Tag Archives: vegetarian

A Little Love for the Eggplant


Last night, I made baba ganoush, because last week we went to Gita Pita, and now I am, once again, obsessed with Mediterranean food (or at least the idea of it).

I found a simple recipe for the baba ganoush (I added minced onion and raw tomato), and plan to return to the downtown restaurant when my budget adjusts for the cost of preschool. It is a day for which I wait with bated breath.

The thing is, it was just really nice to have success with an eggplant. As vegetarians, we’ve not spent the time with eggplant that we should, and our history of botched attempts goes back to the beginning of our marriage – long before we stopped regularly eating meat and boxed meals. Eggplant Parmesan, simple roasting and oddities like vegan “bacon” were all disappointing failures.

But this… it’s a lovely, seemingly lighter alternative to hummus (which I love). Now I’m wondering how a half-and-half blend of the two would work…

For something completely different: If you’re in the Grand Rapids area, join me and a bunch of cool kids tonight at EmbodyGR, a local non profit focused on yoga, community and service. They have childcare, it’s free and there will be tea. A great way to find calm on the first day of ArtPrize, and set the tone for the close of your week.

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Traditional Tacos and Basic Rice Noodles

I can’t get enough. I have a problem. Please send help (by which I mean gift cards to Tacos El Cuñado and Pho Anh Trang).

Somewhere in my late-Winter/early-Spring attempt to get back on the healthy wagon, I overcame my craving for boxed mac-n-cheese and rediscovered east Asian and authentic Mexican food. Now, I’m finding any excuse to stop at the market’s taco counter, and steadily increasing my home supply of rice noodles (only because the preferred Vietnamese restaurant is on the other side of town).

First, the tacos. Forget greasy cheese, limp lettuce and meat sauce. These traditional-street-food babies bring together warm corn tortillas, vegan options like tempeh, rice and beans and nopales (cactus), pescetarian favorites like shrimp, and fresh pico de gallo and avocado. Most of that food is local, I might add. If I get a taco trio (for less than $10), that leaves me enough to do a tasting at the distillery a few steps away. Ok, just kidding (so far. Talk to me after this weekend).

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Skip the Antibiotics; Eat Chickpeas

Earlier this week, I read an article about the rising use of antibiotics in U.S. commercial livestock.

Makes me happy not to be supporting it with my dollars. My diet isn’t perfect, and I’m sure some of my money ends up in less than savory places. Still, not purchasing meat is an easy way to make at least a small difference. If everyone tried replacing just one weekly ground beef or chicken meal with a vegetarian version, we might see some changes in the industry.

Last night, I made my own version of this creamy chickpea casserole. I turned the chickpeas into hummus (with nutritional yeast), and used fresh tomatoes, onion, crimini mushroom and baby zucchini, and threw in some canned artichoke hearts. Healthy, tasty, filling and cheap!

Happy Hump Day!

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Beans & Greens for the Veggie Yank

white beans greens

White Beans & Kale Greens

I spent some time in Kentucky last week, and was introduced to the phenomenon known as Beans & Greens.

Exactly what it sounds like, this dish features beans, well cooked greens and perhaps some garnishes. It’s also typically cooked in bacon fat.

I came home with the mission of creating a vegetarian version of Beans & Greens. Last night I cooked white beans in vegetable broth, and Russian red kale with garlic and pepper. Served on toast, with some red onion slices and relish, it was pretty tasty, though certainly not indulgent.

Mainly, it’s a satisfying meal from which I can walk away feeling good. It’s also super inexpensive.

Why have I not thought of this before?

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“A Fundamental Disconnect”

pork steak lamb counter display

Getting back to my roots here, in a manner of speaking. I was inspired by a recent article about the supply and demand of the meat industry.

The point of the article is that the current meat industry exists as it does because consumers demanded it. Meat has long been a status symbol, and the people of the United States went a little nuts when they could produce a lot of it, and then eat it for cheap.

Let this sum it up:

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Quinoa Meal for a Greenie

Halloween dinner table set food

My sister came over for the evening last night, and it struck me that our meal was quite green in color.

While she is not a vegetarian, my sister makes a point of eating very healthfully. Since we have similar taste (in just about everything, it seems), having dinner with her is usually awesome. Sushi, Indian, vegetarian sub sandwiches and seafood pastas are among the favorites, and we do well eating in or out.

This time, we stayed in, and threw together a hearty but healthy meal with ingredients I had and a few things she grabbed from the store. Oh, and wine. We were raised (responsibly) with the idea that a nice dinner simply isn’t complete without a glass of wine.

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Gold Beet Soup with Grains and Greens

gold beet carrot onion grain vegan soup

Say that title five times fast.

You may remember my little ode to beets from a few weeks back. Now, I’ve discovered gold beets. The photo above does not do them justice (I never claimed to be a photographer). Simply lovely are these delicate relatives of the more familiar red beet.

There is nothing terribly impressive about this Haphazard Recipe. I’ve been trying to buy fruits and veggies that are new to me, and work them into my cooking and eating habits. As the weather gets cooler and the evenings darker, no answer was easier for the gold beets than soup. Happily, I found a basic recipe that included the greens, and took it a little further with the addition of grains and carrots.

Ingredients: Continue reading

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Roughin’ It

food fiber roughage

As a diet nerd, I pride myself on stellar digestion.

Prepare yourself to join my husband in declaring that you know more than is perhaps necessary about the phenomenon that is my healthy bowels.

While I’m not of the caliber of Mary Roach when it comes to knowing about the workings of human intake and output, I do consider myself well aware of how they operate, and, more importantly, what affects them. Over the past three years, as I’ve moved from meat eater to vegetarian to pescetarian, I’ve also changed my habits regarding the things I do eat. Namely, getting a wide variety of whole grains, reducing dairy intake, cutting sugar and salt and processed foods and trying to eat local/organic/sustainable.

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Quandries of the Flesh

chicken fish

If you search “fish and chicken” in Google images, you get a surprising number of chicken-fish, fish-in-chicken, chicken-in-fish images that range from the oddly realistic to the freakish graphic novel variety. Oh, what a wild world, this realm we call the Internet.

So, here’s the thing. My family is pescetarian. You can read about the beginning of, and reasons for, that lifestyle choice here, if you wish. Long story short, I stopped eating all animal flesh in the Summer of 2010, and reincorporated seafood about a year later. My husband has been pescetarian since the Summer of 2011. We typically eat lots of beans, a moderate amount of eggs and seafood once or twice a week. I eat very little dairy, keeping it mainly to plain Greek yogurt for breakfast.

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Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese


I’m still trying to get in the habit of posting at least once a week, and this week I’m pushing it with two.

But this one’s a cheat. I’m sending you to a recipe that I used for our Father’s Day salad buffet.

I made way more of this quinoa salad than the recipe calls for. I’m glad I did, as it’s been supplying lunches for the past few days. It’s filling, tasty and pretty healthy. The quinoa and goat cheese make it creamy, and the pine nuts give it a nice toasty flavor.

Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese


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