Category Archives: Cooking

Flexitarianism

At the Healthy Living Summit we were introduced to Dawn Blatner, an RD who wrote the book The Flexitarian Diet. In my previous post I discussed her action mantras that I am trying to instill in my lifestyle. And later for the keynote speech Dawn discussed her book and explained what a flexitarian lifestyle entails.

According to Dawn, a flexitarian is an individual who decreases their consumption of meat without excluding it entirely from their diet. She claimed that vegetarians weigh 15% less and by following a flexitarian diet you can drop up to 30 pounds in a year. (I like those statistics. Who wouldn’t mind losing that much weight?)

Dawn separated flexitarians into three categories: beginners, advanced, and expert. Somehow I’ve been eating a beginner flexitarian diet for quite some time since more than 1/3 of my weekly meals are meatless. I’m proud to say that I plan to become an advanced flexitarian in the next year (9-12 meatless meals a week). After I make the move cross country and settle into my new home in California, I plan to stock my kitchen with more vegetables, fruits, and beans. I’ll definitely need my action mantras to make sure I cook and avoid eating out as frequently as I did in the past…

It seems that meat and poultry are typically the most expensive items a grocery bill. By decreasing the amount of meat we purchase we can cut our bills and reduce greenhouse gases. To substitute meat in a recipe use 1/4 cup beans for each ounce of meat. If it is too tough to get rid of meat all together, cut the meat in half and add beans.

And if  you need to add to the taste, “brighten” the food with acid such as vinegar, citrus, or yogurt. Another great tip Dawn offered was to pair a food you like with an unliked food. By combining the flavors, you will begin to enjoy the unliked food and become comfortable adding it to your recipes.

If you want to steal some fantastic vegetarian recipes, I suggest checking out Laura, Sarah, or Cassie’s blogs. I’ll be scouring the internet for the next few months to find recipes that most satisfy my new cooking style (AKA simple and quick meals) and I hope to reduce my meat consumption.

Have some great vegetarian recipes? I’d love your suggestions! And what blogs do you read to get new recipe ideas?

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Or in my case, more noodles than soup…  Being a Jewish princess woman, I’m supposed to be an amazing chef, right? I know that someday a man will want to buy this cow, so I really should work on my marketable skills.

Now I have one of the world’s greatest mothers (please don’t tell her I said that), but growing up she was never a phenomenal cook. When I ask her what she fed me growing up, she reminds me that every time she would ask, “What did you think?” My brother or I would reply something sweet, such as, “You never need to make that again…” These days she has no one but the pup and my father to feed, so she is slowly but surely learning. I hear she is getting quite good. I don’t feel it is fair that she waited so long to learn, I would have loved to enjoy that!

Anyway, I was planning on preparing a simple salsa chicken for dinner last night when I realized I was truly in the mood for noodle soup. (Ramen, my love, I had been dreaming of you.) But rather than ingest that artificial delicacy, I decided to brew my own soup. Throwing in the remaining vegetables from my refrigerator, I managed to concoct a wonderful base. And then I overloaded it with rice vermicelli. I had no idea how much to add and it seems I threw in too much. The soup was delicious by the way. However my leftovers may be 80% noodle, 15% vegetable, and 5% soup. Oh well, have to start somewhere.

Tell me: Who taught you how to cook? And what is the best meal you can conjure up?