52e8689495dbfc89857631f3a5cc16c8--vegetarian-pot-pies-vegan-pot-pies

Sensational Easy Vegetable Pot Pie

Sensational Easy Vegetable Pot Pie   Submitted by: Karen C. Greenlee Prep Time: approx. 5 Minutes Cook Time: approx. 40 Minutes ” This pie takes only a ...

read more

010982c14679e692dadeb922a9a2c898--whipped-feta-veggie-noodles

Outstanding Beets with Onion and Cumin

Outstanding Beets with Onion and Cumin   Submitted by: Karen Prep Time: approx. 15 Minutes Cook Time: approx. 45 Minutes If you like beets, you’ll love this ...

read more

veggie-black-bean-enchiladas

Make Tasty Mexican Enchiladarole

Make Tasty Mexican Enchiladarole   By: Barbi Claridge This is a very versatile recipe that is great if you want to make a nice meal that ...

read more

oven-baked-creamed-spinach-1

Super-Easy Baked Spinach

Super-Easy Baked Spinach   From: Barbi 1/2 cup butter 8 oz cream cheese 2 pkg frozen spinach 1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix Directions: Melt butter in a large frying ...

read more

02e30e1ff68cc059cbcf428747560e02

Cookies - Dessert Anyone?

Cookies - Dessert Anyone? First off, I love anything with nuts in cookies, the combination of Vanilla and chopped nuts brings this cookie ...

read more

52e8689495dbfc89857631f3a5cc16c8--vegetarian-pot-pies-vegan-pot-pies

Sensational Easy Vegetable Pot Pie

Posted by Admin on Sep 27, 20151
010982c14679e692dadeb922a9a2c898--whipped-feta-veggie-noodles

Outstanding Beets with Onion and

Posted by Admin on Sep 25, 20152
veggie-black-bean-enchiladas

Make Tasty Mexican Enchiladarole

Posted by Admin on Sep 23, 20153
oven-baked-creamed-spinach-1

Super-Easy Baked Spinach

Posted by Admin on Sep 22, 20154
02e30e1ff68cc059cbcf428747560e02

Cookies - Dessert Anyone?

Posted by Admin on Sep 22, 20155
healthy vegan meal

Cook up a Southern Storm

Cook up a Southern Storm

My memories of Southern food stem back to my childhood. From as far back as I can remember I remember long summer afternoons spent drinking iced tea and shelling peas and butterbeans on my grandmother’s porch. I have moved on from my roots and have made my way into other regions of the world. One thing, however, that has remained constant in my life is my deep and abiding love for southern cooking and cuisine.

I was probably well into my teen years before I realized that tea could be served any other way than loaded with sugar and over ice. It was about that same time that I realized some folks would eat vegetables that hadn’t been soaked in batter, dredged in cornmeal, and deep fat fried. Southern cooking is not for the faint of heart though it can cause many hearts to grow faint. One thing that can be said is that you’ll never find anything else like it on earth.

People in the south learned to make do with little in many instances. Some of the poorest people in America live in the southern part of the country. Of course, you will find that many of these people despite their poverty are also among the most generous. The same can be said of food. It’s the one thing that seems to be in ample supply in most southern homes and very few will turn you away with an empty stomach.

Perhaps it’s the seasonings that are often used when cooking this types of dishes. From the crab boil and gumbo file of Cajun Cuisine to the secret ingredient that almost every southern kitchen contains for their fried chicken recipes (and no one on earth can fry chicken like a born and bred southern grandma). Perhaps it’s the Sunday church dinners where everyone shares a little of what they have with others or the love that goes into preparing these meals that are shared with friends and family. Whatever the case may be, if you ever have the occasion to experience real southern cooking, do not pass it up. You might shave a day off your life, but a good southern fried chicken leg is really living and well worth the sacrifice if you ask me.

Of course it would be remiss to mention southern cooking without bringing up some of the more delicious desserts that seem to be perfection for the south. I mentioned banana pudding above but there are so many more. Pralines are a perfect for those living down around New Orleans as is bread pudding. A little to the east there are grandma’s who have taken their lemon icebox pie recipes to the grave with them so coveted were these delicious deserts and the same holds true for pecan pies as well. We should never forget the flavorful Mississippi Mud cake though, and so many other wonderfully delicious treats that southern cooking has introduced to the world at large.

Favorite vegetables in the heart of the south as I mentioned above included peas and butterbeans, snap beans, corn, summer squash (after all, it’s summer all year in the south), and okra (fried or boiled in many southern kitchens). Not all vegetables were deep fried though few were off limits. I remember eating my share of fried okra, fried squash, and yes, fried green tomatoes. Life was good back when calories weren’t counted and no one really worried about clogging arteries. While I wouldn’t make these a daily dish in any household, I certainly would recommend trying them out if you ever find the opportunity.

Another great thing about southern cooking is the wonderful fried seafood that seems to abound. From fried fish (almost any variety works well when it’s southern fried) to fried oysters, seafood just seems to taste so much better in the south. If you are hoping to learn some of the southern cooking and cuisine you will most likely need to order your spices and have them shipped unless your grocery store has a rather extensive ‘exotic’ foods selection. You can sometimes find great southern seasonings on the International food aisles in grocery stores as well. Do something special for your family and cook up a Southern storm.

Best Ingredients

Buy the Best Ingredients for your Gourmet Meals

Use Fresh Ingredients

Cooking gourmet food is the use of the freshest ingredients available. This means that to enjoy authentic gourmet food you must prepare your food immediately after purchasing the fresh ingredients that will comprise your meals. Not only do you want to purchase the freshest ingredients when cooking gourmet meals but you also want to insure that you are purchasing ingredients of superior quality

Those who excel at gourmet cooking and food preparation have many options available to them. From catering to opening up their own restaurant these talented individuals who are entrepreneurial in spirit often do quite well in the world of business if their talent is sufficient.

When it comes to cooking gourmet food the two rules mentioned above are the only hard and fast rules. Everything else is purely a matter of adventure and taste. Now this doesn’t mean that any and everyone can become a gourmet cook simply by going out and purchasing the finest and freshest of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. There is some degree of art involved when it comes to gourmet cooking and a large degree of skill that is necessary in order to achieve these culinary masterpieces.

You should also understand and be prepared to discover that fresh ingredients are not always available so there are times when compromises must be made when cooking gourmet meals. For this reason you capitalize on what is in season and plan your meals accordingly whenever possible. One important quality when it comes to cooking gourmet food is the layering of flavors. You should be able to taste the meat or seafood as well as the vegetables, herbs, and spices that comprise your skillfully prepared meal.

You should not however rely on taste or aroma alone when cooking gourmet foods. As I mentioned above gourmet cooking is a large degree skill but there is some degree of art involved. For this reason, presentation is a key component of the gourmet dining experience. Through a few freshly chopped herbs on the plate before placing the food or top the food with appealing and aromatic herbs that will compliment the flavor of the meal you have prepared. Present the fruits and vegetable sides in a visually appealing fashion rather than simply tossing them onto a plate.

With proper presentation even foods that were simple to prepare can take on the flavor of a gourmet feast. This is something you should keep in mind whether your cooking plans for the evening involve the gourmet or the every day. The thing about gourmet cooking is that it is to some degree more art than science. This means that there is always room to improve your skills and stretch your limits as a cook. There will always be the next great challenge or the ‘what if’ when it comes to flavor combinations.

In fact, some of the greatest foods began with someone asking, “What would happen if I added this?” Always ask what if and always seek to improve your skills. The good news if this is an avenue you wish to pursue is that there are often gourmet cooking classes offered at gourmet food shops in your area. Some colleges or local community programs will also offer these sorts of classes for a few if you are interested. This means that there are almost always opportunities to broaden your experiences with gourmet cooking and expand your horizons.

Whether this is your first time considering gourmet cooking or you are an old pro, keep in mind that skills can be learned over time with the proper motivation and an open and honest desire to learn. If you want to learn more about gourmet cooking there is really nothing to stop you from doing so other than yourself. Check out your local library, bookshops and the Internet for great gourmet recipes to try.

Cook Italian Meals at Home

Cook Italian Meals at Home

There are not too many people who do not love Italian cooking. Unfortunately, far too many of us discount the possibility of bringing Italian cooking into our very own kitchens for fear that many of the recipes are far too difficult. The truth is that learning to cook Italian food just might make your home the favorite drop in dining spot for friends and family all over.

Believe it or not, most great Italian recipes have an easier version that can be made with very similar effects when it comes to flavor and aroma. Also, despite the commercials of old, all Italian cooking does not require an entire day of simmering in order to achieve great flavor. Though you do not have to let your friends and family in on that little secret. Be a martyr for flavor and they will love you even more. You do not have to let anyone in on your best-kept secrets when it comes to preparing these often simple dishes.

The biggest challenge that most Americans face when it comes to Italian cooking is basically learning a new set of essential ingredients. The cheese, meats, or grains that are used in their creation most often identify or define Italian cuisine. It’s the combination of these primary ingredients that create some of the most distinctive flavors on earth. Learn about these ingredients. Identify the flavors and study the combinations of flavors and you should be able to not only follow many great Italian recipes but also to invent a few of your very own Italian inspired recipes.

The greatest thing when it comes to cooking Italian food is that most of these dishes are rather difficult to destroy. This of course does not indicate that it cannot be done, only that it isn’t as simple as with some of the more delicate cuisines around the world. Italian food is durable and flavorful but for the most part not too terribly delicate when it comes to flavor. You can go a little heavy with some spice or cheese without completely ruining the dish in most instances. If you are anything like me, this is a regular occurrence when cooking and one of the reasons I enjoy cooking Italian food so much.

Whether you are a beginner when it comes to the culinary arts or a seasoned pro there is something that will provide the appropriate challenge for you when it comes to Italian cooking. Take a look around there are recipes in abundance across the Internet, at your local library, in specialty cook books, and even in your favorite block buster best selling novels.

Another thing you should keep in mind when cooking Italian food is that nothing seems to bring out the flavor of Italian food better than a good bottle of wine to match. Perhaps this is the reason that it is difficult to ruin an Italian meal, no matter how bad it is, the good wine paired with it, will erase all ill will and tastes in very short order. You will want to spend a little time researching and studying the science (though some will argue that this is truly an art form) that goes along with pairing a good bottle of wine with the right flavor combination when it comes to Italian cooking. Once you’ve mastered this, there is nothing to prevent you from being the diva of all things Italian when it comes to food preparation.

The most important thing for you to remember when cooking Italian food is not to take the cooking too seriously. Good Italians know that the enjoyment of the meal is far more important than the process of preparing the meal. Make your meal an event with plenty of time for pleasant conversation and enjoyment of your company in between courses. The point of a good Italian meal is the pleasure of enjoying it with fine wine and good conversation.

Basic Cooking for Beginners

Basic Cooking for Beginners

Starting at the beginning

If you are learning to cook it is important to keep in mind that, no one was born with a wooden cooking spoon in their hands and ready to go.  It takes practice and a willing, no matter what your inspiration is. There is a lot of learning that must be done in order to become a prolific cook and then there is always room for improvement. Not only do you need to begin with the basics when it comes to cooking but the learning continues cooking a new cuisine such as Chinese, Thai, or Indian food.Cooking Lessons

This means that at any given time in your cooking learning cycles there is quite probably someone somewhere that is better and/or worse at cooking than you. Take heart from this because even the best have bad days when it comes to cooking.

Reasons For Cooking

There are many people who cook for different reasons. Some cook in order to eat and survive while others cook because they actually enjoy the process of cooking. Some cook during times of emotional upheaval and others cook out of sheer boredom. Others cook in support of their families whether in home or in a professional setting like a job. Whatever your reason for cooking or learning to cook you should always begin with the basics.

Cooking Terminology

The first thing that you need to learn is what the different terminology you will find in recipes actually means. There are many new and sometimes foreign sounding terms that you will find in common recipes. These terms can mean the difference in recipe success or failure. You should be able to find a good section in any inclusive cookbook that explains the different definitions for unfamiliar terminology. If you aren’t absolutely certain what is meant by “folding in the eggs” it is in your best interests to look it up.

Begin with a Kiss (Keep it simple Stupid)

Another great bit of advice when it comes to cooking basics is to try simpler recipes for a while and then expand your horizons to the more complex recipes that abound. Most recipes will have a little note about their degree of difficulty and you can read through the recipe to see whether or not it is something you are interested in preparing or confident that you can prepare. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will take quite some time to build a reliable ‘repertoire’ of recipes to work into your meal planning rotation.

Practice Makes Perfect

The good news is that once you’ve learned the basics of cooking it is unlikely that you will ever need to relearn them. This means that you can constantly build up and expand your cooking skills. As you learn new recipes and improve your culinary skills and talents you will discover that preparing your own meals from scratch is much more rewarding than preparing prepackaged meals that are purchased from the shelves of your local supermarkets.

Get Creative

You will also discover as your experience and confidence grows that you will find yourself more and more often improvising as you go and adjusting recipes to meet your personal preferences. If you prefer more or less of ingredients or want to make a recipe a little more or less spicy in flavor you can make simple adjustments along the way in order to achieve this goal. In other words you will begin in time to create recipes of your very own. But you need to start at the beginning and learning the cooking basics before you create your own recipes to impress your family.

In conclusion

Cooking can be lots of fun, finding the right recipes is very important, to get you started we have tons of free recipes that you can get started with, very easy and taste good recipes can be found here: Recipes 

Can You Live A Life With No Meat

Can You Live A Life With No Meat

 

Becoming a vegetarian is about a lot more than just a change to your diet. It is a lifestyle choice that influences many aspects of your life separate from just what you put into your body for food. This is why the path from when you first considered taking on the life of a vegetarian to when you are finally ready to make that transition may be several weeks or months. The journey to that moment when you are ready must not be rushed. Because not only is it a physical journey toward a physical change of diet, it is a spiritual, ethical and emotional journey as well.

Life without meat will mean a new approach to meal preparation that means new recipes and new ways to shop for the foods you need. This becomes additionally complex if you are living with those who have not made the choice to become vegetarians. If you are charged with meal preparation, that means two menus per night. If someone else is the primary cook of the house, that means you will need some accommodation so you can have a vegetarian meal while others are eating meat. That is going to take some relationship building and some tolerance by you and by the meat lovers in your home so everybody can dine in peace.

Being a vegetarian in a world of meat eaters may be one of the biggest adjustments you may have to make. But be prepared for some cravings for meat as well. At first, it might be wise to ease into vegetarianism so you still get some protein from meat while your body gets used to a lowered intake of that food group. This is also important because it will take a few weeks or longer to find a diet that has adequate substitutes for the nutrients and vitamins you are taking out of your body because of your new diet. By leaving meat in your eating schedule for a short time, you are less prone to feel run down or endure vitamin deficiencies during the transition to a full vegetarian eating regimen.

Many times a vegetarian lifestyle is part of a larger change of life which may also incorporate yoga, meditation or other spiritual activities. If your sole reason for becoming a vegetarian is related to health, this may not be as much of an issue. But if you are feeling drawn to a vegetarian life without meat because of ethical, moral or spiritual reasons, your desire to embrace vegetarianism is no doubt part of a larger spiritual quest or renewal that you are going though. This is healthy and the more you fully embrace your new interest in this side of your personality and soul, the more your desire to be a vegetarian will fit a total change of life.

But one of the most delightful surprises you will enjoy when you embrace the lifestyle of a vegetarian will be the number of others who will join you in your quest for a cleaner and more spiritual way to treat your body. The vegetarian community is a large one and it will welcome you warmly with community, support and all the help they can provide. But even from the community of those who are not vegetarians, you will often find friends and loved ones very supportive of the change of life you are going through and they will seek to help you all they can.

How To Become A Vegetarian – Making The Transition From Eating Meat

How To Become A Vegetarian

 

Sometimes the real obstacle of making that big change in your life to becoming a vegetarian is not the “why” of making this big change in your lifestyle but the how. Its not hard to find good reasons to eliminate meat from your diet. There are moral reasons, spiritual reasons and above all health reasons that make the change a perfect fit for where you are in life right now.

But what really stops a lot of people from making this very positive change in their personal lives is not knowing exactly how to make the transition. So its a good idea to think through what it will mean to become a vegetarian so we can remove the mystery from what you are about to do.

There is no sugar coating the fact that a significant change in diet such as you will experience switching to a vegetarian lifestyle is going to take some getting used to. It is also going to call for some self discipline on your part to make the transition. Yes, you will be more healthy and probably feel better ethically when you can honestly tell the world, “I am a vegetarian”. But the transition can be a challenge.

That is why one of the big steps in making the change is to be well in touch with your priorities and reasons for becoming a vegetarian. This is the most important in the first weeks of your new lifestyle as you get used to the diet and the health effects on your system. And since most vegetarian diets go through an adjustment period as you assure you are going to get enough protein and vitamins, you will have a lot of new sensations and things going on inside that will take some patience to get through.

So be sure of your motivations and go back to that “mantra” of why you decided to make this change in your life in the first place. And like any great goal, if you truly believe in what you are doing, you will push through the rough patches because you want to live right and enjoy the benefits of eating and living in a way that is harmonious with the environment and with your own bodily needs.

Sometimes the reason we hold back from taking the plunge on becoming vegetarians comes from a fear that is grounded in lack of information. So the obvious solution is to learn all you can about your diet and what to expect as you begin living the life of a vegetarian. The top priority in your new education program is how to create a diet that meets your nutritional needs as well as provides you with sufficient variety to be satisfying without the presence of meat. The good news is that there are a huge variety of web sites and books you can use to learn how to supplements your diet so you get what you need nutritionally to begin your life as a vegetarian.

A big decision to make and one you should think through before you start your path to the life of a vegetarian is how you will make the transition. You may be enthusiastic and want to go “cold turkey” or a very harsh vegetarian regimen. But is not advised as it will increase the chances you will experience more severe reactions to cutting out so much of your diet. Remember your body is used to a certain level of eating. So make changes slowly one at a time and ease into your new vegetarian lifestyle.

If there is any question about whether a vegetarian diet is right for you, seek medical advice before starting to make such a big change to what you eat each day. Your doctor can help you make sure you are getting enough vitamins for ongoing health and that you are planning meals that give you sufficient protein and nutrients so your active lifestyle is not hurt by your new eating discipline.

By begin smart, consulting with your doctor and being aware of your nutritional and vitamin needs as you start to change your diet and lifestyle, you will gently ease into a vegetarian life. And as you do so, you can celebrate that you are not just moving away from a bad diet but moving toward one you will enjoy and one that will benefit your health for a long time to come.

Vegetarian Quality Of Life

Vegetarian Quality Of Life

 

It is unfortunate that many people are not very understanding of why it is difficult for people who are not exposed to the vegetarian philosophy cannot understand why living without meat in your diet is not only a better way to live, it is a better way to eat as well. but unless you were born a vegetarian and raised that way, there was some point when you went through that transition. You may be able to remember thinking that vegetarians were nutty and when you could not imagine a meal that did not have a meat as its core ingredient.

Society doesn’t help us evolve toward a meat free world. For one thing, there is an entire industry devoted to keeping us hooked on meats. While that may not be as sinister and frightening as industries keeping us hooked on cigarettes, it does mean that these industries must thrive on raising and selling meat so there is no “understanding” coming from these powerful lobbies. Restaurants often are also not helpful when 90% of their menu offerings are meat based and when they do serve the meals, they are such large portions that their guests naturally eat too much and the wrong things at that.

Fortunately the vegetarian way of life is becoming more common and more understood every year. As more and more people see the value of becoming a vegetarian and how much their quality of life will improve, the vegetarian culture continues to grow. And as the population moves in this direction, business will follow and we will see more and more businesses and restaurants wanting to serve a growing vegetarian population. When you see McDonalds offering salads and vegetable alternatives as they have done in the last few years, you know that the vegetarian quality of life is getting to be more well known.

Its good for those of us that can plainly see that the difference in quality of life as a vegetarian compared to before the transition is as different as night and day to be able to have some understanding for our cultural bias toward meat eating. After all, civilization has been meat based for a long time. Perhaps as far back as the caveman days, the male urge to hunt meat for food is deeply ingrained in us as a species. So to switch to becoming a culture that hunts for vegetables rather than meats is going to be a difficult transition at a cultural level and it is going to take some time.

We should take heart from other large scale changes to how culture works because as a people, we can change. The migration away from smoking is a great example. Just a scant 20 or so years ago, smoking was considered a natural way of life and almost everybody smoked. As the dangers of smoking became more evident and as the quality of life nonsmokers enjoyed became more clear, slowly society responded.

This is not to say the change came easy. Giving up meat may be as difficult for some as giving up cigarettes is. But we now live in a world where public smoking is rare and the percentage of smokers to nonsmokers in society is small. That is progress and we can use that movement as inspiration that we too can bring society around to understand that giving up meat as the heart of our national diet will result in a higher quality of life for everyone.

Vegetarian Benefits

Vegetarian Benefits

 

Sometimes the only thing really holding you back from making the big step of becoming a vegetarian is to come to a firm grasp of what good you will get from it. Too often we see eating right and cutting meat from our diet as a drudgery and something we “should do” but we don’t want to. But becoming a vegetarian is a big life change and one that you should make with every intent of remaining a vegetarian for life. The only way to make that kind of life change “stick” is to have some concrete and desirable positive outcomes that you will realize from the change. If there is “something in it for you” besides being seen as a good person because you “should” do it, you will embrace the change more enthusiastically.

One big advantage that a vegetarian lifestyle can bring you is that it is a lot less fuss to life as a vegetarian and it is far less expensive. It doesn’t take a very extensive trip to the grocery store to realize that even a small slab of steak or a pound of hamburger is far more expensive than a head of cabbage or a bunch of carrots. Your food costs can plummet if you simplify your life and eat only meatless dishes. And your food will last longer in storage.

One advantage that many new converts to vegetarianism notice but that don’t get much coverage is how much better their digestive systems will work without the heavy load that meat places on your insides. Not only will you digest your food more easily, you will not feel that “heavy and sluggish” sensation and you will sleep better and even have better sex. That is because the negative impact of animal muscle on your intestines will disappear. You will also notice it in your lower intestines and your elimination. In every way, the functioning of your internal mechanisms will be much smoother when you only give it meatless meals to live on.

The health benefits are probably the motivation that convinces most people to adopt a meat free diet. The simple fact is that science has proven that humans are not natural meat eaters. Yes we can live on meat but our systems are not well suited to digest the heavy food that meat represents in your digestive system.

Many of the most chronic national health problems can be traced to meat consumption. Everything from obesity to cancer to heart disease to aging seems to be linked to the consumption of meat. Because meat is so much more difficult on our internal systems to digest, utilize and eliminate, the impact on your insides is devastating. Vegetarians do not suffer with as high an incidence of colon cancer, heart disease or obesity.

As many high priced weight loss programs as there are, there may be no more effective one and one that can be done for virtually no cost is to just stop eating meat. You rarely meet a fat vegetarian because there is just not very much in a nonfat meal to become fat. Vegetables quickly convert to energy, deliver vitamins to your systems and the remnant leave your system without difficulty so your metabolism will naturally speed up so you lose weight.

The moral, ethical and spiritual reasons for becoming a vegetarian are also well known. Many religions call for a diet of no meat and frequent fasting. A vegetarian diet gives you much greater control over your appetite so you can observe religious disciplines that call for physical denial for a short time and get all of the spiritual good from them.

Besides the spiritual values, more and more people are becoming aware that eating meat is unethical or immoral. It is not “kooky” or crazy to see that the raising of animals for us to kill and eat seems barbaric for an evolved culture such as ours. It is easy to find horror stories of the gruesome ways that animals are slaughtered to become our food. To become part of the solution rather part of the problem is appealing to many people who have a conscience. And vegetarianism is part of the solution that if all of us embraced vegetarianism, it would be a better world for everyone.

Dining Out As A Vegetarian

Dining Out As A Vegetarian

 

Its one thing to move into a vegetarian discipline when it comes to preparing your meals at home. But things get more complicated when you go out to eat because you must be prepared to order appropriately at a restaurant so you get good foods but foods that are in line with your vegetarian way of life.

The first order of business that should rank high on your priorities early in your vegetarian career is to find and try all of the vegetarian restaurants in town. This list will come in handy when enjoying some social time with like minded vegetarians or to eat on the run or from work. Also these will be the kinds of restaurants where you can learn what kinds of recipes to look for and what you like in a vegetarian order.

But you won’t take all your meals with other vegetarians. If you are like most of us, you share your life with friends, loved ones and coworkers who are not part of the vegetarian lifestyle. So learning to find good vegetarian alternatives in all of the restaurants is one of the skills you will become adept at the longer you remain a vegetarian which is hopefully for life. One trick is that if you have a vote in the kind of restaurant to choose, go for Chinese or Italian. Chinese restaurants often have some great meatless offerings already on their menu so you can order vegetarian and not even raise anyone suspicions.

Similarly because you find so many dishes in an Italian restaurant that are pasta only, you can order a veggie pizza or just pasta with a nice sauce or maybe some broccoli and enjoy a fine dinner that is totally in step with your vegetarian rules. Any restaurant that already has a good selection of meatless dishes that are not set apart as vegetarian are a good choice because you can dine with your non-vegetarian friends and family members and not call attention to the differences between you and them. And since most restaurants have a good salad menu, that is always a fall back in any restaurant situation.

If your vegetarian regimen is vegan so you must also avoid milk, eggs, cheese or anything cooked in chicken or meat stock, you will have to kick your vigilance up a notch. The good news is that the vegetarian movement has become so large and wide spread that many restaurants want to accommodate their vegetarian customers.

By letting your waiter know of your diet restrictions, he or she can guide you to the items on the menu that fit your requirements. It is not uncommon to see the manager or chef of the restaurant come to the table to help you make a choice. Restaurants are in the business of satisfying customers so they want to make sure you are happy with their menu offerings. And by enlisting the aid of your restaurant staff in a cooperative and friendly way, you send a positive message to your dining companions that you can live a vegetarian lifestyle and still be a happy member of the community in which you live.

Most of us have a short list of restaurants that we frequent often. But every restaurant you go to wants to be on that short list and make you a valued customer. So network with your vegetarian friends and do your homework up front to find out which restaurants do well at accommodating the lifestyle of their vegetarian or vegan customers. Then develop your strategy for handling any situation where you find yourself eating out so you can come out of that experience with a good meal that fits your lifestyle and not miss out on the great social times that we associate with the eating out experience.

Low Maintenance Vegetarian Cooking

Low Maintenance Vegetarian Cooking

 

“I can’t become a vegetarian because I don’t have the time to work up complicated vegetarian meals.”

That is a common misconception about what it means to life the lifestyle of a vegetarian. Oh yes, it is possible to become a fanatic about exotic vegetarian meals or to become so extreme about limiting not only meat but anything but vegetables from your diet that meal planning and preparation has to become the only other thing in your life other than work, school or taking care of your family. But as is true in any area of life, there are the extremes and the fanatics and then there is how the rest of us live.

Most vegetarians are not full time devotees to their desire to live meat free. So these hard working friends and coworkers of yours who have “gone vegetarian” have found ways to prepare good wholesome meals with little fuss so they can work a healthy diet into an already busy lifestyle. We can learn a lot from how they do it so we don’t let the alleged “fuss” of being vegetarian stop us from enjoying all the benefits this lifestyle can bring.

In truth, vegetarian eating should by its very nature be easier than preparing meals with meats because few of us eat raw meat but most of us can eat raw vegetables and enjoy them. So with some well thought out grocery shopping, you can keep the basics on hand so the vegetarians in your household can come home and put together a fast vegetarian meal with very little difficulty.

Many vegetarian families take a weekend afternoon and go to the store together to stock up on things they know they will turn to for meals throughout the week. By making sure you keep wholesome breads, fresh fruit and vegetables and cereals around all the time, your family can grab a quick breakfast of toast and cereal which will serve them well all day long. That night, anyone in the family can combine fresh vegetables and lettuce or spinach into a salad quickly and dine like a gourmet in a matter of moments. Remember to keep the little extras that make a salad special on hand such as nuts, shredded carrots, cheese if your diet permits it and a good variety of low fat salad dressings so you always have a salad to fall back on for a quick and easy evening meal.

The crock pot is the savior of many a working family and the same is true for vegetarians. Few vegetables do not go together well in a soup or a stew. So with a little planning, you can put together a delicious blend of vegetables, beans and spices in the crock pot in the morning and have a steamy and delicious meal waiting for you when you walk in the door after work. And with a couple cups of water, you create a rich and nutritious stock that goes well with the meal or can be used afterwards as the base for rice or another dish and that carries all the nutrients of the original crock pot soup with it with each new meal.

The microwave oven can also do a lot to help your vegetarian cooking be easy to do. With a little low fat cooking spray, you can sauté onions, peppers, potatoes, garlic and many other ingredients that can come out of the crock pot ready to be used in a simple dinner recipe. A fall back for easy dinner cooking is to prepare a good sized bowl of freshly warmed or sautéed vegetables and combine that with two cups of brown rice cooked in vegetable broth (from a previous soup) and a can of low far soup. The result is a fast stew that will be gobbled up by your family.

There is no reason to avoid the vegetarian lifestyle because you are a busy family. If anything by embracing vegetarianism, you are embracing a more simple way of life that works very well with an active work and family life. And you will be eating healthier as well which benefits everyone along the way.