Fixing Food Fast (when fast food is not an option) — 30 Days of Eating Vegan at Aldi

Confused by this?  Start here!

It’s day four.  As I write this, my husband and older son are at the doctor’s office, my husband for what he thinks may be diverticulitis, and my 3 year old because he’s been throwing up all morning.  :-/

Yesterday, though, things were looking up.  The sun was shining, my own flu symptoms were gone, and with a day so nice, I thought I’d cook twice!  For lunch, I made black bean and roasted sweet potato tacos from Bubby and Bean.  I do them a bit different than she does, but that recipe has been on the menu every week since she posted it.  I’ll come back and elaborate on it later.

Then, I texted Marcus at work, asking if he’d mind watching the kids a little later, so I could take a bike ride!  The day was so beautiful!  He showed up at around 4:30, and I enjoyed some free time on the open road!  With the fresh air still in my lungs, I walked back in the door announcing that this night I would toss up a fresh salad and Stephanie’s sweet potato cakes!

My husband grinned, “Mmmm!!!  I can’t wait!  But, I gotta be out the door by 6:00…”  Oh no.  I had totally forgotten that tonight was band practice for him.  (He’s a music pastor, not a rock star.  I figured you were wondering, but hey, he’s still a rock star to me!)

To put this in perspective, my husband has band practice every Thursday night.  I usually try to make Thursdays a crock pot day, while he tends to pack a boxed supper or hit up Subway, not getting home from work until 8:30 or 9 at night.  Disoriented by Wednesday’s sick day, I was totally off my game!  I would never have asked him to watch the kids had I realized!!!  And now I had to whip this meal up in 30 minutes–and I hadn’t even prepared my rice or sweet potatoes!

Stephanie’s Sweet Potato Cakes in 30 Minutes Flat!

Here’s the original recipe.  First thing’s first, I didn’t bother to measure ANYTHING.  I used to be a strict recipe follower, but isn’t it easier to just eyeball things and dump them in together?  I stuck three sweet potatoes in the microwave just like Stephanie had instructed to do… the night before!  But who cares!  I was outta time!

While those things were in there (about 6 minutes)  I started chopping the heck out of whatever I thought would be good.  I skipped a few things she recommended, added a few more I needed to use up.  As soon as the microwave beeped I cut the piping hot sweet potatoes open into fourths so they could cool while I heated a tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet and chopped up some greens for my salad.  (By the way, do you have a salad spinner?  So useful!  Chop up your greens first, rinse them, then give them a satisfying spin-cycle!  Get one.  NOW!)

Next, it was time for mamma’s secret weapon:

This 79 cent pantry packet saved my meal!  About half a packet was perfect (and I didn’t even bother to microwave it)!  I just dumped all the ingredients in a bowl, mashed them together with a fork, and they were cool enough to handle into patties and sear on my skillet!

The final product?

One OH-MAZ-ING vegan meal!

And the leftovers today were fabulous!  (Also a note, the lemon slices were for dressing our salad. I’d never heard of this, but apparently, people do it all the time.  It’s a delicious way to add nutrition, cut down on oil, and aren’t lemons just so pretty?)

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