vegetarian · veggies

Vegging Out

Greeting faithful readers and new friends!

After a month on the road, eating and drinking everything in sight, I got sick. My body shut down and was like “we’re going to need a few weeks to fix this, dirt bag.” Someone I used to work with at an old restaurant job told me that eating meat isn’t good for your immune system while you’re sick. I don’t know if that’s true, but she was super fit and beautiful so I’m taking her word for it. Regardless of being sick, sometimes I like to give my body a break from meat. In western society we eat wayyyy too much and our over consumption is having major environmental repercussions. Not to mention it kinda sucks for all the animals that are bred into a life of misery just so we can put bacon on everything. Anyway, If you want to learn more about this kind of stuff watch a documentary.  I’m not judging meat eaters, by the way. I am a meat eater! (for now). I’m part of the problem!  But something fun happens when you eliminate meat from your diet. It forces you to get more creative in the kitchen. It forces you to put veggies front and centre. You fall in love with beans all over again! Who doesn’t want to have a romance with beans? I think that’s what Lady Gaga was singing about when she wrote Bad Romance…

I put myself to the test. Since Wednesday May 4th I’ve been eating vegetarian and I will continue until I got to Florida May 24. I’ve allowed myself to eat fish on occasion but since I started my vegetarian journey I’ve only had it once at a restaurant.

This is everything I ate this week, broken down into “basics”

IMG_2518

  1. Roast Veg

Roast your vegetables! Root veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes or radishes are great but other stuff like peppers or asparagus is delicious too.

Here are the rules:
-cut your veg into uniform pieces so they cook evenly
-toss them with olive oil and herbs/spices of your liking
-bake them on a lined pan at 375-400 for 30-40 minutes
-consult the internet for exact baking times if you’re not sure. I always kind of just eyeball it.

Once you have a bunch of roasted veg you can do whatever you want with it! Put roasted eggplant, peppers and zucchini between bread with a smear of goat cheese for a delicious sandwich. Toss them in pasta. Put them on pizza! The possibilities are endless. I put mine on a bed of spinach with a homemade red wine vinaigrette because I am trying so hard to undo all the poutine and eggs benedict I ate on tour.

IMG_2608

2. When in doubt, Mex it up!

What I mean by this is do a variation of Mexcian food. Salsa, corn tortillas, guacamole and beans are all delicious and relatively healthy. I found myself “mexing it up” quite a bit and I have no regrets.

Here are the rules:
-Buy (or make) salsa, corn tortillas, avocados and beans.
-Make a bunch of beans! Whatever you’re in to. I chose black beans because they’re versatile and yummy. Soak and cook them on your own, or buy canned.
-Make re-fried beans out of some of those beans! In a large frying pan, sauté onion, garlic and 2 cups cooked beans with a dash of cumin, chili powder and a few generous splashes of vegetable broth. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes adding more broth or water if necessary. Once cooled, blend it! Healthy re-friend beans to smear on anything you please.
-Fry up some tofu that’s been lightly dusted with chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.
-Build something taco-like.

I made tofu tacos using my fried tofu, guacamole, salsa, cheese and black beans!

IMG_2565

Then I made a huevos rancheros inspired dish with re-fried black beans, mozzarella, sunny side eggs, fresh tomato and tomatillo salsa. Once everything is prepared, these dishes come together so quickly!

IMG_2612

3. When in doubt, cheese!

I like cheese more than I like my husband. Ok, maybe I like them the same because the thought of living without either of them makes me want to cry.

Here are the rules:
-Put it on whatever you want. As mentioned in the previous recipes I used it on my tacos, my rancheros and I would have put feta or goat cheese on my roast veg salad if I had any.
-Pizza is your lover.

IMG_2614

Pizza is the reason I think I could be vegetarian forever. Take away my meat but DO NOT take away my dough and cheese. I made a delish veggie pizza using red onion, kalamata olives, mushrooms and tons of mozzarella. I had a ball of homemade dough that I froze (check out that blog post for the recipe!) but you can use store bought or even throw whatever toppings you want on a thick pita or naan.

IMG_2642

4. Let the famers be your guide.

IT’S FARMERS’ MARKET SEASON! Can you tell I’m excited??? In Canada, it’s early so pickins are slim. The market I went to barely had any fresh produce. I found a giant daikon radish so I thought why the Hell not. I also picked up some fiddle heads because these bad boys come HARD AND FAST. Blink and you’ll miss them. Their season is a mere 2 weeks.

Here are the rules:
-google the weird piece of produce you picked up
-built a meal around it
-apply rules 1 through 3 if necessary

Daikon radishes look like huge white potato carrots but tastes like a very mild radish. I julienned my daikon and added it with shaved carrot and sliced red pepper. I made up a quick dressing using a few dashes of fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, lime juice and avocado oil. Toss it all together, including a handful of spinach and top with baked tofu and avocado. Tada!

IMG_2696

Now let’s fiddle with the fiddle heads. Did you know you can’t eat them raw? DON’T DO IT. They can make you very sick. I put them in a boiling pot of water for 7 minutes and added them to a sauté of mushrooms, onion, red pepper and garlic with a splash or balsamic. Serve with a veggie burger (I like the portabello swiss ones from PC) and you’ve got yourself a fancy pants meal!

Last but not least…

5. Ch-ch-ch-chia!

Breakfast! The most important meal of the day. Did you know that you can make a simple chia pudding in less than 20 minutes? Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family and are easily digestible and full of all sorts of good stuff. Once you soak them in liquid, they turn into a tapioca-esque pudding. (but much better, in my opinion. They don’t have that slimy fish eye texture)

Here are the rules:
-1/4 cup chia to 1 cup liquid (soy milk, almond milk etc.)
-add a tablespoon or 2 of other fun stuff in there such as ground flax, hemp hearts etc.
-Shake up all the chia, liquid and fun stuff in a tupperware or mason jar an let sit for 15-20 minutes in the fridge
-top with fruit, nuts, honey etc.

IMG_2637

This is seriously so easy, tasty, healthy and filling! You can even make it the night before if you want. Maybe just add another dash of liquid so it doesn’t get too thick. I made my chia with soy milk, ground flax/hemp and topped it with fresh mango, blackberries, walnuts, cinnamon and honey. It exfoliates your insides! I guarantee this will keep you regular 😉

Speaking of regular, switch up your regular diet! Go veggie with me! Next week I’ll go into more specific recipes. I know some people have a hard time cooking without one, but I wanted to show you that all you need are a few basics to make a weeks worth of delicious vegetarian dishes.

Thanks again for eating with me! Let me know if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help if I can. Come back next week for more delicious vegetarian meals!

Veg ya later!

Julia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s