Refrigerator Look Book: Alexandra Jamieson
Alex Jamieson is a vegan chef and holistic nutrition counselor best known for her books, Vegan Cooking For Dummies and The Great American Detox Diet, which famously reversed the damage filmmaker Morgan Spurlock did to his body eating nothing but fast food in “Super Size Me.”
Not surprisingly, she has healthy food tips galore—like where to store nuts or how get DHA if you don’t eat fish.
These days the busy Brooklynite uses her weekends to chop a freezer full of veggies for Week in a Weekend, a meal-planning method she developed that makes “healthy meals at home way more feasible during the week.”
When we spoke to Jamieson, she’d just arrived home all stress-free from a Costa Rican yoga retreat. But she was already back on the planning-and-prepping bandwagon. Here’s what she’d stocked:
Let’s start with some homemade items. What’s in the Tupperware on the top shelf?
That’s a special blueberry syrup I made for gluten-free waffles, which my son loves. They’re made with sweet potatoes! To make the blueberry syrup, I thaw my frozen blueberries until they get nice and juicy. Then I add apple-juice concentrate and little bit of vanilla extract and cook the mixture down into syrup.
Brilliant! I’m going to try that. What’s wrapped up in the white drawstring bag next to the arugula? Is that a special bag?
Kind of. I bought the bag at the Park Slope Food Co-op for about a dollar. You can reuse them forever. I like to use the bags for small amounts of produce, but in this case there’s shiitake mushrooms inside.
Can you give us an idea of something you whip up on a regular basis for an easy meal?
I love Ezekiel wraps. I’ll put a few tablespoons of hummus onto one, then add some nut cheese and baby arugula. Next I’ll drizzle on a little bit of hemp seed oil, add a bit of raw sauerkraut, and then I’m ready to go.
Wow—an entire shelf of supplements where the condiments typically go! Is that because you’re vegan? How do you use them?
I use them kind of like condiments! I take a simple daily supplement. Everything else I just take as needed. The tall bottle with the red cap is a liquid iron supplement made from plants. I generally take it two times a month—right before my period and right after.
What about omegas?
I’ll mix a liquid, plant-based DHA supplement into an unsweetened yogurt—my son can’t even tell it’s there. It’s in the world of omega-3 fatty acids, and if you don’t eat fish, which we don’t, it’s a great way to get it.
I notice you keep you almonds and walnuts in the freezer. Why?
To keep them fresh longer. The oils in nuts are really sensitive to light and heat, and de-grade quickly otherwise. Kitchens are usually bright and warm…
That’s a cool fact! Your freezer is pretty packed in general.
It’s really just a lot of chopped vegetables. If I’m chopping anything—I’ll always chop extra and then freeze it for later. They last for a month or two.
Is chopping things in advance part of your Week in a Weekend project, where you teach people to cook healthy vegan meals in advance?
Yes, it’s so important when you’re busy to plan your healthy meals. Week in a Weekend helps you prepare a week’s worth of food over the weekend. I want to make it easy for others to get into habit of planning, and eating more delicious, vibrant meals at home. —Elizabeth LaRosa