Meatless Monday

It’s ‘Meatless Monday’ every day for me, but even if you aren’t a Vegetarian or Vegan, there’s still wonderful health benefits from removing meat products from your diet one day a week (less cholesterol, less fat, etc…). I thought I’d share some amazing pins from Pinterest just in case you’re looking for new meatless recipes! You can find some FABULOUS meal ideas online. So good, in fact, that you won’t miss meat on Mondays ever again!


Breakfast

blog-breakfast2The Pumpkin Pancake. One of our family’s faves. Super easy to make with no egg or dairy. I use a pancake mix from Trader Joe’s with Almond milk. Instead of egg, I add a cup of pumpkin puree. Fluffy and filling. Comes out DELISH. Even the kids gobble this one up. Great topped with vegan butter and agave syrup. For a side we often add some chopped fruit. Fiber-packed and full of energy!

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blog-breakfast3Cold breakfast. Yum. Often times we forget that nature has provided us with plenty of simple meals you can pick right off a tree. There’s no way to go wrong with a fruit salad; just combine the fruits you have (cleaned, chopped or sliced) into a medley, and add whatever toppings or base you want. This can be yogurt, cottage cheese, granola, nuts, etc…or go au naturel and just eat the fruit whole.


LUNCH

blog-lunch2Who doesn’t love burritos? Beans are a fantastic protein source, and there are a ton to choose from. Add a healthy serving of freshly chopped or grilled veggies, rice, and grated cheese (some vegan cheese melt just like the real thing and taste yum) or a vegan sour cream wrapped in a tortilla of your choice and you’ve got yourself a meal!

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blog-lunch3Vegetarians and Vegans aren’t rabbits, yet there’s this misconception that like rabbits, we sit around munching on greens all day long. Um, we don’t. But we do need them, and a fun way to get greens into a diet is in a salad. Though I’ve only met ONE vegetarian that didn’t like salads, they stand to be one of my favorite meals because you can put anything and everything in a salad – including fruit! Experiment. Toss nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, or anything else you have in your fridge on top a bed of romaine, arugula or spinach to make a yummy and colorful meal. Play with the dressings too – a sweet dressing can make all the difference with your taste buds!


DINNER

blog-dinner1Most meat-eaters I know assume that dinner means you MUST have a meat of some sort on the plate to consider it a real meal. Not true. If it’s the protein you’re looking for, there are tons of recipes heavy on protein to satisfy an empty stomach that tastes good. Don’t knock the tofu, people. It’s a versatile food that you can do anything with. But if you’re REALLY stuck on something that resembles chicken or beef, you can try one of my favorite brands for the ‘meat’ on your plate. I love me some Gardein. The food is meat-free, tastes amazing, and I get mine from Target. So easy!

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blog-dinner3Use foods in a different way to make them interesting again. If the words ‘Chipotle Quinoa Sweet Potato Tacos with Roasted Cranberry Pomegranate Salsa’ sounds iffy to you, then look at the picture on the left and try NOT to drool. Thanks go to ‘Half Baked Harvest’ for this one. *grabby hands*

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blog-dinner2I love eggplant pizzas. They’re one of my favorite foods, seriously. Imagination will take you anywhere with these, but I like to slice the eggplant, dribble some garlic and oil on top, then layer with tomato sauce (or bruschetta), basil leaves and mozzarella cheese, with more olive oil and seasonings sprinkled on top. Bake in the oven till the top is lightly browned crusty…and OMG…NOM.


DESSERT

blog-dessert1I have a sweet-tooth, that’s for sure. There’s nothing quite like warm cake or creamy chocolate, but as a vegetarian, I’m constantly looking for those recipes that don’t need egg or gelatin or anything else questionable for my diet. It took me a while to realize that almost ANY dish can be made vegan. So, now I pin most desserts or treats that look yummy, and tweak them if I need to, for my liking. Here’s a pic of my chocolate covered peanut-butter balls. SO good.

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blog-dessert3Dessert can be a little healthy too. If you have kids (or picky adult eaters in the house), then you know how hard it can be to get everyone to eat well. This doesn’t mean you can’t add something healthy into your favorite treats, and desserts are a great way to do this! Throw in some quinoa, zucchini, carrot, veggie puree, etc… and turn that sweet into a healthier treat.


Most of the images above are taken directly from pins others have shared publicly on Pinterest from websites, blogs, and personal kitchens (some are mine). Feel free to click on the images to follow their links to their original source, though obviously I can’t speak for the validity of these sites.

Want more? Check out my Pinterest food boards for a fabulous collection of more recipes and delicious meat-free foods! Keep in mind that ANY food can be made vegan. The market has so many great options now for dairy and meat replacements, your head could spin. Literally.

EATS

SWEETS

DRINKS

Pumpkin Pancakes!

Happy Meatless Monday, y’all!

Today for my family I made one of our favorites: Pumpkin Pancakes. Even my stubborn, food snob, picky-eating 5 year-old son loves these things. They are easy to make, better for you than regular pancakes and Vegan!

So, to start, measure out your regular pancake mix for 4-6 servings and put into a large mixing bowl. Then add the following:

  • 2 cups of water (give or take, depending on how thin you want your pancakes)
  • Add half a can of pureed pumpkin
  • Cinnamon Sugar to taste (I use 2 tsp)

Mix well until most lumps are smooth. You want your batter to be thin enough to pour, so you may have to add more water until you have a desired consistency. Cook as usual, butter/margarine/syrup as usual, but keep in mind that pumpkin is very filling, so you won’t want to over-serve the family.

What are the benefits of pureed pumpkin? Check out what Livestrong has to say:

  • Low in calories (major bonus!)
  • Excellent source of Fiber (7 grams in one cup serving, which meets up to 18-33% of daily health needs)
  • Loads of Vitamin A (great for vision, immune system, heart, lungs and kidneys, not to mention its a beta-carotene)
  • Iron (3.4 milligrams in one cup)

We keep several cans of pureed pumpkin in the cupboards at all times – because we use it a lot and it’s not always easy to find at our local Trader Joe’s. Hope you give them a try if you haven’t already! YUMMY!!

Happy eating, everyone!

Why I’m A Foodie

I’m here! What, you mean you weren’t waiting for me? And where’s the photographer? The make-up artist? Really? Not even the tea boy? Shakes head and shrugs. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to get my own tea. Trish, you really need to get a tea-boy. Grumbles some more and settles into Trish’s blog.

Hmmm….now when Trish asked me to do a guest post, I was all “Say what?!” and other such 90’s sayings, because that’s how I roll. And I was very excited because I got to be on my lovely friend Trish’s blog! But we’re going off track here, and that won’t do at all because I haven’t got a compass. Plus we’re not going anywhere.

I thought I would talk about one of my other passions apart from writing-no not that, you dirty gits! Food. Because I am a complete foodie. I am the annoying person sat at your table who not only knows the best food to go with the way the wind is blowing, or even the best wine to go with said food, but will even taste the wine and tell you it tastes of leprechaun tears. But this isn’t to say that I am a food snob either, I love some of the food you shouldn’t have as well! If you ever come to my part of the world, just ask for a ‘Parmo’, and you’ll know what I mean! But food should be three things; fresh, natural, and tasty.

Now as Trish is not a disgusting carnivorous wretch like I am, I thought I would talk about some of the most delicious food I like which is at the very least vegetarian. (It may not be vegan though, I’m afraid I must eat cheese otherwise my head might explode. What? It may happen, you don’t know. Do you want my cheese-related death on your hands? No? Then be quiet.)

I used to work as a sous chef in an Italian restaurant as one of my many varied jobs before becoming a starving writer. (See what I did there?) Does a snigger, but gets a slow shake of the head from Trish…Okay, that was a rubbish joke. BUT it was an amazing job. While I didn’t enjoy being shouted at like the boat was sinking, I learnt some wonderful recipes, and constantly got to try different things every day. And yes, I did put on 5 pounds. But I also found out my favourite food of all-Italian. And although I can’t choose just one, my favourite pasta of all time is……..drum roll…..ricotta and spinach tortellini. Which believe me, is a big deal when you like rare steaks.

Food has never been a comfort for me, but it very well could have been. When I was younger, my parents didn’t have a lot of money. No, we weren’t on the breadline, we were dangling from it by a crust. And we always had the cheapest food possible, and not that much of it. I remember times where we would search for coppers down the back of the sofa to get milk. Now that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Now I’m not saying this to get you all weepy, because that would mean I have to hunt you down, give you a sharp rap on the back of the head, and tell you to buckle up and stop being such a girl. I’m telling you this to explain why I appreciate the taste of good food. Trish comes in with a miniature violin, offers it. I shake my head. She then sighs and walks back out, seeing that everyone’s eyes are still dry.

So because of this, as soon as I could afford to get my own food, I decided I was going to try as many things as possible. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, and I remember making little cakes as a child with my nana in her kitchen. And then I remember eating them. That bit is much more vivid. In fact, she may have made them and I ate them, but I still enjoy cooking now.

Smell is also a huge trigger for me, especially spices and seasonings. No joke, I will stand and sniff any new spices I buy when I get them. What? Don’t look at me like that, it’s spices, not a shoe. That’s why another favourite of mine is curry, when the kitchen is full of fragrant delicious smells, tantalizing your nostrils as you sit and ponder about the greater things in life, such as why an unladen African swallow might have a higher air speed velocity than a European swallow. Or if they could carry a coconut between them. See, I brought it back to food.

So I’ll wrap this up. Like a tortilla. Yum. Basically, one of my other passions is food, and maybe a little humour. Maybe. Because food is not just something we shove in our mouths to stop the tummy monster growling at us, but it’s a pleasure. One to be taken in moderation, obviously. (Unless you really like lettuce. Then you can have as much as you like.) But it is one of life’s great wonders, that we are able to taste such a vivid palette from the Earth, and I really do pity all those ladies who feel the need to go on a diet, because they will miss out.

So, thank you for letting me ramble on, and listening to me sort of telling you why I’m a die-hard foodie. And thank you Trish, for letting me sit in your squishy leather swivel chair. I may have spun on it a few times. The tear was not me.

However, the Irish stew in the kitchen was. 🙂

Thank you Miss Miranda Stork for joining us today!! You were amazing as always! If you are dying to know more about Miranda and her books, you can find her at these wonderful places: FacebookFacebook Author Page, Twitter, Goodreads  and Amazon! Thanks again for stopping by Miranda! 🙂