Julie Green and Keen: vegetarian lifestyle
Showing posts with label vegetarian lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian lifestyle. 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

Moms, if you have a preteen boy, you know that they love to defy everything and beat their own path.  Liam has been pretty good, but recently he has been in a sriracha kick.  Anything and everything I make for breakfast, lunch or dinner he has to load it up with sriracha.  I think his obsession stemmed from one day when Liam dared Hannah to have a spoon full of it and couldn’t handle it.  That sibling rivalry has made quite the “macho man” Liam is acting like now.



Instead of letting him ruin all of our delicious meals, I came up with a few recipes with sriracha hidden in them that Hannah can eat too.  I have made a few meals and surprised Liam when I tell him that it is already in it and Hannah love it and rubs it in his face a little.  I have to laugh because they love to make everything a competition and I am kindly incising them a bit.

Here are some delicious ways I have come up with to add sriracha on everything!

For breakfast I came up with a wonderful:

Sweet Potato and Endive Hash with Sriracha Buttermilk

Sauce

Ingredients for the sauce-

•    1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
•    1 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
•    ¼ tsp. sriracha sauce
•    1/8 tsp. salt

Ingredients for the potatoes-

•    1 ¼ lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
•    ¾ lb. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
•    1 tbsp. olive oil
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    ½ tsp. salt
•    4 heads endive, thinly sliced
•    1 green onion, thinly sliced
•    ¼ cup minced cilantro

Instructions for the sauce-
•    In a bowl mix all the ingredients together until well combined
Instructions for the potatoes-
•    Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large saucepan on high heat.  Add the sweet and russet potatoes, cook until tender and drain.
•    In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the sweet and russet potatoes and salt, cook and stir for about 5-7 minutes.  Add the endive and green onions and cook until the potatoes begin to brown.
•    Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, drizzle the sriracha sauce and stir to coat.  Enjoy!

For an easy and delicious snack:

Sriracha Chex Mix

Ingredients-
•    6 cups mixed Chex cereal, I like using half wheat Chex and half corn Chex
•    1 ½ cup cheez-its
•    1 ½ cup pretzels
•    1 cup peanuts
•    4 tbsp. unsalted butter
•    ¼ cup sriracha, more or less depending on your desired spicy level
•    2 tbsp. soy sauce
•    1 tsp. grated ginger
•    1 tsp. grated garlic


Instructions-
•    Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
•    In a large bowl mix the Chex, cheez-its, pretzels, and peanuts and lay out on a large line baking sheet.
•    In another bowl combine the butter, sriracha, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic and microwave for about 15 second intervals until the butter is melted.  Stir each time to combine.
•    Pour the butter mixture evenly over Chex mixture and combine with your hands to evenly coat.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring and moving the mixture every 15 minutes.  Cool and Enjoy!

Another easy side dish is:

Sriracha Garlic Bread

Easy Instructions- quantity of ingredients can be based on the level of spicy and servings.
•    In a small bowl mix sriracha, minced garlic, and butter and microwave to melt the butter.  Brush mixture on slices of bread and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and broil until toasted.  Enjoy!

With Liam’s new obsession, I am constantly trying to come up with recipes that incorporate sriracha.  I am hoping this phase passes fairly soon, the lady at the grocery store is going to think I have a sriracha problem.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie
I love encountering individuals who are eager to learn about a vegetarian lifestyle and make a change.  Last night at the restaurant I had the opportunity to chat with a couple that has just decided to embark on their vegetarian lifestyle journey.  They asked me for some helpful hints to get through the difficult first couple months.  With spring quickly approaching and BBQ’s and soccer games around the corner they were concerned about vegetarian options.  Luckily for them I have quite a few helpful hints.


Deciding to become is a big diet and lifestyle change.  There are times when it will seem impossible, but once you find your strength and keep pushing forward there is not turning back.  Here are a few tips that helped me “keep on trucking” and create a healthy lifestyle for myself.

1.    Don’t expect everyone to embrace your new lifestyle change initially.  My parents thought I was crazy when I told them I was making the change, and now they eat a primarily plant-based diet.  During the first couple months my friends and family would taunt me with my past favorite meals with meat making it a game to see if I would crack.  I stayed strong and soon everyone came to realize this was something I was doing to better myself and I wasn’t going to back down.  Stay strong!

2.    There will be times when you crave a dish with meat in it, and when that happens just watch one of the wonderful documentaries out there about the factory meat industry.  I am sure that craving will pass.  Documentaries are a great way to find inspiration to make change and find your strength from within.  Educate yourself!

3.    Try new fruits and vegetables.  There are so many it shouldn’t be hard to try a new one every week incorporating it into a new recipe.  I can’t stress enough that even “ugly” fruits and veggies taste wonderful.  Don’t overlook certain types just because you have never tried it before or it looks ugly.  Dive in head first and see what you like.

4.    If you are not a chef, take a vegetarian cooking class.  I took a class in my first couple months of becoming a vegetarian and learned so much and met a great support system.  Working and having fun with likeminded people is a great way to discover some new recipes and new friends.

5.    Eat what is in season and go to the farmers markets.  Going to the farmers markets is not only a way to get your groceries, it is an experience in itself.  Become friends with the farmers and really find out where your food comes from.  I also suggest planting your own garden.  It is such a satisfying feeling cooking a meal with all your own fresh yields.



Making a lifestyle change doesn’t have to be that hard.  Find a good support system and make a promise to yourself, you’ll be half way there.  If you have any other questions about become a vegetarian, I would love to answer them for you! :)

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie