Friday, November 18, 2011

Broccoli Bake to DIE for!

This is by FAR one of my new favorite recipes. When my husband asked for his grandmas classic 'broccoli rice chicken and cheese thing', I decided there was no reason this obvious comfort food couldn't be veggie friendly! After picking through several bland sounding recipes, this concoction was born. I must warn you, after you make this once, if will be a weekly event :)

Vegetarian Broccoli and Cheese Bake

  • At least 20 oz frozen chopped broccoli
  • 3 cups instant rice
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 (16 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil if you prefer...
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook broccoli and rice according to package directions
  3. Melt butter (or drizzle with olive oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and saute celery and onion until tender crisp
  4. In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk cream of mushroom soup and 1 1/4 cups water. Gradually whisk in cheese until melted into a smooth sauce. Be careful not to let the cheese settle and burn on the bottom
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, rice, soup and cheese mixture, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until bubbly and lightly brown
  7. Top that bad boy with more cheese, put back in the oven and let it melt.
  8. Try and let it cool a bit and then DIG IN

Ill be the first to admit, this dish doesnt look like a whole lot, but trust me, your tastebuds will thank me :)

<3 j

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vegetarian On The Cheap - Nachos!!

Hello lovelies :)

Since deciding to sign up for yoga teacher training (YAY!!!!), Ive had to really watch my spending to pick up the cost. Just like last post, this is a super easy meal that can be whipped up on pennies. And honestly, who doesn't love a giant plate of nachos??

Veggie Nachos (that even your non veggie fiancee will love)

1 can black beans, drained
1 green pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
3-4 carrots, peeled and shredded
As much shredded cheese as your little heart desires
Tortilla chips

Other things that make nachos super tasty:
1-2 corn on the cob, roasted and kernels cut off
Sour Cream
Diced tomatos
I picked up chips and salsa from my favorite Mexican restaurant :)

Preheat oven to 350

1. Mix together all veggies and black beans, spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes or until warm.
2. On a large plate, spread a layer of chips. Top with veggies, beans, and cheese.
3. Put plate in the oven until cheese is melted.
4. Top with any other goodies and dig in!! I left my salsa on the side so the chips didn't get all soggy.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Stromboli!!

Hey everyone!! :)

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, this wedding is eating up all of my free time! Speaking of eating up, I made the easiest, cheapest, most delicious meal tonight on my brand new pizza stone <3 Here is my recipe!! Sorry there aren't any pictures, but it was gone too fast to get any!

Spinach Artichoke Stromboli

1 roll pre made pizza dough (or if you're prepared, homemade is always better)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can artichokes, chopped
1 8 oz bag Italian Blend shredded cheese
1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly pressed to remove excess water
Basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375

1. Roll out pizza dough onto a greased cookie sheet (or pizza stone if you have one)
2. Allowing at least an one inch margin around the edges, spread the tomato sauce evenly on to the dough. You can use as much or as little as you like, but don't go crazy or you will get soggy Stromboli!
3. Spread out the artichokes, spinach (you wrung out all that extra water right!?), and top with cheese.
4. Sprinkle on some basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to your liking.
5.  Here's the fun part :) Fold in the dough around the edges about one inch or so over the toppings. Pinch the corners a bit to help seal the pizza
6. Carefully begin rolling up the rectangle as tightly as possible (like you would roll up a newspaper) without ripping your dough. Make sure the seam is on the bottom when you are done so it doesn't come undone.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown
8. Cut into 2 inch slices and let everyone admire your chef skills :)

I hope that isn't too confusing without pictures! If you have any questions please ask!!

<3 J


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vegetable Stock Recipe

Hey gang! I finally got around to making a batch of homemade veggie stock! I wanted a good spicy broth to make some tortilla soup with later in the week, so I found a recipe that looked promising and went for it. Of course, I ended up just doing what I wanted in the end. Honestly, I think the one thing I didn't change was adding in turnips....

HTGVeggie Stock

1 giant stock pot
18 cups water
9-10 carrots, not peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
9-10 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch chunks
2-3 yellow onions, papery skin still on, cut in half (yes, you read that right. The skins give a great yellow color to the stock)
2 turnips, quartered
1 tbs whole allspice
Fresh ground pepper and salt to tasted

Variation: I added in a whole, quartered jalapeno, seeds and all, to this stock. The original recipe I found called for 1 jalapeno per every 6 cups of water. Let me warn you, I adore spicy everything and my stock came out too spicy with just the one jalapeno.....

1. Wash and prep all veggies. Be sure to include the leafy tops of the celery!

2. Everybody into the pool!

3. Bring to an easy simmer and let cook for at least 30 minutes. Make sure to keep the stock at just a simmer. A full rolling boil will make your stock very cloudy.

4. When a fork easily punctures the veggies, your stock is good to go! Take out all the big veggies and discard. Strain the rest with a fine colander. 

I like to divide mine out into easy to manage portions for freezing and using later on down the road, cause lets face it, nobody is going to sit down and eat all 18 cups right after you make it. Make sure to set aside some veggies and noodles to make a cup of soup as a reward :)


I would also like everyone to know that I had to explain to my fiance why there were so many veggies in the trash after I made stock. After explaining that using veggies to make stock uses all of their flavor and goodness, I think he was less upset :) He thought I threw all of my stock away haha!

Easy peasy! Happy cooking!




Sunday, July 10, 2011

How to get on and stay on the right track....

Hey everyone! This morning I would like to share some advice for going veggie and making it last.

Before I made my decision and stuck to it, I tried a few months prior and totally crashed and burned. Maybe it was because I wasn't 100% committed to it or my reasoning wasn't strong enough for myself, but either way I definitely did not do myself any favors in my own kitchen. We still had chicken breast, easy to throw in the microwave breakfasts, and the ever dangerous frozen chicken nuggets in our freezer. With all the normal, easy to eat foods that I had been used to still in my life, it was essentially impossible for my quest to be a successful one at that point. Here is a list of things you should do to be ready to fight any cravings or curb the need for a quick meal.

  1. Get meat out of your fridge/freezer
    1. My fiance isn't a vegetarian, but for the first week or two of my switch I all but got rid of anything in the house I couldn't have. When he ate at home, he became a sometimes vegetarian for a few weeks. I got rid of the chicken nuggets, beef broth, and anything else that was now a no go. It made my life so much easier to go in the fridge and not have to worry about what I was taking out. Now, I will cook some meat for him every once in a while, but I still don't keep it in the house on a regular basis. 
    2. Cant throw everything away or donate it to friends? Put everything you will no longer be eating in a designated place that you simply STAY OUT OF!! Pick a drawer in the fridge, a certain cabinet, anything that will keep the no-no's out of your direct line of sight.
  2. Have a solid, educated opinion on why you no longer eat cheeseburgers
    1. This will come up and you will have to explain why you don't eat meat any more. Personally, I read a lot about the meat industry and cried over it several times. Now, given the opportunity, I try to educate the person asking without going into disgusting detail. Everyone will tell you that you will have a hard time getting enough protein. So SO false. For some reason, Americans think the only place protein exists is in meat. Here is a good little list for you to rattle off when people say that......whole grains, lentils, beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, meat substitutes, and greek yogurt. That should fend them off for a minute or two. Anyway, you need to be firmly rooted in your choice because sadly, people will try and sway you that you are not in the right. Just remain calm and educate along the way
  3. Demand respect in your choice
    1. Like I said above, some people are out for a fight. Don't let these idiots get you down. I promise you, you can just walk away from them or simply state you aren't having a conversation until that person treats you with respect.
  4. Enlist the help of others.
    1. My biggest tool for getting and staying on the right track was staring this blog and twitter account to link up to other veggies. Having someone to reach out to for advice and support is key, especially if your friends and family aren't supportive. I am lucky in that my fiance is very proud of my choice (now if I can only get him to join me 100% of the time......) and my mom only argues with my about my choice not to eat fish (fish are animals too, mom). 
  5. Make your favorite meat meals into veggie ones
    1. My weakness? Buffalo chicken sandwiches and Buffalo Wild Wings. My fix? Veggie chick'n patties and nuggets dipped in Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Sauce. Craving totally taken care of and all on my terms.

I hope you new veggies find this helpful! I am at the point now where omitting meat is a habit. It's easy for me to roast up a chicken breast for my boy and have absolutely zero desire to eat it. I promise you will get there, it just takes some work up front.

To my already veggie friends, what tips do you have to share with new veggies?! What worked for you?


82 Vegetarian Recipes

I stumbled upon this on Martha Stewart's website this morning. I thought it was certainly worth sharing! Its a slide show of 82 delicious looking and sounding vegetarian meals. Take a few minutes to click through them and get inspired!! :) Let me know if you have made any of them! Im excited to try a few of them myself!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rotten Food is Gross.

After a crazy few days, Im trying to get my little vegetarian mission back on track. I came across this awesome article from Vegetarian Times Magazine. As Americans, we throw away an average of $600 dollars worth of food each year. Thats crazy! I admit, sometimes I buy veggies that find their way into the back of the fridge and dont come back out until I discover that they have turned a different color that they aren't supposed to be. So now what?! How do you avoid the waste and get the most out of each produce purchase you make? This article breaks down which produce to eat first and which pesky fruits and veggies make others go bad quicker.

Where to store what:
Some produce gives off higher levels ethylene, an odorless gas that causes produce to ripen and rot faster. By separating them accordingly, you can prolong those sweet tomatoes lives :)

Refrigerate These - Gas Releasers

Don't Refrigerate These - Gas Releasers
Bananas (unripe)
Keep These Away From Gas Releasers
Bananas (ripe)
Brussel Sprouts
Any Leafy Green
Sweet Potatoes

Here is a very helpful chart to help you plan meals to avoid wasting produce and money!! This chart is assuming you were able to get fresh, healthy items that weren't already on their way out...
Eat First:
Sunday to Tuesday

Green beans
Mustard greens

Eat Next:
Wednesday to Friday

Eat Last:

Bell peppers
Brussels sprouts

Winter squash

 I found these 2 charts to be super helpful and super informative. I certainly had no idea that carrots and apples shouldn't roll in the same crowd! Happy vegetarian eating everyone!!

<3 j