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Have a vegetarian at your holiday table this year?

Perhaps this is the first year you’ll have a vegetarian at your holiday table or maybe you are just looking for some inspiration on how to feed these plant-based eaters. Tofu and stir fries are great non-meat options but they aren’t really festive and seasonal and you don’t want the vegetarian at the table to feel short changed. Hey, they want to eat something fun and celebratory too!  See below for more tips or grab a copy of my latest e-book “A Collection Of Vegetarian Holiday Recipes.”

13 Vegetarian Breakfast Ideas

Has breakfast become a challenge since your daughter has become a vegetarian? Are things a bit hectic in the morning with everyone trying to get out the door on time?

Breakfast is super important and we should not let our kids leave the house in the morning without eating something nutritious. A stop at Starbucks on the way to school is not the best option. We want out kids to be able to focus and learn throughout the day and a nutritious breakfast can help.

Are you in this together?

I have to say I am very excited as our community of parents with vegetarian kids is growing. When I first thought about setting up my newsletter and blog I wasn’t sure how many people were looking for support with raising vegetarian kids. I know from my small world that my daughter’s friend’s moms were worried. These moms were brought up on meat and potatoes and let’s admit it, most of us were. My mother fed my sister and I roast chicken, meatballs, brisket and hamburgers.

Tips For Healthy Traveling

The summer weather brings weekends away and family vacations. Fun, yes? Only if everyone is happy and well fed. Well fed is key, especially if you have someone with dietary restrictions amongst you. How do you manage this when travelling? It can be quite simple.

Here are a few tips to keep everyone healthy and happy when traveling:

Tonight’s Dinner

When I decided to give up meat and chicken I had just moved out on my own. I was looking forward to cooking for myself so I picked up a copy of the infamous Moosewood Cookbook.  If you were a vegetarian in my day, Moosewood was THE authority on vegetarian cooking. What a treasure the cookbook was! I was so excited to try out all the new recipes and discover new foods.  Every week I made a list of the recipes I wanted to try, making comments on each page as to whether or not they were worth making again. To this day I still have a few favourites from this cookbook like the Gypsy Soup and Vegetable Stew.

Fast forward a few years, okay quite a few, and now I am cooking vegetarian meals for my family and I have to be more particular about what I choose. I pick up the Moosewood Cookbook once in a while but now with all the plant-based blogs online, it is so easy to find vegetarian recipes. I also enjoy taking cookbooks out of the library. I know it sounds antiquated but I like flipping through and reading the recipes. One of our favourite recipes is from My Darling Lemon Thyme. The Sweet and Sour Lemongrass Tempeh got thumbs up from my gang. However, in our house, not everyone likes tempeh so I usually make it with both tempeh and tofu. Though the recipe doesn’t call for any vegetables, I can’t resist adding something green like snow or snap peas or broccoli.

Sweet and Sour Lemongrass Tempeh

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp tamarind puree or sauce
  • 2–3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 300g packet tempeh, cut in half lengthways, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp muscovado or coconut sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • Sea salt and ground white pepper
  • Cooked rice and Thai basil leaves, to serve

Method

Combine tamarind puree with 1/3 cup (80ml) water and stir until fully incorporated.

Heat 1–2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add tempeh (perhaps in 2 batches, depending on the size of your pan) and fry for 2–3 minutes each side until golden. Transfer to a plate, wipe out the pan with paper towel and add remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Stir-fry onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass for 2–3 minutes until tender and golden.

Return tempeh to the pan along with the sugar, tamarind liquid and soy sauce. Cook, stirring, until liquid has reduced to a glaze and is coating the tempeh. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with rice, chilli and fresh herbs.

 

 

The Vegetarian Pantry

I want to share a list of pantry staples that will make preparing vegetarian meals easier. One thing I hear quite often is that there is lots of prep required to follow a vegetarian diet. While yes there may be some chopping, dicing or soaking required but if you include these tasks when taking into consideration your meal prep time then it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

The Vegetarian Lunch Box

 

For the past few years I have been telling my kids I am not going to make their lunches but somehow it just doesn’t stick. As much as I’d love for them to make it themselves I sometimes end up pulling it together for them in the morning. Doesn’t matter if I remind them the night before or remind them in the morning when they get up. I don’t really want to remind them anymore, I don’t even want to think about their lunches honestly. But what happens if they are pressed for time? Would they, could they go to school without lunch? Would I let that happen? Should I let that happen? Not sure what the right answer is.

Countdown To Camp

With school winding down it is time to start getting ready for summer camp. I am airing out duffel and sleeping bags, washing towels and sheets and printing off packing lists. Does your daughter go to sleep-away camp? If so, you might be concerned that she won’t be able to follow a healthy vegetarian diet while she is away from home. I know I was worried when my daughter went away for the first time.

7 Tips For Making Smoothies Your Kids Will Drink

The Lowdown on Smoothies

Did you know that smoothies have a Wikipedia listing? I stumbled upon it while explaining to my kids that when I was growing up smoothies were not really a thing. Looks like it wasn’t until the 60’s and 70’s when health food appeared on the scene that they started to make an appearance. Unfortunately they never made it to my house. I didn’t really start making smoothies until I had kids and really only when my daughter decided to stop eating meat, chicken and fish. Smoothies ,I thought, would help me get lots of good stuff in to her before she went to school.

Mornings can be a crazy time with getting everyone up, fed and out the door on time so smoothies are a great way to ensure everyone leaves the house with a healthy start to their day. Whether it be a picky eater, a vegetarian/vegan or anyone else with dietary restrictions, everyone can drink a smoothie.

When my daughter decided to become a vegetarian, I used our morning smoothie to get her to consume as many nutrients possible before she left for school.  I’d get up a little early so I could make it prior to her getting out of bed so she wouldn’t see what I was putting in it. Though it didn’t quite matter as she managed to pick out all the tiny green pieces anyway. We experimented with a lot of different fruits, some veggies/herbs, fish oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds… you name it, I added it to our smoothies. Did she drink them? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your morning smoothie. Give them a try and you won’t have to worry about your kids leaving the house hungry and malnourished in the morning:

1. Choose fruit you know everyone likes. I always recommend starting with berries- strawberries, raspberries or blueberries are all good options.

2. Add some healthy fats like a tablespoon of coconut oil, an avocado or nuts and seeds will all do the trick.

3. Experiment with different type of protein like nut or seed butters, silken tofu or Greek yogurt (choose plant-based if your child is vegan). I always sprinkle chia and hemp seeds on our smoothies.

4. Instead of water, use soy milk to increase the protein content as it contains the most protein of all non-dairy beverages.

5. Add a ripe banana, ripe pear or some pineapple to sweeten things up.

6. Sneak in some greens like parsley or watercress as they have a mild flavour.

7. Use frozen fruit if fresh it not available. It will also make the smoothie nice and cold without using ice.

Here is a tried and true recipe from our house, though quantities are approximate as I never really measure.

Mixed Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients:
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2  ripe medium banana
1/2 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
Vanilla soy milk to desired consistency

Directions:
Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

What’s your favourite go-to smoothie?

 

For more tips and tricks on feeding your vegetarian daughter sign up for my newsletter. 

And sign up for my upcoming FREE  5 Day Healthy Habit Challenge To Support A Vegetarian Diet.