Good evening, loyal followers. I have finally bitten the bullet and decided to buy my own domain. What this means for you? Nothing really. If you already subscribe to my blog, you don’t need to do anything. You will continue receiving all of my posts. If you go to look up my blog on your own, the new address is www.veggieinspiredjourney.com. No more wordpress in the name! Whoop! If you don’t subscribe and you want yummy plant based recipes, please click the subscribe button and enter your e-mail. And don’t forget to tell your friends! Thanks!
This week’s focus was on eggplant. This was an easy choice as our garden is overflowing with this glossy purple veggie. Just when I think we’ve gone through them all there are 3-4 more ready to harvest.
Eggplants have a decent amount of potassium, folate, magnesium, copper, manganese, niacin and fiber. The skin of eggplant is edible and has been shown to have the potential ability to help prevent against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.
The meaty flesh makes them hearty and filling. Try roasting or grilling thick slices for a “steak” the healthy way!
Here is how we enjoyed our eggplant this week:
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 3/4 inch slices
- 1 tbsp salt (for drawing out the liquid)
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp dried Italian seasonings
- 1 recipe Moxerella
- 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
- Place the eggplant slices on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let the eggplant sit for about 20 minutes to draw out the liquid.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- After 20 minutes, wipe the eggplant clean with a dry paper towel, removing the salt and water.
- Place the eggplant slices on the parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until just tender.
- While the eggplant roasts, make the Moxerella.
- When eggplant is done roasting, top each slice with a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce, a few dollops of Moxerella and a sprinkling of Italian seasonings.
- Put eggplant under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melty and starting to brown.
Note: The Moxerella recipe is so easy. I know it sounds weird and you probably think it won’t work, but trust me!
These were delicious and held together really well.
This was my favorite recipe of the week!! I am a fan of anything with vinegar. I did not use the honey called for in this recipe. I like the balsamic to stand on its own. My eggplants were on the smaller side. One half would make a great appetizer or salad course for a dinner party, a light lunch on it’s own or, if you are like me, you’ll eat 3 of these halves and call it dinner. If you have bigger eggplants, you can slice each half into quarters for more manageable serving sizes.
Eggplant seems to be one of those vegetables that people either love or hate. Obviously, I love it! Where do you stand?
I’m excited to introduce a new blog of mine that I just started yesterday: The Lively Lunchbox. This blog will feature lunches that I send with my 6 year old to 1st grade. Please note, these are not strictly vegan. While my kids do eat mostly vegan, I do not restrict any food groups from them. The lunches will be heavy on the fruits/veggies/carbs, but you will find all food groups there. I know a lot of us who enjoy the plant based lifestyle ourselves are still living with family members who don’t. If this describes you and you would like some healthy lunchbox ideas for your kids this school year, please follow me at The Lively Lunchbox. Thanks!
Veggie Inspired Journey will continue to feature only vegan recipes. I have a post coming up soon that will be all about a grain many of you probably haven’t tried yet. Stay tuned…
This week’s ingredient was lentils because I use them ALL THE TIME. I love them and they are so versatile. Lentils are part of the legume family and are high in B vitamins (especially folate), fiber, iron and protein (18g in 1 cup). Lentils can help to stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, increase energy and keep you feeling full.
I often use lentils in place of ground meat when “veganizing” a recipe. They are great in sloppy joes, tacos, burritos, bolognese, burgers, salads, soups, etc.
Here are a few ways we ate our lentils this week:
These held together really well! I did end up having to add a bit more chickpea flour, but ultimately, it worked out great.
Delicious and the kids ate them up too!
I have been making this salad since long before I decided to eat plant based. It is one of my favorites for potlucks, BBQs or just a big crowd. The original recipe calls for honey and feta cheese. You can sub agave or raw sugar for the honey and just leave out the feta. If you are a salt person (I am not), you may want to add some extra salt to make up for the lack of feta. Maybe use salted roasted walnuts instead of raw…or maybe add some olives (no idea if that would work, I despise olives, but they would definitely add that salty flavor).
I love lentil soups and stews of all kinds. I actually wasn’t sure about this one going in. I usually would chop my garlic very fine…not generally a big fan of bigger garlic slices. And I was worried about the spice level. I did use a jalapeno instead of a Serrano because I have an abundance of them in my garden. I LOVED this! I wish I would have doubled the recipe because I ate the whole thing (myself) in one day. The garlic melts right into the soup and you can’t taste any bits of it or the cumin seeds (another worry I had). It all just blended so nicely and the seasoning was perfect, not spicy.
Sadly, I did not photograph this one. I’ve made it at least 5 times now over the past year and I have not one picture. Wha? But, just trust me, you will love this. My kids all love it too! In fact, recently, I’ve been doubling the recipe cause we end up eating all the whole thing in one sitting.
In other news: I am super excited that I have been accepted as a recipe tester for Vegan Richa. She is a vegan food blogger and working on a new Indian cookbook. Obviously, I can’t share any recipes with you, but I may post up some pics every now and then about what I’ve been testing. I’ve already made a few very tasty dishes!! FYI: two of the recipes I made this week with lentils were from her blog and I didn’t do that on purpose; I had them on the menu before I even knew of the recipe testing opportunity. I just really like her food!
Good morning, all! I’m excited to announce that I wrote my first guest post. It’s all about meal planning. Each Monday, Holly of My Plant Based Family posts her own meal planning ideas. During the month of July, she is posting meal plans and ideas from other bloggers. All recipes and meal plans are plant based and vegan. I am thrilled to be a part of it! You can find my post on her blog TODAY. Check it out HERE.
I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day. We spent the daytime with relatives and the evening with neighbors. Super fun day all around.
Well, I’m promised a beet burger recipe and here it is. If I’m being honest, however, I didn’t care for these all that much. Before being cooked the mixture looked amazingly like raw hamburger meat and held together really well. I had high hopes. They were fine, but I have made many a veggie burger that I liked better. These get rave reviews online though, so if you are a risk-taker, you might just want to give them a try.
Quarter Pounder Beet Burger from PPK
I served it alongside a pasta salad inspired by Veganomicon’s Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad. I have made this salad numerous times as is and it is DELICIOUS, but this time I made a few changes. I added more vinegar (I really love vinegar), dijon mustard, shredded zucchini instead of radishes and left out the peas. So good!
Vegan Macaroni Pasta Salad
- 3/4 cup Vegenaise
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 lb package macaroni noodles
- 3-4 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
Cook the macaroni noodles according to package directions. Set aside to cool. While noodles are cooling, whisk your dressing ingredients in a bowl (or simply shake vigorously in a mason jar with lid). Add grated veggies to noodles, top with dressing and mix thoroughly. Eat immediately or refrigerate until serving.
This makes quite a bit and is perfect for a potluck or backyard BBQ. So yum!!
Which plant based foods did you enjoy at your July 4th celebration?
I’m still looking for more suggestions on which fruits, veggies, grains, etc., you would like to see featured here. Please keep all ideas and suggestions coming my way!
I am quickly approaching my one year Blogiversary. I have enjoyed sharing delicious, healthy plant based recipes with all of you. Thank you so much to all of my readers! Hopefully, I have provided some new recipes for you to try and maybe even inspired some of you to take a closer look at how you are fueling your body every day.
I wanted to do something special for my one year blogiversary. I thought about taking my original challenge again because, I’ll admit, since that first month ended I have not followed the whole foods plant based way of eating 100%. I really wanted to do something different though. Luckily, I drew inspiration from a friend of mine (a fellow twin mama). She was looking for a way to encourage her family to eat more veggies. They decided that as a family they would try a new vegetable every week. She does not have a blog (though she should), but she has been posting on Facebook each week about the veggie, how she cooked it and whether or not she and her family liked it. I really really like this idea! Sooo, I’m kind of stealing it. 🙂 Starting in July, I will be choosing one fruit, veggie, grain or some other whole foods plant based ingredient each week. I will discuss it’s nutritional value and try several different recipes using the chosen ingredient. I am hoping this new “challenge” will help me focus on this blog more as well as inspire others to try new ingredients or simply try new healthy recipes using ingredients they already love.
I would LOVE to hear what ingredients you would like to see featured! A vegetable that has always intimidated you, perhaps. That grain you always see in the store, but can’t pronounce and don’t know what to do with, maybe. Or possibly you would like more healthy recipes for the 10 pounds of strawberries you picked last week.
I can’t wait to hear from you! Let’s Eat!
My house smelled AWESOME yesterday as I slow cooked apples in maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger for this amazing Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. The recipe is courtesy of the blog My Whole Food Life. I’ve tried many of her recipes now and they are all delicious and healthy. I suggest you try this one out for yourself. Your kids will love it too!
If you think you don’t like tofu, I suggest you try it this way. It’s sweet and a little sticky from the maple syrup. The outside is crispy while the inside is just soft enough. I slice the tofu in tiny cubes so they get nice and crispy and the sauce covers every bit. So yum! I pop these like candy.
The side dish comes from one of my favorite cookbooks Clean Start by Terry Walters. I love all of her recipes. They are so fresh and healthy. Again, if you think you don’t like greens (kale and collard greens), I suggest you try them in this dish. It is soooo good! I like the crust to be 75% millet to 25% amaranth, but you can mix it up however you like. Even my kids like this!
The tofu pieces before I added the maple glaze. They are delicious just like this!
The tofu after I added the maple glaze…you can see the caramelized sticky bits….yum!
As always, you can click on the recipe titles for recipe instructions. Enjoy!
Well, today is the last day of July and, therefore, the last day of my whole foods plant based eating challenge. Does that mean I will stop eating this way? NO! Does it mean I may be a bit more lenient when out in a restaurant or at someone else’s house? Sure. I don’t want food to be a big deal. I don’t want my kids to feel like they can’t have something their friends are having. I don’t want to feel like I’m starving at a party with no healthy plant based choices. But, I do want to make the best decisions possible in regards to my health and well being. And I want my kids to learn that too. I want people to know that they can absolutely indulge in something decadent without it being laden with saturated fats and cholesterol. The age old motto: Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat.
I have found in this month that a 100% plant based diet is easy. It is tasty. It is filling. It makes me feel more energetic and lighter. My workouts have been easier and I actually find myself WANTING to exercise since I am not sitting in the food coma fog of the old days. I have lost all cravings for cheese and ice cream.
If you are the least bit interested in exploring a plant based diet for yourself I highly recommend a few reads/videos:
- Forks Over Knives – Film
- My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn – Book, includes recipes
- The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone – Book, includes recipes
There are so many more, but these three are concise and easy to understand. If they don’t change your life, they will at least get you thinking and hopefully inspire you to incorporate more plant based foods in your diet and less animal products. If you read/watch any of them, I’d love to know what you think.
Going forward, I am not going to be posting every meal I eat every day, but I will post great plant based recipes that I come across on a fairly regular basis. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to think differently about your food choices and I hope you continue to read my blog and try out these recipes for yourself.
On to today:
Equal parts Shredded Wheat, Cheerios, Grape Nuts and Old Fashioned Oats with chopped walnuts, sliced banana and a handful of blueberries all topped with unsweetened soy milk.
Sunflower Seed Butter and Strawberry Jam sandwich with leftover Kale Salad on the side.
Dinner was a flashback to college years. I remember living in this dingy 2 bedroom apartment the summer after my sophomore year with 3 roommates. We all had mattresses on the floor because we couldn’t afford actual bed frames and apparently we never asked our parents to bring them from home. We went to summer school, we worked, we partied and we ate like crap….like Hamburger Helper crap. But, gosh, it was good, right? Or maybe I’m just weird. This version is MUCH healthier, but still creamy and “beefy” and flavorful. My little girls loved this by the way, but my 5 year old didn’t seem to care for it much. He did, however, have not only seconds, but a third helping of the freshly steamed broccoli I served with it. Now, who’s the weirdo?? 🙂
I started the day with THIS yoga sequence.
8 Minute TaeBo DVD Workout
45 Minute walking incline workout on treadmill
I finally made it to the grocery store this weekend, but haven’t yet had a chance to use any of the food. We were at the White Sox game yesterday and then stopped back at my in-laws house afterwards before heading home.
Cold cereal again. Shredded Wheat, Grape Nuts and raw oats with walnuts, a sprinkling of wheat germ, strawberries and blueberries and topped off with unsweetened rice milk.
Most of the family ate lunch at the ballpark, but since I wasn’t sure what kind of vegan options I would find there (if any), I ate a small lunch before we left. I finished off the remainder of the Roasted Corn and Basil Farro Salad and had some Triscuits and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus on the side.
I did discover that at U.S. Cellular Field they have a Sloppy Jane that is made from tempeh and is vegan. They also have a Veggie Chopped Salad that was full of yummy offerings such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, red onion, and garbanzo beans. It also comes with blue cheese, but you could certainly just leave that off. I was tempted to try the Sloppy Jane just to see if it was good, but my quick lunch was holding me over just fine.
M requested pizza, so pizza it was…for the rest of the family. I ordered spaghetti with marinara and it came with a small garden salad with vinaigrette. It was a HUGE helping and I ate all of it (apparently, my small lunch didn’t hold me over as well as I thought).
25 push ups
10 tricep dips
I had intended to do more, but then we left for the Sox game and didn’t get home until after 8p. By the time we put the kids to bed, I was exhausted. Am going to try to get a run in today.