Super Bowl Snacks
Whether you are hosting or pitching in at at Superbowl Party this weekend, rather than picking up the processed chips and cheese dip at your local supermarket, we suggest going for the extra point and bringing one of these healthier snacks instead:
- Black Bean Hummus
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
- A Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix (Pictured above)
- “Beet” This Salad
- Edamame Dip
- Spinach, Mushrooms & More Melt (Make ’em mini!)
Being a vegetarian, I am very careful to make sure that I am always making sure to get enough protein in my diet. One way I do this is by eating fish (which I know makes me not the strictest of vegetarians). The other is by having eggs as a regular part of my diet.
Eggs are a low-cost, low-calorie way to get protein and other health benefits. But not all eggs are the same. According to Mother Earth News, who have conducted egg nutrient tests, “eggs from hens raised on pasture, as compared to those commercially raised factory farm eggs, contain: 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta carotene and 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D.”
While you certainly can purchase organic, certified humane, cage free eggs at the grocery store, it is no surprise that we encourage you to look further (and closer) to some local farms in your area that offers eggs. That way, you can know first hand where your eggs are coming from!
Need recipe ideas? Here are just a few of our favorite things to do with eggs.
- Sweet Potato & Zucchini Frittata
- Mama’s Frittata
- Easy Cheesy Frittata
- Local Eggs Florentine
- Asparagus & Eggs Any Time of Day
- Egg & Tomato Cups
- Farm Stand Crustless Quiche
- Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Note: You may be looking at the photo above and wonder why we have a selection of rainbow colored eggs. The local place we get our eggs has a few Araucana hens… that lay blue and green eggs!
Central Ohio CSAs
If you live in the central Ohio area and missed the first meet and greet event, be sure to stop by Tehku Tea Company this Friday (1/30/09) for a “Get to Know Your Farmers” event with local farms including The Wayward Seed Farm, 2Silos, and Vanscoy Farms.
Enjoy a cup of tea while you are there and learn more about Community Supported Agricuture shares. There are a lot of options for CSAs with fresh fruits, vegetables, and farm raised meat and dairy in the central Ohio area and now is the time to get signed up!
The event takes place from 4-7 p.m. at Tehku Tea Company, 55 South High Street, Dublin OH. Call Tehku with questions 614-761-3808.
If you are not in the area but are still interested in finding a CSA in your area, check out LocalHarvest.org for a farm near you.
Tempeh Part II
Now that you all have tempeh in your fridge and you are wondering what the heck to do with it, here is an easy, yet inspiring dish to start with: Tempeh a l’Orange adapted from The New Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook.
Tempeh a l’Orange
8 oz. tempeh
3-4 Tbsp. olive or toasted sesame oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery or 2 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1.5 cups boiling water
juice of 1 orange
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
zest of 1 orange
dash black pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley (or Rosemary gives it an interesting twist instead)
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Cut tempeh into 1/2 inch chunks, saute in 2 Tbsp. of oil until golden on all sides (about 5 minutes), remove to a paper towel to drain.
Then saute the onion and celery in the remaining oil until tender. Sprinkle with flour and stir for a minute or so over medium heat. Gradually add water, continuing to stir while mixture thickens. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add tempeh to the mix and simmer just a little longer for the flavors to be absorbed.
Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or bulgar wheat.
Check out some other tempting tempeh recipes and let me know how you do!
- TLT Sandwich from 101cookbooks.com
- Tempeh Wraps from Lightlife
- Tempeh Coconut Curry from Cooking Light
- Tempeh Chili from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Day 18 – Man vs. Meat
18 Days into the Man vs. Meat Challenge – Status – Very alive, no cravings, 167 lbs
Another week down and the challenge is plodding along, I even forget that I am trying to do this…(meaning I don’t really miss the meat, not that I slip up)
1. This will be more difficult for the undisciplined single guy. I am lucky to be in a house where my wife is really interested in new foods and is willing to help out with making dinners. I think back to when I lived with a guy roommate (and two other hooligans next door) after college. We were reasonably healthy guys, but it was always easy to grab some quick food. As with any single person, you need to be wiling to go to the store more frequently for fresh food, read recipes and probably spend more time in the kitchen. If I were single, I would recommend inviting people over a couple times a week and make dinners for a friend or two. This will give you some people to eat at HOME with and as always, misery needs company.
2. Our world is not set up for vegetarians – I went to the Cavs game in Cleveland on Friday night. The ‘Q’ is a great stadium and relatively new, but it still holds the traditional stadium food. Veggie options include bad soft pretzels, chips, fries, etc. We ended up in a Quaker State restaurant at halftime and I ate some cheese fries (hold the bacon) since there was no other options. I can imagine that if you are a person who eats fast food a lot, you will need to be very careful when starting a veggie diet. A lot of places leave you only few and not good options. Plan ahead, bring snacks, people won’t be offended.
3. You can forget about meat pretty quickly – I am not sure if its because meat was not the center of our diet, but its become seemingly easy to forget about the meat. It only seems noticeable when we end up in a traditionally ‘meat’ place. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings with some friends for lunch, and to their credit, they do have some veggie options. Liz and I both got the veggie burger, which was more bun than burger, and left me eating more fries than I normally would have. It’s like trying to lose weight, instead of hiding it or acting like you aren’t trying to lose weight, its easier to just tell everyone what your doing and try to find compromises on places to eat. You will feel better and probably be surprised that others don’t really care.
To close out this post, I would like to highlight a few new things I have eaten. We have had tempeh and some tofu to help keep the protein in the diet. I think the “I need protein in my diet” for meat eaters is a pretty poor excuse. Its is apparent to me now that it is a lazy excuse. I have been pleasent surprised with some eggplant sandwiches I had, especially the one at Melt in Cleveland. Overall, we have been able to find some good fish and veggie items. If you are ever in trouble, just grab a veggie pizza and you can’t go wrong.
More in a few days!
An Intro to Tempeh
My husband and I received a great vegetarian cookbook over the holidays, which, in addition to his veggie challenge this month, has inspired me to branch out a little bit and try a few new things in the kitchen. This week, my new challenge in the kitchen has been tempeh.
I think I remember trying tempeh a while back and I hated it. I have no idea what I did to it then but with a little guidance (and a great recipe) from The New Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook, I am happy to say that I am now sold on tempeh. And, after much convencing and delicious recipe, it received Brian’s stamp of approval too.
Tempeh is a fermented food, usually made under very controlled conditions. It’s basically the result of the fermentation of cooked soybeans and a Rhizopus mold. Sounds yummy, right? That’s just about where I lost my husband on the idea too. But, like good cheese and yogurt the “culture” is what makes it special. Because of this fermenting culture, tempeh is more easily digested than plain soybeans. And it’s high in protein, low in fat, and made up of the whole soybean, so all of its nutrients remain intact which makes it better for you than your other typical meat substitutes like tofu.
Look for tempeh without any black spots; while it’s okay to have a few, the culture goes from white to black as it ferments, so a lot of black spots means it’s on its way downhill rather than at its peak. You can probably find Litelife tempeh at your local grocery in the organic section near the tofu. Plan to cook it quickly at a high temperature as the culture will grow very fast in a warm environment.
Stay tuned for a tempeh recipe.
Miso + Mochi = Yum!
Miso soup topped with Mochi, a daily staple for me lately. It started innocently enough with a simple recipe for Miso soup that I found right on the South River Miso jar, but it has now evolved into much more once I discovered how good it is with a little toasted Mochi on top.
This is really a combination of several recipes, fully adaptable to the veggies and greens you may have on hand.
Simple Miso & Mochi Soup
makes 1 BIG bowl or 2 smaller bowls
1 serving of Mochi (original flavor) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup thinly sliced vegetables (onion, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage etc.)
1.5 cups water
1 serving firm tofu cut into bite size cubes (optional)
handful of spinach or other hearty greens
1 Tbsp. miso paste (I recommend South River or Westbrae Natural)
Preheat oven to 450 and toast the Mochi until nice and puffy (about 10 min). Meanwhile, saute the vegetables in the oil until tender. Add the water and tofu and simmer for 5-7 minutes. While the veggies and tofu simmer, put the miso in your soup bowl and add a little lukewarm water, stir to dissolve the miso (you don’t want to put the miso into the hot water directly because it kills all the active good stuff in it). Just before removing the veggies and tofu from the heat add the spinach, cover, and let it wilt in the steam of the pot. Add the contents of the pot to the miso in your soup bowl and stir until the miso is mixed well. Top with Mochi and enjoy!
Whole Foods recently stopped carrying the South River brand of miso which prompted me to switch to the Westbrae Natural miso which I like just as well. As a bonus though, on the Brown Rice Miso container there is a recipe for a “Sweet ‘N Tangy Miso Spread” that is fabulous on toast, apples and carrots. Here’s the basic recipe: Mix 1/4 cup tahini, 3 Tbsp. of brown rice syrup and 2 tsp. of the Mellow Brown Miso with a wooden spoon, taste and add more miso or a couple drops of lemon juice if necessary.
Okey Dokey Artichokey
Finding healthy vegetarian snacks often requires me to be a bit more adventurous in the produce section at the grocery store. Sometimes it leads to sweet surprises and other times it introduces me to a brand new food. Artichokes are a fairly common vegetable, found in dips and on top of pizza, but the first time I was introduced to this spiky veggie was as a kid at my friends house, where her mom boiled it and served it as a fun and healthy snack. So when I saw a whole artichoke as on option in my Farm Fresh Delivery order, I added it to my list and rang my friend for preparation tips.
Artichokes are great sources of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium and can be boiled, steamed, grilled and microwaved. Eating artichokes can be a bit intimidating, but this web page gives step by step instructions (including photos). The other fun part of eating artichokes is discovering your favorite dip for the petals. Suggestions include melted butter, mayo, sour cream, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salsa, salad dressing or olive oil. Or depending on your taste buds, you may enjoy them plain!
So next time you are wandering the produce section or market stand, pick up an artichoke to try as a flavorful and healthy snack. Like edamame or pomegranates, it may be a bit of a challenge to eat, but is totally worth the effort!
Day 9 – Man vs. Meat
9 Days into the Man vs. Meat challenge – STATUS – Alive, minimal cravings, weight (tbd on Sunday)
Before I go too far into the details of the first nine days I figure a little background on me is in order. I can basically carve my life up into several health/weight phases:
Phase 1 (birth – 7th grade) – Really no clue what was going on with food. Maintained a relatively normal weight. I ate whatever my parents put in front of me, which included anything at the grocery, and was not healthy for sure.
Phase 2 (7th grade – 9th grade) – Generally referred to as my “milkshake” phase by my family. I may have blocked this time out of my mind, but I was pretty chubby and had not hit puberty. I think at the end I weighed close to 190 lbs and I was only about 5′ 7″. Awesome.
Phase 3 (10th grade – college) – I finally hit puberty, lost about 30 lbs and was really into sports. With all the activity I began cutting fat out of my diet and eating ‘fat free’ stuff. You may remember this era….they pumped everything up with sugar, but kept the fat out. Geniuses.
Phase 4 (Post college – now) – Compliments of my wife Liz, I took the South Beach challenge in 2003 and lost about 15 unwanted pounds and realized that starchy carbs really can put the “lbs” on quick for me. We have progressively become more into healthy foods. Overall we try to eat in moderation, mostly natural, whole foods, no preservatives, etc.
Currently I weigh 168 (as of 1/1/09). I would say that’s about 5-8 lbs above my ideal weight. I am training for the American Triple T , so I am burning a fair amount of calories a week. My normal diet includes some meat, especially when I travel for work, which tends to be 50 – 70% of the time. In general, I like most meats, but as of late I have tried to stay away from all overly processed meat. I have fast food about once a year. That should be enough info for you to know that I am very NORMAL.
Day 1 – 9
Overall the diet is seemingly easy, however I have not traveled much at this point. Because I am creature of habit wen it comes to eating, when I am home, my diet stays pretty constant. Here’s a typical sample.
Lunch: Avacado Sammy (1 slice of ezekial bread, half an avacado, some red onion, and feta cheese), carrots and pretzels.
Snack: Crackers/Pretzels/Carrots and hummus
Dinner: Veggie Soup or Fish, small salad or greens, maybe some small dessert.
This diet is very easy when: A. you work from home, and B. your wife helps make dinner. We love to cook together, but I would have trouble doing this on my own day to day.
I did have one travel experience this week and I ended up at Subway for lunch. I had a 6″ Veggie Sub. Surprisingly, this is a pretty good sammy and because most of the meat at Subway is so low quality you end up not missing anything.
I have only had a few cravings for a good cheeseburger, but nothing that has driven me to just grab a handful of ground chuck slam it down.
January: A Meatless Month and A "Manly" Challenge
To kick off 2009, Rhaya and I are making January a “Meatless Month” on Green-Lemonade. We think it will be a great way to start the year off on the right foot by focusing on a one simple lifestyle change everyone can make that has the potential to make a big impact. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American ate one meat-free meal a week it would be the same as taking 5 million cars of the road!
Now, we’re certainly not suggesting everyone switch to a vegetarian diet, but we hoping our posts this month will inspire you to embrace a vegetarian meal more often. So, throughout the month of January we will be dedicating our posts to the Vegetarian lifestyle by introducing some of our favorite veggie recipes, tips and ideas.
To add to our “Meatless Month” we will be featuring a series of “Man vs. Meat” posts written by my husband, Brian, who is already almost 1 week into a 30 day Vegetarian diet challenge. Brian looks forward to sharing some of the experiences of his vegetarian challenge with you and welcomes any ideas or suggestions you might have for him.
Photo Credits: Rhaya’s husband, Andy, took this photo of Brian at “Dirty Ernie’s Rib Pit” in West Virginia