Tuesday, March 13, 2012
|Hearty Meatless Chili|
This just in: Husband Approved Vegetarian Chili. First let me say that I took my inspiration from Emeril Lagasse, however there were several ingredients in his recipe that my hubby is allergic to, so from my inspiration I came up with my own recipe and my husband loved it. I have said before that I will not post something as a hearty meatless meal unless it is husband approved and this one is.
Husband Approved Hearty Vegetarian Chili
1 Can Ranch Style Beans
1 Can Organic Black Beans
1 Can Organic Corn
1 Small Can Mild Green Chilies
1 Pound Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
1 Diced Onion
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Can Organic Diced Tomatoes
2 Teaspoons Cumin
2 Teaspoons Coriander
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
2 Tablespoons Masa Flour
Seasoned Salt to Taste
Saute mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil, season with Seasoned Salt. Add canned ingredients and spices; simmer on low for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in masa flour and simmer a little longer. Serve with your favorite chili fixin's and enjoy.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Happy Valentine's Day. We made mini heart pizzas with pesto and mozzarella! Yum.
It was surprisingly easy to form the doe into heart shapes. Roll into a ball, squeeze in the middle and roll flat.
Easy Bread Machine Pizza
2 1/2 cups organic white flour
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Top and bake in 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
|Tips for Taking a Family Meatless|
When my husband and I were married 10 years ago we both made compromises and my vegetarian lifestyle gradually fell by the wayside until recently when we watched the movie Food Inc. I instantly knew I wanted to return to vegetarianism at least temporarily if not for good.
Men are sometimes a little different. Although he was strongly moved by the abuse in the movie...he likes his meat. So we are making compromises to eat less meat so that we can afford organic meat. Following are some tips on how I am successfully introducing this new lifestyle choice to our family.
Don't go 'whole hog' or 'cold turkey' so to speak. We have some friends that are missionaries to a third world country where food, especially meat is scarce. For several months before they make a mission trip they gradually cut back on their protein intake making it much easier for their bodies to adjust to the change in lifestyle.
Stock your pantry for success. If you already cook from scratch transitioning to vegetarian can be very simple. Stock your pantry with your favorite legumes, nuts, nut butters, whole grains and a large variety of fresh, frozen and organic canned fruits and vegetables. Stock your refrigerator with plenty of high protein dairy and invest in tools such as zip lock freezer bags and a food processor.
Introduce new meatless recipes as side dishes rather than main dishes. If your family really likes the new introductions you can make it the main dish next time. Remember to make it a meal by adding salad, sides and bread if appropriate.
Introduce naturally vegetarian recipes. For us this first introduction was Quiche, a huge hit at our house. The great thing about Quiche is that you can adjust the recipe to fit your pantry. Our pantry was low this week so rather than making Quiche with veggies, this week I used fresh herbs. I also found a recipe that uses a hearty potato crust rather than the traditional pie crust.
Start by re- introducing favorite family foods. I started with one of our favorite foods, Enchiladas. We love enchiladas and I remembered ordering Mushroom Enchiladas at a local Mexican restaurant and loving them. It was an instant hit and I built momentum for all recipes to come.
Go ethnic. One of the first things I discovered when surfing for hearty vegetarian recipes was that many ethnic favorites like rice and beans, felafel's in pita and egg plant Parmesan are naturally yummy and meatless.
Take it slow and know that your family will gradually begin to prefer more fruits and vegetables. I have observed that overtime both my husband and children are starting to ask for more of the vegetarian favorites I am cooking.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
|Serve Great Meatless Meals and Still Enjoy the Game|
Football season is fast approaching. Did you know that on Superbowl Sunday alone Americans are expected to consume on average 1 billion chicken wings as well as a possible 50 billion pounds of cold cuts.
Based on these two figures, we could save approximately 6 million animals with meatless Superbowl Parties. 151.6 million Americans are expected to watch the Superbowl and if that sounds like a "ton" of meat per person (as my hubby suggested) you are absolutely correct. It is.
One fact that may account for the high number could be the amount of chicken wings consumed; most chickens (at least last I checked) only have two wings. Send a message this year and throw a meatless Tailgate Party. Below are some hearty recipes in addition to whatever veggie tray you may be planning to offer.
Meatless Southwest Superbowl Party Ideas
Veggie Nachos Supreme (topped with black beans and cheese)
Black Bean Chili
Or why not offer a Chipotle style Veggie Burrito Bar
Hearty Finger Foods
Deep Fried Cheese Sticks
Sweet Potato Fries
Twice Baked Cheesy Potato Skins
Hearty Italian Favorites
Baked Alfredo Pasta
Bruschetta with pesto
Egg Plant Parmesan
Meatless Superbowl Pizza Delivery
You can still patronize your local pizza place; serve deep fried cheese sticks or chips instead of wings. Pizza Hut has a great Veggie Lovers pizza while Papa John's uses fresh mushrooms on their mushroom and cheese. New York Pizza Department serves a hearty egg plant Parmesan pizza.
Something of a Surprise
If you aren't afraid to live on the edge a little, call your local Subway and order a 12 foot Veggie Delight. Deck it out with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo and see what kind of reactions you get.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
|The Best Thing I Ate in France|
Remembering my first taste of quiche as a teen in France, I picked up a loaf of Country French Bread at the local grocery to eat with this dish. It was a huge hit. My hubby ate leftovers for breakfast and took a second helping in his lunch. If you prefer a more traditional recipe then use the filling and put it in a prepared pie crust; bake it longer at the lower temperature.
Cheesy Hash Brown Quiche
2 cups Simply Potatoes Shredded Potatoes
3 Large organic eggs
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic milk
1 small organic zucchini, chopped (According to the Non-GMO Project, zucchini is a high risk produce, always buy organic zucchini.) You can also substitute any fresh green veggie of the same consistency that you prefer.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup thick sliced mushrooms (slice them thick so they bite like soft meat)
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
Toss potatoes with melted butter and press in pie plate just like a pie crust, sprinkle with salt. Bake in preheated oven @ 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Saute zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. In large mixing bowl mix eggs, milk, cheese, spices and veggies, take crust out of oven and add mixture to crust; return to oven and bake an additional 30 minutes @ 350 degrees. It took me back to that little French bistro that looked something like this...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
|Hearty Meatless Enchilada Sauce|
We started our quest with Mushroom Enchiladas, a simple and hearty recipe that will feed a crowd and I wouldn't be ashamed to feed to company. Here it is.
Hearty Mushroom Enchiladas
1pound of your favorite variety of organic mushrooms
1 pound grated organic Colby Jack cheese
1 small can organic enchilada sauce (or prepared package Simple Organics Enchilada Sauce)
2 tsp. fresh organic minced garlic
1 finely chopped organic onion
Sea Salt to taste
1 small can organic green chili peppers, drained
1-package organic corn tortillas
Canola or olive oil
Saute sliced mushrooms, garlic and onion in oil until transparent, salt to taste. Add green chili peppers and set aside. Heat oil and soften each corn tortilla in the oil and then drain (for lower fat recipe soften tortillas in warmed enchilada sauce). Wrap veggie mixture and a little cheese in each tortilla and put in greased 9x 13 pan. (you may need an additional pan for overflow) Cover with enchilada sauce and then remaining cheese. Cover with greased aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, uncover and bake another 10 minutes for browning. Recipe makes about 14 enchiladas.
And you are ready to eat. Caution, don't burn your mouth...we do it every time. You can also strain and rinse a can of black beans, add these when you add the mushrooms. Serve with organic guacamole and sour cream, perhaps a little homemade salsa. These are so good your family will beg you to make them every week! Your husband will go to work bragging about your vegetarian enchiladas. I promise.
You might also like my Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe.
You might also like my Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe.
How I became Considering frugal
Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I did not consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I am normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. I did succeed in changing our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming where we are about to take an even bigger step and move out on a dirt road in the country where we can expand our hobby bees and more! You can read my full bio on my About Me page.
While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.