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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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

Easy Vegetarianism

Easy Vegetarianism

 

“Make it easy on yourself.”

I like that phrase. And it’s a good motto for learning a new skill or going through a big life transition. When you decide to explore becoming a vegetarian, it is very easy to get scared off by what appears to be a difficult road ahead. But the truth is, there is an easy way and a hard way to become a vegetarian. So in keeping with our motto of the day of “make it easy on yourself”, lets discuss vegetarianism the easy way.

First of all along with learning a new way to eat, you are also giving up something you probably have loved to eat for years. So to reduce the difficulty in going through this transition, don’t try to accomplish the entire transition in one day. We have a mistaken concept about vegetarians that the conversion is instantaneous as though one day the person was eating all the meat he or she could find and in a flash they became a robe wearing, mantra singing vegetarian. But that is complete myth. Most successful vegetarians found there way into the discipline in stages and gave up meat slowly.

You might take on your vegetarian transition one meal at a time. First give up eggs and bacon for breakfast and switch to grain cereals or pancakes. Don’t try to give up cheese and milk at first. Select specific items you will eliminate from specific meals and just accomplish that for a week or so. Then once you have conquered that step, add lunch and then much later add dinner. And don’t throw your hands up and give up if you have a moment of weakness and have a hamburger one day. You wont be drummed out of the vegetarian society for one mistake in your program. Just get back with it and keep on keeping on.

Find ways to see some success by being reasonable and sensible about how you approach your meal planning. If one of your goals for switching to a meatless diet is to lose weight, don’t substitute sugars and sweats for the meat. If you find yourself eating without meat but each day you have a big bowl of fruit drowned in sugary additives, you won’t lose the weight and you might mistakenly think your program failed you. Think about what you eat so you don’t sabotage your own diet.

One of the things that scares a lot of people away from trying vegetarianism is the idea of having to learn to eat exotic and expensive new foods such as tofu, and tempeh. So make it easy on yourself and eat the foods you know. By doing your shopping in your own grocery store and buying more food from the produce section than the meat section, you will be working with foods like carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli, celery and cabbage and that familiarity will make the transition to becoming a vegetarian easier to take. Also by shopping where you are comfortable and eating “normal” foods, you eliminate the sensation that you are joining some bizarre cult.

Now make it fun. Yes it can be fun to be a vegetarian. You can start shopping at farmer’s markets instead at the boring grocery store and select very fresh produce and vegetables for your next cooking experiment. Not only are outdoor markets more fun, you will find them cheaper so instead of seeing your food budget go up because of becoming a vegetarian, it goes down. Then by working as a family to find fun vegetarian recipes and working together to make them, everybody gets in on the act discovering how delicious vegetarian meals can be. And when you are having fun, you may forget entirely that you dreaded this transition. Before long, you are a vegetarian and it didn’t hurt a bit!

The Vegetarian Lifestyle

The Vegetarian Lifestyle

 

One of the biggest injustices that the vegetarian movement has endured is that in popular culture, the image of a vegetarian is that of a fanatic hippy or cult member who is “off the deep end” and cannot think about anything else besides “saving a cow” and pushing vegetarianism on everyone he meets. The truth is that the lifestyle of a vegetarian is not that different than everyone else in the culture. In fact, the odds are that somewhere in your social circle at work, school, church or in your family and friends network, you already know several people who are quietly enjoying the lifestyle of a vegetarian. So to help us get over the negative stereotypes to understand how a vegetarian actually lives, lets examine what is different about a vegetarians life.

The most significant difference in how a vegetarian lives is obvious because it is in how he or she eats. You will not find any meat in a vegetarian’s kitchen. Now this doesn’t mean that a vegetarian cannot live in a family and be at peace with meat eaters. If the home has one vegetarian but others who are not, you will be able to tell from the presence of soy and perhaps more fruit and fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. But the idea that vegetarians cannot be around meat eaters is false. If anything vegetarians are peace loving and can live their lifestyle around others who are not of their belief system very well.

Grocery shopping with a vegetarian is an eye opening experience and one that is quite different in more ways than you would suspect. Being a vegetarian isn’t just about what you don’t eat in that you don’t eat meat. It is also about a completely different approach to diet and foods. So you will not see a vegetarian buying food in the same way most people do. There will be much more time spent in the fresh produce section of the grocery store. The checkout basket of a vegetarian will give him or her away every time because it will be overflowing with fresh foods.

But shopping for food with a vegetarian means shopping in other places than the local grocery store. It means buying grains and beans in bulk at a warehouse store because that is one way that a vegetarian maintains health by replacing the protein and other nutrients that the rest of the world gets from meat and replacing it with proteins from beans and other natural foods. It also means shopping in farmer’s markets and even shopping in a vegetarian specialty store for some high nutrition meat substitutes like tofu.

The vegetarian movement is in harmony with many of the earth first movements such as the organic movement and the green movement. So a vegetarian kitchen will have more organic foods on hand to reduce the presence of harmful pesticides and other substances in the diet. Also vegetarianism affects the lifestyle beyond just the refrigerator and the pantry. You will not find leather clothing in a vegetarian’s closet and you wont find fur there either. That is became for the most part vegetarians are sensitive to animal rights and they don’t want to see the skin of animals used in their clothing.

The house of a vegetarian will also be a recycling house to do all that is possible to cut down on waste and to be earth friendly. Along with recycling bottles and cans as you might expect, a vegetarian recycles a lot right at home. A recycling home will often have a compost pile in the yard for food waste and it will also support a good sized garden to use that compost to grow at home organic foods to supplement a healthy diet.

For obvious reasons, a vegetarian will have vegetarian friends and belong to social groups and attend functions that support the vegetarian lifestyle. Eating out with a vegetarian will mean going to more ethnic food restaurants and you will see a lot of creativity in how to order foods in a restaurant. But contrary to popular opinion, vegetarian eating is more flavorful and diverse than the normal diet.

Just spending a day with a vegetarian will reveal to you a more harmonious lifestyle that is sensitive to the environment and at peace with itself. It is a healthy and happy lifestyle and one that should be attractive to all of us.

Fabulous Egg Drop Soup

Fabulous Egg Drop Soup

 

By: Barbi Claridge

Heat 2-4 cups veggie broth until boiling. Lower heat to a simmer.
Add:
dashes of garlic salt
dashes of garlic powder
dashes of onion salt
dashes of onion powder
– or whatever seasonings you like.
If you overdo it, just add more water to the mix.

Mix in a coffee cup: 1/2 cup water with 2 teaspoons cornstarch,
mix until looks like milk.

S-l-o-w-l-y pour small amounts of cornstarch mix into the broth,
stirring constantly, until it thickens a little bit.

Beat eggs slightly, dribble into the simmering broth, remove from heat.

Pour in serving bowl and top with green onions and a few dashes of Soy Sauce.

Vegetarians and Soups

Vegetarians and Soups

 

If anything could be considered the heart of great vegetarian cooking it would be the soup. Because soup gives the cook so much freedom to combine various vegetables and herbs, the variety of tastes and consistencies is virtually endless. And because soups capture almost all of the nutrients of the cooking process in the soups stock, it is a dish that meets the highest of nutritional standards will being delicious, hearty and satisfying at the same time.

Another great thing about basing your vegetarian diet plan on soups and stews is that it fits so well with a busy modern lifestyle. Just because you are a vegetarian, you still are busy with work, family and social responsibilities. But with a big crock pot, you can put together a soup for the family that is just as good as if you had labored over it for hours. And when everyone has had their fill of soup, there is no waste because every drop of the excess can be refrigerated for another meal later or frozen be on hand down the road. All of these aspects of soups fill perfectly with the vegetarian way of life.

Creativity should become the guiding principle of your soup planning particularly if you are going to make soups every week for your vegetarian family. Naturally you will have your favorite recopies that everybody will clamor for each week. But every so often, start with a basic soup stock and then get creative from there. You can use as a foundation for y our soup the basics of onions, garlic and the base vegetables such as carrots or celery. But many vegetables will serve well as “surprise guests” in your soup of the week that will not show up every week. Such vegetables as potatoes, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes and many more can add tremendous variety to your soup tastes and keep the soup concept constantly new and fresh as a staple of your vegetarian family meal planning.

One cooking skill you should invest some time in to become a top notch vegetarian soup cook is to know your spices. A soup can get pretty bland even with the best of ingredients but the wise and clever use of spices can make a soup come alive with flavor. Each soup ingredient interacts with spices differently. And you can change the very nature of a soup with nothing more than the addition of a few spices. With the addition of cumin and chili powder, a routine tomato soup becomes vegetarian chili. With the addition of Mexican spices, a run of the mill bean soup becomes vegetarian taco soup that can be as spicy as you want it to be. So learn to experiment with spices and get to know what kind of personality different spices like oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon extract, cilantro and parsley can add to your soup.

Soups are also a wonderful way to blend in lots of different ingredients that your family might not otherwise eat. And since a big priority in vegetarian meal planning is to assure that your family gets the proper nutrition from each meal, you can add beans, rice, tofu and other staples from the vegetarian pantry to expand the nutritional value of your soup so it not only is delicious, it is filling and very healthy as well.

It is possible that at times your family may grow tired of soup after soup. So you might want to experiment with thickening the soup so that by the end of the preparation process, you have a stew that is just as good as soup but has much less liquid broth to present to your hungry vegetarians. Many cooks use cornstarch or flour to turn the broth into more of a paste before serving. Another clever device is to use instant potatoes that are sold in packages of flakes. By sprinkling a package into your soup, the flakes will soak up the soup and add that rich potato flavor to your stew.

Have fun with your soup creations and always be on the lookout for new and interesting soup recipes. The vegetarian web sites and blogs are a constant source of new innovations on the standard soup idea. But by being creative and vigilant in keeping your soups always new and fun, you can use the basic concept as the cornerstone of your vegetarian cooking for many years.

Scrumptious Taco Salad

Scrumptious Taco Salad

 

Prep Time: approx. 20 Minutes

” This is a meatless entree. This healthy and intriguing recipe got
a thumbs up from all of the tasters in the Ortega kitchen. Try it for yourself! ”

Ingredients
8 cups prewashed and cut romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cup diced green chile peppers
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup kernel corn
1/3 cup Caesar-style salad dressing
1/4 cup taco sauce
12 taco shells, warmed

Directions
1 Combine lettuce, 1 cup cheese, avocado, chiles, beans and corn in large bowl.
Combine dressing and taco sauce in small bowl; mix well.
Pour over lettuce mixture; toss well to coat.

2 Fill each taco shell with salad mixture; top with remaining cheese and tomatoes.

Nutrition at a glance
Servings Per Recipe: 6
amount per serving
Calories 447
Protein 16g
Total Fat 27g
Sodium 481mg
Cholesterol 40mg
Carbohydrates 38g
Fiber 8g

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 few minutes of preparation time.
The filling is made using a can of cream soup and a can of mixed
vegetables mixed with a little thyme. The kids are sure to love this savory pastry. ”

Ingredients
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup
1 (15 ounce) can mixed vegetables, drained
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (9 inch) frozen prepared pie crusts, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2 In a medium bowl, combine potato soup, mixed vegetables, milk, thyme,
and black pepper.

3 Spoon filling into bottom pie crust. Cover with top crust, and crimp
edges to seal. Slit top crust, and brush with beaten egg if desired.

4 Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition at a glance
Servings Per Recipe: 6
amount per serving
Calories 384
Protein 6g
Total Fat 22g
Sodium 934mg
Cholesterol 41mg
Carbohydrates 41g
Fiber 4g

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 recipe.
For those who don’t like beets, they may just change their minds!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 medium beets, peeled and quartered
2 tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
1 Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour in oil and saute
onion and garlic until translucent. Mix in cumin seed and saute an
additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and saute 1 minute more.

2 Stir in beets, tomatoes, water, and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover
pan with lid, and allow to simmer 30 to 45 minutes, until beets are tender.

Nutrition at a glance
Servings Per Recipe: 4

amount per serving
Calories 140
Protein 3g
Total Fat 8g
Sodium 854mg
Cholesterol –
Carbohydrates 17g
Fiber 3g

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 doesnt take alot of time. If you have the extra
time you can roll the ingredients up in a traditional enchilada
shape. Usually I do that, but when in a hurry, I just layer it all
like you would with lasagna, it comes out great in half the time!!!
It’s versatile because you can use ingredients that you have on hand,
or are available at your store, and as you will see, the quantities
can be changed, it comes out great almost no matter what you do!

Sauce Mix:
~0~ 1 small can tomato paste
~0~ 2 cups water
~0~ 1 pkg Lawrys Enchilada Sauce mix
To save yourself some grief by avoiding lumps, mix the water and tomato
paste *Before* you add the enchilada sauce mix. I do it with an
old-fashioned hand-cranked mixer, but you can also mix it in a blender,
a food processor, or even with a fork or spoon.

Mix the powdered enchilada mix in and put on stove on low heat.

Filling Mix:
~0~ 1 pkg thawed/unfrozen/defrosted (or 1 or 2 cups) (or 1, 1-1/2, or 2 lbs)
Veggie Crumbles (aka: soy protein veggie ground round). If your store doesnt
carry veggie crumbles/ground round, you can substitute a similar qty of
veggie/garden burger patties all chopped up to look like ground crumbles.
~0~ 1 small can diced green chilis
~0~ 1 small can diced black olives
~0~ 1 pkg Lawrys taco seasoning mix (Lawry’s is my favorite but you can
use others)
~0~ 10 or 20 shakes Schilling/McCormick Mexican Seasoning
~0~ 1 onion chopped up (optional)
~0~ 2 cloves garlic (optional) (you can peel them and shred using the
small holes (parmesan grater) on your cheese grater – it’s much easier
than chopping or using a garlic press)
~0~ Leftovers (optional) add your refrigerator leftovers such as chopped
tomatoes (with or without the juice) chopped onions, any variety of
vegetables – chop them up kind of small)

Mix it all up good – no need to heat, the veggie crumbles are cooked and
everything else will cook in the oven

Directions:
Spread a little of the sauce on bottom of a casserole pan (about 1/3 or
enough to cover the pan)
cover with layer of corn tortillas (overlapping to leave no openings)
top that with the veggie crumble mix
top that with grated non-dairy sharp cheddar and/or monterey jack cheese
(about a pound)
add another layer of corn tortillas to cover it
spread the rest of the sauce on top

bake for 20 minutes
top with a handful of the grated non-dairy cheese
back in the oven until top cheese is melted

let sit for 15 minutes to set

serve with coca-cola (not pepsi!) in tall glasses with four large ice
cubes each

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 pan. Add 2 packages of spinach. Break up
and stir. Add cream cheese and onion soup mix. Stir well. Place in a
casserole and bake at 300°F for 45 minutes.

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 recipe on the top of my list!

By: Jen

1 stick butter
2 oz cream cheese
1 pkg S.F. instant pudding, any flavor
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup soy protein powder
1 oz chopped nuts

Soften butter and cream cheese and mix well. Add pudding and stir
until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla, soy powder and nuts. Roll
into 1-1/2 inch diameter balls and carefully flatten. Bake at 350
for 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with artificial sweetener if desired.

Note: a couple of people have tried this recipe and found
it far too dry to actually work. I would suggest adding some sort
of liquid – an egg or two or some milk – when preparing the recipe.