Tag Archives: vegetarian

Recipe: Corn Salad by Melissa McKinnon

photo-21Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • handful of fresh basil and cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ears of sweet corn, husked, scrubbed, and kerneled
  • 1/2 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 radishes, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed

Instructions:

  • Chop herbs and whisk together with mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. (If vegan, dairy-free, or you just don’t like mayo: substitute mayo with vegannaise and corn milk for the sour cream–after cutting off kernels, run flat edge of knife down ears of corn to release the sweet milk.)
  • Clean vegetables.* Cut kernels off of corn (discarding the cores), and chop other vegetables to desired sizes (I like the radishes and onion to be fairly tiny and the cucumber and avocado to be a little bigger, personally).
  • Toss vegetables into dressing and mix. Serve with sprigs of herbs as garnish, if desired.

*Note: All vegetables are raw in this dish–no cooking required. So, it’s a fast dish with fantastic colors and flavors. Since everything is raw, make sure you use the freshest produce possible and clean everything well. This salad is a great alternative to potato salad or coleslaw at a picnic or as a “salsa” on top of curried chicken and rice. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe: Kale Salad with Bacon, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese by Melissa McKinnon

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices thick-sliced bacon, crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon grease, reserved from frying
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 c. chopped fresh kale leaves (discard stems)
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds
  • 1/4 c. crumbled (honeyed or plain) goat cheese (about 2 oz.)
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Fresh Basil; Kale Salad with Crackers

Kale Salad with Crackers, served as a side with

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Fresh Basil

Instructions:

1. Cook thick-sliced bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and pat dry with paper towels. Crumble bacon. Let bacon grease cool slightly (pour 3 Tbsp. grease into a glass bowl to help it cool faster, if desired–just don’t let it burn).

2. Prepare kale. I buy the pre-washed, pre-chopped bag of kale, but if you buy fresh, whole kale from your grocery store or farmers’ market, wash thoroughly (I recommend triple washing to remove all the grit), pat (or spin) dry, remove stems and chop as finely as desired. Set aside.

3. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Carefully pour warm grease into vinegar mixture; whisk to combine. (I do this step in the serving bowl to cut down on clean-up.)

4. Toss kale in dressing. Make sure leaves are evenly coated with dressing (use your hands–just don’t burn yourself). Then add crumbled bacon, goat cheese, cranberries and almonds and toss.

5. Serve as an appetizer, a side salad, or as dip with crackers. The combination of crunchy and creamy, tangy and sweet is fantastic! This is definitely a new family favorite! Bon Appetit!

Note: You could also add 2 Tbsp. of finely chopped red onions or scallions for a nice touch.

As an alternative, I made some this week and switched out the cranberries for some finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, added juice from half a lemon to the dressing, and used plain goat cheese, along with the almonds and crumbled bacon, and it was a big hit! So whether you go savory or sweet, bon appetit!

Weekly Recipes and Meal Plan

This Week’s Basket from Milk and Honey Organics Included: Red Potatoes, Yellow Onions, Jonagold Apples, Bosc Pears, Pomegranates, Roma Tomatoes, Shallots, Parisi Farms’ Broccoli Crowns, Mustard Greens and Butternut Squash. My butternut squash so was so adorable – yes, I honestly think produce can be cute. ;) Some baskets had kiwi and lettuce, but I have plenty of lettuce because I had coupons to use from Organic Girl by the end of 2011.

This Week’s Meal Plan: I’m eating a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, with only 5% of my calories from animal protein, but I did add optional meat, egg, and cheese options for my husband.
Recipes in the Meal Plan:

What to Do with Leftover Black Beans…

Earlier this week, I posted my friend Gina’s recipe for Black Beans. This made a couple meals of beans and rice for us and we still had a good bit of leftovers. I needed to make my bread. Sourdough starter has to be fed on a regular basis; I like to make bread once a week or every other week. And we normally use 1/3 of the dough to make pizza!

I already had the beans and didn’t feel like making tomato sauce. I also had a half a jar of Publix Greenwise Organic Salsa (with no chips to go with them) and a half a block of queso cheese. Another blessing was our neighbor gave us some freshly milled hard white flour and hard red flour. It’s so cool; you can see the wheat germ in it and everything! (I secretly have a desire to mill my own flour someday, but I’m waiting to splurge on the equipment.)

So, I made some whole wheat sourdough pizza crust, topped it with the prepared black beans, salsa and queso before baking. Then I sprinkled fresh organic parsley and cilantro on when it came out of the oven. It was fantastic!

Recipe: Twice Baked Potatoes

Preheat oven to 350F.

  • 6 small red potatoes, whole
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt

Rub potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 350F for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the following ingredients and set aside.

  • 1 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 1/4 c. low-fat plain Kefir (plain yogurt or sour cream should work too)
  • 2 oz. freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste

Remove potatoes from oven and let rest for a few minutes (till cool enough to handle). Turn heat up to 400F. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, scoop out middle, leaving 1/8″ to 1/4″ rim around potato. Add potato middles to the cheese mixture. Mash and spoon into potato shells.

Bake at 400F for 15 more minutes, until golden brown.

Top with 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley leaves. Serve warm!

His & Hers Quick Weeknight Dinner

Wednesday nights are usually a little hectic for us. Every other week is Shepherding Group (a small community within our church that meets together to care and share in a more intimate setting than corporate worship). The alternate weeks, as often as we can make it, are prayer meetings at church. I usually get home around 5:30pm and we have to be out the door by 6:40pm or so if we want to make sure to get there on time. That doesn’t leave much time for dinner. This week, I got off a little early and we came home and used the majority of our leftover vegetables from our weekly produce basket for a vegetarian quick fix.

His: EarthFare's Roasted Potatoes (yum!), Sauteed Cabbage (butter, salt & pepper), and sauteed medley (broccolini, carrots, green beans, garlic, butter, salt & pepper).

Hers: potatoes and sauteed medley (same as His), and Sauteed Celery (with shallots, garlic, mushroom, butter, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper).

I had half of my plate (and a little of Bryan’s) leftover and boxed it up for lunch today. I combined the celery mixture with the vegetable medley and the flavors melded nicely. Bryan liked his dinner so much that he even said, “That was a really great dinner,” three hours later, on our way home from church! Oh, and, by the way, we were still full and satisfied after church too! Those potatoes definitely stick with you! Yum!

Restaurant Review: Everyday Organic in Greenville, SC

Everyday Organic is a restaurant that has been open for about 5 months near the Cherrydale Cinema, here in Greenville, SC. Almost all of their menu items can be customized for vegetarians and vegans too, which I love!

Bryan and I tried it out on Friday for a late lunch date and found it so quaint and enjoyable! The prices are reasonable, especially for organic cuisine! We got out for about $10 per person. Bryan had the Turkey Pesto Wrap with the Pesto Pasta Salad. He loved the sandwich, and though the pasta salad would’ve been better warm, but it was still very good. I had the Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Dip. It came with pita triangles. The waitress talked me into the large portion, but I definitely only needed the small portion. We ended up taking over half of the dip home. I think it will taste better as a spread on a wrap than just a dip for pita chips, but it was good. I think it had sweet potato in it, which I wasn’t used to.

I told my friend Amanda about the restaurant, and she took her family on Saturday for lunch. Even the kids liked it! They had the pimento spread, chicken salad, and hummus sandwich with the quinoa salad, and said they were all very good! None of us had room to try their desserts, but they certainly did look and smell tempting. AND they had a cute little organic produce section by the front door. We will definitely be going back!

Another coworker, Chad, and his wife went on Saturday as well. He recommended the Cherrydale Turkey wrap with green apples and goat cheese, as well as the blueberry pie and coconut cream cheese cupcake.

They’re open from 11AM-2:30PM for lunch, and then they reopen from 5-9PM for dinner. Closed on Sundays. Lunch is a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. Lunch menu here. For dinner, they feature two menu items each night, so check the menu before you go. Dinner menu here.

Check it out! We’ve been eating out less and less for two different reasons: 1. Budget concerns, and 2. The more research I do about processed foods and chemical additives, the less I want to eat out. But with Everyday Organic, we know that the prices are reasonable and that we can enjoy it guilt-free because it’s all good for us! Definitely a new favorite! I just wish there were more restaurants like this one!

All Wrapped Up!

This past weekend, we tried out the new Brown Rice Bar for one of our dinners. See the spread here. There was a good bit of leftover veggies, so I decided to toss them in a Sundried Tomato Wrap with some kalamata olives, Green Garlic dressing, and goat cheese. Yum!

You could use any freshly diced veggies for this! Feta would also be nice!

All wrapped up!

Meatless May Check-In

Breakfast: small bagel with 1 Tbsp. organic cream cheese, 8 oz. Green Goodness Smoothie.

Lunch: brown rice and Chinese mixed vegetables.

Dinner: low fat veggie lasagna.

I’ll check my calories and nutrients and see if I need to eat a snack sometime today.

Check-In: Well, I’m on Day 24 of Meatless May, with only 7 days left (and counting).

Has it been hard to eliminate meat from my diet? It hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would have been to go meatless. I did allow myself fish, eggs, and dairy products, so that made it a little easier. I still got all my nutrients, had plenty of protein, and hit my calorie ranges.

Have I noticed a difference in my energy? To be honest, I haven’t. Maybe it’s because I allowed myself fish, eggs, and cheese, but I didn’t feel more energetic or less energetic. Or maybe it’s because when I did eat meat (prior to May), I didn’t eat large portions. I kept my meat portion sizes to 3-4 ounces and only ate meat 2 meals a day instead 6-12 ounce portions 3 times a day (like many Americans).

Did I lose weight? No. My weight stayed exactly the same. I did, however, drop body fat % by almost 1% and lost 1/4″ per site in my calves, thighs, hips, waist, biceps, and neck this month. I’m not sure if this is because of eliminating meats or if it’s a result of increasing my strength training; it’s probably a combination of the two.

 What did I miss the most? Chicken on my salad and turkey burgers! It was especially hard while traveling at the beginning of the month, but I made it.

Meatless Tuesday: Round 2

Today wasn’t so hard to be meatless. I enjoyed everything I ate!

Breakfast: 1 c. Kashi Cinnamon Oat Cereal with 1/2 c. blueberries, 1/2 c. pecans, and 1 c. milk

Snack: 2 c. green tea with lemon

Lunch: 1 veggie egg roll, 1 c. white rice, 1 c. Chinese broccoli

Snack: 1 serving blueberry mini rice cakes, 1 c. coffee (gotta love #TwitterTuesdays @liquidhighway)

Dinner: 1.5 c. organic wheat pasta, 1/2 c. organic marinara, 1 portobella mushroom (sauteed with S&P in 1 tsp. olive oil), and 2 thin slices asiago cheese