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Monday, December 13, 2010

3 Common Misconceptions About Being Vegetarian

  1. You’ll be Skinny & Malnourished
Ha!  If that were true, there wouldn’t be vegetarian Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem.  A well done vegetarian diet is very healthy, however, many people take it as an excuse to eat a poor diet heavy in processed soy products and copious amounts of sugar ( ‘Chicken’ sandwiches and doughnuts for dinner?  I LOVE being vegetarian!  No!!).  If you go vegetarian properly (plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables), you’ll probably notice yourself feeling healthier and maybe even losing a few pounds…but that’s probably not why you’re doing it.

  1. You can’t get any protein
It always amazes me when people ask me that question.  Don’t people read food wrappers anymore?  There are so many places a real vegetarian (that includes not eating fish & chicken, people!) can get protein: tofu, nuts, beans, seeds, dairy products…the list goes on!  Personally, I usually end up having a soy protein bar about mid-morning when I get the munchies.  It satisfies any sweet cravings and fills me up with delicious, delicious soy protein (I recommend GeniSoy brand).
  1. You’re a Birkenstock Wearing, Granola Eating, Protest Participating Hippie Lunatic.
You don’t have to be if you don’t want to!  Many hippies are vegetarians, but not all vegetarians are hippies.  For proof, just look up famous vegetarians.  You may be surprised at what you find.

Everyone has their own reasons for going vegetarian.  What are yours?  How do you respond when people ask you ‘why’?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fast, Easy, & Delicious: Spinach Gnocchi Al Telefono

This is my favorite 'staple' meal: you know, those ones that are so easy and delicious that you find yourself making them almost weekly?  This is one of them.  Disclaimer: I did not come up with the basic gnocchi recipe myself.  I found it on AllRecipes (told you it was fantastic!), and made a lot of changes to it to make it healthier, and ahem....mine:)

1 cup dry potato flakes
1 cup boiling water
1 cup raw spinach
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups jarred tomato sauce (my favorite is Prego HeartSmart- lazy, I know, but I'm a busy college student!)
1/2 cup FRESH mozzarella cheese


1. Place potato flakes in a medium size bowl.  Pour in boiling water; stir until well blended.  Stick in freezer until cool.

2. Meanwhile, chop the spinach finely.  It's important that it be FINELY chopped.

3. Stir in egg, salt, pepper, and spinach.  Blend in the flour- the dough should be fairly stiff.  Flour your hands, and make sure your cutting surface is well floured too, otherwise the dough is going to be sticky and all over the place.  taking small handfalls, shape each section into a long thin roll, about the thickness of a breadstick.  With a flour coated knife, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (remember, the smaller the piece, the faster it cooks, so keep that in mind when cutting).

4. Place a few in boiling water (I try to keep it 10 pieces and under so they don't stick together).  As the gnocchi rise to the top of the pot, remove them with a slotted spoon.  Repeat until all are cooked.  Drain on a clean, dry cloth.  When all are cooked, empty the water, and put the sauce into the pot.  When the sauce begins to bubble, add the cheese.  When the cheese begins to melt (it'll form long thin strings of cheese when you stir), add the gnocchi and stir to coat.  Serve!

For those of you who hate spinach, don't worry.  The spinach doesn't have a pronounced flavor: all it does is add nutrients and color to the dish.  Eventually, I'll put up a recipe for a good home made tomato sauce, but I just haven't one I like yet....someday:p

Until next time!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Helpful Links for Aspiring/Current Vegetarians

Curious as to what companies test on animals and which don't?  The first is a comprehensive list of companies that DO test, and the second is a list for those who DON'T.

Personally, I feel like I get stuck in a food rut.  For new ideas, I frequently turn to Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunchbox website for food inspiration.  The woman is, no lie, a food genius.

AllRecipes is one of my favorite places to go for new and creative vegetarian recipes.  They seriously have everything!

And finally, my one stop shop for finding new animal friendly beauty products (and just beauty products in general!).  Makeupalley also has forums.  I highly recommend the food forums if you're looking for new ideas/recipes, but all of the boards are amazing!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Vegetarian Food Pyramid

The above is the vegetarian food pyramid.  Obviously in an ideal world, this is the way we would all be eating, but is that really an option for college students? 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

6 Things You Didn't Know Contained Meat (or Meat Products)

6 Things You Didn’t Know Contained Meat (or other random animal products)

  1. Jell-O
I know, right?  Jell-o?  That delicious, jiggly, fruity dessert?  Ever wonder what gives it its jelly consistency?  Gelatin.  Gelatin is made of boild bones, skins, & tendons of animals.  Gelatin isn’t necessary to make Jell-o, or similar products.  One alternative is Agar-Agar, made from Seaweed. 

  1. Fiber One Cereal
Another gelatin offender!  Actually…for the sake of not having to repeat myself, I’m just going to list all the items on this list that made it because of gelatin:
            -Gummy Candy
3.  Twinkies
            This is actually for all Hostess products: they all contain beef fat.  I even checked the “diet” form, and sure enough- beef fat.  Why people feel the need to put ANIMAL FAT in a cake is beyond me.  There are so many other fattening substances with similar consistencies to use.
4. Target Brand (Archer Farms) pizza
This one totally surprised me.  I didn’t even realize I needed to be checking the label of pizzas- I always thought that if something didn’t SAY it had meat on it, I wouldn’t have to check the label.  I happened to glance on the ingredient list the only time I bought it, and noticed Rennet on the list.  Rennet comes from the digestive juices of slaughtered calves.  Disgusting, yeah? 

Even for people who aren’t vegetarians, I think it’s important to have an awareness of what you’re putting in or on your body.  Until next time! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Food Rave: Chilean Lime Potato Chips!

I got these Good Health Natural Food Chilean Lime Potato Chips from Down to Earth in Pearl City yesterday.  I was a little nervous since they were made with Avocado Oil (I HATE avocado!), but was pleasantly surprised.

Good Points:
-Tasty as Hell
-Fairly Cheap
-Not too unhealthy (for potato chips, that is)

Bad Points:
-They're addictive.  Seriously.  I polished off the rest of the bag this morning while sitting in traffic.  Not cool, people....I included the url if anyone wants to check it out/buy.

anyway, stay tuned for my next post!