Showing posts with label meatless food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meatless food. Show all posts
This afternoon both Hannah and Liam are a friend’s house so I am making my husband some vegetarian sushi!

We love sushi so much, it is difficult to make it while the kids are home because they think it is “weird.”  They don’t know what they are missing out on  :D

My husband is doing some yard work so I am going to surprise him with it and some soup for dinner.  I can’t wait.

Vegetarian sushi is delicious and fairly easy to make.  Here are the sushi and soup recipes that I like using when we finally get to indulge.

Basic Sushi


Ingredients-

2 cups short grain or medium grain rice
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 package of roasted seaweed sheets
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into long narrow strips
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into long narrow strips
1 avocado, removed skin and sliced into long narrow strips
1 block of cream cheese, sliced into long narrow strips
Soy sauce and wasabi for dipping and garnish

Directions-

Cook the rice as to package instructions and let cool.  Mix the rice vinegar and salt in a small bowl and pour over the cooked rice.  Use your fingers to mix the rice and mixture together.
Place the seaweed sheet, shiny side down, on the sushi roller and spread sticky rice evenly across.  Leave a one inch tab of seaweed on one edge.  Place carrot strip, cucumber strip, cream cheese, and avocado across the rice bed.
Dab the exposed tab of seaweed with wet fingers and use the sushi roller to roll your roll making sure you are using enough pressure to keep the rice sticky.
Cut your roll into small pieces and Enjoy!


Miso Soup with Greens and Tofu
Ingredients-

4 cups water
½ cup chopped green onion
½ cup chopped green chard
¼ cup firm tofu, cubed
3-4 tbsp. white miso paste
1 sheet or ¼ cup nori, cut in large rectangles

Directions-

Place water in a medium sauce pan, bring to low simmer then add nori and simmer for 5-7 minutes more.
Place the miso paste into a small bowl, add a little hot water and whisk until smooth.  Add to the soup and stir so it doesn’t clump.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add salt to taste if desired and enjoy.

This recipe can be used with a variety of vegetables and you can add and take away spices or sauces to create your unique roll.

It is going to be a delicious dinner!

Julie

Vegetarian Sushi

by on 8/16/2015
This afternoon both Hannah and Liam are a friend’s house so I am making my husband some vegetarian sushi! We love sushi so much, it is di...
This summer Hannah took the initiative and joined our library’s book club and fun summer classes.  She loves reading and learning and didn’t want to stop over the summer. I am lucky to have two wonderful proactive kids.

Today after I picked her up from the library she told me she is doing a project to show kids that “being a vegetarian is cool and fun.”  I couldn’t be more proud of my little girl.


Of course I helped her come up with some ideas.  She wanted to make a “fun facts” poster and bring in a vegetarian snack to share.  Her idea is that if the kids see how happy and fun she is because she eats some vegetarian meals, maybe they will want to try and have their parents try too.

Although some of the facts seem obvious, she chose them on how they will relate to other kids.

1. People become vegetarian for all different kinds of reasons.
2. There are all different kinds of vegetarians.  One might better suit you than the other.
3. Many animals are vegetarians and you are caring for animals
4. It is good for the world and nature around us.
5. There are many restaurants that offer vegetarian options.
6. Meat is expensive, having a plant based diet helps save money
7. The world is nearly ¼ vegetarians.
8. By not having meat in the freezer you have more room for ice cream.  (Hannah’s Favorite)
9. You can buy almost all your food at the farmers market
10. You learn how to cook better and more delicious food

She is making a really cute collage of her favorite fruits and veggies with the lyrics to the Meat Free Monday song too.

On Friday before she goes to the library to present her poster and song we are going to make Almost Raw Cookie Dough Balls to share with the other kids.  Here is our easy and fun recipe.

Ingredients- 
1 cup oats
1 ripe banana
½ cup grated dry coconut
3 tbsp. maple syrup or agave syrup, your choice
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Instructions-
Add oats into a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds to break them down a little.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and pulse until fully combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips and refrigerate for 10 minutes to slightly harden.  Roll dough into balls then place back in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Enjoy the doughy goodness!



I love how Hannah always jumps to challenges and loves sharing her lifestyle with her peers.  I hope that maybe Hannah’s passion will inspire you to try a few vegetarian meals a week.

Go green and stay keen,

Julie

Vegetarian Fun Facts

by on 7/22/2015
This summer Hannah took the initiative and joined our library’s book club and fun summer classes .  She loves reading and learning and did...
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

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...
A few months ago Hannah had a great idea to have a Kids day at the restaurant I work at.  She is so cute, she said that kids don’t know that vegetarian food can be “really yummy” and wanted me to show people how it can be delicious.  I felt so proud, that she wanted to share her favorite vegetarian foods with her friends and other kids.  Obviously, I loved the idea.



I was so happy the restaurant owner and cooks agreed this was a good idea and worked with Hannah and me to make it happen.  Yesterday we held our first kid’s afternoon special; it was a huge success.  Hannah insisted on helping us plan the menu because “it was her idea.”  We created a “kid friendly” menu that offered small portions so kids and families could sample many different foods and dishes. 

Hannah absolutely loved helping organize the day, she is such a little party planner.  We had about 20 families come in the afternoon with their children to try some new vegetarian food.  Hannah stayed at the restaurant all afternoon helping us and talking to all her friends that came in; she nearly invited her entire class. :)



After talking with several new families to the restaurant and a few of Hannah’s friend’s families it sounded like they loved it.  Not only were their kids surprised that the food was so good, their parents were pleasantly surprised as well. 

I had to laugh, one of Hannah’s friends father came into the restaurant and was joking with me how he would have to get food after because there was no way vegetables were going to fill him up.  As he was leaving I asked him if he still thought he needed more food and he quickly responded “no way.”  He was stuffed!  He said that he will definitely be coming back, and that the food was very  filling, delicious and that he actually felt healthy eating it…now that is what I like to hear! :)


I am so happy Hannah came up with this idea and everyone helped to make it happen.  My friend the owner, was pleased with all the customers that came in, on what would have normally been an average afternoon.
Hannah’s great idea brought quite a bit of extra business and hopefully the families will be coming back in the future.

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































Do you really know what is in your foods?  When I was first learning about vegetarianism I was naïve to what was actually in my food.  I just assumed that if it wasn't the actually meat it was vegetarian.  When I am researching, I always make sure I have a tough stomach because some of the things I have come across make my stomach turn.  It is shocking what ingredients are actually in the foods we eat all the time without thinking.

Even though I’m not vegan, I still like to be conscious about the ingredients in foods I eat and prefer my foods be free of animal byproducts.  I made a list of cringe worthy products that have animal byproducts that might make you think twice about what you are eating.


DISCLAIMER- if you have a weak stomach or just ate lunch, you might was to wait to read this until your stomach is strong enough to hear all the ingredients might be in your favorite foods.

When first beginning to research products that we not vegetarian gelatin was the first product I learned about.  Gelatin is mainly made from collagen, a protein often collected from animal skins.  Gelatin can be found in frosted cereals, yogurt, candy, some types of sour cream, and deserts.  The gelatin in deserts often comes from pig skin.

Beef fat is an ingredient many Hostess Products.  It is gross thinking a favorite sweet childhood snack contains beef fat.  The ingredient is included in the list of other oils that may or may not be used.

This is a more widely known animal product, crushed bugs are used as red food coloring.  Dried insects are boiled to produce a liquid solution that is turned into dye.  It is often called carmine or carminic acid.  YUCK

Beaver anal glands, castoreum, are common in perfumes and colognes.  I don’t want to use anal glands to smell sweet, that’s for sure.  Another use, they are used to enhance the flavor of raspberry candies and sweets.

It is more common people know Caesar salad dressing is made with anchovies, but they are in Worcestershire sauce too.  I was unaware of this until I did some research and now I avoid both sauces.

Like jelly beans or candy corn?  The shiny hard coating is make from the secretions of the female Kerria Lacca, an insect native to Thailand.  I personally don’t like any bug secretions in my candy.



These are just a few of the cringe worth products that use animal products to be more appealing and satisfying to the consumer.  After months of researching and growth I learned that animal products are in so many unexpected places and products.  I find it very interesting to learn about all the products that use weird animal parts and secretions.  Peta.org has an extensive list of animal ingredients that are in food that might shock you.

Know of any more cringe worthy products with animal products? I would love to learn more, comment to share your knowledge!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Wow, I can’t believe that tomorrow is December already.  November has flown by, and for that matter, this year.  I can’t even grasp all the wonderful things that have happened to me and my family this year so far.  With December and winter around the corner it is the perfect time to get a little crafty around the house.  I love winter; even though I live in California I still love the cooler temps and the warm aura the season give off.




Backtracking a little bit, my thanksgiving was so wonderful.  My husband’s parents and my parents, loved their first vegetarian thanksgiving.  They were surprised by how many stereotypical thanksgiving dishes are easily vegetarian.  Needless to say, my menu was a big hit and everyone left with full stomachs.

I didn’t partake in the crazy Black Friday shopping nonsense.  I don’t know how people can do it; I hate going into stores when you can barely walk and have to fight to get something.  Although I didn’t go, one of my friends is a crazy shopper and braved the crowds…when I say she’s crazy I mean she’s crazy for waiting in a line for hours to get a few good deals.  I had her pick up a few things on Hannah and Liam’s Christmas list while she was out.  Now I have to get serious about getting gifts for the rest of the family.

I feel like I just got everything put away from thanksgiving and brought out the Christmas decorations.   I usually try to wait until December 1st but it’s so hard and I figured one day away isn’t that bad… :)  There is something about Christmas decorations that make you feel so warm and want to have a hot chocolate.  I was feeling crafty today and made a little wine bottle vases.  They are super easy to make- paint the wine bottle with two coats of primer, then two coats of your desired color; I chose gold, then spray with tacky spray (glue), and shake lose glister onto the bottle. They turned out great.  I am going to put some twigs with berries in them!





It is such a wonderful time of the year.  Although I am sad to see pumpkin flavored everything go, I am excited for all the peppermint and cranberry flavors.  :)

Happy almost December friends!

Julie

Tomorrow is December?!

by on 11/30/2014
Wow, I can’t believe that tomorrow is December already.  November has flown by, and for that matter, this year.  I can’t even grasp all the...
It’s almost thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to spend hours in the kitchen making a wonderful meal for my family…and that’s not sarcastic at all, I really can’t wait. :) I love to cook and bake, and thanksgiving gives me an excuse to go overboard in the kitchen.  This year we are having my family and my husband’s family over for thanksgiving dinner.  We have discussed with both of our families and decided we are going to have an entirely vegetarian thanksgiving.  It is going to be our parents first meatless Thanksgiving; I can’t wait to blow them away with the delicious food.

 Eating a meatless dinner on thanksgiving opens up a world of recipes possibilities!  My first thanksgiving without meat was a little strange.  I wanted to imitate all the classic thanksgiving dishes so I roasted some tofurkey and ate my fair share of mash potatoes to fill up.  But my second thanksgiving was completely different.  I had learned new vegetarian recipes throughout the year and was ready to create my own thanksgiving dinner.  There are so many great seasonal vegetables during the fall it makes it really easy to cook a yummy dinner.

As the years flew by I kept getting more creative with my thanksgiving dinner menu.  We typically go to my husband’s parents to celebrate and I bring a few of my favorite vegetarian thanksgiving dishes.  I am beyond excited to have both our families over and have some wonderful vegetarian food. 
I have begun making the menu and am super excited about it.  I still need a few more options but here’s what I have so far…DISCLAIMER these are recipes from the internet, I haven’t decided how I am going to spice them up and make them my own yet so ideas are welcome. :)

•    Butternut Squash Baked Risotto



•    Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy



•    Green Bean Casserole with Red Curry and Peanuts



•    Sweet Potato and Edamame Shepherd’s Pie



•    The thanksgiving favorite, Pumpkin Pie,
•    And obviously mash potatoes, cranberry chutney, and some roasted corn and carrots.

I love thanksgiving and all the rich and flavorful foods! I can’t wait to start cooking! In the meantime I think I am going make my family’s favorite, pumpkin cranberry cinnamon rolls to get my cooking bug out of me today.

Happy thanksgiving cooking!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

A Meatless Thanksgiving

by on 11/24/2014
It’s almost thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to spend hours in the kitchen making a wonderful meal for my family…and that’s not sarcastic at all...
A few days ago my daughter went on a playdate with a new friend from school.  When I went to pick her up I was able to chat with her friend’s mother for a bit.  She told me that she was surprised at lunch when Hannah asked if they had any meatless options.  Now, I haven’t raised my children solely vegetarian but have given them the tools to understand a plant-based diet and a meat-based one.  I wanted them to make their own decisions.  It made me proud that Hannah asked for a vegetarian option and didn’t want to eat a hot dog or a sloppy Joe.

Hannah’s friend’s mother seemed offended that I raised my children knowing both options.  She was convinced that a vegetarian diet isn’t good for growing children and that they need meat to grow and be strong. 

After I got home I did some thinking; if people really do believe that a vegetarian diet isn’t healthy, do they know where their meat comes from?  I was taken back after the situation and saddened at the misconception.

Common misconceptions of vegetarianism frighten people and discourage them from trying it.  Understanding the true facts of a vegetarian lifestyle can change your mind and encourage a healthy change.  After everything that happened I want to debunk a few misconceptions that I believe are popular, and set the story straight.

1.    You don’t get enough protein as a vegetarian- Most people believe that meat = protein and you can’t have one without the other.  That is the farthest thing from true.  Beans, grains, nuts, and green veggies, and dairy provide plenty of protein for a vegetarian diet.  There are also protein supplements you can take if you are concerned about it.






2.    Vegetarians eat like rabbits- What’s wrong with eating like a rabbit?  They are pretty healthy aren’t they?  Although vegetarians don’t eat meat doesn’t mean they exclusively eat lettuce and carrots.  There are so many options and delicious recipes that are very filling and rich.


3.    Being a vegetarian will make you healthy and lose weight- Although vegetarians are generally thinner, you can be an unhealthy vegetarian as well.  Replacing meat with carbs like pasta and breads, lack nutritional value and hinder your body from getting proper nutrients.  You can be an unhealthy carnivore and an unhealthy vegetarian.  Vegetarians come in all shapes and sizes.

4.    Vegetarian food is expensive- Pasta, rice, tofu, beans, and seasonal fruits and vegetables are much cheaper than meat.  Some meat replacements and non-seasonal fruits and vegetables can be expensive but not nearly as expensive as meat.

5.    You’ll always be hungry- I can’t remember the last time after a meal that I was still hungry; it is usually the opposite.  The main digestible part of a pant is fiber.  Fiber keeps you full, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and full of energy.  If I do get hungry, a handful of nuts usually does the job; packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats.



I hope these debunked myths help people change their ideas of vegetarianism and do a little more research.  If you think I missed any, please share!  The more information, the more people will understand.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Vegetarian Myths Debunked

by on 11/17/2014
A few days ago my daughter went on a playdate with a new friend from school.  When I went to pick her up I was able to chat with her friend...
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...
Today is such an exciting day for me, it is my 6 year anniversary of being vegetarian!  6 years ago today was one of the most important days of my life, when I decided I would commit to something I wanted to for a while, a new healthy vegetarian lifestyle.  Thinking back, becoming a vegetarian wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  Although, there were ups and downs along the road where I would crave meat and think about giving up; once I got over those bumps and knew how to control cravings, I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.



 I have always been an animal lover.  6 years ago, after a Saturday afternoon spent on the internet reading and watching documentaries about animal-based diets and the meat industry, it wasn’t a hard to change my of thinking and switch to a plant-based diet.  I knew it would be good for my heath, the animals, the environment, and those around me.

In the beginning social events were difficult but after 6 years, my friends and family understand my lifestyle and have been dabbling in it as well.  I love seeing how my small dietary change, changed my entire extend family and friends outlook on food.  It is awesome going to a party and seeing a variety of fresh vegetarian options, not just put out for me, but because my family and friends genuinely enjoy them and understand the benefits of plant-based foods and diets.


Becoming a vegetarian isn’t something that changes over night, it is a full body transformation.  October 27th, 2008 was a huge day in my life.  My commitment to my health and my love for animals have helped me reach my goal and stick with it. 

I hope that with popular culture beginning to embrace a vegetarian and now vegan lifestyle, more people will try to commit to see the benefits of vegetarianism; I don’t want to keep the greatness a secret all to myself! :)  I am very proud I stuck with something for 6 years that helped change my life.  I can’t wait for many more great anniversaries and years full of learning and new food!   I wouldn’t change it for the world, I love being a vegetarian!


Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

This weekend was my daughter Hannah’s 8th birthday party.  She had a “spook-tacular” sleepover with her ghoully friends. :)  This was her first sleepover birthday party… it was a lot of work but they was so much fun.  It is always a struggle coming up birthday theme ideas for Hannah; luckily this year, having her birthday so close to Halloween she wanted to have a ghoully ghostly costume party. 

Fall is such a great time of the year, it made decorating for Halloween really easy.  I transformed our house a spooky fun birthday soiree.  The girls didn’t come over until dusk so I was able to decorate our yard with Tombstones and lanterns leading up to the door for a haunted welcome.  I even went all out and set up the fog machine so when we opened the door fog would come out.  The girls loved it, they came over in costumes and were immediately ready for a spooky evening.  It was a little pre trick-or-treating for them.



Coming up with party menus is second nature for me.  Hannah’s spook-tacular food was so much fun coming up with...I may have even gone a little bit overload.  Even though my children are not vegetarians they prefer a lot of meatless food so I created an eerie vegetarian menu the girls loved.
The girls devoured banana ghosts, clementine pumpkins, a veggie skeleton, apple bites, spooky black bean humus, veggie dog mummy dippers, and a spooky haunted graveyard cake on our new coffin dining table… (My husband is quite the handy man; it is incredible what he can do with ply wood, a saw, and some paint) :)  It sounds like a lot but it was all super easy to make.



Hannah came up with some great Halloween games to play in our lantern lit backyard.  They bobbed for apples, had a mummy dressing race, and she picked out a bat piñata filled with mysterious goodies.    Before they when to sleep we told ghost stories and drank apple cider.  And then of course they had to watch some Disney channel to relax to.


I am happy everything went so smoothly and Hannah had a great time.  Everything was great and so easy to make.  The girls loved my vegetarian food…I don’t even think they realized it was; the decorations were fairly inexpensive, and the best part was the girls had so much fun.  Halloween parties are great and even better when you’re celebrating your daughter’s birthday.

We had a SPOOK-TACULAR birthday! BOO! :)

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie