Posts tagged with vegetarian:

Raw Zucchini Lasagna

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My roommate introduced me to raw zucchini lasagna, and I think I owe her my life for it. It’s that good. If you like spice, I recommend making a spicy pesto to give this recipe an extra kick.

What you need for 2-3 servings:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • Pesto (homemade or bought, I made some with sundried tomatoes)
  • Cashew cream to keep it raw, or other cheesy topping. I used Daiya jalapeno harvarti style cheese to give it a kick.

What you’ll do:

Use a mandolin to very thinly slice the zucchini. If you don’t have a mandolin you can use a knife, but be careful to slice it very thinly. Slice the tomatoes as well. They should be thicker than the zucchini, but still relatively thin slices. Lay down four zucchini slices so that they slightly overlap. Spread the pesto. Add tomato slices. Top with cheese or cheese alternative. Add another layer of zucchini and repeat until you are satisfied with your tower of lasagna. Enjoy!

Romaine Tacos

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Romaine tacos are one of my favorite summertime foods. It’s a great way to use tons of veggies from your kitchen, and feel full and satisfied without the greasy feeling that your average taco leaves your with. These also make for a great “make your own taco bar” and are fun for family dinners or small dinner parties.

Part One - The Shells

  • Use a fresh romaine head, the outer leaves will be the largest and the best for building tacos. Bagged romaine leaves tend to be smaller than fresh romaine
  • Radicchio lettuce shells work well for smaller tacos, but have a bitter flavor

Part Two - The ‘Meat’

Part Three - The Fillings

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Caramelized onions
  • Red pepper, sliced thinly
  • Avocado, cubed
  • Salsa 
  • Corn
  • Daiya cheese (I used the jalapeno harvarti kind)
  • Cashew cream

Part Four -The Leftovers

Chop up the romaine shells that are too small to make a substantial taco, add the leftover toppings, and you’ve got a southwestern chopped salad ready to go! 

Juice Cleanse Review & Tips

If you had told me even just a year ago that I would do a three day juice cleanse, and actually enjoy it, I would have called you crazy. But lo and behold, I did it. I went on a juice cleanse and I loved it. Here are some things I learned during those three days:

  • Know your motivations before diving in. Some people want to lose weight, some want to kickstart healthier habits or just cleanse their system. A clear intention will motivate you to stick to the cleanse.
  • Have a juice cleanse buddy. Giving up solid food, even for a few days, is difficult. It goes against our natural instincts, and having someone supporting you can go a long way. I was lucky that roommate was cleansing with me, so we didn’t have any food in the house and could keep each other on a routine. If you’re cleansing by yourself, ask a friend to be your motivational coach for a few days,
  • You will get sick of the juices very quickly. Six juices a day doesn’t sound like a lot, but drinking one every other hour, with tons of water in between, is exhausting. Buy some straws and just power through.
  • End the day with a nut milk. My cleanse included a cashew milk with vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon at the end of the day. I cannot even explain to you how much I looked forward to this drink. After nonstop green and citrus juices, the creamy cashews made me sane again.
  • Light exercise is important. You will have less energy while cleansing since you’re not eating enough calories, so skip the gym. But light yoga and going for walks will help boost your energy.
  • Treat yo self. After the cleanse, don’t reward yourself with your favorite junk food. Your newly clean digestive system will not thank you. Go the mani-pedi route instead.
  • Buying versus DIY. Purchasing juice cleanses can be expensive, but check Groupon or Living Social, because they have deals all the time. You can juice at home, or blend and strain, but preparing, juicing and cleaning your juicer six times a day is A LOT of effort.

I finished my cleanse last Friday, have been eating mostly raw since then, and feel fantastic. Junk food seems especially hard to avoid during the summer, and cleansing for three days really made me appreciate the healthy food that’s so easily available to me. 

Apart from feeling physically better, I have to say that it was fascinating to realize how much I took buying, cooking and eating food for granted. You don’t realize what you have until it’s flaunted in front of you while you’re one a juice cleanse.

Have you ever been on a juice cleanse? What did you and didn’t you enjoy about it?

Lindsay’s Famous Quinoa Bowl

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In addition to being an incredibly talented musician, my roommate, Lindsay, makes the best quinoa bowls in the world. You’ll be seeing a lot of her recipes on the blog this summer. Check out her beautiful music here, and her famous quinoa bowl recipe below:

  • 1-2 Servings of quinoa
  • 1/4 Cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 Cup steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 Cup steamed kale
  • 1/2 Avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 Cup sprouted lentils
  • 1 Beet, cubed (we like buying Love Beets)
  • 1/2 Cup sauteed mushrooms and pearl onions
  • 2T Nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper
  • Annie’s Goddess Dressing (or any other tahini-based dressing)

While not the fastest recipe in the world, this is easily one of the healthiest. Get your quinoa on the stove, and while it’s cooking, steam your broccoli and kale, and saute the mushrooms and pearl onions in olive oil. Shred the carrot, cube the avocado and beets. Mix all of this in a bowl. Top with sprouted lentils, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Add your dressing and enjoy!

Note: These are rough measurements. Use as much or as little veggies as you like!

Iced Tea Lemonade

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I despise the heat and humidity that July brings. However, I welcome the excuse to drink excessive amounts of iced tea lemonade. This is a very flexible recipe, so don’t take the measurements too seriously.

  • Juice of three lemons (or 3/4-1C lemon juice)
  • 1/4C sugar (white, brown or coconut)
  • 4C strong iced tea
  • 1C water

Stir the lemon juice and sugar together, add the water and continue stirring. Add the iced tea last and stir until the sugar fully dissolves. Let chill and enjoy! Makes a pitcher.

Note: I used Gold Rush from David’s Tea, but any iced tea would work— black, white, green, jasmine, fruity etc. You can either cold brew it, or make it hot and let it chill.

When Mama Comes to Town

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When the mama comes to town, you make the mama a feast. It’s the law. So of course I made my mom a huge dinner when she came to visit Boston this weekend. I ended up making my favorite Avocado Alfredo with spinach/berry salad and lots of sides, I’d recommend this for any summertime dinner occasion!

Main Dish: Avocado Alfredo

Salad

  • Spinach and parsley
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pepitas 
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Sides

  • Hummus and Mary’s Gone crackers
  • Sliced mango
  • Mesquite almonds
  • Lemon and garlic olives

What’s your favorite summertime dinner?

Summertime Gazpacho

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I’ve found people either love or hate chilled soups, and I fall into the former category. Especially Gazpacho. It’s one of my favorite summer dishes, mostly because my mom fed me gallons of it over the last 20ish years, but also because all it requires is chopping vegetables and throwing them in a blender. 

  • 4 cups vegetable juice (like V8)
  • 1/3C red wine vinegar
  • 1/4C olive oil (cold pressed to keep it raw)
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped roughly
  • Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

Pour the liquids in the blender, followed by the rest of the ingredients. If you have a vitamix like I do, blend for 3-5 seconds and call it a day. If you have a smaller blender, you may need to chop the ingredients more and blend in batches. Mix batches together in a large bowl, and let chill in the fridge for an hour. Serve with crackers or crusty bread! 

Note: Adapted from Vitamix recipe

Vegan-Friendly Cookouts

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My dad is THE grill king. Rain? Snow? Incoming category five hurricane? He’s still in the backyard grilling. Since I first became vegetarian when I was 10 years old, he’s had 12 years of grilling veggies for me, and I have never felt left out at a cookout or barbecue. Here are some vegan-friendly ideas on what to make for (or bring to) a cookout:

Grilled Veggies:

Grilled Fruit:

  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Apples sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Avocado
  • Strawberries (trust me on this one!)

Main Course:

Things to Bring:

  • Chips, salsa and guacamole
  • Watermelon
  • Lemonade
  • Watermelon Lemonade
  • Hummus and veggies (go ahead, be that person)
  • Vegan potato salad
  • Cucumber salad
  • Fruit salad
  • Salads-that-aren’t-salads

HAPPY SUMMERTIME GRILLTIME ENJOY YAY!

Making the Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

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I’ve made popcorn on the stove for most of my life, as soon as we realized my younger brother was allergic to the additives in the microwave kind. It’s second nature to me, but I’ve enjoyed years of surprised looks on my friends faces when I pull out a jar of corn kernels and a pot instead of a box of Orville Redenbacher. Long story short, stovetop popcorn is a WAY cheaper, WAY healthier option and just as easy to make! (Minus the one pan that you’ll have to wash, but it’s worth it I promise.)

What you’ll need for 2-3 servings

  • 1/4C popcorn kernels 
  • 2T oil (coconut, olive, canola, etc.)
  • Salt and other toppings

What you’ll do:

Pour kernels and oil into a pot on the stove, turn heat on high and wait for popping to commence. Shake pot occasionally, and remove from heat when popping slows to three seconds between pops. Wait 15 seconds or so to be sure popping has finished, then remove lid and pour fresh popcorn into a bowl! This is a blank-canvas kind of a recipe, so go crazy with any custom toppings like:

  • Melted earth balance, salt and nutritional yeast (my favorite)
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Chili powder, salt and a little lime juice
  • Any of these suggestions from PopSugar

What’s your favorite popcorn topping?

Note: Some recipes suggest adding one or two kernels, and waiting for the oil to heat and pop those before adding the rest of the kernels. I have not seen any benefit to this.

One-Pot Tomato Pasta

Let’s talk about one-pot pastas, and how they’re about to make your life a whole lot tastier. Basically, the idea is that instead of boiling pasta and draining it, and THEN adding it to whatever sauce you’ve been slaving over— you cook the noodles directly in the sauce. I know, I know. I was skeptical too. I thought the whole point of making spaghetti was to teach self-control and patience while you wait an eternity for water to boil. Well, you’re going to have to find another time of day to meditate, because these bad boys only take 15-20 minutes to go from pot to plate.

By adding a small amount of water to your sauce ingredients (about four cups per 12oz of pasta) you can ensure that the pasta cooks, the water is partially absorbed and partially evaporated, and your sauce is ready the same time your pasta is. Not convinced? Check out this roundup from Buzzfeed, and my fire-roasted tomato pasta below. 

Fire Roasted Tomato Pasta (One Pot!)

  • 12oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 4C water
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 large garlic gloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1T oregano
  • 3-4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped or sliced
  • two handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1/4C kalamata olives, halved

Break the spaghetti in half, and place in a large pan or pot. Cover in water and oil, then dump everything else on top. Turn on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently for 15 minutes until pasta is cooked through.

Note: If your pasta doesn’t seemed cooked through all the way, add water in 1/2C increments and keep stirring until cooked

What’s the deal with subscription boxes anyways?

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I’m assuming most of you have heard of subscription boxes by now. There’s a good chance they’re inundating your Facebook newsfeed ads, and your blog-obsessed friends (guilty) have been posting about them on Instagram. So, what’s the deal?

Who
Subscription boxes are put together by third parties, not the brands themselves.

What
The boxes contain a variety of samples, and are usually food, makeup, or skincare themed. The food boxes (like my Urthbox pictured above) often allow customization. We’re talking about gluten-free, vegan or diet options. Picky eaters are welcome here.

When
Urthbox delivers monthly, but some services have a weekly option.

Where
They’re delivered wherever you want them to be. Your apartment, your office— the world is your oyster.

Why
Exploring new products, especially for special diets, is very hit or miss. Nothing’s more disappointing then dropping money on a bag of snacks at Whole Foods, only to discover you don’t like them. Ordering an Urthbox allowed me to try out 15 new snacks in a cost-effective way. (My favorites were the Beanitos chips and Svelte Cappuccino Protein Shake!)

I got a deal on a three-month subscription from Gilt City, so keep an eye out on other discount services, like Groupon or Living Social.

Cherry Smoothie Bowl

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Sundays are for smoothie bowls. Never had a smoothie bowl? It’s basically your chance to have ice cream for breakfast. Make a very thick smoothie, then top with seeds, fresh fruit and shredded coocnut.

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2C frozen cherries
  • 1/2C almond milk
  • dried cranberries
  • pepitas
  • chia seeds
  • raspberries
  • shredded coconut

Slice some of the banana to save for garnish. Blend the rest of the banana, frozen cherries and almond milk— it should be a thick consistency. Pour into a bowl and top with cranberries, pepitas, chia seeds, raspberries and shredded coconut.

Hey Madde! Love your blog! I recently made the switch to veganism (and am loving it!) I read the book the Kind Diet, and was wondering if you had any other recommendations?

- Asked by perpetual-feelings

The Kind Diet was actually the first book I read when I made the switch too! It’s still one of my favorites. Here are some other great reads:

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
This is his only nonfiction book, and it’s a fascinating read. Although it’s disclosed that he’s chosen a vegetarian diet, he addresses the history of humans eating animals objectively. 

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman
This book is a slap in the face, but in the best way. It’s aggressive and abrasive, but sometimes you need someone to give you the facts straight and shove you in the right direction.

Cooked by Michael Pollan
Although not about plant foods, this book makes a simple and striking statement about processed versus whole, cooked foods. “Taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable.” 

Everyday Happy Herbivore and Happy Herbivore Abroad by Lindsay Nixon
Lindsay’s cookbooks are favorites, no questions asked. Her blog and weekly meal plans are also lifesavers. ‘Abroad’ is a gem. She tells stories from all of the time she’s spent overseas and how it inspires her cooking.

Introducing TCV | Five & Under

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I’m excited to announce a new resource for anyone who considers themselves extremely busy, extremely lazy, or just extremely hungry. TCV Five & Under is a collection of 50+ recipes that are all five ingredients or less, which usually take less than 30 minutes to make. 

So instead of spaghetti with sauce from a jar, you can just as easily make my signature Avocado Alfredo. Or mashed cauliflower with chives instead of potatoes from a box. Take any number of smoothies to go instead of skipping breakfast!

I know how hard it is to eat healthy on a budget, especially when you’re strapped for time. But these recipes have all been life savers for me, and I hope they help you too.

Check out all of the recipes here.

Love and veggies,
Madde

Individual Flatbread Hummus Pizza

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Sunday night is pizza night. This week, I went the Mediterranean route choosing hummus, spinach, tomatoes, red onion and olives. I used naan bread, but any kind of premade flatbread or even pitabread will work well for a crust.

  • Naan bread
  • 2T hummus
  • 1 chopped roma tomato
  • chopped red onion, to taste
  • 5 kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • a handful of baby spinach

Spread hummus over the flatbread and cover with a layer of spinach. Top with chopped tomato, onion and olives. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and enjoy!