Be Stronger than Your Excuses—Batch Cooking from a Wheelchair (video chat with Tammy Snowden) + Oil-Free Falafel Patties

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If anyone has an excuse to not batch cook plant based food every week, it’s Tammy Snowden. Tammy was in a car accident 25 years ago and as a result, she lost all movement and feeling of her legs. She has been in a wheelchair ever since.

But that doesn’t stop this woman from getting into her kitchen every week and batching our weekly meal plans. Nope, she leaves the excuses at the door and gets it done each and every week. And then she posts pictures in our private Facebook group to remind people that if she can do it, anyone can do it.

After talking with her, I can tell you this: Tammy doesn’t see herself as being all that inspirational. Yeah she’s in a wheelchair, but everyone has their challenges is how she sees it. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself, and she’s not looking for sympathy. She is a strong woman who knows that eating plants makes her body and mind feel better and when she feels better she can spend more precious time with her family. So she doesn’t talk about batching and eating plants, she just does it.

I loved talking with Tammy and I know you are going to love watching our talk. Before you watch our talk, here is a note from Tammy.


I was a lurker for a few months in the Clean Food Dirty Girl Facebook group. I was struggling with what I thought was giving up control of what I feed my family. Yet the pictures of the meal plan food and the reviews were making me want those meals! I was trying to explain to my husband how I felt, and he said something that made sense. “No matter who’s recipe you follow, you are the one doing the work and creating the food we eat. If you think it might help the burden you feel of planning our meals, let’s try it!”

Joining the meal plans has been the best thing I’ve done since going Whole Food Plant Based. This has been so freeing and has given me a boost of confidence. I no longer freak over macronutrients, instead I’m looking at the whole sum of my food. Plus, I’m learning so much about rollover meals and plant based cooking in general.

The articles on the CFDG blog and the support of the Facebook group gave me so much knowledge, along with hugs in the answers when I had questions. In the beginning, batching was horrible. I ached for days after and the mess was almost enough to make me quit.

The sample plan was so good though and it was so freeing during that week to not have to cook all my meals from scratch. I didn’t have to think about what was for dinner! I was finally not wasting produce or food that I had spent so much time making. I had time and energy for fun and hanging out with my family, and not just cooking all the time.

Truthfully, mindset is the biggest obstacle. Once I have it set in stone that I am going to batch cook, NOTHING can get in my way. You just have to be stronger than your excuses.

I have made small tweaks to how I cook in order to fit my needs, for example:

// Being in the same position and prepping everything at once causes me too much pain, so I batch recipe by recipe.

// I bought a small chopper for garlic, onions, ginger, celery and peppers. I chop the whole head of garlic and whole piece of ginger and keep them in my fridge in small containers with water.

// When I’m pushed for time, I buy pre-cut onions, broccoli, sliced mushrooms and cauliflower.

// I’ve moved a card table near my counter so I can turn around and chop or mix what I need before I turn back around and use my Instant Pot, blender, food processor and skillet.

// I have a portable electric burner I can use on my counter which is easier on my back because it is lower.

// I use my Breville oven more than my regular oven. Again, easier on my back and closer in reach.

// My kitchen is huge and I was doing more laps than any NASCAR race! I now use a basket to get items I need like grains, canned items, vinegars and things from the fridge so there is not as much back and forth.

// The batching video that Wyatt Nash made helped me organize my batching, I loved that video!

// I use small bowls and measure out my spices directly into the bowls. This helps me keep my prep / cooking area less cluttered.

Doing the batching over and over is what has helped the most. I continue to read the blog and reach out to the private Facebook group for suggestions, but I always batch. Maybe one day I won’t feel like a scatterbrained squirrel on Redbull while I do it!

There is a bit of an image lag in the video due to the internet connection speed. Closed captioning available.

Tammy, you have my heart, my dear. Thank you for sharing yourself with us and for being a beautiful reminder that excuses are just pesky thoughts that get in the way, and if you really want something you just have to keep showing up.


I told you Tammy was a badass! Are you encouraged to get into your kitchen and batch this weekend? Talk to us in the comments below!

Falafel Balls

Makes 21 balls
Author: Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted (directions below)
  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight (180 g / DO NOT USE CANNED OR COOKED BEANS FOR THIS. DRIED IS CORRECT)
  • 1/2 of a red onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1/4 cup parsley (10 g)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (aka flaxseed meal)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (about 5 turns)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 370 °F (185 °C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Toast the cumin seeds by placing a skillet over low heat for about a minute and then adding the seeds. Toast for about a minute, stirring frequently, just until they become fragrant. Turn off the heat and transfer the seeds to a small bowl. 
  • Transfer the soaking garbanzo beans to a fine mesh strainer over your sink and tap the strainer against the sink to release as much excess water as possible. Place the strainer over a bowl and continue to drain. 
  • Place the onion, garlic, and toasted cumin seeds into your food processor and pulse until the onion and garlic is evenly chopped into small pieces. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula during this process. 
  • Add the soaked / uncooked / drained garbanzo beans to your food processor, along with the parsley and lemon juice, and process for about 1 minute, until the garbanzo beans are mostly smooth and everything is mixed together. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. 
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the ground flax seeds, salt and pepper and stir. 
  • Scoop up the mixture, 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, and form into a ball. Each ball should be about 1 1/2 inches thick (weighing 25 g-27 g if you have a kitchen scale). Place each ball onto your prepared baking sheet until you have 20 – 21 balls. Alternatively, you can scoop up more of the mixture and flatten slightly to make patties (like in the photos).
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven, flip each one over, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
  • Cool completely then store in the fridge.

Notes

Click here for a scrumptious Tzatziki Sauce recipe to serve with your Baked Falafel.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with laying your teeny tiny violin to rest.

Xo
Molly

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Written by ex-boozer, ex-smoker, Co-founder, and CEO, Molly Patrick. They will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.

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15 Comments

  1. Sandy on April 20, 2019 at 9:46 am

    “You just have to be stronger than your excuses.” I am going to post this on my refrigerator, bathroom mirror and anywhere else I might see it! Thank you for the inspiration Tammy!

  2. Peggy on April 20, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Tammy,
    You are an amazing, strong woman! I have seen your batching pictures, but am so impressed after reading your story. Thanks to you and Molly for sharing your life story with us. ❤️

  3. Jacqueline O'Connor on April 20, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    5 stars
    Tammy!!! You are the bar, you are the light, you are our inspiration! Thank you for being so fierce!
    XO
    Jacquie

  4. Julie Mansius on April 20, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    5 stars
    “Be stronger than your excuses”. That’s now on a post -it note on my fridge. Tammy, you are AMAZING 💕

    • Molly Patrick on April 20, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      Yes! I love it!
      xo
      Molly

  5. Nancy Gossard on April 20, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    I share the Spoon Story to explain my illness. Tammy is super inspiring.

    • Tammy Snowden on April 20, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      That’s great Nancy. It sure makes it easy for people to understand doesn’t it?
      Thanks everyone for the kind words. They were nice to read as I was sitting at Prompt Care.

  6. Jerry Shoemaker on April 20, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I recently stopped my subscription to the meal plan because I felt I just did not have the time to keep up with it. I work nights and my husband works days, so we are like passing ships. I am getting ready for bed when he is going to work, and I’m getting up a little before I go to work, while he’s getting ready for bed. I also was making the excuse, yes excuse, that I was too tired in the morning to go to the store and get groceries, as shopping in the wee hours of the morning was just not a safe option. I get off at 3 a.m. Also, I have to make sure to be as quiet as I can so as not to disturb my husband’s sleep. Well, after listening to you and hearing the life fulfillment in your voice, I’m going to go back in and resubscribe, get my grocery list together, and get in my little go turbo go cart (that is what I call my little car), and get my butt to the grocery store first thing in the morning. Did I mention I have congestive heart failure and diabetes, among other things, so I use this most times as an excuse also. Well, as you did, I will too push forward, tweaking as I go, getting on that road to a better me. Tammy, thank you for being you. You make this world a better place. XOXO

    • Tammy Snowden on April 20, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      You do have reasons of why batching is hard. Find your solutions now. If you have FB ask on the page. So many suggestions will come to you. You will know your answer. Best of lucky. ❤️

  7. UK Sue on April 21, 2019 at 3:21 am

    Hello
    This is brilliant I can’t say how pleased I’ve been to see this article and interview. It’s a joy.

    It’s a breath of fresh air and the tips ( about how to physically do things to reduce discomfort or tiredness ) are so inspiring.

    Thank you Molly, thank you Tammy.

  8. Dan Somerville on April 21, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks Tammy for sharing your story. You have definitely inspired me. I did my first batch cook this week (the free sample meal plan) and I was feeling sorry for myself and wondering if I really want to commit to doing this every week. Thank you for reminding me how worthwhile it is to make a weekly one day sacrifice. Not only will I continue doing it, I’m going to sign up for the program as soon as I finish posting this.
    Thanks also to you Molly and everyone at CFDG. Not having to PLAN every week is going to make this WOE much easier and there will be a lot less food waste and shopping time.
    Dan

    • Molly Patrick on April 21, 2019 at 11:09 pm

      I am so glad you were inspired, Dan!
      It was inspiring for me as well.
      Happy batching.
      xo
      Molly

    • Tammy Snowden on April 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      You can do it Dan. I promise it will get easier with practice. Best of luck.

  9. Andrea on May 5, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    3 stars
    Great recipe. I made it but it seemed a bit dry. Great with sauce but I am v lazy. Made a second batch blended 2 red onions and juice from 2 lemons with a bit more chickpeas and everything else. Bingo. Couldn’t do balls but made v tasty slodges.

  10. Stacy Sharp on December 2, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Tammy amazes me! I need to be stronger than my excuses! Thank you Tammy for sharing with us. 💜💜💜

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