade away, and we come back to our usual way of cooking, am I right?

Well, I’m all about small steps that end up forming new habits- so last year I challenged our family to one vegan meal a week- or at least two vegetarian meals every week. It was not about becoming vegan now, but about eating more vegetables, less meat and thinking more about nutrition value. Now, I’m also a mom of three young kids, and to be honest this last year was also very challenging for me – I don’t have that much time nor energy as I had before. So I subscribed our family to one of the meal boxes and made choosing vegan/vegetarian meals a priority.

But along the way I got used to cooking more and more veggies mixed with beans or grains, and finally last week I came up with my very own invention- this vegan beet stew, with white beans, kale, and ditalini pasta.

And what I love the most about this dish are all the mixed textures and spices. They make it so comforting and interesting- and the mix of cumin seeds, garlic and fresh dill make it somehow similar to a Polish Borsch, but with much more of a kick.

What you’ll need

Diced Beets 

  • Olive oil
  • pinch of coriander seeds diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup diced beets
  • White beans- 1 can 
  • Small pasta – 1 cup
  • Kale – 1 cup diced
  • Onions 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup vegetable bullion 
  • Fresh dill 

Heat olive oil and cook onions and spices until translucent then add garlic. 

Cook for a minute, and add a cup of hot bouillon , diced beets and a cup of ( uncooked) pasta. Let it all simmer around 6-7 min, then add beans and kale. Cook 5-7 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Lunch hack that really works

lunch hack

Let’s talk packing lunches, meal planning and feeding a family today. To be honest, I really never imagined that being a mother is basically a constant struggle of feeding the kids ( with healthy and balanced diet) of  packing these dreaded a lunches that they’ll eat and not wasting the fresh produce.

See, here’s the typical pattern- every week I’d buy lots of veggies, thinking that this week I’ll finally cook better. Every week I’d struggle with lunches for my kids and my hubby, and then every week I’d end up throwing away some of those forgotten veggies I bought in the first place.

But I’m happy to let you know that with the seasons change I finally found my solution!

Meal planning that involves at least one or two batch cooked soups a week! Since soups are a great way to eat more veggies ( and sometimes hide them too), they conserve well, and they make for a perfect, healthy and satisfying lunch option!

This post was brought to you by Rubbermaid, all opinions remain my own. lunch hack

lunch hack

Now, I must admit that I used to be scared of packing a soup for lunch- mostly because of the fear of it leaking. But since I got to try the new Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers I’m more than confident that nothing will leak! Plus they are both microwave and dishwasher safe! Not to mention that they are BPA-free, and built with an airtight leak-proof seal and secure latches.

Also, thanks to the crystal-clear lids and bases it’s easy to see what’s inside while storing in the fridge, and they are big enough to put a whole batch of soup for a week inside. They are also stain- and odor-resistant, and they have built-in vents allowing the steam to escape – tand that means I can microwave my soup without removing the lid!

lunch hack

lunch hack

So if you’d like to start cooking more soups too, here’s a recipe for my super filling Green Monster soup – aka Creamy Quinoa And Leek  soup ( that conveniently hides veggies inside so kids won’t whine). It’s comforting, and feeling and super healthy- perfect for lunch!

lunch hack

Green Monster soup – aka Creamy Quinoa And Leek  soup

  • 1 liter chicken broth
  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 large potato
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 cup cooked brown quinoa
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup cooking cream

Cut shallots leek and potato into small pieces. Cook with shallots on a spoon of olive oil until it becomes translucent and fragrant. Add salt 7 pepper and chicken broth. Add potato in small cubes and cook until everything is soft. Add quinoa and then using a hand mixer blend it all together. Add green peas and cream, cook 2 more minutes and let it cool. You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days!

lunch hack

I hope that my hack will help you as it did help me!

This post was brought to you by Rubbermaid, all opinions remain my own.