Sunday, February 21, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

This recipe is a simple one pot meal that taste really good! I was just flipping through my recipe book, and I realized that I hadn't posted this one yet. It's one of the first I made as a vegetarian! I got this from, "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian" by Lauren Butts.

Two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 15 oz can vegetable broth
1 cup drained, crushed canned tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups hot, cooked white or brown rice

1. In a large, heavy pot, combine all the ingredients except the rice. Cover and simmer until the broth is slightly thickened and the beans are tender, about 45 minutes.
2. Let the beans sit for 10 minutes (or longer to let the flavors mingle) before serving. Use 1 cup cooked rice per serving, and spoon the beans over the top. Enjoy!

This recipe is vegan friendly!

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

Breakfast Parfait

Breakfast Parfaits are really good to make for breakfast, because they are yummy and have lots of protein. They have granola, fruit, and yogurt so they're a pretty balanced breakfast. Plus, they're really quick to make! I got this recipe from "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian"

1 cup vanilla yogurt (or you could use a fruity flavor, but vanilla works best)
1/2 cup strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, or any other fruit you think would be good
1/2 cup granola

1. Put 1/4 of the yogurt into a tall, clear, glass. Then, put 1/3 of the granola on top, followed by 1/3 of the fruit.
2. Repeat layering two more times. Then, top with remaining yogurt. Enjoy!

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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spotlight Food: Veggie Dogs

Of all the meat substitutes, this is the one I couldn't be a vegetarian without! The only meat food I miss as a vegetarian are hot dogs. That's why I love veggie dogs. Veggie dogs taste like hot dogs, but they don't have any meat in them! They are made of soy and vegetable protein. The texture isn't exactly like like the hot dogs made of mystery meat, but they taste pretty good. So if you're missing those hot dogs you used to roast by the fire, try these!

Chili dogs:
1 or 2 veggie dogs
Hot dog buns
1/2 cup wicked hot chili
1/4 quarter cup shredded cheese
1 tbsp chopped onions

Heat up the chili and veggie dogs. Place the veggie dogs in buns, then pour chili on top. Sprinkle cheese and onions over that, and enjoy!

Baked Apples

If you go to a public school, chances are you're usually in a rush in the morning. This is a great recipe for those mornings when you need a really good breakfast really fast. Its quick and cheap to make, and it taste excellent! The recipe says to core the apple then put the granola and stuff inside the core, but sometimes I just chop up the apple and mix everything else in with it. It's totally up to you! I got this recipe from Ms. Lauren Butts, who wrote a lovely book called, "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian"
1 Apple (I like to use Granny Smith's, but any kind will do)
1 tbsp granola
2 tsps brown sugar
1 tsp margarine or butter

1. Core the apple and peel of a one inch strip of skin around the middle. (or, peel the whole apple and cut into small pieces)
2. Place the apple in a microwavable dish. Layer the granola, brown sugar, and butter into the center or the apple. (or, if using a chopped apple, mix it with the granola, sugar, and butter.)
3. Cover with a plastic wrap and microwave on high for about 3 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of apple and the apple size. Enjoy!

As always, leave a comment and let me know how you liked this recipe :)

Reassuring Parents: Family Mealtime...

I encountered this problem when I was becoming a vegetarian... I though a lot of other teens might too, so I thought I'd write a post on it!
"No, no, you can't be a vegetarian. The rest of us don't want to be vegetarians, and we certainly don't have time to cook two meals everyday"
"But Mom! I can cook my own food!"
"I'm sure you can. But we are a family, and we have to eat the same things!"
What do you do now? Argue, protest, move out, give up? No, none of those will work. Here's a better idea... try to eat what the rest of the family is eating, but, without the meat. Try making simple alterations to what the rest of the family is eating to make them vegetarian healthy! Here are some examples to get you started:

Meat as the main course:
Most likely, your family will have a side dish with this that won't have meat in it. Maybe you could have just the side dishes if they are rich enough in protein! If they aren't, you could offer to make another side dish that is rich in protein for you to eat.
Meat in soups/stews:
When you put it in your bowl, you can try to avoid dishing out the meat, and get just the vegetables.
Meat tacos/burritos/etc...
Try using beans instead while the rest of the family uses meat!
Spaghetti and meatballs/with meat sauce:
My personal favorite! Have mom set aside some sauce and put kidney beans in it. It tastes great!
And the best way to avoid eating meat...
Offer to cook for the whole family! My mom makes me cook one night a week for all of us, but sometimes I offer to cook more than one night a week because I love cooking so much. Choose yummy recipes you know your family will love, and chances are you will be asked to cook again.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cereal Breakfast Burrito

You've heard of the regular Breakfast Burritos with eggs, right? Well, this recipe is a new spin off of that. Its got granola, yogurt, and a lot of other stuff which makes it more cereal like. I'm proud to say I made this recipe up on my own!

1 tortilla
Peanut butter (just enough to spread all the way around the tortilla)
About 1/3 vanilla yogurt
About 1/3 cup granola
About 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Shredded coconut (optional)

1. Spread peanut butter all over one side of the tortilla. Put in the microwave for 30 seconds.
2. Put yogurt, granola, and cranberries on top. Sprinkle with coconut, if desired.
3. Roll up it up like a burrito. You might have to use a little less vanilla, granola, and cranberries if you are using a small tortilla. Enjoy!

As always, leave a comment and tell me how you liked this recipe!

One more thing: Mark your calendars: October 1st is World Vegetarian Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reassuring Parents: Protein

If you've already told your parents that you want to be a vegetarian, you've probably been asked this question: How will you get protein??? You may be wondering, do I need protein? I'll start with the second question. Yes, you do need protein. Protein is needed to make your body function properly. As a teenager, it helps you grow and develop. A lot of people get their protein from eating meat, but of course, as a vegetarian, you don't eat meat. So, back to the first question, how will you get protein as a vegetarian? Meat is not the only source of protein in the world. There are many other foods that are very protein rich. In this post, I'm going to list a few of them!

Some sources are:
~Ice cream (not as much as other things, but yes, it has quite a bit of protein!)
~Other dairy products
~Soy milk
~Rice milk
~Coconut milk
~Peanut butter
~Tofu, Textured Vegetable Protein, Tempeh, other meat substitutes
~Wheat germ
~Some vegetables

Most teens need 45-60 grams of protein daily. You might want to research how much a person for your age, weight, and height needs. As a vegan, you cannot get protein from eggs or milk, so you will have to do some more careful meal planning. With this information, I hope you can reassure your parents!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mac 'n Cheese

Who doesn't like mac 'n cheese? The only thing better than mac 'n cheese is homemade mac 'n cheese! This recipe is great for non-vegetarian potlucks you've been invited to. Everyone likes it, and by bringing it, you know you'll have something you can eat! You can double the recipe and make a big pan of it if there are many people attending this potluck. I got this recipe from "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian".

4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups skim milk
2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (Cheddar works best, but you can use other kinds if needed)
3 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 1 1/2 dry)

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, 4-6 minutes. Add half the cheese and stir until melted.
2. Pour the cooked elbow macaroni into an 8 by 8 inch baking dish. Pour the sauce over the noodles, then mix. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake until heated through and the cheese on top has melted, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

Try putting vegetables with this: not only does it add extra nutrients, but it taste amazing!

Tell me how you liked this recipe!

Coconut Black Bean Soup

This soup is an awesome spin off of black bean soup. It has tomatoes, jalapenos, corn, and rice added to it, which gives it a lot of color and flavor! Make sure you rinse the black beans really well or else the soup will turn purple! I got this from the "Okay, So Now You're A Vegetarian" book. The book says this soup is best when cooked and eaten the next day (to allow flavors to "mingle"), but I think it was great right off the stove top.

2 1/2 cups water
1 14 ounce can "lite" coconut milk
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and well rinsed
1 cup cooked corn kernels
1 cup cooked white rice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a large, heavy pot, combine the water, coconut milk, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often.
2. Add the black beans, corn, rice, and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Stir well and serve.

This recipe is vegan!

As always, let me know how you liked this recipe!

Spotlight Food: Veggie Burgers

Veggie Burgers... you've seen them in restaurants, but what exactly are they? Well, in this post, I will explain:
Veggie burgers are basically vegetarian hamburgers. They are made of beans, soy protein, vegetables, tofu, TVP (textured vegetable protein), etc... Because there are so many different kinds, they all taste differently! Most of the time, they taste great. In my opinion, they're even better than hamburgers! You can make them yourself, but usually its easier to just to get some from a store. From my experience, you can find them in most major grocery stores in the health/natural food section. If you don't see any there, try a local health food store. Health food stores are great for any vegetarian/vegan products you can't find in grocery stores!
Remember, if you try a veggie burger and don't like it, try a different kind. They are all different!

So, here's a recipe for homemade veggie burgers. Okay, I haven't tried it yet... (how naughty of me!) But black bean veggie burgers are usually really good. So, if you try these and their horrible, tell me! I got this off of The Veggie Table website.

2 T olive or vegetable oil
1½ c onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, minced
½ t allspice
½ t nutmeg
1½ c black beans cooked or canned
1½ c cooked rice
½ habanero pepper or 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (seeds optional)
1 c bread crumbs
1 t salt
black pepper

1. Heat
1 T of oil and sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg and sauté for two more minutes.

2. Pour into food processor along with beans, rice, and peppers. Pulse repeatedly, until mixture is chopped, not puréed.

3. Transfer to bowl, add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.

4. Shape into four patties, adding more bread crumbs if necessary.

5. Fry in 1 T oil over medium heat until crust forms, about 4 minutes per side.