Tag Archives: vegetarian

What I Ate Wednesday Post 3-18-15

Y’all.  Little League baseball season has started.  And I thought last year was rough!!

Whew.  7 year olds are grown up.  This is the first year they play with rules…and the first year they need a catcher…and guess who it is??? I’m so excited for McCall to start a new position.  He takes pride in working hard and being the best he can.

baseball

These spring days at the ball field remind me of my childhood, and my high school years chasin’ after this boy named Andrew Hydrick 😉

I love being a mom to boys. I truly do!

Speaking of boys–we have an extra 7 year old living with us for 10 days because his mama is out of the country.  Good thing they’re on the same baseball team!!!!

But let me tell you, I honestly, honestly need TONS of fuel to stay on top of the schedules and everything that comes with four boys in a house! The way I used to do that was with candy, and energy drinks, and diet coke, and sugar….That left me shaky and faint and with energy that roller coastered up and down.

That’s why you’ll see lots of photos coming up of fruits and veggies.  Y’all know I’ve been a vegan for a while, but I’m taking it up a notch with adding more raw meals, and eating a big plate of cooked food at night.  I’m not one of those vegans that thinks everyone should be.  I gladly cook bacon, and chicken, and turkey for my family.  For me, it truly is a personal choice, and where my body gets the most fuel and energy. I have spent years trying to figure it out–learning to change with the changes in my life.

If you are not a vegetarian, you could easily add a piece of grilled chicken or fish to some of these meals.  I do think, however, that whatever diet lifestyle you choose, that any time you can get more fruits and veggies in your diet, the better off you will be!

First thing in the morning I had a big mason jar of lemon infused water (and kept refilling it during the day–I ended up drinking 3 of the big jars’ worth). Then, as I drove the boys to school, I ate this apple and almond butter.

apple

On Tuesdays I have bible study, so this was my snack.  It was a whole 16 oz carton of organic strawberries sprinkled with coconut palm sugar.

strawberries

After bible study, I had planned to eat 2 bananas, but Beckham wanted one so I shared with him 🙂

bananas

I had one of those days where I literally had no time to breathe.  I didn’t have time to make myself a lunch, so while I was at Humanitree House picking up my weekly juices, I grabbed this smoothie and kale salad.  The smoothie was strawberries, blueberries, cacao powder, bee pollen (I still eat this as a vegan for allergy purposes!), and almond milk.

smoothie

Once I got the kids settled and in bed for naps, I enjoyed an episode of Drop Dead Diva (don’t judge 🙂 ) and my kale salad.  It was my ONLY breather moment of the day!

kale salad

Next it was off to one of FIVE baseball practices this week.  I snacked on these in the car.  I LOVE these dehydrated onions.  Onions happen to be one of my favorite vegetables anyways, but these taste like the healthier version of Funyuns.  You know what I’m talkin’ about–everyone’s favorite gas station splurge.  These are great as a snack or for a crunch on a salad!  Locally, I find them at Earth Fare, but you can also order them on Amazon.

onion rings

While my husband helped coach baseball practice, I took the two babies to the playground.  I rested on the bench with my St. Patty’s Day treat.  This juice is green, but it really does taste like lemonade.  It’s so refreshing!

green juice

Then it was home to fix a million dinners, do a million bedtimes, homework, brush teeth. Craziness.  It’s all craziness!!!  I managed to roast a sweet potato and a piece of corn (I just wrapped the corn in foil and added some coconut oil & spices) while all that was going on–and then added some leftovers to the plate (Shells n’ Cheese & Roasted Broccoli).

dinner

Eating like this has satisfied my palate in a way I’ve never experienced.  I don’t crave chocolate or sugar or candy or sweet tea at all.  I feel light, and full, and thankful.

Don’t forget about this week’s citrus infused water challenge….how are you doing??

I hope you enjoyed my post.  I say this every week, but these are my favorite posts I do.  Enjoy 🙂


Shells & Cheese

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I wouldn’t have made it through high school & college without Kraft Easy Mac.  Shoot, I wouldn’t have made it through my childhood with regular ole’ Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with ketchup on top (YES!) or Velveeta Shells n’ Cheese.

Between those things and Spaghettios, that was my diet.

I’m always open about my diet previous to eating a whole, real foods lifestyle to show you how far I’ve come. And far each of us can come.

I know that not everyone needs to stay away from dairy and gluten.  But for those that do, mac & cheese is one of those things that we just MISS.

I have made/tried many alternatives, and this happens to be my favorite.  I love Detoxinista’s version, but hers has cashews in it, which can become expensive.  Plus, I love having a nut-free option for those who need it.

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If you’ve never tasted Nutritional Yeast before, this might be a little bit of a different taste for your buds.  It’s not nearly as weird as its name sounds (I actually love it!) and you can find it in the organic section of the grocery store.  I prefer to buy mine from the bulk bins at a health food store.  It’s SUPER cheap that way!

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Unlike Kraft who uses chemicals and preservatives to create that yellow-y orange look, I use mustard, turmeric, mustard powder, and nutritional yeast to make these shells and cheese a bright yellow.  It’s creamy, it’s flavorful, it’s inexpensive, and it’s a wonderful alternative for those needing to avoid major allergens!

Optional add ins:  Roasted Broccoli or English Peas

Shells & Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • 2 T non-dairy butter (Earth Balance) or coconut oil
  • 2 T tapioca flour
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk for nut free version)
  • ½ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • ½ t dry mustard
  • ½ t turmeric
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t onion powder
  • 1½ t sea salt
  • 8 oz gluten free shells, cooked according to package directions
Instructions
  1. Melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the tapioca flour and whisk until thick roux forms.
  3. Gradually add in the milk, whisking until all lumps are gone.
  4. Bring to a slow boil.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add in all other ingredients and stir until well combined.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently stir until combined.
  8. Enjoy!

 

 


Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers

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I’m not naming names, ’cause I’m not like that.  But there’s this certain restaurant in town (one of the only ones to get a real handmade veggie patty) that has a big ole’ quinoa-based veggie burger.

The fries and sweet tea rock, but let me tell ya, the burger?  Eh.

Great flavor, but it’s missing one BIG thing.  Something to hold it all together.

Get yourself together veggie patty.

Take a bite and it comes squeezing out of the sides, and you’re left eating a big bite of tomato, onion, and gluten free bun.

Now, I’m not saying mine are perfect. But I have figured out the key to mine.  And that’s to keep the burgers on the smaller side, so all sides can get crispy.

The great thing about these burgers is that they really are easy to make.  You can actually taste the burger before you cook it (to adjust flavors) because there’s nothing harmful in them.

I don’t usually eat these with a bun, but you can!  Suggested toppings?  Avocado, caramelized or grilled onions, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, hickory BBQ sauce, honey mustard (vegenaise, Dijon mustard, raw honey).  Pick your fav and roll with it!

I also love to make the burger the topping of a salad.  It brings a little substance, especially if you’re extra hungry.

Before making this recipe, keep in mind you’ll need time to cook a sweet potato and millet (I LOVE millet!!), AND you’ll need 20 minutes to let them harden in the fridge.

My secret?  Cook the sweet potato and millet the night before as you’re cleaning up the kitchen and let it cool in the fridge all night.  Perfect solution.  You can also pre-make the patties and bake them when you’re ready.

Ok, on to the recipe.  I hope you enjoy!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers
 
Ingredients
To cook millet:
  • ¾ cup millet
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
To assemble the burgers:
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ¼ t ground black pepper
  • ½ cup organic cornmeal
Instructions
  1. It would be best to cook the sweet potato and millet the night before and let sit in the fridge all night....
  2. To cook millet, put ingredients in a medium pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 15 or so minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Put the black beans in a large bowl.
  7. Smash with a potato smasher or fork, leaving some whole beans.
  8. Peel the baked sweet potato, and place in the large bowl.
  9. Mix together.
  10. Add one cup of cooked millet. Depending on the size of your sweet potato, you may need more at the end if the mixture is too sticky. If not, store the rest in the refrigerator for another use.
  11. Add onion and spices. Mix well.
  12. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of mixture and mix well with hands.
  13. The mixture will be sticky, but not too sticky. If you need more millet or cornmeal, now is the time to add it.
  14. Using your hands, make 10 medium sized patties and place on baking sheet.
  15. Place in the refrigerator to harden for 20 minutes.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip burgers. Bake for another 15 until hardened.
  17. Enjoy!

 


Perfectly Baked Potatoes

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I remember a time when eating anything “white” was forbidden.  Oh the bondage of rules.

I actually really enjoy potatoes, maybe the fried ones a little too much.

But let me introduce another philosophy, one you may not agree with.  And that’s ok.

Instead of staying away from avocados because they are high in fat or from white potatoes because they are full of carbs, why not eat those foods (which are whole, real foods) in moderation and stay away from things like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Genetically Modified foods, etc?

It really does take the pressure off. 🙂

A perfectly baked potato can make a simple, filling meal.  We have them often and pair with a large, vegetable filled salad.  They also make a nice companion to soup!

For this recipe, you won’t need anything but some Russet baking potatoes, oil, and sea salt (and your oven).

Next time you need a quick dinner idea, try this one out.  We like to top with chili beans, dairy-free butter, sour cream or cream cheese made from cashews (if you eat dairy, a good organic version of those will work great!), and green onions.

Enjoy!

Perfectly Baked Potatoes
 
Ingredients
  • 4 organic Russet baking potatoes
  • 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With a fork, poke 12 holes (3 going down each side of the potato) in the potato.
  3. Put the olive oil in a bowl, and using your fingers, spread the oil all over the potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt generously on the potatoes.
  5. Place directly on the oven rack and bake for 60-70 minutes, flipping with tongs half way through.
  6. They will be ready when you can insert a sharp knife into the potato without any resistance.
  7. Split or cut in half and fill with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

 

 


Berry Dijon Kale Salad

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Do you want to know my first encounter with kale?

I was in Nashville about 5 years ago, and a foodie friend mentioned it.  I literally had NO IDEA what he was talking about.  I even went so far to think, “I will never, ever eat that.”  Yeah, I’ll never drive a mini-van either.

I have no idea what I was so afraid of.  It is kind of curly. And maybe a little intimidating. And a fad going on right now.

BUT, it’s not bad at all!  It has a different texture than lettuce; it’s coarser.  The good news about that?  You can make a salad (dressing and all) and it will not wilt in the refrigerator and get soggy.  In fact, I think kale salads are better the second day!

I eat many varieties of kale: in my smoothies, sauteed as a side dish, as “chips,” and as salads.

I love salads, but sometimes I do get bored with them.  Changing up dressings and lettuces and kinds of kale works well for me, though, even in the winter!

Here’s the one I’m diggin’ right now.  This recipe makes two salads for me (if eaten as a meal).  If I need extra protein (beyond the hemp seeds and almonds), I add an avocado or chickpeas.  You could also add shredded chicken!

2

*You can find Nutritional Yeast & hemp seeds in a health food store or organic section of a regular grocery store.  Don’t be afraid to google a product, ask for help at the store, or order from Amazon!

*I prefer my kale salads not drenched in sauce and dressings.  If you like a little more liquid, add more of the dressing ingredients to your liking!

Berry Dijon Kale Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 8 cups kale (I used curly green kale) washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • ½ T maple syrup
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T hulled hemp seeds
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. After you have washed and chopped your kale, let it dry on a kitchen towel, using another towel to get as much water out as possible.
  2. Put the kale in a large mixing bowl and pour olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt on top.
  3. Massage the kale WITH YOUR HANDS 🙂 Make sure to work the oil in to all the leaves!
  4. Add the Dijon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and nutritional yeast. Keep massaging until all of the ingredients are mixed well with the kale.
  5. Mix in dried and fresh fruit, almonds, carrots, and hemp seeds.
  6. You can eat immediately or let marinate for 20-30 minutes (up to overnight) before serving.
  7. This will be good in the fridge for 2-3 days after!