Welcome to Dining In—a series that takes you into the homes of Thrive Market employees and brand partners to share what cooking in our own kitchens really looks like. Today, we’re talking with Sakura Considine, a lifestyle blogger based in Phoenix, Arizona. Considine’s brand is all about life, beauty, and motherhood, as she is a new mom to her one-year-old daughter, Milai. She’s sharing how she and her fiance, Kell, follow a plant-based diet, meal prep for the week, and the activities they’re doing to support Milai’s development during quarantine.
Dinner time is a little hectic, because it’s right around my daughter’s bed time! I like to feed her while I make dinner for me and Kell, then I’ll put her down for the night so Kell and I can enjoy our meal together.
I’m not one to give cooking prep advice, but it really does help when you have your weekly meals planned ahead of time. My process is pretty simple: I start by going on Pinterest or Google to find three vegan or plant-based meals for the week ahead. From there, typically I check on the non-perishable items that I already have on hand, and make a list of what we need from the grocery store. I prefer to order my pantry staples from Thrive Market and get the fresh ingredients from my local grocery store, especially now since I’m trying to limit the number of trips we make outside the home. Based on the three meals that we choose, we’ll make those dinners on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and have them as leftovers on Tuesday and Thursday. Saturday and Sunday is when we typically order in or make something special for date night.
I’ve really been making things that I know how to make, but lately we’ve been trying different types of food genres. We’ll make an Asian dish, Mexican, lots of exploring! It’s been fun trying new recipes now that we have more time to do so.
We love to make tofu and eggplant teriyaki bowls and also love curry because it’s so easy. We make a lot of vegan Japanese dishes that my mom has taught me, too. Kell is still strictly vegan, and I’m about 80 percent.
She’s a great eater! So she usually eats the same thing as we do. At home, she’s plant-based, but we do give her other things to try. For example, we’ve been incorporating eggs for breakfast and she’s occasionally drinking whole milk.
Whole milk is not plant-based at all, but that is a big way babies intake protein. We give her whole milk to give her the protein that she needs. I would also talk to a pediatrician and nutritionist for advice. The key is to make sure that they are eating all types of foods and that, as parents, we’re being mindful of what they eat and drink throughout the day and know different sources of nutrients. Since becoming plant-based and a mom, I’ve had to pay more attention to all of this.
I think it’s nice to make the meal together while listening to music! We love to dance in the kitchen and it makes it so fun. We’ve also been making date nights out of going to the Black Lives Matter protests—we’ll leave Milai at her grandma’s house, attend the protests, then connect with each other over dinner afterwards. Social justice followed by socializing!
So much! I recently switched up my method of picking out meals ahead of time and how I grocery shop, so that has been super helpful. Other than that, I’ve learned to use coconut milk a lot, for creamy sauces that I love. Use coconut milk as a replacement for dairy—that’s such an easy way to incorporate plant-based ingredients into your cooking and cut down on dairy, if that’s something you’re interested in doing.
It’s everything. That is your partner in life, and it’s always important to check-in and stay connected to them. Life gets the best of us, so date nights and dinner together should always be a priority.
We alternate between a couple breakfasts: oatmeal, avocado toast, smoothie or protein shake. Lunch is always straightforward—we’ll have some leftovers or one of our other morning meals. Dinner is when we actively cook. Snacks throughout the day include fruit, a Perfect Bar, or chips. We love chips! It’s such a weakness. Milai loves the HappyBaby pouches or Yogis as a snack.
We’ve been going on more morning walks—we have to go in the morning because Phoenix is getting so hot! We also love swimming in our little inflatable pool. Milai loves playing with things that aren’t her toys, like my makeup. It’s been hard trying to keep her entertained while also working—but luckily Kell and I have been coming up with activities that don’t involve going outside the home. The biggest things we’re starting to do with her is teach her Japanese and practice walking. When I’m able to actively play and interact with her, it’s all about development.
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