Tag Archives: vegetarian

Not Your Momma’s Sloppy Joes

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When I was a kid, growing up in the 70s, easy-to-prepare food from a box or can was the rage (well, it still is really). But back then, processed food was sort of newer and kind of exciting. So our family dinners often consisted of things like Hamburger Helper, Stovetop Stuffing and of course, Manwich Sloppy Joes.

It wasn’t until i graduated from college that I started to explore the world of fresh vegetables (not green beans from a can) and other whole foods. I got my first vegetarian cookbook in 1989 and I have been preparing plant-based meals ever since. A few years ago I came across a recipe from the Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook for vegan sloppy joes and it took me right back to my 10-year old self.

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Savory Chickpea Pancakes

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I know I have friends who plan meals ahead of time. Maybe even pre-cook for an entire week. I think that’s awesome. But for me it’s just so not how I typically operate.  I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, let’s-see-what’s-in-the-fridge, totally-wing-it cook.

That’s just how I roll. And sometimes inspiration strikes and I end up making a meal like this one. First, I made a big pot of curry butternut squash soup and wanted something to go with it. So I thought I’d try making chickpea pancakes as a side dish. Oh man, these are great. Super easy and really tasty.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Pomegranate

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I guess you know you’re a grown up when you can say with a straight face that you like brussels sprouts. Because I’ll tell you, even just a few years ago, I would have never even wanted to try them. Now I love these little guys so much…especially roasted.

Discovering the wonderful world of vegetables has been such a fun process for me. I started this journey about 15 years ago when I decided not to eat meat anymore. I haven’t missed it a bit. But for years, I still ate eggs and dairy and many of my meals centered around cheese.

Then about 5 years ago, I thought I’d try eating a vegan diet for health reasons. I have never felt better in my life and now I can’t wait to try new veggies whenever I get the chance. And luckily for me, there are so many more choices available at restaurants for vegetarians and vegans today.

The idea for this recipe came from a lunch I had recently with my friend Missy at True Food Kitchen. The concept behind this restaurant (which has locations in Texas, California, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona and Virginia) is an anti-inflammatory menu based on the work of Dr. Andrew Weil. The omnivore menu changes seasonally and identifies items that are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.

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Festive Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

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Tis the season for hosting gatherings, sharing meals and savoring moments. I brought this simple salad to a holiday party recently and it was a hit. I knew I wanted to use fresh cranberries, but honestly didn’t really know how it was going to turn out. Well, it worked and I was asked by several guests for the recipe, so here you go.

I cooked some Lundberg Countrywild rice according to the package directions, but you could use any wild rice really. Then while the rice was still warm, I added chopped fresh cranberries so they would soften but not be too cooked. I chopped celery, apple and pecans to add. The whole thing was pulled together with a simple cranberry vinaigrette. I found the most amazing cranberry vinegar here in Houston at an oil and vinegar store called Vom Fass. If you can’t find that flavor, simply use a plain balsamic vinegar.

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Peruvian Vegetable Stew

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Peruvian Vegetable Stew topped with Salsa Criolla

” Not all those who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

Spent an amazing weekend at Wanderlust Festival Austin recently. This year’s event was just as wonderful as last year’s or maybe even a little better. The festival includes tons of yoga classes, workshops, music, cool vendors and more. It’s a wonderful time to connect with friends, do LOTS of yoga of course and include a bit of wandering.

Yogis tend to be seekers and part of that path includes straying off a set course from time to time. This is usually where the good stuff happens: serendipity, growth, discovery.

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FYG Fall Breakfast Ideas

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Green Apples + Raw Walnuts

Now that it’s Fall, a busy time of swirling activity and change, I’m looking for a grounding seasonal breakfast to start my day. Don’t know about you, but I can get into a morning rut. Always having the same thing…usually some variation of raw or minimally cooked oatmeal, nuts and seeds.

As recent as five years ago, I was mostly eating boxed cereal for breakfast. I thought this was fine, even healthy. I’ve learned so much since then. I wouldn’t dream of eating that way now. First of all, boxed cereal is not a food, it’s a processed food product. There is nothing in nature that resembles a Cherrio or Fruit Loop.

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Old Bay Fried Green Tomatoes + Roasted Red Pepper Remoulade

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Every year I make a summer road trip from Houston to Cincinnati. It’s about 17 hours each way, for a total of 2,000 miles. 2000 MILES!!! That is a heck of a lot of driving. But I love it and I look forward to it each year. I break the trip up into two days and almost always stop in Memphis on the way there.

This year it was just me and my oldest son, Jonah, who was going to jazz guitar camp at the University of Louisville. We stayed in downtown Memphis right on the Tennessee River and made our way to Beale Street for dinner and meandering. We ate at Miss Polly’s Soul City Cafe and I had fried green tomatoes. Traveling as a vegan can be challenging at times, but wherever I go, I seem to do just fine. And this meal was no exception. It was fun Southern soul food and I loved it.

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Beluga Lentils + Fava Bean Puree

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Sometimes I go to the grocery store with a specific grocery list based on recipes that I’d like to make that week. And sometimes, well, honestly I’m just not the organized and I wing it. Last week, I went to Central Market here in Houston which is a specialty store run by the Texas chain HEB and I winged it.  Central Market is a foodie paradise. You want it, they’ve got it. Didn’t know you wanted it, they’ve got it!

On this day, the store was featuring all things Italian. They had a special produce section with the most interesting and unusual vegetables. And when I spotted the fava beans, my heart skipped a beat. No lie. Fresh fava beans are something you rarely see in a grocery store. If you are lucky, you can find them in the late spring at a good farmers market.

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Caribbean Cobb Salad

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Foodie Yoga Girl made the big leap from the blogosphere into the real world last weekend with her very first cooking class event. The hands-on class was in honor of my friend Heather’s birthday. I shared Heather’s raw oatmeal raisin cookie recipe a while back. She and I met during our yoga teacher training. She’s lovely and it was so much fun being a part of her celebration.

For the class, we set up three stations, each focusing on a different cooking method. One group was in charge of baking jerk tofu. Another group at the stove made sauteed plantains and cilantro lime rice. And the third group (Heather’s parents who were visiting from Colorado) was in charge of this beautiful recipe for Caribbean Cobb Salad.

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Easy Noodle Stir Fry

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I love eating vegetables. I love drinking vegetable juice. I love smoothies with vegetables. I love shopping for vegetables at the farmers market. I love growing vegetables. I FRIGGIN’ LOVE VEGETABLES! And…I’m a mom of two teenage boys who until relatively recently hated most vegetables. This seemed really unfair to me. I took it personally. And felt like I had somehow failed as a mom.

I mean, come on, this is a big part of my life and I was unable to share it with my kids. Over the years, I would talk to other moms whose kids ate vegetables and pretty much whatever was served for dinner. I’d hear things like: “I’m not a short-order cook,” or “They have to at least try a tasting portion.” Well, this never, I mean never, worked in my house. It always lead to drama at the dinner table which took all of the fun out of our family dinner. I want that time to be one where we share and laugh and connect…not a time to argue, fight or negotiate.

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