Today we continue the “Easy ways to eat more veggies (and fruits)” series, featuring tips on how to get move veggies into your busy lifestyle.
Find veggie alternatives for a less-healthful ingredient. Instead of serving tacos in flour tortillas, serve them in iceberg lettuce leaves or artisan lettuce “cups” (think lettuce wrap). Instead of stuffing tuna salad into a pita, serve it over a green salad. Load up that omelet with diced tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers and scale back the cheese.
Source: Tammy’s Recipes
Thanks to a loyal reader Kellye King for this Meatless Monday recipe! To reward Kellye for her loyalty she will receive this 16 oz recycled and recycable travel mug.
Remember all it takes to win is to subscribe, it’s that easy.
Stay tuned for exciting new giveaways in 2012.
Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing
Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. Edamame makes a tasty substitute for lima beans in this recipe. For an attractive presentation, serve the salad on a bed of baby greens or spinach.
Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 3 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
- 1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans
- 4 cups chopped tomato (about 3 medium)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat.
- Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté tofu 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool completely.
- Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, basil, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Stir in quinoa.
- Cook lima beans according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Cool completely. Add the lima beans, tofu, chopped tomato, green onions, chopped carrot, and black beans to quinoa mixture; stir gently to combine. Store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Source: My Recipes.com
Here’s a tip from Allrecipes.com
Turn any recipe into a veggie one by replacing the meat with a vegetarian alternative. Looking for a new stir-fry? Convert a chicken or beef stir fry to vegetarian by substituting tofu or mycoprotein (a protein derived from mushrooms) for the meat. Love your father’s famous chili? Use textured vegetable protein (TVP) for the ground beef.
I have found this is very easy to do. On Meatless Mondays instead of ground turkey or beef I’ll used sautéed vegetables in spaghetti. My favorite substitution is grilled veggies in my quesadillas instead of meat. I like it so much I don’t even need a menu when we order at a Mexican restaurant….I always order a veggie quesadilla.
- 3 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
- 1/4 cup onions, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- jalapeno pepper sauce, to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, mix avocados, onions, and garlic salt.
- Arrange corn tortillas in a single layer on a large baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven 2 to 5 minutes, until heated through.
- Spread tortillas with the avocado mixture. Garnish with cilantro and sprinkle with jalapeno pepper sauce.
I am “learning” to eat avocados! I think this would be a good starter recipe. It gives you the basics….feel free to add lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, black beans, chiles, lime, or cheese.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
One of my favorite Valentine’s Day treats (or any day for that matter) is chocolate covered strawberries. Until I began my Meatless Monday journey I never gave much thought to what type of chocolate I used to make these delicacies. But I have learned that even non-dairy eaters can enjoy chocolate covered strawberries, by using vegan chocolate! So whether you prefer a vegan or more traditional lifestyle (try Hershey’s) you can enjoy this recipe.
Vegan Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) 365 Everyday Value® Semi-Sweet Vegan Chocolate Chips
Line a plate with wax paper or parchment. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl or measuring cup and microwave on high, 1 to 2 minutes, or until melted and very smooth, stopping to stir about every 20 seconds. One at a time, dip strawberries into melted chocolate and place on the prepared plate. Refrigerate about 10 minutes to harden. Store covered and refrigerated up to 1 day.
Source: Whole Foods Market
Photo Source: Mary’s Healthy Blog
RecycleMania trivia question: The energy saved from recycling one aluminum can is enough to run a television for how many hours?
Comment on this post with the correct answer for a chance to win a prize from the Office of Sustainability. The winner will by randomly chosen from correct answers submitted by 5 pm (EST) on February 15, 2011. (Note: Prize must be picked up in the Office of Sustainability).
This New York Times article gives a great tip for starting your “meatless” journey. Instead of making meat the star of your show/meal give it a supporting role. Start by altering your portions. Rather than buying thick porkchops try a skinnier cut or try a smaller portion of steak. Build your meal around side dishes; veggies, grains, beans salads or a fruit dessert.
Recipe of the Day: Avocado Dip
- 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup picante sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Tortilla chips
- In a small bowl, mash avocados and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the yogurt, picante sauce, lime juice, salt and garlic powder. Serve with chips. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2-1/2 cups.
Source: NY Times.com
Recipe: Taste of Home
Food (or veggies) for thought: Did you know that about 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions are related to meat consumption?
Recipe of the day
Black Bean Burritos
- 2 (10 inch) flour tortillas
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno peppers
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven heated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Place onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos in skillet, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour beans into skillet, cook 3 minutes stirring.
- Cut cream cheese into cubes and add to skillet with salt. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir cilantro into mixture.
- Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla and roll tortillas up. Serve immediately.
To make this recipe my own I would add cumin, tomatoes (or salsa), rice and I would substitute the cream cheese for a shredded cheese blend. What would you add?
As my Meatless Monday journey continues I find myself eating more fruits and vegetables (instead of chips and cookies). The one thing I didn’t factor in was if I was properly washing these foods.
How to Properly Wash Fruits and Vegetables
All fruits and veggies
- Do Rinse all produce under running tap water while rubbing it with your hand.
- Don’t fill the sink with water and let produce sit.
Produce with Rinds, Grooves or Waxy Skin (melons, cucumbers, winter squash, citrus and potatoes)
- Do scrub this produce with a brush.
- Rubbing these foods my remove dirt but will not remove pathogens which may be stuck to the wax (this is where the brush comes in).
- Do rinse bananas, there has not yet been a specific outbreak linked to bananas but think of how many hands may have touched your banana before you.
Leafy Bunched Vegetables (lettuce, cabbage)
- Do discard the outer layer of leaves before thoroughly rinsing the leaves in water.
- Continue to rinse the leaves until dirt is no longer visible and then spin in a veggie dryer.
- If lettuce is bagged and marked “ready to eat” according to the FDA, its safe to eat without rewashing it. Some experts disagree and urge consumers to wash all “ready to eat” veggies.
Bunched Fruit (grapes, blueberries)
- Rinse under running water in a colander (so all of your fruit doesn’t end going down the drain).
- Using a spray nozzle will give a more thorough cleaning.
One great overall tip was to NEVER taste fruit or vegetables in the store before they are washed (i.e tasting the grapes before you purchase them). The most surprising of these tips was rewashing the “ready to eat” veggies. Before reading this article I never rewashed the bagged lettuce (or washed bananas)…but I will start. What about you, do you rewash foods that are identified as “ready to eat”?
- 2 cups uncooked penne or medium tube pasta
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
- 1 small zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onion, summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in butter until tender.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings and cream until smooth; add to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
Being new to Meatless Monday’s, I find myself challenged when I have to eat fast food. At a restaurant there is usually a vegetarian section with lots of great choices but fast food menu’s don’t always highlight their veggie options. Looks like Chick-fil-A wants vegetarians and meat-eaters alike to enjoy their food.
In the FAQ section of the Chick-fil-A website the following question is answered. It even goes further to list the vegetarian and vegan menu options. It would be nice if this was highlighted on the menu as well…it would be easier to see your options and choose veggie meals even when it’s not Meatless Monday.
Q. What are some Chick-fil-a menu items that are for vegetarian/vegan diets?
A. We understand that vegetarians have special dietary needs and want them to enjoy our menu while adhering to their diet. Restaurants try very hard to accommodate customers with special requests. We offer several items that can be modified to fit into a vegetarian and vegan diet. However, because special requests are not already prepared please call your local restaurant ahead of time to order your meal or be prepared to wait a few minutes for your item to be specially made.
Do you know of any fast food restaurants that feature veggie meals?
Recipe of the day
Broccoli-Stuffed Ricotta Shells
- 6 cups coarsely chopped broccoli flowerets and peeled stems
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 2 cups part skim milk ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs* 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 28 Jumbo Pasta shells (7 oz. Total)
- 4 cups marinara or meatless spaghetti sauce
* Replacing the 2 eggs with 4 egg whites will lower the cholesterol and calorie content of this recipe.
Prepare sauce. In large saucepan, cook broccoli in 1 inch boiling water 8-10 minutes or until tender; drain. Finely chop broccoli in a food processor or with a heavy knife; set aside. In a small skillet sprayed with Pam, over medium heat, saut onion and garlic: cook until onion is soft. Remove from heat; cool. In a large bowl, stir ricotta cheese and eggs together until well blended. Add pepper, rosemary, nutmeg, onion and chopped broccoli. Mix well. Cook pasta shells 8-10 minutes or until tender, but firm to the bite. Drain and rinse with cold water. Stuff each shell with 2 1/2 tablespoons of broccoli mixture. Pour 1/2 of sauce into a 9×13 inch pan. Arrange filled shells in sauce and spoon remaining sauce on top. Cover and bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes. Yields 8 servings.
Recipe Source: Lifespan.org
I hope that everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. As I look back on all the “goodies” I had this holiday I am pretty excited to participate in Meatless Monday’s and get back to eating healthier (at least until Christmas).
Whenever I go to a restaurant with someone for the first time I find it interesting to hear how they like their water…”water with lemon”, “water with lemon but no ice” , “water no lemon, no ice” or even “water with ice, no lemon”.
I’m a “water with lemon” type of person because I like the taste but it looks like lemons are quite beneficial.
- Lemons are antiseptic
- Lemon water has excellent digestive properties and can ease heartburn, bloating and other digestion problems
- Lemon water cleanses and stimulates the liver and kidneys
- Lemon juice contains calcium, magnesium and potassium
- Lemon juice has been known to relieve asthma
- Lemon water (hot) offers relief from cold and flu symptoms while providing some much needed Vitamin C
- Lemon juice is a great skin cleanser
How do you like your water?
Asparagus and Lemon Risotto with Arugula Recipe
serves about 4
10 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups chopped asparagus
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups arborio or carnaroli or vialone rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup arugula leaves, shredded
1/4 cup or more grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Place vegetable stock on a large pot and bring to a gentle boil. Place the chopped asparagus in the stock and blanch for about a minute. Asparagus should be bright green and still crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus from the stock and keep aside. Reduce heat and keep the stock on simmer.
In a skillet, heat the butter and add arborio rice. Stir the rice on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or till it is fragrant (but don’t let the rice brown). Add wine to the rice and let is bubble away. When most the wine has evaporated, add one ladle of the simmering stock to the rice. Cook on medium-high heat. When the rice has absorbed most the stock, add another ladle full of stock. Repeat this process till the rice has cooked through (you may not use up all the stock). Check the rice for doneness as you go. When the rice is done, stir in arugula, parmesan, lemon juice, zest and salt.
Recipe Source: Veggiebelly.com
Thanks to HappyCow.net there is an easy way to find vege-friendly restaurants in the Atlanta Metro Area. Did any of your favorite restaurants make the list?
Meatless Monday Recipe of the Day……..
Baked Potato Soup
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup half-and-half cream
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- Shredded Cheddar cheese
- Minced fresh parsley
Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with cheese and parsley.