Meatless Monday – Mezze Bowl with Cranberry Compote and Za’atar Chickpeas by Purple Carrot

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I never thought I’d get into meatless and cheeseless dishes, yet here I am! Truth be told I crave them!! Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want a good burger or steak (gasp), but I love the freshness and flavor combinations that are available for whole food, plant based foods(WFPB). We choose WFPB because of the health benefits and we see a secondary benefit to the environment. Mainly, we just like it.

You don’t have to become Vegan or even Vegetarian to add more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes into your diet. That’s why we decided to try Purple Carrot, a Vegan meal delivery service. It was a way for us to add more whole food, plant based foods into our diet on a regular basis, but you don’t have to join a meal delivery service to get ideas. Here are a few ways to get you going:

Blogs

  • Minimalist Baker Simple, few ingredients and delicious. She is one of my favorites and a go-to when I’m out of ideas or short on time.
  • Pickles N Honey a fun site with a variety of ideas
  • Thug Kitchen – OK, be forewarned, major language and ‘F’ bombs, but D— do they have good recipes!

Websites

Cook Books

ReviewMezze Bowl with Cranberriy Compote and Za’atar Chickpeas By Purple Carrot

Time: 35 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: One of my favorite things about Purple Carrot is their flavor combinations and they don’t disappoint with this dish! The cranberry compote is amazing, I was literally running my fingers and the fork over the bottom of the pan and licking it off!! Yeah, ok… classy no, yummy yes! This dish has a whopping 21 grams of protein and is very filling and satisfying and brought forth my favorite yummmy sounds from the hubs! Success!

I think it is important to be open minded and give the flavors and texture combinations a chance, you’ll be happy you did.

This dish was easy to make, flavorful, and filling, plus my husband and I made it together, which makes it more fun. – Enjoy!

What blogs do you follow? Fav recipe? Share your ideas with us!

#meathlessmonday #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #wfpb #wholefoodplantbased #review #recipe #jamieoliver #thugkitchen #purplecarrot #theminimalistbaker

Sunday Splurges & Fridge Dump Dishes

We eat pretty well all week long, but Sunday is Sunday Splurge Day a.k.a “cheat” day and a good day to empty out the leftovers. A friend of mine introduced me to the idea a long time ago and a few of us share a Pinterest board with ways to bring the other down with really rich, decadent foods!! (Insert maniacal laughter here). One of the advantages of having a day where you don’t worry about diet/what you eat is to help you not feel so deprived. Do your best for 6 days and eat what you want for the 7th and do it guilt free. WAIT! This doesn’t mean gorge yourself, just don’t worry about your choices as much. Enjoy! No shame! Shame and guilt can keep us in vicious cycles of self destruction, let it go!

Is this a trick? Yes….The truth is that the more accustomed you become to eating healthy meals the more your body craves it. Healthy eating is eating in moderation, eating a variety of wholesome foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, (fish, lean meat if not a Vegetarian of Vegan), and being mindful and wise about your choices. You will find that cheating isn’t as yummy as it used to be and “decadent” starts to mean something else. Like lusting after a bowlful of delicious berries and turning down the banana split!

While we learn to eat better because we start eating better, sometimes you still like the ooey gooey foods, and thats ok. Treat yourself and enjoy.

What is a Treat?

I can’t tell you if something is a treat, it’s different for everyone. For example, if you eat ice cream every night before going to bed and decide to change this, than a treat may be a bowl every couple of nights, than maybe once a week, and later maybe once a month. Defining a treat is up to you and the frequency changes with your lifestyle. Just be honest and remember to take your time, savor the flavors, slow down and enjoy; treats aren’t treats if we don’t experience them.

What’s for Dinner in the Burbach house this week? A Fridge Dump Dish!

A couple of weeks ago our Sunday Splurge was crackers served with cheese dip while at a Blues concert:

4 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese

4 ounces grated Pepper Jack cheese

2 Tablespoons Spinach and Herb mix from Tastefully Simple

1 Tablespoon Fiesta Party Seasoning from Tastefully Simple

Blend in the food processor and add

Equal Parts Mayo and Sour cream until the consistency you like. 1-1/2 cup total

Another night we had Chili from The Pioneer Woman. I often alter recipes to make them more healthy and if it’s a Sunday Splurge sometimes I don’t. These flavors work nicely with your favorite vegetarian chili base (I like lentils and bulgar).

These items were in our fridge and still good- DO check this when make creative meals from leftovers; when in doubt, through it out! Then make Fridge Dump Dishes.

Leftovers:

1 Cup chili, 1 1/2 cups cheese dip, 2 half bags of tortilla chips

Sounds like Nacho Night!!

Cheese Sauce:

Add 2 tsps of olive oil to a sauce pan and heat it up then stir in 2 Tbsp flour. Mix until smooth and gradually pour in 1-2 cups milk, stir as you ago and allow to thicken. Then add the leftover cheese dip and allow to fully melt. Stir constantly and watch the heat. Because my grated cheeses already had cream cheese in it (low fat), it melted nicely and was smooth.

Nacho Topping

1 cup chili

1 can beans of choice, rinsed

Heat together until warmed through. Then layer the beans and chili over the chips and top with cheese sauce and your favorite nacho toppings.

It’s one meal all week long where you just splurged. It won’t destroy your hard work and it will be yummy! Each time you do a Sunday Splurge ask yourself if there is a more healthful choice or ingredient you’d like to use. Check in with your body and see what it tells you.

Caveat – If your self discipline is a problem and one dish leads to a week of poor choices please step back and ask yourself if you are ready and can handle it and if not, wait until you’ve practiced a little more mindful eating and self discipline. It can change, just give yourself time and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Enjoy!

#sunday #splurge #cheat #nachos #mindfuleating #treats

Recipe Review: Spelt Blueberry Muffin -Whole Foods Market

Spelt Blueberry Muffins – Whole Foods

Time: 40 minutes (prep + cooking)

Ease: Simple

Review: I like having a good muffin recipe to turn to, the kind you can just whip up on a whim, BAM! This is the muffin. This was as easy as using a box mix, but so much better for you. Spelt is a species of wheat and has been cultivated for at least 5000 years, it is considered and “ancient grain”. Spelt is also packed with nutrients and though it has gluten, it is often better tolerated.

There are a lot of blueberries in this recipe, which really brings out sweetness and provides a nice flavor. If you aren’t used to spelt the texture is slightly different from flour, but close. Over all, I would say this was a very successful recipe and one I will make again, and probably again and again.

Note: If you are from the Greensboro, NC are you can purchase spelt at the Guilford Mill on HWY 68. Whole foods is also a great choice and while there, check out the many different types of grains they carry. – Enjoy!

#spelt #blueberry #muffins #wholefoodplantbased #recipe #review #wfpb

Meatless Monday: Orange Soup with Black Salsa – Mark Bittman

We are making an effort to eat more whole food, plant based foods i.e., nuts, legumes, grains, fruits, and veggies, and I have to say we are loving it. After all we’ve been told “Eat food that rots, just eat it before it does” – Dr. Forrest Shaklee. I have also been reading the Blue Zone book by Dan Buettner and learning about the longest lived people in the world, who eat meat more like a garnish or accompaniment to the main meal. A pretty crazy concept for most Americans. The more we learn the harder it is to deny the benefits of good, real, unprocessed, fresh food.

There are so many ways to cook foods, especially vegetables, that no one should be able to say “I don’t like veggies”. Even if you don’t you should keep trying them, over time your taste buds adapt and your body knows you’re giving it good stuff and starts letting you know it needs more – you crave good food! You will also find that sometimes you don’t feel so great after a greasy, processed meal. This is again, your body letting you know it really likes the healthy stuff. Some simple ways to add veggies to your day: smoothies, add them into sauces, puree them, roast, bake, grilled…. MMMmmMMM. To learn more about Whole Food, Plant Based eating visit Eating you Alive or Forks over Knives. and check out Monday.com for some great vegetarian ideas.

Another way to learn about Whole Food, Plant Based eating is through the book VB6 and the VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman He discusses being Vegan, kind of, Mark Bittman is Vegan before 6pm and then eats whatever he would like, within reason after 6pm. The change has still made a huge impact in his health and has become a lifestyle. I like the concept. During the day you get your full share of fruits, vegetables, grains etc. without all of the saturated fats, processed food and bad stuff. If you choose wisely that is. If you want to make a change, but don’t think you can go whole hog, eh hem…whole cauliflower, then VB6 might be a good fit for you.

This review is of his butternut (or pumpkin) soup, a great Meatless Monday meal.

The Review

Time: 60 Minutes

Ease: Simple

I wasn’t sure how well this would turn out at first, just being honest. Every butternut squash soup I’ve ever made had coconut milk or milk in it. I was afraid it would be to thin and watery, but I was wrong! My other hesitation was how was my husband going to handle this vegan dinner? Before I had a chance to ask him what he thought I heard those lovely yummy noises we all love to hear when we cook for someone! Success.

The soup was easy to make and very good. I have a submersion blender, which I highly recommend, but you can use a blender to puree it too. It is creamy from being blended, but is not going to have the exact same consistency as a milk based soup, but I don’t think you’ll miss it.

The salsa is tasty and went very well with the soup. We ate it in our soup as well as with flax chips and I was tempted to top it with sour cream, but didn’t.

This recipe took about an hour, but if you used canned pumpkin or pre-cooked butternut squash you could do it in 30. Enjoy!

#vegetarian #meatlessmonday #wholefoodplantbased #wfpb #butternutsquash #blackbeans #soup