Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book: A Teen's Guide to Going Vegetarian

I've got another great book! It's called "A Teen's Guide to Going Vegetarian", and its by Judy Krizmanic. This book has all kinds of helpful information for teens wanting to give vegetarianism a try. It has tips on getting enough protein, choosing which category of vegetarians you fall into, and how to deal with your parents' and friends' reaction to your decision to go veggie. It also tells how to deal with situations such as when your friend's parents invite you over for dinner or dating a meat eater. This book was published in 1994, so there are a few magazines, books, and organizations that don't exist anymore, but other than that, the information in this book is superb. I think this book was written by a vegan, so most of the recipes in it are vegan. There aren't that many of them, but most of them are good. I recommend this book to any vegetarian wannabe!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Spotlight Food: Smoothies

Okay, I'm going to start this little thing called, "Spotlight Food" It's where I'm going to write all about a food that deserves the spotlight.

Smoothies:
Smoothies are great, because they can provide all the nutrients needed in a meal in one cup! You can add tofu, spinach, or other nutritional food to them, and the best part is, you don't even taste it! Smoothies can be made with fruit or vegetables. Personally, I like them with fruit better, but that's just my opinion. You can put pretty much whatever you want in them; they most always taste great! I'll get you started, and put a basic smoothie recipe here. This recipe is really versatile, so put whatever you think will taste good!

Basic Smoothie Recipe:
1 banana
1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit (I like to use strawberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries)
1/2 cup of milk or juice (sometimes I use a little bit of both!)
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 cups of ice (if you are using fresh fruit, your might want to add more)
1/4 cup sugar (this is optional)
1/2 cup of tofu, spinach, etc... (this is optional too)

1. Throw all ingredients into a blender, and press the liquefy button. If your blender does not have this option, try puree, blend, etc... Pour into a glass and serve!

I'm pretty sure this recipe serves 1, but it might serve more. You can alter it to make more or less smoothie!

You can replace the yogurt for tofu if you are a vegan. If you do that, this recipe is vegan!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pizza Recipe!

Do you know anyone who doesn't like pizza??? I don't! If you're trying to get you're little brothers or sisters to like your cooking, this is a great recipe to win them over with!
I got this recipe from "Hold The Anchovies" by Shelley Rotner and Julia Pemberton Hellums.

For One 12" Crust
1 package (1/4 oz) Rapid-Rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, plus some extra for bowl and pan

Toppings:
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of your choice toppings! (pinapple, extra cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, ect...)

1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; let stand 2 minutes, until bubbles form
2. Place flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Make a small well in the center of the flour
3. Pour yeast mixture into the well. Gradually mix the flour from the edges of the well into the yeast, using a wooden spoon. Mix well. Stir in olive oil.
4. Place dough on a lightly floured counter top and kneed it by using a pushing and folding motion for about 1 to 2 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
5. Place dough in an oiled bowl. Brush some oil over the top of dough. Cover and allow dough to rise in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes, until it doubles in size.
6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare toppings. Lightly oil a 12 inch pizza plate.
7. Press dough into oiled pan. Prick with fork.
8. Spoon tomato sauce onto the dough and spread it evenly.
9. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the tomato sauce. Add your toppings.
10. Bake in oven 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is lightly brown. Let cool, and enjoy!

Let me know how you like this recipe!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I just made black bean soup! It yummy, and one of the easiest soups I've ever made!
I got this from "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian", by Lauren Butts.

1 tbsp jerk seasonings
2 (14.5 oz) cans black beans
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped onion, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish

1. In a food processor (or blender), combine the jerk seasoning, 1 can of black beans, vegetable broth, and olive oil. Puree until mixture is almost smooth.
2. In a saucepan, combine the puree and the 2nd can of beans. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. When serving, top each bowl with sour cream, onions, and cilantro. Enjoy!

Leave a comment to let me know how you like this recipe!

This recipe is not vegan friendly, but can easily be made vegan by omitting the sour cream.


Lasagna

Lasagna is a wonderful dish that will make you seem like a really good cook, even if you aren't! Its impressive, but very easy to make. If you love cheese, this recipe is the best. It's one of my favorite foods! I got this recipe from "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian"

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 large tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, OR 2 teaspoons dried
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cooked lasagna noodles (6-8 of them)
1 zucchini, diced
8-9 mushrooms, diced
3 cups spinach leaves
2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
2 cups grated low-fat mozzarella
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Puree the tomatoes in a food processor (or blender!). Add the tomatoes to the skillet. Add the oregano, basil, and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Coat a 13 x 9-inch glass baking pan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Spoon out enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Put a layer of 3 (or 4) lasagna noodles over the sauce, then layer with half of the zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach, and half the cheese. Repeat, then cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Bake until heated through, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Leave a comment and let me know how you liked this recipe!




Really Easy Apple Pie

Okay, this isn't exactly a meal, but it's a really good, really easy dessert. Besides, there aren't that many people that don't LOVE apple pie!
I got this from The Veggie Table website.

1 pie crust: butter or vegan
6 granny smith apples (any tart apples will do!), peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp butter

1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Roll out the pie crust and arrange in the pie plate.

2. Put the sliced apples into a large bowl. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 T of flour in another bowl, then sprinkle over the apples. Toss until the slices are coated, sprinkle with lemon juice, and toss again. Pour into the pie crust.

3. Blend the brown sugar, butter, and the other 2 T of flour with a fork. Sprinkle over the apples.

4. Bake for 10 minutes, lower heat to 350°, and bake another 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.


This is great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top!

Leave a comment and let me know how you liked this recipe!

This recipe can be made vegan friendly by using vegan pie crust and vegan butter.

Tofu Breakfast Burrito

Of course, if I'm going to write a post about tofu, I have to post a recipe with tofu in it! This is what I made with tofu. I usually don't like the scrambled eggs that go into breakfast burritos, but this was really good. So, if you miss the old breakfast burritos with sausage and bacon in them, or even if you never really liked scrambled eggs, this is a great recipe for you to try! Adding salsa would be really good in this, too.
I got the inspiration for this recipe from my "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian" book. Originally, it was just the scrambled eggs, but since I live in New Mexico, I had to put them in a tortilla!

1 Egg
1 tbsp milk
Dash salt
1 tbsp oil
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/3 cup chopped onion (red, green, or white, take your pick!)
1/3 cup finely chopped tofu
Grated cheese
1 tortilla
Salsa (optional)

1. Put egg, milk, and salt in a little dish. Scramble them together with a fork. Set aside
2. Put oil in frying pan and heat. Once heated, put in the pepper, onion, and tofu. Cook until veggies are soft and tofu is slightly brown.
3. Add eggs to the veggie mixture, and scramble them! Once the eggs are cooked, add cheese, stirring until melted.
4. Put mixture into tortilla. Add the salsa if desired, then fold into a burrito. Enjoy!

Leave a comment and let me know how you liked this recipe!

Tofu!!!

I finally tried tofu! Some of you may be wondering... what IS tofu? Tofu is a smooth soy based meat substitute that you can use in dishes for extra protein. It comes in different thicknesses, such as firm. I tried firm tofu, and it was really soft. The texture almost reminds me of Jello. It doesn't have much taste to it, and it has no color... but because of this, it's great to add to food. Careful about tofu though. Soy, which tofu is made out of, is often genetically modified (GMO). This means they are genetically altered. There are harmful effects of eating GMO products. I recommend buying tofu labeled either organic or no-GMO. Other than that, tofu is awesome, and you all should try it!

*Tofu is vegan friendly!*

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Becoming a vegetarian...

Weaning yourself from meat can be hard! But I've got a tip; try going vegetarian little by little. You might be thinking, "HUH?", so I'll explain.
A lot of vegetarians recommend you eliminate meat from your diet slowly. Maybe try eliminating one type of meat at a time. You could try not eating red meat for a few weeks, then eliminate poultry, then fish, then items such as beef broth, chicken broth, ect...
I did this this in a slightly different way. I did slowly stop consuming meat, but I didn't have a certain type of meat. At first I tried to go every other day without meat, every three days, every four days, ect... eventually I went a whole month without meat and I haven't had any since.
You can still eliminate all meat all at once, but its recommended that you do it gradually.
Hope this helps your journey of vegetarianism!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wicked Hot Chili

Even the people who love meat will love this recipe! It's really good, and filling.
I got this from "Okay, So Now You're a Vegetarian", but I made a few alterations.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (since I live in New Mexico, I used green chili peppers instead)
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 3.8 oz can sliced black olives
1 tablespoon anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) this is a meat substitute! (I left this out)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups V-8 juice
1/2 cups water
1 15 oz can black beans (drained)
1 15 oz can chili beans (drained)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, celery, garlic, jalapeño pepper (or green chili), and bell pepper until they're softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, breaking them up with a spoon.
2. Mix in the olives, Worcestershire sauce, TVP, chili powder, pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, cumin, V-8 juice, water, black beans, and chili beans. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or cool and store in the refrigerator overnight and allow the flavors to mingle. To reheat, bring the chili to a simmer over low heat and cook for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Leave a comment and let me know how you like this recipe!
This recipe is vegan friendly!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Website: Young Veggie!

My mom just found this AWESOME website, so I thought I'd share it with you all. It's kinda like my blog here... But anyway, it's great for young vegetarians. I'll be posting a couple recipes from it on the blog here! It's made by the Vegetarian Society. Here it is!

http://youngveggie.org/

Just copy and paste it into your browser and knock yourself out!

Types of Vegetarians

If you are going to be a vegetarian, you need to choose which foods you will eat and not eat. Hopefully this list will help you decide!

Semi Vegetarian:
A semi vegetarian will eat no red meat, but will eat poultry and fish. Most semi vegetarians are vegetarians for health, because of all the meats, red meat is the most un-healthy.
Vegetarian:
Eats no meat, fish, or poultry.
Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian:
Ovo-Lactos will eat eggs and milk, but no meat, fish, or poultry. I think ovo-lactos make up a lot of the vegetarian population.
Lacto-Vegetarian:
Lacto Vegetarians are the same as ovo-lacto, but will not eat eggs.
Vegan:
Eats no animal products.
Strict Vegan:
Neither eats nor uses any animal products.

I am an ovo-lacto vegetarian. Most of my recipes on this blog will have milk and eggs, but if they are vegan friendly, I will let you know!


Reasons Why People Are Vegetarians

Here are some reasons why people might become vegetarians:

1. Compassion for animals
Many vegetarians are vegetarians because they don't want to kill animals.
2. Health

Vegetarians diets tend to be low in fat.
3. Environment
Some people believe not breeding animals for meat is good for the environment.
4. Religion
In some religions, animals are sacred and eating one is considered a sin.
5. Taste
Some people simply do not like the taste of meat
6. Meat making a person sick
Meat can make some people feel sick.

Why am I a vegetarian?
For three reasons: Compassion for animals, health, and taste!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tostados (or Tostadas)

I just made these tonight, and they were great! My whole family loved them. Plus, they took about 15 minutes to make!
I got this recipe from my wonderful book, "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian", by Lauren Butts!

For 4 Servings (2 Tostados per serving)

One 14 oz can Vegetarian Refried Beans
2 tbsp Water
8 Tostado Shells
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 large Tomato, diced
1 Avocado, diced
Lettuce
Sour cream

1. Preheat broiler. Dump the beans into a microwavable bowl. Mix them with the water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
2. Oil a baking sheet, and put tostado shells on top. Put beans on top, then sprinkle with the cheese. But the baking sheet in the oven, and broil until the cheese is melted.
3. Top tostados with tomato, avocado, lettuce, and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy! =)



Leave a comment and let me know how you liked this recipe!





About this blog...

This blog is (hopefully) going to be exactly what I wish I had when I was becoming a vegetarian; a blog that has advice and recipes for 12-18 year olds wanting to go vegetarian.
If you've already been trying to go vegetarian, you probably know that most vegetarian books are meant for adults... They have recipes like caramelized onions, or antipasto, and other things you've never heard of. I almost gave up being vegetarian because these recipes were gourmet, hard to make, and didn't seem appealing. But, fortunately, I found a wonderful book called, "Okay, So Now You're a Vegetarian" by Lauren Butts. It was written by a 16 year old girl who had the same problem I did. She wrote a book with recipes that were "normal" and easy to prepare. I learned a lot about nutrition, cooking, and found some great recipes from it!
So now I'm a vegetarian. I'm fairly new at it, but I do know lots about it, and I am willing to learn more. I'll learn right along with you! This blog is basically my vegetarianism journal. I'll be posting recipes, websites, books, and advice that will all help vegetarian wannabes become more than a wannabe!