Julie Green and Keen: easy recipes
Showing posts with label easy recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy recipes. Show all posts
It is about that time when we are going to pick right back up into our busy schedules with the kids back in school, a busy season in the restaurant and my husband has a few business travel trips coming up.

There is nothing worse than having boring and repetitive meals.  Being busy is nothing new to our family’s life so I have figured out how to make meals that only take a few minutes to prepare.

My answer to busy schedules, cooking ahead of time and freezing.

Cooking up a big batch of something and freezing the leftovers make great weeknight meals.  There are so many things that freeze well and can even save a few dollars when you double or triple the batch.  Not to mention, freezing perishable items means you waste less!

recipes of freezer friendly meals
Freezer Friendly Meals

Today I made two batches of soup for this week and an easy breakfast, it is going to be a busy week for sure!  Here are some great recipes that freeze well and work great as weekday meals!


Chickpea and Coconut Tomato Soup

Ingredients-
1, 400g can of chickpeas
1 can of tomatoes
250ml coconut milk
1 red chili, chopped
1 small piece of ginger, grated
1 shallot, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Zest from 1 lemon
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
3-4 cardamom pods
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley to garnish if desired

Instructions-
In a large pan heat the olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, and salt and pepper.  When the onion is beginning to brown add the chili and sauté for a couple minutes.  Add the rest of the spices and zest and stir together thoroughly.
Add the tomatoes, cook for about 3-4 minutes then add the coconut milk and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  Finally, add the chickpeas and cook for about 3 minutes.  Divide and store in freezer containers and either freeze or enjoy right away or both!

Cheese and Veggie Egg Muffins

Ingredients-
About 1 ½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup diced orange bell peppers
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen corn
8 large eggs
About 12 tbsp. shredded cheese of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions-
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Spray cooking spray on a non-stick 12 cup muffin pan making sure it is all thoroughly covered.
In a large bowl mix the carrots, peppers, peas, and corn.  Divide the mixture in the muffin pan filling them up about 2/3 of the way full.
In another bowl crack the eggs and whisk them adding salt and pepper to taste.  Divide the egg mixture in the muffin pan as well.  Top each muffin section with a generous amount of cheese.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes and let cool before removing.  Divide and eat or freeze and save for a delicious and healthy breakfast.

Do you freeze meals to have during a busy week? I would love to know what you freeze, I am always looking for new recipes to try with my family!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Happy National Women’s Health and Fitness Day to all you wonderful women out there.  Today is a day to focus our attention on the importance of physical activity and health awareness for all women. 

Many organizations around the country host women’s health and fitness events at hospitals, health clubs, park and recreation districts, and so many other locations.  It is great because the events held are all fun, non-competitive and very informative.  I am so happy I heard about this great day and happy to bring awareness to it.

Last year over 100,000 adults participated in health promotion events at more than 1,400 local organizations.  I am going to participate in an event today at local parks and recreation club about vegetarian lifestyle.  It is a great way to showcase how this lifestyle can really change your life.

I love that National Women’s Health and Fitness day has a grassroots nature and provides an opportunity for local organizations to showcase all their wonderful programs and services they offer.  It is a good way to educate and give back to local communities. 

In honor of this great holiday, I want to share one of my favorite healthy fall snacks, Pumpkin Pie Energy Bars.


Ingredients-
·         1 cup pitted dates
·         ½ cup raw cashews
·         2 tbsp. raw pumpkin seeds and 1 tbsp. to garnish if desired
·         2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
·         ¼ cup rolled oats
·         1 tsp. ground cinnamon
·         ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
·         ¼ cup pumpkin puree

Instructions-
·         Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Place parchment paper on the bottom of an 8x8 baking pan and spread the mixture to fill evenly. (it will be really sticky, beware)

·         Press the mixture down and sprinkle the garnish pumpkin seeds if you would like and freeze for 2-3 hours until solid.  Slice and enjoy this wonderful fall snack. 

·         Keep the bars in the freezer so they do not become mushy.

For more information on National Women’s Health and Fitness Day click here.

Go green and stay keen,

Julie

A couple years ago my husband and I met a couple staying at a bed and breakfast near our home.  My husband and I were having coffee and they asked to join us.  Our simple cup of coffee turned into a day of adventure.  They were from the Caribbean and in California for a vacation.  It was so fun getting to know them and doing things we do all the time with a set of fresh eyes.

After meeting, we kept in contact through Facebook in case we were ever in the same area again.  They came back to California this past week for a business conference and we opened up our home to them.  It was great seeing them again, and as a thank you they cooked us their favorite dinner.

Caribbean food is so delicious.  After dinner I begged to get the recipe, it was so good.  They were kind enough to share their favorite recipes with us so we will be able to transform our meals into a paradise.

Here are two of the Caribbean recipes they shared, and I promise they are to die for.



Creole Rice Pilaf

Ingredients-

1 ½ tsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1/3 cup minced shallots
½ cup sliced scallions
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 ¼ cup diced plum tomatoes
1 ½ cup short-grain brown rice
3 ½ cup vegetable broth, boiling
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. Bragg liquid Aminos

Instructions-

Heat oil and crushed red pepper in a saucepan on medium heat for 1 minute.  Add the shallots, scallions, and celery and cook for about 3 minutes until adding the mushrooms and tomatoes, and cook 2 minutes before adding rice.  The entire mixture for 2 minutes while stirring.

Add the boiling broth, coriander and thyme into the saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.  Stir in the liquid aminos and enjoy!

Caribbean Style Sofrito- this makes 6 servings, they like to feed a crowd! :D



Ingredients-

1 green bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
½ orange bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
½ yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch cubes
5 tomatoes, cored and chopped
½ bunch of green onions, chopped
¾ bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
3 fresh tomatillos, husks removed
½ cup chopped garlic

Instructions-
Put the green, red, orange, and yellow peppers, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, tomatillos, and garlic into a food processor or blender and pulse or blend to make the your desired consistency, either chunky or smooth. Season lightly with salt.

Enjoy!

Hope these recipes can transport you to a Caribbean escape in your kitchen!

Go green and stay keen,

Julie

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like dips and sauces.  I am a firm believer that anything smothered in dip or sauces is 10x better than it otherwise.



I went to a BBQ two weekends ago for the fourth and made the best taco dip.  It was the hit of the party and no one believed me when I told them it was vegetarian!



There was quite the variety of dips and surprisingly most of the dips were meat-less.  It made my BBQ a little easier.  I wanted to share with you my favorite vegetarian dip recipes that are not hummus. :D

Vegan Taco Dip

Ingredients-

1, 14 oz. can vegan refried beans
1, 12-16 oz. container of vegan sour cream
1 packet of taco seasoning mix
1 cup black olives, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ cup lettuce
1 avocado, chopped
½ cup green onion, chopped

Instructions-

Spread the refried beans of the bottom of a 9x7 inch tray.  Mix the sour cream and taco seasoning together, then gently spread it on top of the beans.  Top with olives, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, and green onion.

Chill for an hour and enjoy!

Miso-Lime Sweet Potato Dip

Ingredients-

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. white miso paste
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
½ tsp. grated lime zest, more to garnish if desired

Instructions-

Pierce sweet potatoes with a four and microwave for 7-10 minutes until soft.  Let potatoes cool and coarsely chop leaving the skins on.
Place chopped potatoes in a food processer and add the miso paste, lime juice, ginger, and lime zest with 2 tbsp. water and pulse until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with lime zest if desired and enjoy!

Hot Artichoke Dip

Ingredients-

1, 12 oz. package of light silken tofu
2 tbsp. reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. onion powder
1, 15.5 oz. can artichoke quarters in water, drained, rinsed, and chopped
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Dusting of paprika

Instructions-

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Puree tofu, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and onion powder in blender until smooth and then transfer to bowl.

Stir artichokes, spinach, and parmesan cheese into tofu mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes, dust with paprika and enjoy!

I love dips, they make a meal or appetizer even better.

What is your favorite vegetarian dip?


Vegetarian dips, sauces, dressings.


Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

I have been slacking about posting my Kids Cook Monday Meals.




We have been keeping up with it and participating since my first post.  My mind just goes to other topics when I sit down to write.  I have had way too many other good topics to share with you guys :)

Good news is I remembered tonight! My kids and husband helped cook dinner tonight! It was so wonderful.

We made Confetti Stuffed Bell Peppers and Chilled Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies for desert.

We had so much fun cooking and our meal tasted delicious.  I think we spent the entire time cooking, laughing at Liam, he had a comment for everything; silly kid!

Here are the recipes that we used!

We actually found the Confetti Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe at the Kids Cook Monday website.

Confetti Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients-

4 large bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 bag (12 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables, cooked according to the package directions
1 bag (10 oz.) whole grain brown rice, cooked according to package directions
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 can tomato sauce
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Instructions-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Lightly grease a 9x13-inch shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
Combine mixed vegetables, brown rice, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, tomato sauce and black pepper in a large bowl.
Arrange peppers in prepared pan and spoon mixture into peppers.
Pour ¼ cup water into pan around the peppers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, until peppers are tender.
Remove foil and evenly sprinkle peppers with remaining cheeses.  Bake uncovered 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Enjoy!



For dessert we made no-bake, Chilled Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies


Ingredients-

2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
¼ cup honey
¼ cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
3 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed

Instructions-

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a small skillet add cocoanut and toast for about 3 minutes then let cool.
In a medium sauce pan combine honey, corn syrup, and peanut butter on medium heat.  Keep stirring until mixture begins to bubble.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and cocoa.  Stir the mixture until the chocolate chips have melted and then add the cereal and toasted coconut and stir until coated.
Spoon balls of mixture on to parchment paper and refrigerate until hardened, about 15 minutes.
Enjoy!



It ended up being a fantastic kid’s cook Monday!  We were so full after our meal we went on a walk around the neighborhood to digest it all.  The meal and the walk put the kids right to bed.  When we got back they sat on the couch for 15 minutes and went straight to bed.  Great end to a great evening.
Go Green and Staying Keen,

Julie

Kids Cook Monday

by on 6/01/2015
I have been slacking about posting my Kids Cook Monday Meals . We have been keeping up with it and participating since my first po...
Hummus, hummus, hummus; I have been obsessed with this delicious dip for the past couple weeks and can’t get enough.  My husband was laughing at me earlier today because we have FIVE different kinds of hummus in the fridge.  I love it and it is packed with protein.  Recently, I have been making different mixtures to try different flavors.  My favorite is still the classic; Chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.

Since my obsession started I have been putting hummus on everything.  To me, it is not just a dip for pitas or pretzels, it’s my secret weapon to spice up ordinary food.  Here are four of my favorite ways to incorporate hummus into everything I eat. J
·         Sandwiches with hummus up the ante to all other “regular” sandwiches.  I am a testament that nobody likes a dry sandwich; but instead of drenching it with some unhealthy sauce or dressing add hummus.  It adds the perfect amount of saucy taste.  There are so many kinds of hummus, I mix and match to pick out the perfect flavor for that sandwich.
·         I am have always love potatoes, but hummus mashed potatoes are even more creamy and delicious.  I just make mashed potatoes like I would any other time, and add the hummus while it is mixing.  I usually use garlic flavored or red pepper depending on the meal.  It adds a rich and savory flavor that makes the mash potatoes even better than they already are.
·         Hummus pizza…don’t crunch up your nose just yet.  Think savory and healthy pizza.  When I am making a homemade pizza, I use the hummus instead of pizza sauce.  It is so delicious and adds a little more zest and richness to your pizza.
·         After trying hummus salad dressing there is no going back to any other dressing.  I mix a tub of hummus with 1/3 cup of olive oil, 3 tbsp. of white wine vinegar, and 1 tbsp. of sesame oil.  It makes the most incredible dressing. 
·         Topping grilled and roasted veggies with thinned hummus is even better than you might believe.  I thin down hummus by mixing it with some water to make it into a more saucy consistency and toss my veggies in it.  I usually even add a little more to my plate to dip it in.

I am sure that I will get sick of hummus on everything, but until that day I am going to continue embracing this obsession.  Right now, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love hummus…and everyone else.  J Happy Hummusing!


Go Green and Stay Keen, 
Julie

Hummus Obsession

by on 4/06/2015
Hummus, hummus, hummus; I have been obsessed with this delicious dip for the past couple weeks and can’t get enough.  My husband was laugh...
With summer vacation in sight and countless activities to drive the kids around to, it seems that the kids are even hungrier when they get home from school.  The moment Hannah and Liam run through the door, they head straight to the kitchen for a snack.  I always try to have something healthy and filling enough to bridge the gap until dinner.

Finding after school snacks that are “Hannah and Liam approved” can be a little difficult though.  I try mixing it up each day from snacks that sweet and ones that are savory.  I know how important it is to refuel my kid’s minds after a long day at school; so I have to make a list of a few after school snacks that are always welcomed. 

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips (this recipe makes plenty for leftovers :))

 
Ingredients-

•    2 kiwis- peeled and diced
•    2 golden delicious apples- peeled, cored and diced
•    8 ounces raspberries
•    1 pound strawberries
•    2 tbsp. white sugar
•    1 tbsp. brown sugar
•    3 tbsp. fruit preserves- any flavor
•    10 flour tortillas
•    Butter cooking spray
•    2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar

Instructions-
•    In a large bowl mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar, and fruit preserves.  Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
•    Coat one side of each tortilla with butter cooking spray.  Cut into wedges and spread on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the wedges and spray again with cooking spray.  Bake for 8-10 minutes and allow to cool. 
•    Use tortilla wedges to dip into fruit salsa and enjoy!


Stuffed Celery-




Ingredients-
•    1 bunch of celery
•    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
•    ¼ cup chopped walnuts
•    20 small green olives (chopped)
•    2 tablespoons of sour cream

Instructions-
•    Cut the washed celery stalk into bite sized pieces.
•    Mix the cream cheese, sour cream, walnuts, and chopped olives together.  Spread the filling on to the celery pieces. (If you don’t want to use celery, the kids also like to put it on crackers)
•    Enjoy!

Pizza Pockets-





Ingredients-
•    1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
•    4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
•    ½ cup parmesan cheese
•    Other toppings your kids like, mushrooms, olives, ect.

Instructions-
•    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
•    Unroll crescents and top each piece of dough with shredded cheese and the toppings you like, and sprinkle a little more cheese on.  Roll into a crescent shaped.
•    Place pizza pockets on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

For those hot summery days, Watermelon Strawberry Pops-



Ingredients-
•    1lbs. seedless watermelon
•    ¼ lbs. halved hulled strawberries
•    ¼ cup sugar
•    1 ½  tbsp. fresh lime juice

Instructions-
•    Puree watermelon and strawberries in a blender and place in a large bowl.  Add sugar and lime juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved
•    Pour mixture into 5 3ounce ice pop molds and add sticks.  Freeze pops until solid and Enjoy!

A healthy and filling after school snack holds my kids off until dinner and automatically puts them in a good mood when they come home. :) I love finding new ideas for snacking that the kids love.  Happy snacking!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

After school Snacks

by on 3/11/2015
With summer vacation in sight and countless activities to drive the kids around to, it seems that the kids are even hungrier when they get ...
There is just something about a good soup that warms your body.  I consider myself somewhat of a soup-a-holic, if I had to survive off of one food it would be soup.  There are so many possibilities when cooking it, it can be savory, spicy, light, cold, warm, and the list goes on.  I decided to make my favorite Chunky Pepper Potato soup for dinner tonight so I am going to share a few of my favorite vegetarian soup recipes.

Chunky Pepper Potato Soup

Ingredients-

½ cup chopped onion
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet yellow pepper chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups almond milk
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions-

In a sauce pan cook onion until it is tender and stir in potatoes, peppers, and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Stir in milk and cornstarch and stir until smooth.  Bring to boil and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.  Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Enjoy!





Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Ingredients-

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 (1 lbs.) package of frozen pepper and onion stir fry mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. ground cumin
1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
3 (4 oz.) cans chopped green Chile peppers, drained
4 (14 oz.) cans vegetable broth
1 (11 oz.) can whole kernel corn
12 oz. tortilla chips
1 cup shredded cheese
1 avocado, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions-

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and stir in the pepper and onion stir fry mix, garlic, and cumin.  Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Mix in the tomatoes and Chile peppers then pour in broth and season with salt and pepper
Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add corn into the soup and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips and top with cheese and avocado.
Enjoy!



Cool Fresh Tomato and Avocado Soup- so yummy can you can get almost all the ingredients at the farmers market! :)

Ingredients-

4 large tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, diced
¼ cup red onion, chopped
¼ cup cucumber, chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Handful of sliced romaine lettuce

Instructions-

Combine all the ingredients together, except the avocado, in a large bowl.  Lightly mash with a potato masher and stir in 1 cup of water.
Cover and let chill for at least an hour and then stir in the avocado and romaine lettuce.
Enjoy!


I hope these yummy soup recipes ignite the “soup-a-holic” in you!  I know we are going to be eating good at home tonight.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie
I believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It fuels the body for the day and kick starts your metabolism.  I make sure that I have a hearty breakfast to sustain my body throughout the morning until lunch.  My good friend recently asked for my Citrus Granola recipe so instead of just sharing it with her, I decided to share that recipe and a few more of my favorite vegetarian breakfast recipes.

Hope you enjoy them!

Citrus Granola Parfait

Ingredients-
1 lemon, peal shredded for zest
1 lime, peal shredded for zest
1 orange, peal shredded for zest
3 tbsp. grape seed oil
4 tbsp. orange juice
4 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup rolled oats
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup almonds, chopped
¼ cup dried coconut
1/8 cup flax seed
¼ cup chopped dried apricots
¼ cup dried cranberries
Vanilla Yogurt

Directions-
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Combine all the ingredients except the yogurt into a large bowl and stir until combined
Spread the mixture on a pan or cookie sheet, bake for 15 minutes, stir, and bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow the granola to cool to room temperature and serve with yogurt.  Enjoy!

Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles

Ingredients-
1 Cup white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground allspice
1 cup quick oats
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups frozen blueberries

Directions-
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and oats in a large mixing bowl.
Add applesauce, milk, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla into mixing bowl, stir until combined and let rest for 5 minutes.
Fold in the blueberries and cook in waffle iron for directed iron time. Enjoy!

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Ingredients-
1/3 cup regular oats
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 ¼ cups Almond Milk
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts for sprinkling on top
Directions-
In a medium pot on medium heat, add the oats, apple, chia seeds, applesauce, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger and whisk well and heat for about 8 minutes stirring frequently.
When the mixture has thickened and the liquid is absorbed stir in vanilla extract and pour into dish and sprinkle with walnuts, cinnamon and maple syrup is desired.  Enjoy!

For those days when you are running late and need something quick:

Easy Apple Yogurt Salad

Ingredients-
4 green apples, cored and chopped
¼ cup toasted almonds
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped dried cherries
1 8 ounce container of vanilla yogurt
Directions-
In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients together until everything is evenly coated with yogurt.  Enjoy!


Easy Warm Cinnamon Apple and Banana 

Ingredients-
1 Banana- sliced into small pieces
1 Apple- sliced into small pieces
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Directions-
Place banana, apple, and cinnamon into medium bowl or pot, mix until cinnamon is dispersed on banana and apple.
Warm mixture in microwave or stove top until banana and apple are warm and soft.  Let cool, and enjoy!
Disclaimer: It tastes so much better than it looks! :)

With these yummy recipes, you shouldn’t be hungry in the mornings anymore.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…at least it is to me! :)

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie
When looking for new recipes or more information on a topic I often turn to fellow bloggers.  By reading a blog about a product or a recipe I know that it is a personal opinion and am able to connect with it on a deeper level.  There are so many blogs out there with great content for vegetarians.  Here are my twelve favorite vegetarian and vegan blogs.

1. Naturally Ella is my go to blog for seasonal recipes.  She has some of the most delicious recipes I have made.

2. My New Roots is written by a holistic nutritionist and vegetarian chef Sarah Britton.  There are wonderful recipes with ample information on nutrition.


3. Oh My Veggies is a blog from Kiersten who has been a vegetarian since she was twelve.  She has good recipes as well and reviews recipes she tries from other blogs.


4. Cookie and Kate has quite the archive of fresh vegetarian recipes and treats like margaritas, cakes, and popsicles.  She also talks about her canine companion, Cookie, who catches her crumbs.


5. Vegan Yum Yum shares vegan recipes that appeal to vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike.  She uses beautiful photography and has a great section called “how to” with great articles like “How to cut a pepper” and “How to peel mushrooms.”


6. 101 Cookbooks has every recipe you could possibly be looking for.  It is very useful because the recipes are categorized by season, recipe type, or ingredients.


7. The Veg Space has great recipes as well as a great writer, Kate Ford, who has been vegetarian for over 20 years.  She also reviews books and other products.


8. Green Kitchen Stories updates their blog very frequently with “must try” recipes.  They focus on cooking healthy, simple food with natural ingredients, whole grains, good fats, fruits and vegetables.


9. Happyolks is a great blog for recipe inspiration and for a good read.  Besides recipes and good writing this couple writes about finding a place in the world to feel truly like yourself.  It is a good inspirational blog.

10. VegKitchen is primarily a recipe site but it also features articles about what is good to eat and how to prepare and eat it.


11. VegNews is a great blog with product reviews, news, inspiration, and everything that has to do with living a vegetarian lifestyle.

12. Soul Veggie has a ton of information why having a vegetarian lifestyle is the healthiest option.  They also showcase news, recipes, and much more.

I hope you find these blogs as interesting as I do.  If you have other blogs that you love, I would love to check them out!  I have learned that blogging is such a great way to spread information and share feelings.  Go bloggers!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie































With so many holiday parties and nights out with old friends that are back to town it’s easy to forget what you are drinking.  About a year after becoming a vegetarian, I was on the internet looking for recipes and stumbled upon a website about vegetarian beer.  It never dawned on me that what I was drinking could have animal products in it.  I was shocked at what I read!



I am not a big drinker so it never dawned on me to look at the ingredients.  What I read made me cringe; some beers are processed with isinglass, the swim bladders of fish.  I am no beer expert so I had no idea, fish bladders? I was so grossed out!  Some beers are also processed using gelatin, made from boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones from cows or pigs.  After this I made sure to know where everything I was consuming was coming from.

The holiday season prompts many parties and dinners, I made a list of common beers that are vegetarian safe.  For a full list from PETA, click here.

Amstel & Amstel Light
Bud Light & Budweiser
Busch & Bush Light
Coors
Corona
Dogfish Head Brewing
Heineken
Michelob
Mike’s Hard Lemonade
Miller Brewing Co.
Natural Light
Rolling Rock
Samuel Adams Brewing Co.
Thirsty Dog Beer

Hopefully this list helps new vegetarians going out with old friends during the holiday season know what to order! If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask, I love sharing my knowledge! :)

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie





Cheers: Vegetarian Beers

by on 12/04/2014
With so many holiday parties and nights out with old friends that are back to town it’s easy to forget what you are drinking.  About a year...
Recently, I have been all about movements and initiatives for a healthy lifestyle.  I came across one on the internet yesterday while finding kid friendly recipes called The Kids Cook Monday.  It is a pretty simple initiative that encourages families to set aside the first night of every week for cooking and eating together.  It is very important to me that my family sits down for dinner and reconnects after our days apart.  Some dinners can be hard because of the restaurant but I always make sure I am home several days during the week. 



So now, not only is my family participating in Meatless Monday, but always The Kids Cook Monday.  This will be a great way to get my children into cooking healthy vegetarian meals that they enjoy.  My kids love helping out in the kitchen, when I am cooking and baking so this will give them something to look forward to every week. 

I believe that teaching young children to cook is an essential life skill they need to learn.  The joy I see on my kid’s faces when they are stirring something together or cracking an egg is priceless.  Although those helping out often turns into a kitchen mess, it is so worth it.  Cooking enforces portion sizes while they are learning about the vitamins and nutrients in the ingredients.  It also strengthens math skills, teamwork, and following instructions.  My daughter is beginning to learn about fractions in school so cooking is a subtle way to have her practice. 



Yesterday the kids had their mind made up on making a pizza…their favorite.  I like to add a subtle twist to the pizza by using a cauliflower crust.  My kids have no idea and absolutely love it, I highly recommend trying it! Here is the recipe I used to make the cauliflower crust before the kids got home.

Ingredients-
•    ½ head of cauliflower
•    1 clove of garlic, minced
•    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
•    1 egg, beaten
•    1 tsp. basil
•    1 tsp. oregano

Instructions-
•    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a cookie sheet or pizza stone with oil.
•    Remove the stems and leaves from your cauliflower, chop it into chunks, place into food processor and pulse just the texture is similar to rice.
•    Sauté the cauliflower “rice” over medium heat until it is translucent, about 6-8 mins. 
•    In a large bowl combine the cauliflower “rice” with garlic, cheese, egg, basil, and oregano and mix thoroughly.
•    Spread the dough evenly on the greased cookie sheet or stone about 1/3 inch thick.
•    Bake for 25-30 mins until the crust is golden

When the kids got home, they spread the pizza sauce, added the cheese, and their personal favorite vegetables; green peppers, tomato chunks, carrots, olives, and mushrooms (precooked).  And then we baked our special pizza for about 5-10 min until the cheese was melted.




It was a great kid’s cook Monday and Meatless Monday in my book.  The kids had a great time making the pizza and liked eating it even better.  I think it is important to put time aside every day to connect as a family.  Our family dinners are always filled with laughter and good conversation.  A family that cooks together and eats together is a happy family.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie :)

The Kids Cook Monday

by on 11/11/2014
Recently, I have been all about movements and initiatives for a healthy lifestyle.  I came across one on the internet yesterday while findi...
Yesterday at the restaurant I had a lovely conversation with a customer that had just converted to vegetarianism.  He dove in head first a month ago without any progression eliminating meat.  He told me he was feeling great so far but was having some serious meat cravings.  I know from experience the beginning can be difficult when you see other people eating meats around you. 
I remember those first months when everyone was eating meat around me it was hard not to think about going back, but in the back my mind I knew it was something I wanted to do.  I tried just about every meat substitute out there, some were very delicious and satisfied the little cravings and some were down right terrible.  I was happy to share my favorite meat substitutes with my customer so he wouldn’t have to go through the trial and error I did. 

In my opinion, these are the best meat substitutes.

•    If you are missing cold cuts and deli sandwiches, Tofurky Deli Slices should be your go to.  They are made from smoked wheat gluten and have many different imitated flavors.  I like the roast beef flavor, but they are all equally as delicious.  Even my non-vegetarian friends like them. 



•    Quorn brand Chick’n nuggets are incredible.  My kids love them cut up with BBQ sauce.  Quorn brand uses fermented mushrooms that give them a texture nearly identical to chicken. They are probably one of my favorite chicken replacements.



•    If you love mushrooms like I do, Gardenburger Portabella Veggie Burgers are really good.  They are primarily made of brown rice and vegetables.  I like the smoky flavor and chucky texture of the vegetables.  They do have a lot of sodium, so read the labels.



•    Amy’s Kitchen has good premade meals if you are on the go.  My son loves the black bean vegetable enchilada.  They have a selection of soups and meal starters as well.




•    Anything Morning Star Brand!! My absolute favorite are the Grillers California Turk’y burgers.  They have the perfect amount of flavor and spices and when topped with avocado and tomato; they are the most flawless burger.  I highly recommend all the products by them!


When looking for a product you like, be sure to read the labels because some brands are high in sodium and aren’t very nutritious.  Although my diet doesn’t consist largely of these meat replacements, they are a nice easy break from cooking.  Happy eating!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie
It has been nearly 3 months since I planted my herb garden and the yields from it have been incredible.  I have been working on incorporating them into daily meals with the family.  The richness they bring to dishes is so unbelievable, I couldn’t keep it to myself, so I had to share it with my friends.  I decided to host my very first dinner party yesterday and used the herbs from my garden.


It was my first dinner party I have ever hosted.  I invited two of our best friends and their spouses over for dinner and wine.  I found the hardest part of planning was narrowing down what I wanted to cook.  Maybe it is from working in the restaurant, but I was full of different course ideas and ways to incorporate my herbs into dishes and drinks.  It was very challenging to narrow it down.





I finally decided on some seasonal fare I found at the farmers market and a perfect blend of my very own herbs! :)  I made creamy goat’s cheese with chive and pomegranate, mushroom and truffled herb salad, melanzane parmigiana, and peach and basil crumbles.  All of the courses turned out delicious.  The herb salad was my favorite, it was light and had the perfect amount of richness.  I highly recommend all of these recipes!

My dinner party featuring my very own herbs was a huge success!  Planning it was a little stressful but so worth it in the end.  The food turned out great, everyone had a wonderful time, we had great conversation even better wine, and I think I convinced a few of my friends to start an herb garden! This was my first dinner party but it definitely won’t be the last.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Dinner is served

by on 9/22/2014
It has been nearly 3 months since I planted my herb garden and the yields from it have been incredible.  I have been working on incorporatin...