Why you should try vegetarianism..

As many of you have already heard, a meatless diet has TONS of health and environmental benefits. I want to share the top 3 things I love about being a vegetarian.

1.Experimenting with recipes! Unfortunately, a lot of people think being vegetarian or vegan means eating nasty tasteless food but I have to say they are completely and totally wrong. Many of my meatless meals focus heavily on using AMAZING spices with fresh whole foods. Here are some of my favorite vegetarian/vegan recipes:

You can’t go wrong with these websites

Minimalist Baker

Oh She Glows: Vegan Recipes by Angela Liddon

CREAMY VEGAN LEMON ASPARAGUS PASTA
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
A simple vegan pasta that requires simple ingredients and just 30 minutes! A creamy butter- and dairy-free white sauce is infused with lemon and roasted garlic. Simple, light, delicious. See notes for adapting if you’re gluten free or not vegan.
Author: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Vegan, Italian
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus (12 ounces), trimmed and washed
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced (~2 Tbsp)
  • 10 ounces (~5 cups) bow tie pasta (see notes if GF*)
  • 2.5 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 3-4 Tbsp all purpose flour (sub another thickener if GF*)
  • 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (for a subtle cheesy flavor | optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add asparagus to a baking sheet and toss with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper. Top with several thin slices of lemon and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once finished cooking, remove from oven and roughly chop into thirds.
  2. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously.
  3. While the water’s heating, bring a large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 3 Tbsp olive oil and garlic. Whisk and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes or until garlic is just starting to brown.
  4. Add 3 Tbsp flour and whisk. Cook for 30 seconds, then whisk in almond milk 1/2 cup at a time. TIP: Use a large flat spatula to smash down the bits of garlic and flour to properly incorporate. Add a healthy pinch salt and pepper and whisk. Slightly lower heat and continue cooking to thicken, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Then drain and set aside.
  6. For extra creamy sauce, add sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend. Add nutritional yeast and another pinch of salt and pepper. If it looks runny, add another Tablespoon of flour (or cornstarch). Blend until creamy and smooth, using the “puree” or “liquify” setting if possible. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, then add back to pan and continue cooking over medium to medium-low heat to thicken.
  7. Once your sauce has reached desired thickness, add the juice of half a lemon and stir.
  8. Add 3/4 of the chopped asparagus and the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.
  9. Divide between 2-3 serving plates and top with remaining asparagus. Serve with a lemon wedge and vegan parmesan cheese.
  10. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
courtesy of: http://minimalistbaker.com/
ULTIMATE GREEN TACO WRAPS 
vegantacossquare-8805-2
Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free
Get ready to pack a ton of veggies into one irresistible, healthy meal! If you haven’t tried my lentil-walnut taco meat, this is a great recipe to do so. It’s high in protein, and the taco seasonings and chewy texture create a realistic-tasting taco base. Feel free to use tortilla wraps or corn shells instead of lettuce wraps to change it up, or you can make this recipe into a big salad, too. You can save time by cooking the lentils and prepping the taco meat in advance (or simply use canned lentils). This recipe is inspired by Minimal Eats taco wraps. The lentil-walnut meat is adapted from the from the The Oh She Glows Cookbook (page 186).
YIELD
8 LARGE TACOS (APPROX)
PREP TIME
30 MINUTES
COOK TIME
30 MINUTES
Ingredients:
FOR THE LENTIL-WALNUT TACO MEAT (MAKES 2 1/2 CUPS):
  • 1 cup uncooked French green lentils (you will use 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils)*
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
FOR THE TOPPINGS AND WRAPS:
  • 1 to 2 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Cashew Sour Cream
  • Diced tomatoes or salsa
  • Green onion
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Lettuce wraps (large romaine, iceberg, or butter lettuce leaves)
  • Other topping options: sliced avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, etc.
Directions:
  1. Cook the lentils: Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Add to a medium pot along with a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender (cook time will vary depending on the type of lentils you use—see package). Drain off excess water.
  2. Toast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 300°F. Add walnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 to 13 minutes, watching closely, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Sauté the pepper and onion filling: Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of oil into a large skillet or wok. Cook the onion and peppers over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat if necessary and stirring frequently, until translucent.
  4. Prepare the taco meat: Add 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils (you’ll have some leftover) and all the toasted walnuts into a food processor and pulse until chopped (make sure to leave texture). Stir or pulse in the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir in the oil and the water until combined.
  5. Prepare the rest of your vegetable toppings and wash and dry the lettuce wraps.
  6. Assemble: Add a large lettuce leaf onto a plate, top with taco meat, sautéed peppers and onion, and the rest of your desired toppings.
  7. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in sealed containers to be enjoyed the next couple days. The cashew cream will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Use sour cream leftovers on sandwiches, wraps, stirred into salad dressings, on vegan nachos, or with chili or soup.
courtesy of: http://ohsheglows.com/
2. Cruelty free ingestion:  A large majority of the meat industry is based on factory farming. This type of operation creates horrendous environments for the animals. They are typically jam packed in small areas and many never even see daylight. You are not only supporting a better life for animals but for yourself as well. A vegetarian or vegan diet means caring for your body. The average American’s intake of meat is causing a multitude of health issues. I won’t go into details but you can learn more from these documentaries: 
3.Reducing my footprint and saving the Earth. COWSPIRACY! This doc changed my life and I highly, I mean HIGHLY recommend you watch it. It explains very clearly how eating meat negatively affects our environment.
LEARN MORE BELOW
Cowspiracy-Infographic
If you don’t already eat a meatless diet I hope I have provided some insight into how fun and awesome it can be!
Peace, love and veggies
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