I don't know about you, but I've tried and failed to go vegetarian off and on my whole adult life. One major issue is that I always end up anemic! Every. Time. I finally took the problem to the Facebook hivemind, and some vegetarian friends informed me I need to slowly wean my body from meat and that I should also consider adding a liquid iron supplement to my diet. In the meantime, I've stopped calling myself a vegetarian but continue to eat mostly vegetarian with some vegan meals thrown in.
After all, vegan or not, for every pound of beef you don't eat, you save the planet a whopping 2,500-5,000 gallons of water! Don't worry about going officially vegan/ vegetarian if the word or concept or lifestyle freaks you out. Start off by eating less meat and see how you feel. Have you ever noticed how if you're feeling bloated or sluggish how great a vegan meal can make you feel? Plus, as a non-chef myself, I am delighted to report that non-meat recipes are not only easier to digest but also SO much easier to make and, even better, to clean up. I could go into other benefits: weight loss, clearer skin, more energy, a brighter outlook, but I think we all know that stuff at this point. It's the nitty gritty daily dietary changes that can be hard to make without some easy, go-to dishes under our belt. So don't be too hard on yourself (or that's what I tell myself). It takes a while to change habits! And like I mentioned, every meal you don't eat meat you're saving an amazing amount of water! Now here's two easy recipes to help make your resolutions a reality. The first recipe I like to call...
A Green Smoothie That Doesn't Taste Like a Disgusting Bitter Salad Because Mmmm Peanut Butter
I found the original recipe of this green smoothie in a healthy living magazine. You can really tinker with this one and end up with dozens of delicious variations. My favorite is this addictive variation with peanut butter, greens, coconut water, and frozen fruit!
1 bag of frozen berries
(I like the blue kind, because the final mixture ends up purple, and I can tell my toddler it's Twilight Sparkle Ice Cream and get her to consume kale, guys. KALE!)
2 tablespoons of almond butter
(Peanut butter works equally well and is highly, HIGHLY motivating towards prodding you to actually make this thing. Do not skimp on this part!)
2 handfuls of fresh kale leaves
1 small container of coconut water
*Optional 1 handful of sunflower seeds & a pouch/ dollop of applesauce: I just like the texture and flavor!
Mix on high until well blended. Add a handful of ice cubes if desired and mix again until smooth. So filling. So delicious. So healthy. Enjoy!
Mémé's Traditional Vegan Soup
A French Peasant Supper Staple! Easy! Delicious! And surprisingly vegan (if you don't count the cheese plate that always follows it)!
1 yellow onion
2 leeks Or add another onion if leeks are unavailable.
1-2 small potatoes
*This is the big, traditional (and kinda stinky) peasant ingredient. You can use less or more depending on how big you want the soup to be or how much you like cabbage. Both my French father and my American husband have ended up cutting cabbage out of the recipe entirely. My French dad uses zucchini instead, and my American man uses only the sweet potato.
1 sweet potato
Another addition from my American husband. My grandmother didn't use it, but you can of course season this to your taste. I personally LOVE my husband's version, because it's tasty enough to eat without needed cheese. My grandmother's version was less filling, but French people tend to have a cheese plate after supper.
Just three steps! Chop! Boil! Blend! Chop the veggies up in smallish chunks. Throw them in a pot and top them with filtered water. Let it boil until soft. After, blend the soft veggies with whatever you have at hand (I LOVE our electric hand mixer. Best $29 investment ever.) Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste! This recipe usually lasts me 3-5 days with a quick lunch here and an easy dinner there! Best of all: it tastes even better the day after you make it. I've also recently started adding dried red pepper flakes. My husband will sometimes adds sherry vinegar to his.
Do you have any easy go-to vegan dishes you'd recommend? We're always looking to add more to our repertoire!
Hope you guys enjoy!
After spending a beautiful afternoon apple-picking, we decided to get adventurous with our
bounty – and WOW – did we ever find the perfect autumn comfort dish. Thanks to our friend
Onna (check her out at http://fullandhappy.com/about.html), we were able to find a perfect
dish for our apples (besides the apple pie of course!) that also uses another one of our fall
favorites: Butternut Squash.
This soup will have your whole home smelling like fall. One amazing find we made on our apple
picking adventure was a homemade Sweet Hot Pepper Relish. This dish is so packed with
flavor, we though a little sweet heat would be the perfect compliment. Was it ever!
Ingredients (serves 4 adults easily):
2.5 pounds butternut squash (1 large or 2 small squash)
1 Tablespoon salt
½ cup of olive oil
4-6 apples, peeled and diced (any will work - but Granny Smith is the best IMO)
2 leeks, the white and light green parts
12 sprigs fresh thyme, picked – or however many you like!
¼ cup sherry wine, marsala wine, or dry white wine (you should be drinking white wine
while cooking anyway so just pour some out of your glass!)
2 cans of regular coconut milk
32 oz of Vegetable stock
¼ cup raw sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Dollop of Sweet Hot Pepper Relish (if you can find it)!
Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the
seeds. Generously rub the flesh with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Roast face-up at 425 for about 40-45 minutes, the key here is to make sure the flesh has
a nice browning on the outside.
Peel and dice the apples, and chop the leeks
In a large stock pot saute the apples and leeks in olive oil until they are lightly browned,
and the apples are soft – about 8 minutes
Add the Thyme and white wine to help scrap the tasty bits off of the bottom of the pot
Add the coconut milk, and lower the temperature to simmer for 15 minutes
Once the squash is roasted, take it from the oven and scrape out the flesh and put it
into the pot (if it is cook properly you should be able to do this with a spoon easily
Add the sugar and vegetable stock and simmer for another 15 minutes
Once it is cooked, blend it with a hand blender, or in a standing blender
Super Surprise: This soup (if you use 6 apples) will be nice and thick. That means once it is in
the fridge (if you have leftovers) it will thicken even more and make a delicious apple saucy
Pairing suggestion: for the kids, and our kids loved this dish – a grilled cheese with a nice cheddar is divine!
Isabella & Ryan
This is the one section Isabella is currently collaborating on with another. She's learning to cook, while her husband is already an excellent chef. You can follow Ryan on Pinterest: @rmccaffr