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.

Seeds

Though we don’t usually think about  seeds as replacements for animal protein in our diet, they can be a great addition to a vegetarian meal to increase its nutritional value.

At last count, I had the following in my pantry:

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.

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.