How we grocery shop vegetarian(ish) Mediterranean

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Our modifications to the above chart: 🚫 meats, poultry, or cheeses. Yogurts when we have them, which isn’t very often,  are non dairy based. 

Hubby and I both did a ton of research. On my end I was checking out vegetarian, fruitarian, vegan and flexible nutrition plans and Keith was checking out keto and intermittent fasting plans. I know in the past I blogged about the direction we were headed with nutrition and food and I thought I’d update on what we finally decided works best for us and is as “clean” as possible, and steps forward as far as going vegetarian and ultimately vegan healthily. 

Vegetarian Mediterranean nutrition plans are vegetable heavy, so we experimented with recipes. Tried veggies in different ways, like cauliflower crust pizza. We eat kale or spinach salad with roasted sweet potato, eggs and peppers often for breakfast. And we have been working on making our three meals a day very balanced. I know we both used to eat barely anything in the morning and minimally at lunch, with dinner being our heavier meal. We are trying to balance that out and move towards breakfast being our heaviest meal and lunch being somewhat lighter and dinner being our lightest meal.

Think about it, we wake up after not eating for around 10 or more hours, shouldn’t our big meal be in the morning? We don’t need as much fuel when we sleep, do we? 

We’ve also been doing the intermittent fasting thing on the weekends. This where you eat your daily worth of food between certain hours and then “fast” the rest of the day/night.  On the weekends we finish your last meal at around 8pm and then don’t eat until 12 noon the next day, so we are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals. It is generally recommended that women only fast 14-15 hours, because they seem to do better with slightly shorter fasts, so I eat a small snack, like a handful of nuts, around 10am.

Taking it Vegan

Vegetarians who follow the Mediterranean diet “rarely need to worry about a deficit in protein if they eat a varied diet including nuts, beans, seeds, dairy, eggs, tofu, and high-protein whole grains such as quinoa.” ` Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN

And if you want to take a Mediterranean Diet Vegan, stay healthy with a Vegan Omega-3 supplements. Omega-3’s help with mood, eye and brain health, and can improve risk factors for heart attack. Omega-3’s are a great inflammation fighter and studies link higher omega-3 intake to decreased age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (737475). The list goes on and on, so this is not something our bodies should be deprived of, even as Vegans, Vegetarians or humans for that matter.

ps…I’m always in search of new vegan and vegetarian tried and true recipes so if you have any to share drop the recipe or link in comments!

🥬ORGANIC VEGETABLES

  • Green leafy veggies
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Broccoli
  • Squashes (mostly winter, I think summer squashes are bitter and nasty)

🍠TUBERS

  • White potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams

🍓FRUITS

Fresh and frozen 

  • Watermelon
  • Cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Frozen pitaya & acaii packets 
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Melons

🌿FRESH HERBS

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

🥚ANIMAL PROTEIN

Two or three times per week

  • Wild-caught shrimp
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Eggs

🌰NUTS & SEEDS

  • Nut butters
  • Tahini 
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds 
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Macadamia nuts

🍞WHOLE GRAINS/NO GRAIN

  • Quinoa 
  • Rolled oats 
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain pizza crust

🧀NON DAIRY 

  • Cheese
  • Milks (coconut for me, almond for my hubby and Oat for random other things)

🥜LEGUMES

  • Chickpeas 
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts

🥥OILS & HEALTHY FATS

  • Coconut oil 
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Walnut oil

🍯NATURAL SWEETENERS

  • Liquid Stevia
  • Organic coconut sugar 
  • Raw, local honey
  • 100-percent pure maple syrup

💧DRINKS

  • Water
  • Coconut water 
  • Teas
  • La Croix & Bubbly
  • Unsweetened almond & coconut milk 
  • Wine

🍵SUPERFOODS & SMOOTHIE EXTRAS

  • Maca powder 
  • Raw cacao powder 
  • Collagen peptides 
  • Protein powder 
  • Coconut flakes   

💁TIPS!

  • Eat locally and seasonally
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat more beans
  • Lower meat consumption, and eat more plants
  • Reduce food waste

*”Scientists estimate that switching to a Mediterranean diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 72%, land use by up to 58%, energy consumption by up to 52%, and water consumption by up to 33%. Remember, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. Your children and your children’s children will thank you!”

*Excerpts from: SUSTAINABILITY TIPS FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN

A Kinder Thanksgiving

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Dark Faerie Creations

This year we’re headed to family for our Thanksgiving feast. My part of the cooking duties is desert, not pies though. My Mother-In-Law is the amazing pie maker of the family!  So I’ve been scouring the web seeking out recipes because at the moment I’m not taking the time to whip up my own and give a test run or two. So I thought I’d share some fabulous vegetarian and vegan recipes that I’ve stumbled across in hopes you may be inspired to try something different and make a new tradition of a kinder, gentler holiday! Enjoy browsing the recipes and let me know if you tried one or two and how it turned out! 

Here are my picks for my part of the holiday feast baking!

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Arbonne Truffles (No Bake)

Mix 3 cups of oats, 2 1/4 cups Arbonne Protein Mix, 2 cups Almond butter, and 1 3/4 cup honey or agave (low glycemic). After mixing ingredients, roll into 1″ balls. Microwave Wilton’s Candy Melts (try 1/3 of a bag) at 30 second intervals. With a fork dip each ball into the chocolate and tap off excess. Sprinkle with topping!

Gluten-Free Chai Latte Cupcakes

Keep scrolling for more delicious recipe ideas!

 

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Main Courses

Pumpkin Pot Pie

Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Balsamic Sage Brown Butter

Whole Roasted Stuffed Delicata Squash

Warm Autumn Tart

Vegan Thanksgiving Wraps

Pumpkin Chili

Classic Nut Loaf

Kale And Ricotta Stuffed Shells With Butternut Squash Sauce

Hefty enough for a main course – Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale & Farro Salad

Mini Pumpkin & White Bean Pot Pies

Vegan Thanksgiving Torte

Roasted Squash with Shallots, Grapes & Sage

 

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Sides & Soups

Baked Acorn Squash With Walnuts And Cranberries

Quinoa “Stuffing”

Simple Pumpkin Soup

Roasted Pumpkin salad With Walnuts

Roasted Green Beans With Lemon and Walnuts

Smokey Butternut Mac & Cheese

Gravy

Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with Apples

 

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Breads & Appetizers

Cauliflower Garlic Bread

Herb & Cheese Drop Biscuits

Cloud Bread With Garlic and Cheese

Rosemary Cloud Bread

Savory Sweet Potato Bruschetta

Cannellini Bean Dip On Cucumber Chips

Healthier Homemade Biscuits 

 

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Desert & Beverages

Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts with a Sunflower Cookie Crust

Coconut Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Pie

Peppermint Mocha

 

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Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftovers Veggie Burger

 

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some of my favorite cookbooks

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One Part Plant  

Naturally Nourished 

Wanderlust Find Your True Fork: Journeys in Healthy, Delicious, and Ethical Eating

The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

Thug Kitchen 

The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food

Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes

Nourish Bowls: Simple and Nutritious Balanced Meals in a Bowl

The Healthy Ketogenic Vegetarian Cookbook: 100 Easy & Delicious Ketogenic Vegetarian Diet Recipes For Weight Loss and Radiant Health

Plant-Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet–with 150 Engine 2 Recipes

 

 

*Notes:

While I myself am not doing a vegan nutrition plan, something vegans and even vegetarians who are finicky need to remember: By eliminating food groups from your diet, you are potentially at risk of missing out on certain micronutrients. By avoiding animal and animal products, a vegan diet is at risk of being low in calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, if you follow a vegan diet it is essential that you get enough of these nutrients through specific vegan food sources – and may even need to take additional supplements.

When selecting dairy-free alternatives, make sure you are choosing the fortified options. Humus is a good nutrition choice; tahini (sesame seed paste)  is a good source of calcium, zinc and iron, which are all micronutrients hard to get a hold of on a vegan diet.

While within my own lifestyle I am focusing on a a more pescatarian/vegetarian/ovo-vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free,  centered nutrition plan, I am also trying to keep my nutrition clean and whole food oriented and items like these below that are consumed by many vegetarians and vegans I just keep out of my diet.

Soy, in large or often amounts: “because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients.” First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.”

Nutritional Yeast: Simply because I don’t think it makes ANYTHING really taste like cheese. I would rather just eliminate the cheese and stop trying to emulate it with something that tatses nothing like the cheese I so love and is so bad for me and my health. It just toys with my senses.

 

Pledge To Go Veg! Veg Week 2017!

veg week

Join me and pledge to go veg for a week (at least)!

For more info and to sign up (it’s free), just Pledge To Go Veg!

From Esther’s Kitchen – Esther’s Cheezeburger Tortilla Pizza

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Esther’s Cheezeburger Tortilla Pizza
Cuisine: Esther approved, GF option if using GF tortillas
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 -8″ pizzas
Author: Chef Linda
Ingredients
8 (8″) flour tortillas, forked to remove air pockets
Blush Sauce Ingredients
1 (14.5 oz) can organic diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon ketchup
2 Tablespoons egg-free mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Topping Ingredients
1-(13.7 oz) package gardein-the ultimate beefless ground, defrosted and divided into 1 cup portions for each pizza
1-1/2 cups Daiya mozzarella style shreds
1-1/2 cups Daiya cheddar style shreds
(4) 1/4″ red onion slices, divided
(4) 1/4 cups diced pickles, divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced, divided
2 cups chopped lettuce, divided

Preheat the oven to 425F. Spray 4 pizza pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
1. Lay the 8 tortillas on your workspace. Use a fork and pierce random areas onto each tortilla. This will prevent the tortillas from expanding during baking. Lay one tortilla on each pizza pan.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the Daiya mozzarella and cheddar style shreds. Spread 1/4 cup Daiya cheese mixture onto each tortilla. Place the other tortillas on top of each cheese covered tortilla. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
2. Add the sauce ingredients to a small bowl. Stir until combined. Spread 1/2 cup sauce onto each pizza leaving about 1/4″ of sauce from the tortilla edge. Spread 1/2 cup Daiya cheese onto the sauce.
3. Place the beefless ground, red onion and tomatoes on the cheese layer.
4. Bake the pizzas for 10-12 minutes at 425F.
5. Remove the pizzas from the oven. Place the pickles and lettuce on the pizzas. Slice and serve. Add additional salt and pepper to taste

For more amazing recipes check out Esther’s Kitchen on Facebook

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To find out more about the adorable Esther herself, check out her Facebook Page or her Website. I think you will fall in love with her, her kitty and pup siblings & her Dad’s like I did! If you want to join a great cause you can always join Esther’s Army! You can also find out more about Happily Ever Esther and see what the cause is all about!

 

Slow Cooker Loaded “Baked” Sweet Potatoes

 

Cooking sweet potatoes in the slow cooker makes them extra moist and sweet! Top with black beans, corn, avocado, spices, and smoky cashew cream for an easy and healthy meatless meal. Yewguyz. I’m doing like a fusion of a toe tap and a jump squat right now (I just wrote squart, that should be a word) over the fact that you can make sweet potatoes in the slow cooker. And it’s not just that you can… Read More » Slow Cooker Loaded “Baked” Sweet Potatoes

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere Friday: Sweet Potato Spears with Lemongrass Dip

I’m still busy with family and holiday business, hope you enjoy this recipe from the view from great island!

Do you know your trigger foods?  I learned about them from my friend Roberta who does Weight Watchers. Trigger foods are the ones you just can’t stop eating.  They trigger your binge reflex, or something.  Usually they are foods that contain some combination of refined sugar, fats and salt, and theoretically if you can identify your problem foods, you can eat healthier by keeping them out of your life, and your cupboards, as much as possible.  They can be a specific food, like Fritos, or a larger class of food, like ice cream. Ive known for a long time now […]

Recipe Can Be Found Here: It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere Friday: Sweet Potato Spears with Lemongrass Dip

Easy Cranberry and Asian Pear Tart

 

Easy cranberry and Asian pear tart flavored with vanilla and tea spice. Nutritionally rich sweet and light Asian pears are perfect for many recipes.

Recipe Can Be Found Here: Natural Fitness Diet