Tag Archives: vegetarian

Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts

Here it is!  The pictures and recipes I promised yesterday 🙂
Salmon and Mock Tuna Melts

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Can you tell which one is real fish????  I made them and I’m having a hard time telling!

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Mock Tuna                                                           Real Salmon

 

DSC03428 Real Salmon Melt

DSC03431 Mock Tuna Melt

I found the recipe for Real Salmon Melts in the July/August issue of Clean Eating Magazine

It is very similar to making tuna salad except rather than using canned tuna fish, I cooked a large salmon filet and pulled it apart with a fork.  Then I added shredded carrots, celery, onion, dill, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, paprika, and a little sea salt and pepper to taste.  For the wet ingredients, I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise and a couple teaspoons of Dijon mustard. 

Larry liked this so much he had two sandwiches!

The Mock Tuna is what I am really excited about.  I hadn’t realized how much I missed tuna sandwiches until I saw this recipe on the Compassionate Action for Animals website. 

Here is my modified version 🙂

  • 1 (15oz.) cans chick-peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (could have used less)
  • 2 stalks celery minced
  • 1 large carrot cleaned and shredded
  • 1/4 small sweet onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl mash chick-peas coarsely with a fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mixed gently.

To make these “sea” inspired salads into scrumptious melts, toast two pieces of pumpernickel or other whole grain bread.  Arrange tomato slices on toasted bread and top with about 1/2 cup of “fish”/veggie mixture.  Cover each piece with a slice of cheese (I used provolone) and broil for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Top with remaining slice of toast.  Slice and enjoy!

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I served these sandwiches with this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad from WebMD.

I get so excited when I find recipes like this that take the place of a meal from my meat eating days.  There are so many options out there!!!

Do you have a favorite meat free version of a traditional meaty meal???

When I go to the beach this summer and my entire family is eating tuna fish sandwiches, I will not have to eat a completely different meal.  I can have my own meat free version (though I know my brothers will heckle me to no end). 🙂

Well, I’m off to the gym for day three of my Healthy Habits workout.  My muscles are a little sore, but I’m still going strong. 😉

How are your Healthy Habits coming along?

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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The Great Debate?

Good evening, ladies and gentleman.  I sit before you tonight as I am watching the President’s Address from the Oval Office. 

I feel very much like a grown up 😉

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I’m not an expert, but it does sounds like they have a pretty thorough plan in place.  I hope that those responsible pay for their actions, that we get this under control quickly, and that America learns a valuable lesson from this horrendous manmade disaster.

I completely agree with Obama as he pleads with Americans to dissipate our addiction to fossil fuels.  Like he said, at one time, we believed it was impossible to send a man to the moon.  I would like to know how it is possible that we can send a man to the moon, but that we haven’t yet found a way to create a system that includes greater access to public transportation, safe bike lanes and sidewalks, a more safe and sustainable food industry, and homes and businesses that rely heavily on renewable energy sources?

I’m not sure that my individual actions will be able to make any drastic changes, but I do know that all small actions can add up to make great differences. 

Here are a list of ways you can make smarter food choices to help reduce your reliance on fossil fuels as listed by Sustainable Table.org

What You Can Do

  • Buy foods grown locally. The equation is simple: the closer the farm is to you, the less fuel is needed to transport its food to your table. You can find local foods through our Eat Well Guide by visiting a local farmers market, or by joining a food co-op or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. See our Shop Sustainable page for more information. And while you’re at it, ask your grocery store to supply locally grown produce.
  • Want to have lettuce that’s truly local? Plant a garden and grow your own fresh produce!
  • Avoid purchasing processed foods. These foods take more energy to produce (and have less nutritional value than whole foods). In addition, choose foods with minimal packaging. This reduces the energy used to produce the packaging and eliminates these materials from the waste stream.
  • Cut back on meat. As much as Americans love to eat it, meat is the least fuel-efficient food we have. Large quantities of energy are required to cultivate, harvest, and ship animal feed, house, transport and slaughter animals, process and package their meat, and refrigerate it until it’s cooked.

[Source]

It is not my intention to create a great political debate here, but I do hope that these recent events have made you somewhat question how humans are impacting the Earth, and how this may be impacting our overall health. 

Have you ever wondered if there was a direct correlation between our higher dependency on oil in the past few decades to the rise in American obesity rates?  Could it be that driving everywhere instead of walking or riding bikes made a difference?  How about our ability to access highly processed foods that are manufactured thousands of miles from our homes and shipped by planes and trucks to local grocery stores? 

This very small post on HH,HM will not save the thousands of plants and animals affected in the Gulf’s precious ecosystems, but I do hope that this tragedy will make more people stop and think about the choices they make every day. 

What can you do to make healthier choices and lessen your dependency on fossil fuels?  What are you already doing?

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Enchiladas Sin Carne

Buenos Noches, amigos! 

I just got back from taking a short two mile run with Larry around our newly paved track.  Two miles doesn’t sound like much, but considering that before he walked in the door I was ready to put my PJs on and climb under the covers, I think it’s a pretty amazing feat!  😉

I didn’t get much sleep last night.  The dogs kept waking me up and I don’t think I fell into a deep sleep until about 15 minutes before my alarm went off.  Well, maybe not, but the screaming alarm at 5:45 AM did make me want to cry big, fat alligator tears.

To top it all off, when I left for work the puppers were nice in cozy in my bed sound asleep!

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Today wasn’t too shabby for a Tuesday.  We spent a lot of time outside and my shoulders got a bit toasty on the playground.

Today’s lunch was leftover Avocado & Pinto Bean Enchiladas from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (hence the meatless enchilada Spanish title tonight).  The leftovers may have been even better than the original dish. 

Last night I made Larry ground turkey enchiladas. 

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I made my own “meat” out of mushrooms, beans, onions, and cashew pieces.

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It was out of this world!

I have absolutely no desire to ever eat meat again after discovering so many delicious alternatives.  I truly believe that I like these enchiladas far better than any meat version I have ever tried.

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HERS & HIS

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HERS 🙂

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His and Hers to clean up…  ugh!  This is seriously the only downfall to making a meat and meat-free version of each meal.  But it is well worth it, and it makes both of us very, very happy 🙂

Tonight I plan on sleeping really well and waking up super refreshed.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of getting up early to go running before work.  Do any of you workout before going to work?

I’ve tried this before, but I find it especially hard to get up at 5 AM.

Any tips for getting used to a routine of early morning workouts???

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Marvelous Monday

Happy Monday!  🙂

That’s something you probably never thought you’d hear me say, huh?!  But how can you not be happy on a three day weekend!?! 😉

Yesterday was an awesome day– complete with a vegan BLT sandwich and some serious pool time.

I’ll start with the vegan BLT.

While perusing Ellwood Thompson’s a few days ago, I discovered that they carried Fakin’ Bacon.  Fakin’ Bacon strips are smoky flavored tempeh. 

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In the past, I have not had much luck with tempeh.  To me it has always tasted like feet, and although I am not a picky eater, feet tasting food kind of crosses the line.

However, I thought I’d give it a chance since I have read so much about it in the past few months on other blogs and in several vegan/vegetarian cookbooks. 

I am so glad I did!

This tempeh did NOT taste like feet at all!  It was marinated (which must be the key to tasty tempeh), and it really almost tasted like real bacon!  Larry didn’t necessarily agree, but he loves his real pork bacon, so he is quite biased!

First, I toasted some Ezekiel bread and slathered on some Nayonaise Vegan Mayo.

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Then came the “bacon,” lettuce (spinach), and tomato.

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Pretty face rockin’ if you ask me!

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After stuffing our faces, we headed over to the pool, which was incredible!

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I have to admit I was a little nervous about joining this pool.  We paid a pretty hefty price for a membership before we ever even saw the pool set up and running.  But I must say this pool is very, very nice. 

They have a made to order snack bar, plenty of chairs, clean bathrooms, working grills, water coolers, horseshoe pits, ping pong tables, basketball courts, XM radio playing in the background, volleyball nets, and these totally awesome slides :)  They even had baskets in the bathroom of emergency supplies and toiletries.

I say it was money well spent!

Today I got my car washed and started some laundry.  When Larry gets home (he did not get a three day weekend 😦 ) we may head back to the pool for some more fun in the sun (slathered in sunscreen of course!).  I’m thinking tonight’s dinner will be something served from the grill!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and don’t forget the sunscreen! 😉

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Flirting with a Salad

Look at this beautiful salad!

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All of the beautiful colors and textures

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The lentil and white bean salads (Anyone have a good recipe for either?)

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The fruit

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Yum!

Whoever said salads are boring, clearly never had one 😉

And I have discovered a completely decadent, luxurious, and rich dessert.  I can not believe I have lived so long without it.

In my attempts to reduce the amount of dairy (more on this later), I researched vegan ice cream and came across rave reviews for Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk

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There are simply no words.

This dessert was so decadent I only ate one ice cream scoop and ate slow, small bites.  It was pure heaven.

My desire to reduce dairy has come from reading and reflecting on Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet. She makes some really good points about how humans were not meant to drink milk other than our mother’s, how animal  milk is full of saturated fat, and how it has been linked to breast cancer since milking cows are pumped full of estrogen to keep them lactating.  One of the things that stood out to me most was when she pointed out the fact that cow’s milk is used to turn a baby calf into a 400 pound cow.  Since mothers produce just the right milk for their babies’ needs, it doesn’t make since that we would ingest milk made for baby cows!

In her book, she asks people to try flirting with a vegan diet.  To simply try it out for a month and see how you feel.  I’m willing to try anything for a month, but I think this is going to be way harder than going vegetarian.  Chocolate and cheese are two of my favorite things and they surround me constantly

Yesterday, I did pretty good at eating dairy free foods.  Today I did alright and only had a little feta in my pasta salad at lunch.  However, once lunch was over I had a HUGE craving for chocolate, so I ate a TLC Fruit & Grain Bar: Dark Chocolate Coconut.  Once I got home I was starving and the only snack food I could find in the fridge was cheese slices and crackers.  I broke

I’m thinking that if I truly want to dedicate myself to flirting with this diet, I am going to have to replace the dairy cheese and chocolate with nondairy cheese and chocolate. This flirting is going to take some serious planning.  And I’m not completely sure I want to cut it out of my diet completely.  Perhaps I will simply reduce the amount I eat and take note of how I feel when I eat it verses when I do not.

Anyone ever flirted with a vegan diet or read The Kind DietI would really love to hear your opinions on this matter 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Meat? What Meat?

Today is one of those curl up on the couch and veg kind of days.  The sky is grey and gloomy.  The air is damp.  And it is c-o-l-d, cold.  Quite the contrast to last week’s 90 degree days.

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I don’t mind days like these occasionally.  It feels great to put on a warm pair of fleece pants and a sweatshirt to just lounge around.  It kinda gives you a good excuse for being a little lazy 😉

I thought I’d dedicate this post to (hear me out before you ‘x’ out) meatless meals.

In past posts, I have described the benefits of going meatless for the environment,your health, and your wallet.  While I am not pushing anyone to give up meat, I want to provide a resource for those people who would like to reduce the amount of meat they consume, or for those who would like to become vegetarian.

A friend’s daughter has recently made the decision to go vegetarian.  We have had a few conversations about what she is eating, and how it’s hard to accommodate meat eaters and vegetarians under the same roof! 

For me, the first month of not eating meat was difficult.  It took a lot of research and cookbooks to find a meat free diet that was friendly for me and provided all of the necessary nutrients and vitamins.  I remember wishing there was a  go-to guide for vegetarian meal transformations.

So, here is a little table that lists meals with meat and how I make them meatless. 

 

Meat Meal

Go Meatless

Steak and potatoes

 

Marinade and grill portabella mushroom caps just as you would the steak.  The meatiness of portabellas make them wonderful replacements for most meat dishes.

Beef Tacos

Either find a veggie crumble like LightLife Original Smart Grounds and prepare filler as you would beef tacos.

~or~

Use black beans and brown rice cooked with part water, part salsa as a filler.  Sprinkle with cheese and top with sour cream.

Beef Burritos

Lightlife Original Smart Grounds work here also.

~or~

Make Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos.

~or~

Sautee mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions, and any other veggie fillers you like.

Burgers and Fries

Burgers Made from Real Veggies

~or~

Black Bean Burgers

Chicken or Steak Stir Fry

Dry Fry Tofu and add to rice and veggie mixture.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Again ground crumbles work well here, but you could also try Veggie Spaghetti

~or~

Angela’s ‘Neat’ Sauce

Salads with chicken, beef, fish, etc.

Add beans such as garbanzo, kidney, or black.

Halupkies or Stuffed Peppers

Use Vegetarian Halupki filler.

Deli Sandwich

Stuff bread with hummus, sprouts, and your favorite veggies

 

This is just a very small list of possibilities.  I always keep portabella mushrooms, beans, tofu, frozen black bean burgers, Morning Star “Chik’n” Patties, and Morning Star Sausage Links handy as meat replacements.  Quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, spinach, and other leafy greens are also pantry staples in my kitchen.  By simply adding tons of grilled, sautéed or steamed veggies  you can transform any meal to a meatless masterpiece.

If you have any recipes you would like help transforming, please send an email at JenSanders52 at comcast dot net, and I’ll see what I can do 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Camping Extravaganza

Hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 🙂

I survived my first camping trip since 1996, and I.had.a.BLAST!  The drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains in itself was spectacular. 

I mean just look at this!

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Once we arrived at the campground, we were pleasantly surprised to see that this was the view from our cabin.  The soothing sound of rushing water immediately gave you a sense of calm. 

We unpacked the truck and began preparations for our night out in the wild. 

**HINT**  It is always a very good idea to bring an Eagle Scout with you when you go camping in the woods!   

For dinner, we ate Hobo Packs.  A hobo pack is simply marinated meat and/or veggies wrapped in foil and cooked over an open flame.  I had hobo-ed asparagus, squash, and broccoli.  I also had a grilled Lightlife Italian SausageAll of you experienced vegetarians and vegans out there, what do you eat when you go camping???

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The highlight of dinner came after the dinner plates were scrubbed clean and the last logs were added to the fire. 

Yep!  S’more time! 

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Here is my perfectly burnt to a crisp vegetarian marshmallow s’more!  Just the way I like it! 

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After eating three of these delectable babies, it was time to hit they hay! 

Remember Glo Worms from the 80s???

 

😉

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Nice and cozy!

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Today we woke up and went for a 3.4 mile hike through the George Washington National Forest.

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3.4 miles may not sound like a whole lot, but when you are hiking those miles UP a rather large mountain, you definitely get out of breath!  It gives a new meaning to “buns of steel.”

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The scenery was amazing.  It really doesn’t feel like a workout when you are surrounded by such beauty.

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Larry and I are already making plans for our next trip!  It is such an easy, cheap, and exciting way to get away for the weekend!

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The dogs have been zonked out ever since they got in the car for the trip home.

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I am about to join them.  I know I will sleep like a baby tonight! 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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