Tag: vegetarian

A Resolution Worth Keeping

As the year comes to an end, consider adding one more resolution to your list: Meatless Monday. 

I know many of you may be thinking that dinner is not dinner without meat, or that you won’t know what to cook (more on that later), but I hope you will see that the benefits of going a day without meat far outweigh any inconveniences.

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By cutting out meat just one day a week you will:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes. Basically, less meat = better health. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of choosing veggies over steak check out this article by ABC News, in conjunctuon with Health.com. Or, if you’re more of a visual learner, I highly recommend the documentary What the Health on Netflix!
  • Help the environment. By cutting down on your meat consumption, you will also be reducing greenhouse gases and your water use. According to EarthDay.org, “If you eat one less burger a week, it would be the equivalent to taking your car off the road for 320 miles.” So, by skipping meat you can feel less guilty about driving to the CVS around the block when you could have walked.
  • Minimize your grocery bill. Of course, this depends on what you replace meat with. You won’t see a significant difference if you choose to go out to eat every Monday or if you replace it with fake meat.
  • Save animals. If the demand for meat lowers, less animals will need to die for our food.

OK, so maybe you’re sold on cutting down on meat, but you’re still worried about what to eat instead. Thankfully there are tons of recipes online. If you’re in the mood for a specific dish, a quick Google search can tell you how to make it vegan/vegetarian. Another useful resource for recipes is YouTube; I find that the recipes tend to be much more user-friendly than what you would find elsewhere. I recommend watching some of Caitlin Shoemaker’s videos. She has a playlist of 74 vegan recipe videos – some of which are so easy that they can be made in a dorm room!

However, if you’re not up for searching, I have a few meal ideas to share with you here. I have to warn you – I hate cooking, so these are very simple recipes and they may not satisfy the hard-to-please!

  1. Taco Night! If you usually do Taco Tuesday, switch it to Monday and take out the meat. This is my favorite thing to make and eat because it’s cheap, but still so filling and delicious! Here’s what I usually have:
    • Corn and Wheat Tortillas from Trader Joe’s
    • Black beans (canned)
    • Pico de Gallo (also from Trader Joe’s, but if I don’t want to spend the $$ I just chop up some tomatoes #broke)
    • White rice
    • Guacamole
    • *If you find you’re really missing beef on taco night, I recommend Trader Joe’s Beef-less Crumbles. The crumbles do look a bit unappetizing at first, but once they’re cooked they taste great!
    • *The taco kits that you can buy in the supermarket come with taco shells and seasoning (all completely vegan). Just add the seasoning to the beans or the beef-less crumble and you’re halfway there!
  2. Fake Meat. I go through phases with fake meat. I either don’t touch it for years or I eat it once a week. Lately, it’s been the latter and I have been really into all of Gardien’s products, which can be found in most grocery stores. Specifically, I really like their Crispy Tenders and their Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n. Cook any of these fake meats, then add some rice and veggies and you have a quick + easy meatless meal!
  3. Pasta. This is my go-to meal when I’m feeling lazy. It requires a long list of ingredients, so get ready! You will need:
    • Pasta (I try to buy a “healthier” pasta when I can, like gluten free or brown rice pasta)
    • Jarred sauce (be sure to check that there’s no meat in it)
    • A fresh baguette so that you don’t feel too lame
    • Vegan Parmesan cheese (or regular if you’re not trying to cut out dairy).
  4. Stir fry. Start with a base of rice and a protein (beans, tofu, or my personal favorite -seitan) and then go where you want with it! Add in some veggies and then add any kind of flavor, like soy sauce or an Indian simmer sauce (I love the goan coconut one that I discovered from Thrive Market).
  5. Pizza.  If you’re okay with dairy, you can order pizza from your local pizza place and as long as you skip pepperoni or sausage it’s meatless! So easy, right? However, if you want to save some money and opt for the dairy-free option, here’s what you’ll need:
    • Pizza crust (Almost all grocery stores carry pizza crusts, but I prefer the ones from Trader Joe’s.)
    • Jarred sauce (Don’t forget to check the label for milk or meat.)
    • Vegan cheese (There’s a bunch of different kinds, but my favorite is Daiya cheese, which can be found at Whole Food’s.)
    • Fresh basil (If you want to mix things up and get a little fancy.)

I hope this helps! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help with your resolution or if you have questions about something written here.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!

For more information on Meatless Monday, visit Meatlessmonday.com

xx

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Veggie Burger

In a previous post I mentioned that I didn’t like any frozen veggie burgers, but I recently found one that I like – the veggie burgers by Morning Star are amazing! The reason I love them so much is because they don’t try to be a burger. Morning Star seems to realize thatImage veggie burgers are not meat and therefore will never taste like meat – and from this they have created a delicious, and satisfying, veggie burger. Side note: I cooked mine on my new panini grill and if you don’t have access to an actual grill I definitely recommend purchasing one, they are very handy! I have the one made by Sunbeam and not only does it work great but it’s also super easy to use.

xx

Cait

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My Go To Quick Meal

Between school, work, and friends it’s hard to find time to cook and that too often means sacrificing eating healthy. However I’ve recently found (and became obsessed with) the vegetable dumplings and Untitledvegetable spring rolls from Whole Foods. I know these aren’t the healthiest option out there but they are better than grabbing a bagel or slice of pizza which I usually opt for when I”m in a hurry. The dumplings are 4.99 and although it says to heat them up I always eat them cold and they are just as good! They also have chicken and pork dumplings for non-vegetarians :).

If I’m feeling really hungry I also grab vegetable spring rolls which are also 4.99 and they come with a delicious and light dipping sauce! Next time you’re in Whole Foods and looking for a quick snack or meal, consider trying these out! The dumplings can be found near the sushi and the spring rolls are where the other quick to-go food is by the drinks.

 

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Meat Free Meat

A big question I get about being vegetarian is whether I not I miss eating meat or not. Overall the answer to that question is “no”. However, I do get rare cravings for one particular item: chicken nuggets. Luckily for me, supermarkets carry meat substitutes that are tasty and satisfying. Here are my recommendations of my favorite meatless meat items!

1. Quorn chicken nuggets. I have tried a few different brands of fake chicken andImage this is by far the best, especially if you take the time to put them in the oven! ( I also love this brands chicken cutlets, they have one with cheese underneath the crust mm!)

2. Quorn Meatballs. Okay, so I really like this brand. I was really hesitant to try meat free meatballs but to my surprise they were delicious! I literally couldn’t stop eating them and they are a great addition to a quick pasta!

3. Lightlife Smartdogs. Veggie hotdogs sound gross, I know, but trust me they are great!Image They are my favorite thing to bring to barbeques when everyone else is eating hamburgers and real hotdogs. A few of my (very against being vegetarian) guy friends have tried these and approved (secretly of course haha).

4. Smashburger’s Veggie burger. So I know this isn’t a do it yourself one but I have tried a lot of veggie burgers from a lot of different places and I have to say that this is my favorite. ImageThe best part is that it’s customizable. I like mine with avocados!

5. EVOL burritos. These are delicious and quick! Make sure you pick up one that’s labeled vegetarian or vegan.

Do you have any favorite vegetarian/vegan items?

xx

        Cait

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