Monday, March 12, 2012

Lots and lots of food

As I'm sure many people already know, three out of the four people in our household are vegetarian. {Kyle being the non-vegetarian}  I've been a vegetarian since 7th grade.  Kyle has eaten meat his entire life.  He eats meat out, but never at home.  I ate fish for the first few years and then stopped eating it sometime in high school.  Over the years, I've gotten lots of questions and concerns about this lifestyle choice.  Is it the best way to feed yourself and your children? I can't say yes for everyone, but it works very well for us.  Is it healthy? Again, I can't say what's healthiest for everyone, but for us, our diet is *usually* healthy and nutritious.  But what do you EAT? Everything and anything!

In our house, we eat a variety of foods.  We have our staples, but I am always trying out new recipes and new ingredients.  At least two nights a week I find a recipe either online, in a magazine {Vegetarian Times or Whole Living}, Pinterest, or in one of my vegetarian cookbooks.  I can definitely understand how a person who consumes meat at every meal could have a hard time realizing our diet is anything but dull and boring.  My kids eat every type of vegetable both raw and cooked, tons and tons of fruit, whole grains, cheese, yogurt, eggs and so much more.  {We aren't vegan so we do eat eggs and dairy} And actually, recently, Kyle and I decided to start eating fish in our home for nutritional and convenience reasons. It is something I am still going back and forth on, so not sure if it will be a permanent change or not.  And to be honest, eating fleshy fish still really weirds me out.

Other than fish, neither of my children have ever eaten meat.  The few times we've offered Cambria fish she hasn't touched it or she's put it in her mouth and instantly spit it back out.  Ezra is too young to notice or care at this point, but he doesn't seem to mind the change.

Whenever something is really delicious, I take a picture of the dish to remember it and because I'm usually proud of the meal. :)Here are some of my favorites over the last few months.  {Seriously, we take lots of pictures of food!}
This was pasta with homemade pesto, spinach and then topped with ricotta cheese.  Roasted butternut squash as a side.  We add spinach to our pasta by throwing it in the bottom of the colander then pouring the boiling water and noodles over it to wilt the leaves.  Such an easy way to add some dark leafy greens to your meal!
This is brown rice, amazing homemade veggie stir-fry sauce {(neverhome)maker is an excellent resource for a vegetarian diet}, pan-fried tofu, and a side of roasted broccoli. One day I am going to do a post on cooking tofu the way it's pictured above.  It's seriously good!
This was some risotto that I cannot find, roasted asparagus, and butternut squash soup.  Can you tell that we like to roast our veggies around here... :)

This was a Saturday morning where I made the quiche recipe my sister first shared on her blog, but I added spinach and ate it with coffee and honeydew.
We love smoothies! Again, (neverhome) has some awesome smoothies recipes.  This one is the 20/20 shake. Some staple smoothie ingredients I use: almond milk, frozen fruit, oats, maple syrup, agave nectar, bananas, ice, peanut butter, coconut flakes, spinach.
This is the same stir-fry from above except with quinoa pasta.  Definitely recommend the pasta if you're looking for less wheat/gluten.
A typical snack for Cambria.  Strawberries, grapes, carrots and cucumbers.
A marinated then grilled portobella mushroom topped with lots and lots of cheese and roasted red peppers, roasted Brussels sprouts and red potatoes with cheese cooked in the crock pot.
Lunch of PB&J {one of the favorites in our household}
Apparently she liked it.
Blueberries and falafel in a pita with tzatziki sauce.
Another typical lunch, Annie's Mac n' Cheese with added frozen peas and carrots + strawberries.
We LOVE Mellow Mushroom.  Our favorite pizza: BBQ base, BBQ tofu, and onions. Yuuuuuuuuum.
Egg salad sandwich recipe here.
Store-bought cheese tortellini and pesto, kale chips, and roasted carrots.
Blueberries, raspberries, scrambled egg and peanut butter toast for breakfast.
Caprese: shells, tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, basil, and a little kale {or whatever leafy green we have in the fridge}.  This recipe was passed down from my college roommate Kirsten and I believe all of us make it now with our own families. 
One of the meals I've made with fish: sauteed shrimp and onions and peppers, corn salsa, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, broccoli...basically a burrito bowl.
Whole wheat English muffin topped with hummus, pesto, avocado and sprouts.  Side of sweet potato fries and extra pesto for dipping.  {I found recipe in Whole Living magazine, but can't find it online}
And of course I can't forget our most favorite yogurt, CHOBANI! I know I've talked about this yogurt many times before but we just really, really love it.

In the last few months, I've really become more conscious of what I am putting in my body and in my children's. We definitely aren't perfect and have our fair share of guilty pleasures: Seasons of Japan, Olive Garden, and coke, just to name a few. With every single meal I analyze the nutritional benefit or lack thereof {sometimes to an unhealthy extent}. I want to grow healthy children now and instill in them a love of good, wholesome food for the rest of their lives. 
I hope I've inspired someone to make one of these recipes. I'll try and post more as I make other delicious foodies!


  1. A ton of those pictures look DELISH!! I wish Chris was a more adventurous eater. I'll just have to start letting him fend for himself & chow down with Elodie, who will eat anything! :)

    Thanks for sharing! I've been in a cooking-like-crazy-and-trying-new-recipes mood lately. I was even going to start blogging about our favorites or new & delicious recipes we've been eating lately. If you're eating fish now, there's an AH-Mazing recipe we tried the other night made with shrimp! I'll have to share it soon :)

    1. How about you make dinner for Elodie and yourself and Chris makes his own!?! :) I feel like right now is critical for Elodie too and you want to expose her to lots of flavors and textures now so she doesn't become a picky eater like Daddy ;) We haven't eaten fish too often yet, but please do share that recipe! I'm always looking for recipes!

  2. i love looking at your food! you inspire me to want to eat more vegetarian meals. my breakfasts are 99% of the time without meat (i say that because maybe 1-2 times a week i eat some bacon :]). i try to eat as healthy as possible.

    i have recently discovered that eating ground beef is gross to me. i had it in hamburger helper and the taste was too strong.

    also, i get really really grumpy if i don't eat chicken. i think because of the protein. i know i can add protein into meals or eat some other type of protein, but something about chicken makes me happy. so i would never go full vegetarian, but i could probably forgo red meat (i gave up eating steak in 2009, i hardly eat hamburgers. the only thing i really like ground beef in is chili and spaghetti and sloppy joes)

    1. I'm so glad to hear that Alex. I believe at least thinking about the food you put in your mouth is half the battle and doing something about it is the other half. Any level of vegetarianism is awesome in my book! And protein IS very important. I am constantly checking to make sure my kids {and me hehe} are getting enough each day. Quinoa and Greek yogurt are two great sources so we eat those often. :)

  3. I'm pretty sure your children eat healthier than 99% of kids out there. Even being vegetarian. I think you do a great job and what I have sampled from your cooking is delicious! I wish I could eat with you every night. Although I probably would miss meat, but not that much =)

    1. Thank you Summer!! That really means a lot to me because I put a great deal of time and effort into feeding them well. And I would love to cook for you more!!! But I just remembered that you and Cambria owe me a lunch.... :)

  4. How do you roast vegetables? Is it different from sautéing them in the pan? When I do cook vegetables, I like to know about more than one way to cook them...

    Fun post!

    1. I roast vegetables by tossing them with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe some garlic or other seasonings then baking them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. I roast everything, as you can tell! :)