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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 4:46 am 
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Sweet, green and refreshing? How about a nice Basil Pesto sauce?

A couple BIG handfuls fresh basil leaves *around 2 cups* (blanch them first so they stay bright green)
approx. 1/4-1/3 Cup toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Parmesan cheese to taste (about 1/2 cup seems most common amount...)
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Blanch basil by dunking into boiling, salted water for about 10-15 seconds, then immerse in an ice bath to shock the leaves and stop the cooking. Remove from ice water after about 10 seconds, pat leaves dry. This step will give you bright green, pretty pesto. Otherwise, it will get kind of dark and funky looking.

Put your basil into a food processor or blender, and pulse a few times to start breaking it down. Add the pine nuts or walnuts, pulse a few times again. Add in the garlic and cheese and blend on high speed. While blender or food processor is running, add olive oil in a slow, thin stream until your sauce is a nice 'creamy' texture.
stop the machine, scrape down the sides, add your salt and pepper, pulse to blend that in, and you're done!

Ready for your favourite pasta 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:45 pm 
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..


Last edited by Jenn Pix on Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:55 am 
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I package penne pasta
2 cans petite diced tomatoes (with juice)
Sliced mushrooms (portobella or white button)
sliced black olives
1 or 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
fresh basil leaves
balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Yellow crookneck squash, sliced into disks (optional)
zucchini, sliced into disks (optional)
1 med. onion, small dice (optional)
Feta cheese (optional, but come on, why wouldn't you?)

Cook penne according to package directions, to al dente

in a hot skillet, heat a little olive oil, add the onions, yellow squash, and zucchini (if you're using them, I sometimes do, but it's good either way...) cook just a bit, til' the onions are just slightly translucent and the yellow squash is not too firm. Add this to your cooked pasta and stir in.
Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and olives, toss together. Add bell pepper strips and basil leaves, toss together. (the heat from the pasta is all you need, now, coz you don't want to really 'cook' the bell peppers, just let them warm with the pasta)
Drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette dressing, toss.
Add some crumbled feta cheese and another couple of small basil leaves to the top, and enjoy!

This is great fresh from the pot, still warm/hot, or served cool.
Leftovers are awesome the next day or two, warmed in the microwave, or still cold from the 'fridge.

I like this in summer, coz it works so well as a cold dish. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:19 am 
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The pasta dish that I described above ^^^ ...
I recently took a huge bowl of it to the neighbours when they invited us for a get together. BIG hit, even with the carnivorous family members! (she swears that all they eat is meat, LOL)

I just wanted to comment on that, because I've seen in some discussions that question...
When you're invited to a party/BBQ/some kind of casual get together where there's gonna be food, how do you go about making sure that you have something to eat, without sounding rude or possibly adding an extra burden to your host?
Bring your own dish, and bring a lot of it, to share. In most cases, that will be welcomed. (there are always some exceptions, but by and large, this works...)
It's one less thing for your host to fret over, and when you bring extra for other guests, it's kind of nice for them to have a little variety, as well. Just show up with a covered dish of whatever, with a serving spoon/fork, and let the guests have at it. (If your dealing with a hungry crowd, get yourself a serving, first, LOL!)

Here in the South, most gatherings like that are casual/pot-luck, anyway, so bringing a dish is the norm...
You can list off the ingredients, just in case someone has a food allergy/sensitivity/restriction (like if you bring over a dish with tofu, some people have trouble with soy... pasta needs to be avoided by the gluten sensitive, etc...) But aside from that, you don't really have to make a big deal about it, and it's a nice gesture to the host to help out when food is an issue. 8)

Maybe be ready to share the recipe, you may have requests! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:51 am 
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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/grilled-portobello-mushrooms-with-balsamic-recipe.html 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:51 am 
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Great posts and recipes here! I have recently gone to low fat raw eating... Mostly. It's a real hard transition for me, and some of these recipes are great ideas when my willpower just isn't keeping me! Keep 'em coming!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:37 pm 
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My pleasure!!!
'Low fat raw'... I'll see if I can find some recipes for you!

Any time you make a major change in your eating, it can be really hard. Suddenly, you find yourself checking everything, to make sure it's going to work. (I even had to change my vitamin brand, coz the one I had been taking used gelatin [eww] as a binder, and also for the capsules. really?!. come on!)

One thing... don't be too hard on yourself for the craving or a step back. The body gets used to a certain way of doing things, and now it's all gone and changed! For me, it started as a health issue, and I found it a very easy thing to do in that light. Go veg., or feel like crap and very probably end up in excruciating pain again. (there are more reasons, now, but that's a whole other conversation, LOL!)
But the actual change to veg... I had a few tricky bumps to deal with. And yeah, there were a few times when a craving would hit. Fried chicken. Dang, that would smell good! But good enough to risk the pain? Ah, that squashed the craving, LOL!
But when you're not dealing with a pain issue or feeling violently ill, It's harder to get over. Once you get through the detox and the new 'diet' becomes more normal, it is easier.

If you don't mind me asking...
What exactly does low fat raw eating consist of?
What were you previously eating?
Did you make the transition all at once, or did you gradually cut back on your previous foods?
And .. (forgive me if I'm getting too personal), what prompted you to make the change?

One thing that really inspired me was looking through some vegetarian stories. People sharing their own change, how they felt before and after, sharing tips and advice ... that's why I wanted to start this here. Recipes, experiences, tips... maybe even some inspiration.

So keep on! And maybe updates on how it's going?


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:17 pm 
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Monster Salad!

Summertime. And I don't want to cook. Seriously, either the kitchen gets filled with heat, or I go out to grill, and I'm hit with Georgia's humidity. So what to do for supper? Make a big ol' Monster of a salad!

I simply adore the pre-mixed container salads (like Fresh Express, Organic Girl, or the store brand salad blends...) I like to get a variety of baby kale, arugula, "spring mix", baby spinach, Super Greens (from Organic Girl, it's a great blend) and (when I can fin it) baby herb mix. I start with a small handful of each of these. You get a lot of flavour and a great dose of good nutrients.
I cut up 1 smallish tomato (or about half of a large tomato)
1 half of a yellow, red, or orange bell pepper
scatter in about half a handful of alfalfa sprouts
Several thin slices of cucumber
approx 1 teaspoon each of chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seed hearts and cracked flax seeds
*already, my salad bowl is getting full!
But there's more!
I like to scatter on some chopped walnuts or pecans
1 half of an apple, diced
a few raspberries
Some dried cranberries
dried goji berries (when I can get them...)
and some avocado.

Dress with a nice light vinaigrette or honey mustard, top with a little sprinkle of cheese (if you like)
And dig in!

Most times, I don't even have room for dessert, LOL!


**On the half apple, I often have half earlier in the day, if I know I'm gonna do a salad for supper. To keep the other half pretty for supper, just rub a few drops of lemon juice to the cut side, then put it into a baggie and store in the refrigerator until salad time.
With the half tomato, bell peppers and whatever's left of the cucumber, those will keep for a day or two in a baggie in the 'fridge as well.
The avocado... I don't know about storing, because often enough I end up sharing that with my sweetie, he loves avocados almost a much as I do!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:49 am 
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Thanks for the advice! I am usually very hard on myself for everything, not just food. That old cliche "I'm my own worst critic" is really true for me.

You had asked.....
What exactly does low fat raw eating consist of?
What were you previously eating?
Did you make the transition all at once, or did you gradually cut back on your previous foods?
And .. (forgive me if I'm getting too personal), what prompted you to make the change?

Low fat raw is uncooked low fat food, low in things like avocado, olives, nuts, oils and things with high fats (even though they are raw). And gets most of its calories from fruit and proteins from plant based proteins. My diet before was a standard American diet. High in fat, meat, fast food and processed food. There are a lot of reasons I switched, mostly health. I had next to perfect health, than over the course of a year I found myself sick, tired, just a general bad feeling. When I went to the doc I got diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. Gained a lot of weight that I didn't notice and he recommended an unprocessed whole food diet. I, being a person of extremes, did some research and pretty much discovered the way you would eat in nature without modern appliances and went with "raw and unprocessed" I try to eat with these principles; Whole, Fresh, Ripe, Raw, Fruits and Vegetables.

I lost the weight I gained, feel better, energy is way up, blood pressure down....but... I still can't stick to it. usually dinner is the problem and I just end up eating junk. I'm sure 27 years of terrible eating is the culprit and my body still loves the chemicals. Soda was the hardest! So when I do go off the raw eating, I started to try to stay vegetarian at least. It's been about a month I have been doing it, and it was done without a transition. One would think that the Dr. saying if I don't do something I won't see my daughter become a teenager (she's 6 now) is enough, but human flesh is weak. I'm 28 years old, and have health problems of 60 year olds.. But the good news is it's correctable, and I can reverse the damage if I eat right.

Sorry that was long, but that's my motivation and and the reason I started a vegetarian based diet.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:57 am 
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WOW. Dude..
That's just scary, the change in health like that. And another wow for going so extreme.
I don't have a lot of raw and unprocessed, but I'm sure I can find a few more ideas for you. *A page or two back, I have a popsicle one that I found. That one could be a great treat for you and the little one! (I always liked fruit pops even more than ice cream, even as a kid!) It's basically blending watermelon down to juice and pouring into popsicle molds, adding sliced, fresh fruits and then freeze. They look beautiful, and there's nothing artificial in them. Extra wonderful in the summer time 8) Not exactly as in nature, (being blended and frozen) but for a treat, I think that's one of my favourites. :mrgreen:

If you're not already, I would suggest chia seeds and flax seeds. Chia has complete protein, all on it's own, as well as a host of health benefits. Flax, thought it needs to be cracked or ground, is also a great addition. Both are helpful in fighting heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, ad they are looking good for helping prevent certain cancers. Many grocery stores carry both, also health food or whole foods stores. If all else fails, you can order them online.

And just a general note, (considering your fruit-rich diet, you're probably getting enough, but it's a good thing to remember) Vitamin C. Not only is it awesome for the immune system, but it also helps the body better absorb both iron and calcium.

Out of curiosity, is your daughter also going veg/raw?


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:05 am 
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No, she is still eating a standard diet, although she has ate meals raw with me. I would say 50/50 on her. But we have pretty much eliminated meat in the house except rare occasions, and when she does it's usually fish. She loves smoothies when I make them, unless I make a "green" one.

The pop cycles are a great idea! I love the kiwi piece in it!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:45 am 
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LOL! Well, at 6, it's understandable. Young kids still have more sensitivity to bitter components in foods. It's believed to be an evolutionary thing, waaay back when we didn't always know what wild green things were toxic or healthy.
Little children, being more vulnerable to toxins from certain plants were (and still are) much more sensitive to the bitter taste, coz bitter often meant toxic. And a lot of those good-for-us green things do tend to have a stronger bitter component.
Adults aren't as sensitive, and in many cases we develop an appreciation for that note, but little kids... they crave the sweet side. (again, evolution may play a role. Way back then, the sugars found in sweet fruits were necessary for their growth and development.)

But it's kind of cool that she's doing some with you! Like a yummy smoothie 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:54 pm 
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This one is for you, Pape! (and of course, anyone else who wants to try it!)

I found it here:
http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2012/02/raw-pad-thai-oh-yes.html

And it looks like it would be really good!
Radical Raw Pad Thai: serves 2, more or less

Sauce:
1 Tb tamarind paste
1 Tb chopped ginger
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1-2 Tb agave (or 1-2 dates)
6 Tb tamari
2 Tb chili sauce
3 Tb tomato puree
1 t chili flakes
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t paprika
Pinch of cayenne and chili, if you want it hotter =)
Raw oil, if desired
Water, as needed

Pasta:
1 large zucchini

Garnish:
Cilantro
Raw jungle peanuts!
Bean sprouts
Hot sauce
Scallions
Marinated mushrooms and broccoli (put some tamari on and warm for an hour in the dehydrator)

To makes the sauce, put all ingredients in blender and add enough water to just cover them. Blend until smooth, see if you want more heat, or anything else.
To make the pasta, slice the zuc on a mandoline or spiral slicer. Add enough sauce to evenly coat the noodles. Garnish. Eat! The heat of the chili makes this dish perfectly warming on its own - no heating necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:01 pm 
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Sounds delicious! We just bought a spiralizer too! It makes fruits and veggies look like speghetti strands! I will try this one for sure


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 Post subject: Re: Vegetarian Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:08 am 
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I have a new go to dressing for salads.


2 mangos, peeled and chopped
2 red bell peppers
Small bit of cilantro (to taste)

Blend it all up! I have a vitamix that makes it smooth, your blender might need more blend time or finer chopped fruits, or a little water to make it smooth if not high powered.

This makes about a cup (without added water) of dressing. Has a sweet, peppery taste.

Add some ginger and lemongrass and it adds an awesome oriental flair to it


My salads are usually a mix of home grown Swiss chard, kale, and peppers with a bag salad mix like a spring mix for less bitter greens. Then add some other veggies and fruits on top. (Raisins and berries are my favorites)


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