How to sauté veggies without oil ・create your own plant-based lunch bowls

If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I eat nearly the same thing every day for lunch: a big bowl of rice, potatoes, or pasta with sautéed veggies, avocado and tomato. These veggie-packed bowls, full of healthy carbohydrates, are always oil-free.

I don’t use oil in my cooking at home because it’s very processed, high in calories (120 calories per tablespoon!) and low in nutrients. Plus, I’d rather taste the veggies instead of tasting the oil in a dish.

Cooking without oil is quick and easy. Skip the oil and use water or veggie broth instead. It’s that simple. You don’t need to worry about anything sticking to the pan, either. If veggies start to stick, add a splash of water or turn down the heat slightly. Stirring often also helps.

Here are some examples of my favourite oil-free meals. These meals are easy to prepare, healthy and filling. Kuba does all the prep and I do all the cooking. 😉

Here are some tips to help you create your own lunch bowls.

Choose your starch.

Our typical lunch consists of rice, potatoes, or pasta with sautéed veggies. Brown, black, and jasmine rice are our favourites, but any rice will work fine. Regular pasta or gluten-free pasta are both tasty options. Lately, I prefer the texture of regular pasta. We usually pick up organic spaghetti or penne from Aldi. Couscous or quinoa would be good additions as well.

Choose your veggies.

Our favourite veggies right now are mushrooms, carrots, sweet potato, bell peppers, and zucchini. Sometimes we add in onion, broccoli, or cabbage for a change. We don’t eat all of these veggies every single day because the pan would certainly overflow. Our veggie mix just depends on which veggies look the best at the frutería that day.

Choose your seasonings.

Lately, I season our veggies with dried thyme, oregano, black pepper and tomato paste. Tomato paste is optional but it really adds a nice richness to the veggies. Sometimes I add in nutritional yeast but it seems to kill the tomato flavour. It does make a creamier sauce, though, and it’s still delicious!

You can use any seasonings or herbs you like. Try paprika, garlic, turmeric, curry powder…the possibilities are endless. And for sprinkling on your veggies after cooking, try chili flakes, black sesame seeds, or a dusting of nutritional yeast. Yum!

Salt is the only seasoning we don’t use. Veggies contain plenty of sodium on their own, so we don’t feel the need to add additional salt to our food. Excess sodium causes dehydration, water-retention, and bloating, so we avoid salt as much as we can. That being said, we aren’t super strict about it as we snack on lightly salted corn cakes from time to time and most tomato pastes contain a small amount of salt as well.

Let’s get cooking!

In this video, I show you how I cook my typical lunch bowls of sautéed veggies and brown rice. My brown rice always ends up a bit sticky but never dry. If you’ve struggled to make it before, check this out!

Thanks for reading and watching. 🙂

What are some of your favourite go-to meals?

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Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis & space invaders in Málaga

A short 20-minute train ride away from Torremolinos, we find ourselves wandering around the larger city of Málaga anytime we need a change of scenery.

We happened upon a free photography exhibit in Plaza de la Constitución, right in the city centre. This exhibit included photos from Sebastião Salgado’s most recent black and white photography project, Genesis, which he describes as his “love letter to the planet.”

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Sebastião Salgado’s photos give us a new vision of our home. His photos compel us to think carefully about our impact on the environment, as well as motivate us to take real steps to protect the people, plants, and animals that inhabit this planet.

I had not known of Sebastião Salgado prior to this exhibit. To be honest, I didn’t look into the photographer’s name while I admired the photos. I simply took note of the exhibit’s name and hoped to look into it another time.

It wasn’t until later that day when a friend on Facebook shared a TED article about the Genesis project that I realised how lucky we were to have experienced Sebastião Salgado’s photos in person.

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Photographing other photos doesn’t make much sense to me, since photos are best seen in person, through your own eyes. I only took these photos to show you what the exhibit looked like since the rusted metal frames were pretty cool, and I couldn’t pass up this cute dachshund. 😉 Check out this gallery to see more of Sebastião Salgado’s photos in greater detail.

You can watch his inspiring Ted Talk here:

Besides pop-up photography exhibits, Málaga is home to several art spaces and museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Contemporary Art Centre, to name a few. (The Picasso Museum is free to the public on the last Sunday of every month and the CAC is free anytime it’s open.)

You’ll also come across plenty of art in the streets.

No disrespect to murals, but they don’t interest me as much as Invader’s mosaic tile installations. Invader is a prolific contemporary street artist who travels the world, invading cities with his colourful mosaic tile pieces. At this time, he’s graced 72 cities across the globe with his presence.

Luckily, we arrived in the Costa del Sol just after his first invasion of Málaga which took place in May 2017.

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His tile mosaic installations are also known as invaders, and according to Invader’s website, 29 exist in Málaga. We’ve only come across seven, one of which I haven’t photographed since I was filming a vlog. I’d like to photograph all 29 invaders but who knows if we can find them all!

Málaga is the second largest city in Andalucia, with Seville being the first. We have our work cut out for us with this invader hunt. Can you guess where we’ll be this weekend? 😉

How to downsize your wardrobe

Do you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear?

I struggled with this before I started my journey into minimalism. I had closets packed full of clothes and dozens of pairs of shoes, some of them never worn. I bought these clothes just in case I needed them (perhaps for a night out) or because they were simply on sale and I felt compelled to spend money. Part of me hoped this would cure my boredom or make me feel better about myself.

Shopping was just a hobby of mine, something I did because a) everyone else does it and b) spending money is fun and arguably addictive. I didn’t realise this at the time but the satisfaction from buying new stuff is fleeting. It never lasts. You’re just left with too many clothes, too much stuff, and too little money.

Minimalism helped me snap out of this shopping-to-fill-a-void mentality.

I had to adjust my spending habits and start appreciating not buying things if I wanted real change in my life. I started to downsize my wardrobe because I had to, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to start travelling nomadically.

I didn’t expect downsizing my wardrobe to have such an impact on the rest of my life, but it did! What once started out of a need to make nomadic travelling easier quickly turned into a life philosophy. I learned that less is, in fact, more and that my life is richer without all the unnecessary stuff cluttering my home and my mind.

While it isn’t necessary that everyone minimise their wardrobe so they can live out of a bag, I do believe most of us can benefit from simplifying the clothes we own and wear. A smaller wardrobe is better for us as it makes choosing outfits, shopping, and laundry easier, and it’s better for the environment (and our wallets) because we only buy clothes when we actually need them.

In my latest video, I share with you some tips to help you simplify your clothing. I explain how I downsized my massive wardrobe to just 30 items and why I basically wear the same thing every day.

I also address some concerns you might have, like: Will people notice I wear the same thing? Will I need to do laundry more often? What if I get rid of an item but I end up needing it later? And of course, I share with you the many benefits of living simply with fewer clothes.

I hope you find my video useful. Feel free to check out my previous videos as well. 🙂

In this video, I go through every item in my minimalist wardrobe.

Here I offer you some tips to reduce laundry as well as explain how we wash our clothes. We use soap nuts which are natural shells of berries. Soap nuts are eco-friendly, vegan, and cost effective as they are very cheap.

I hope these videos inspire you to downsize your wardrobe. Fewer clothes mean less stress as well as time and money saved. Why not start cleaning out your closet today? Who knows where you’ll end up! 😉