Sarah Matheny, an attorney turned vegetarian food blogger, commands a loyal following of working moms raising veggie kids on her blog, Peas and Thank You, and she just debuted her first cookbook of the same name.
Matheny's vegetarian and vegan recipes are meant to be quick, easy, and nutritious, and are aimed at satisfying the taste buds of adults and kids (hers are Lulu, 3, and Gigi, 6). Luckily, they're also perfect for healthy New Yorkers who don't have time to prep fancy 24-step meals.
We took a peek inside her fridge to find out what she keeps on hand.
How long have you been a vegetarian? For about three years, and vegan for about two and a half.
Are your kids also vegan? They're 100 percent vegetarian. They'll eat some organic cheese or ice cream. If they go to a birthday party, they’re going to have cake whether it’s vegan or not.
I know Lulu’s still too young, but does Gigi understand that she eats differently from other kids? Does she come home from school begging for chicken nuggets? Actually, she doesn’t. I’m really sensitive to that. I don’t want her to be singled out. I ask her about it so that if there was something she wanted, I could re-create it. But she’s funny, she says no. My kids are both so confident and secure. Kids will ask her about it, and she’ll say, "This is tofu, I love it." I don’t know long that will last, but I’m gonna ride it out as long as I can.
What’s on the top shelf next to the lemonade and soy milk? It’s almond milk. I rotate it with organic soy milk because there are all these reports about soy. I just switch a lot just so my family's not getting all soy milk.
That’s a lot of apples and carrots. Are those staples for everyone? Yes, my kids love to snack, and I do, too. We do have planned snacks, but when they’re hungry in between, I’ll just let them get into the produce. The baby carrots are nice because I don’t have to cut or peel them, they can just grab them whenever they want.
Which item in your fridge do you use the most in your cooking? Well, you can't see this but we have these huge bulk jars on the counter from Ikea. They’re always full of the things I use all of the time—old fashioned oats, almonds, dark chocolate chips.
I also always have greens on hand—spinach, kale, romaine—just so I can throw together quick salads. And chick peas!
Your life is obviously all about cooking these days. Do you literally cook three meals a day, every day, for the family? I’m cooking constantly, but that’s kind of the beauty of the recipes that I create. They have to be quick, made with things that are already in my pantry, and everyone in my family has to like them. They’re not always elaborate, but I try to have one special meal a day where we get to sit down together, and it’s something really great that I’ve created. —Lisa Elaine Held
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