Yesterday, I thought I was being a good mother expanding my kids’ horizons by introducing them to a normal summer culinary delight, a.k.a, hot dogs and baked beans. I don’t eat these, but don’t want to dictate my kids’ tastes. They saw commercials about hot dogs and even had some school lessons showing pictures of hot dogs. So, I did the right vegan thing by horrifying them with the ingredients and convinced them vegan hot dogs were the right choice. Problem one, I forgot hot dog buns. Problem two, I don’t want to use the stove. Okay, no big deal, I’ll throw the hot dogs and beans in the crock pot. Other people happily blogged this recipe, so it must be delightful.
No. Never again. I don’t care how cheap beans are or how much I spent on vegan hot dogs ($6!), it’s not happening. It made the entire house smell like morning sickness vomit. Remember those days? It’s just your kid preparing you for all the meal refusals, thrown spoons, and upended bowls.
What did my kids eat today? Bananas, oranges, and trail mix. Happily. Without complaint. I reminded myself that minimalism isn’t just for the house, but for every aspect of life. It’s a complete lifestyle. Keep the meals simple, unprocessed, colorful, and healthy. By offering this food, we save time, energy, natural resources, money, and sanity. No expensive processed vegan meals wrapped in excessive packaging, no dishes, no cooking, no threats (except when I found a piece of banana on the floor), no whining.
Feeding kids will always be hit-or-miss, but a peanut butter sandwich and apple slices actually eaten is far better than an expensive, elaborate, vegan, Pinterest-worthy meal that gets thrown away and still leaves you with hours of dishes (or a stinky crockpot to clean). We are going to try not cooking for as long as possible. Mostly raw vegan without getting into complicated food-processor steps. Something like chickpeas mashed with avocado on crackers. The kids think anything on a cracker is fun. This weekend we will pick blueberries just to eat as they are or blend with watermelon for a great drink.
Want to try it? Take a look at the fridge and freezer. Do you buy things because you really want them or because of some misguided obligation that this is what you’re supposed to have? Are you keeping it just because you spent money on it, even though you don’t want it? How about the pantry? How long have the cans been in there? If they aren’t expired, share them with someone who actually likes baked beans. All those spices? Pare down to a few spice blends. The clean, simplified space generates better energy and might even foster forgotten motivation and creativity.
Already an expert? Share tips in the comments. Want help? Ask away. We’re all in this together.
Don’t worry, I’m not stopping the chocolate items. If it works, I will post a 2-ingredient dessert recipe soon. Keep up with all that and the up-coming relocation on Facebook and Instagram.