Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vegetarian "tuna" salad!

I love this because it really reminds me of a tuna salad, and I really used to enjoy a good tuna sandwich, or tuna salad on a bed of lettuce! This is one my first vegetarian meals I ever made for myself years ago, and I think you will enjoy it to!

Things you'll need
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans(chick peas)
  • diced onion(small) 
  • 2 stalks of celery sliced down the middle then chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Mayo, vegan or a light version, whatever your preference
  • 1 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1/4 tsp mustard(I use guildens)
  • salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 pinches of dry mustard(optional)
Step 1
In a food processor or with a fork mash up the beans leaving a few lumps, also dice up the onions and celery

Step 2
empty into a bowl, add in all other ingredients, mix well! 

Step 3
Put the mixture in the fridge for at least 1 hour to let it chill, serve as a sandwich any way you like! On a bed of lettuce, or in lettuce cups, or eat it plain! Add tomatoes on top, When I serve it on a salad I like to add a little oil and vinegar to the lettuce first then put the "tuna" on top!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kids Prefer a Variety of Colorful Foods

I thought this was a wonderful idea to get kids excited about healthy foods! Very fun! Thanks to Ashley from PETA for this article! 

The following article was written by Ashley Palmer.
A study that was published in the January 2012 issue of Acta Paediatrica reveals that children prefer plates with a variety of foods—seven items and six different colors, to be exact.
While reading about this "discovery," I was automatically brought back to a photo that I recently found on Pinterest. A 2-year-old's birthday party featured "toddler buffet" trays, which showcased a variety of finger foods perfect for tiny hands, using—gasp—ice-cube trays. I immediately fell in love with the idea and was jumping at the chance to use it myself.
Since the results of the study suggest that we should be offering our children a variety of foods at every meal, I thought it was time to whip out the "toddler buffet" trays and try it for myself.
Vegan meals that include fruits, veggies, nuts, and beans offer an abundance of color and choices for picky eaters. With dozens of potential combinations, we have a virtually limitless list of possibilities. So the next time you're looking to expand your child's palate, try out the "toddler buffet" tray and incorporate some new foods alongside old favorites.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mini stuffed sweet Peppers!

   Fun colorful party food!
Almost gone! Had a ravenous crowd! 

                                                               Things you'll need;

  • 24 mini sweet peppers

  • 8 ounce of regular cream cheese, or the choice of your preference,I used a light version. If you have a vegan melting cheese, go for it!

  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp chedder cheese or regular

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 8-10 Baby Portobello mushrooms(or white)

  • 1 large elephant garlic clove(or 2-3 regular cloves)

  • 1/4 purple onion

  • couple of shakes garlic powder
  • couple of shakes onion powder

  • salt & pepper to taste

Baking pan

*You can make it vegan, just sub the cheese with your favorite vegan brand!

Easy Directions;

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Take the cream cheese out of the packet and let it soften, shred the chedder or (buy shredded chedder) and set aside.
  • Now, you want to take your peppers and chop the top of their heads off! Make sure to get all the seeds out, (there shouldn't be too many) once done set aside.
  • Now, take your mushrooms and mince them. Take your onion and garlic, and mince that too! Put a little bit of vegetable oil in a skillet, about 1-2 tablespoons. Preheat the skillet on a medium to high heat, when that's hot enough add the mushrooms,onion and garlic mixture and cook till moisture is gone. Add a few dashes of salt while cooking
  • Once that's done, put the mushroom mixture in a bowl and let it cool (10-15 minutes) Once that that has cooled, add the mix to your bowl of cheese and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. 
  • Take a plastic ziplock bag put your mixture in it to make a piping tool, snip a little piece at the corner of the bag off and start stuffing your Peppers!! Once Peppers are stuffed, sprinkle with paprika. and put those babies in the oven for around 30-35 minutes! Once done, let sit for 3 minutes so the inside isn't scolding hot- and serve!

*If you dont want to make the piping bag-I do NOT suggest using a little spoon to stuff these with because they are narrow and that will be messy, however, you can make a little slit lenghtwise and stuff them like that!-and in the summer months, you can grill these too! *If you have company,-and have some chives on hand chop those up and serve sprinkled on top.

*I think another nice addition to the mix, would be diced celery!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Vegetarian chik'n lentil lemon salad

Vegetarian chik'n lentil lemon salad
Easy, healthy, low cal and pretty darn delicious! 

Things you'll need;
  • 1 can of lentils(drained)
  • 1 bag of Faux chik'n, I use Qourn(I think it works best) 
  • 1 bunch of romaine lettuce, and a quarter of iceberg lettuce(chopped)
  • (Or sub one for the other of you don't have both.)
  • 1 onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt&Pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 whole lemon

Step 1;
Halve the onion and thinly slice one half ; thickly slice the other.
Chop up the romaine and iceberg lettuce, add the thinly sliced onion and lettuce to a bowl and toss!

Step 2;
take out a pan, and pour 1/3 cup of olive oil, preheat on a medium to a high heat, once thats heated up, add the thickly sliced onion and faux chik'n; tossing well with olive oil, dash with sea salt and stir again, let it cook, once it starts to sizzle stir it around and let it cook some more, nows the time to add all your herbs except for red pepper, and thyme, stir all of them in well, no measurement required just add a few liberal shakes at a time, taste, and adjust accordingly. cover the pan, let it cook for a minute or so, stir, and if everything is tender and to your liking, turn it off, cover and remove from heat.

Step 3;
Take your can of drained lentils and put them in a small pot, add a generous amount of dried thyme, a few dashes of black pepper, and a shake of garlic powder and a little bit of olive oil. blend herbs well, stirring as needed and cook till its warm.

Step 4;
Take the onion and 'chik'n mixture (still warm) and the warm lentils, add it to the salad bowl, add the juice of one lemon, 3 shakes of Pepper flakes, and toss well as to coat everything in the bowl, adding any additional olive oil or more herbs if needed, and serve!

This pairs well with a sweet or baked potato,a chowder type soup...warmed pita bread, a roll, croutons anything you like really, or just by itself, which is how I had it! This is tasty served warm or cold! 


This reminded me of a chicken ceaser salad but much healthier! 

If you want this to be vegan and not vegetarian, just use a different brand of Faux chik'n

I was all out of other veggies, but you could add any other vegetables you like, but just remember if you do that it will need more lemon and herbs etc..

A Purple onion would have worked great, but didn't have one on hand, any onion will do. 

And if your in the mood to makes this a little richer, add some parmesan or any cheese you like.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greek Vegetarian "meat" fillo dough pie!

It's Greek cause I used Fillo (phyllo) dough!

Things you'll need;
9 x 13 inch pan
12 fillo dough sheets
1 bag of vegetarian meat crumbles(I used morningstar)
1 small bag of rice(I usually use brown rice, but I used white cause I was out of brown)
1 package of whole white mushrooms
6 garlic cloves
2 onions
1/2 jar of tomato sauce
dried oregano
Olive oil, salt &pepper,paprika,onion and garlic powder, garlic pepper
(if you don't have the onion powder or garlic pepper on hand its not a big deal and won't change the taste much.) 


Step 1
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Step 2
Slice onions, and quarter mushrooms.
pour a bit of olive oil in a pan, and preheat the pan on a medium to high heat, once oil is hot enough throw in the mushrooms and onions stirring often, cook till onions are translucent and mushrooms are nice and soft. Once thats done, add the "meat crumbles" and a little more Olive oil as needed, mix well;  at this time you will also want to mince your garlic directly into the pan while the mixture is cooking, stir well and adjust flame accordingly, (while thats cooking, feel free to throw the rice in a pot of water)

Step 3
Once step 2 is done, add 1/2 jar of  tomato sauce, and a generous amount of Oregano and mix it in good! Once that is all done, the rice should be just about ready, drain, and add it to the mixture and combine it well. taste it, see if its to your liking, at this point if  you think it needs more oregano, add more. Same with the salt and pepper or garlic powder and onion powder. Now that the mixture is put together, put it on the lowest heat and stir, cover for a minute, then taste it again, if its good to you, turn off the pan and let it cool down a bit.
Step 4
While thats cooling,  Get your 9x13 pan out, coat the bottom with olive oil, not a lot, just enough to cover the bottom, Take your thawed fillo dough out of the fridge and, unroll it, and layer one sheet at a time,lightly brushing with olive oil between each sheet, 6 on the bottom, 6 on the top, After the first 6 layers are done, spread the filling evenly covering the the entire dough, then do the same thing you did with the bottom half, to the top half!
Step 5
Once the thats all done,  glaze the top layer of fillo with olive oil, and sprinkle paprika, pepper, and oregano, cut 5 diamond shapes and pop it into a 375 degrees pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes, till its golden brown and crunchy, once its finished, let it cool;

Serve with a potato and a salad for a hearty meal, enjoy!

Moms plate! :)

I like to pour a bit of olive oil in a cup with some herbs, mix it and then brush it onto the layers!

Take your dough out of the freezer the night before and put it into the fridge so it has plenty of time to thaw.

If you don't have a brush you can pour a little oil at a time, and with very clean hands, gently spread it evenly on the sheet.

Peel your garlic before you start the cooking process, it's just easier.

Try adding peppers, I didn't have any on hand, if i did I would of used them! I think baby spinach would be good too!

Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you have a twist on this recipe, feel free to post it!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Potato Po-tat-o or Potatoe?

This is just funny. 

I get sick and tired of the potato getting a bad rap! Sure when you deep fry it in fat and add a mountain of cheese the nutritional value is depleted, same is true for broccoli! Being of half Irish descent, I feel I must come to the defense of this wonderful vegetable! There are so many ways to cook a potato that's healthy and tasty! Many fad diets warn of potato consumption, and thats rubbish! So lets set the record straight.

For starters potatoes are a good source of Copper,Manganese,Vitamin C, B6, Potassium and fiber; all good things! There has also been a study done in which potatoes were compared to broccoli in regards to there Phenols content (phenols are a potent antioxidants, and antioxidants attack free radicals, free radicals cause cancer).  The results; Potatoes had more of them! For more on this study, see link;

One baked potato provides you with almost 12% of the RDI of Fiber (although, I suggest more fiber then the recommend daily intake). The skin is where the fiber is, so don't peel it, eat it!

Potatoes show promise for your heart! UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressure-lowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes. Previously only found in Lycium chinense, an exotic herbal plant whose bark is used to make an infusion in Chinese herbal medicine.

As previously stated, they also contain B6 which is vital for may actions in your body, B6 (pyridoxine); Essential for protein digestion and utilization, brain function, and hormone production. Helps balance sex hormones, that’s why it’s used for PMS and menopause. Natural sources; Watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, bananas. Squash, broccoli, potatoes,asparagus, lentils, brussel sprouts, onions. Some nuts and seeds.

Now that we know a few great reasons why potatoes are wonderful, I want to share some tasty ideas on how to serve them without mucking them up with fat and other crap..so please see below!

I LOVE french fries! Who doesn't? However, we all know how bad they are for are waistline, so a real easy way to ENJOY a french fry without all the bad stuff; take one potato, slice it up lengthwise, (after its washed and scrubbed) take a ziplock bag put 1 tbsp of olive oil and any dry herbs you like,  then add sliced potato, shake it around till its well coated then put them on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven to desired crispiness! I tell you it's delicious and you aren't tainting that amazing little spud, actually enhancing it with a good fat, and herbs which have there own healthy components! (preheat oven to 400 or 425, play with the temp to see what works best or you, I love mine extra crispy) and if you want to speed things up, par boil  them first(or put it in the microwave for 5 minutes then slice, then put in the broiler...but if you do it this way KEEP AN EYE ON THEM, they will burn fast! Microwaves are not good for us or our food, but I still haven't been able to kick the habit completely! So try to use them as little as possible.

I also really dig a good stuffed potato, it keeps me full without the calories, sometimes I top it with a 1/2 can or 1 cup of homemade vegetarian chili, stuff it with broccoli mushrooms and onions with garlic and herbs, Garlic is amazing with potatoes!   These types of meals leave you feeling full but not "heavy". 

Another quick preparation is some fresh chopped chives with greek yogurt, fresh garlic and a dash of salt and pepper! 

A plain potato and some hot sauce is also great!

Pasta sauce taste pretty good and it's quick. 

Gaucomole is another favorite of mine, I find it pairs well with a potato.

Sweet potatoes can also be paired with herbs and spices not just marshmallows, sugar and butter. Try pairing it with olive oil, garlic and thyme, or sage and rosemary!  Sweet potatoes are great for you because they also contain a generous amount of beta carotene.

So what's your favorite healthy way to enjoy a potato?