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Meatless Mondays

Hey y’all! How are your resolutions going so far? We’re only about two weeks in, so hopefully everyone is still going strong. One of my resolutions was to try to eat more veggies and less meat this year. Now, I know the importance of eating meat and I will never fully cut it out of my lifestyle because A) I love a good steak and B) eating meat has many health benefits that I want for my body. However, I can also definitely try to eat a little bit less because that’s also good for my body and good for the environment. So I’m going to try to work harder on incorporating meatless Mondays, as well as only have meat in one meal a day.

Meatless Mondays

So meatless Mondays is essentially no meat on Monday, which for someone who is very used to recipes that use meat, can be a bit difficult. I’m still trying to find healthy lunch and dinner options that are vegetarian, as well as don’t only consist of pasta. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love pasta, but I also am trying to limit that to once a week, so I can’t have it for lunch and dinner. Luckily, Pinterest is a great resource for me, and I also found these frozen black bean burgers that are delicious, and not super high in sodium, which means I can enjoy them without worrying too much about the preservatives factor.

Meatless Lunches

Here is another place where I struggle. So I can enjoy a salad just as much as the next person, but the problem is that I’ll be starving in an hour or two, and that was when the salad had chicken on it! When it’s just a plain salad, that simply doesn’t cut it for me, and I know several others who would agree with me. Once again, I’m having to get a bit more creative with things, but luckily that can also be easily done. Make yourself a peanut butter sandwich to go along with the salad or make up a quinoa and vegetable power bowl. Those are both good sources of protein and don’t contain any meat. Hummus and vegetables and pita bread is another great choice. Again, if this is something you’re considering doing, use your resources, Pinterest never fails with a recipe for something.

At the very least, if you find that you can’t go without any kind of meat on Mondays, go with a lean white meat and try to lower your intake of red meat. I get it, steak is delicious, again I love it, but I also rarely have one because it really isn’t the healthiest option out there. But turkey, chicken, those lean white meats, those are great options to help your heart stay healthy while still getting your meat fix.

If anyone has some vegetarian recipes they’d like to share, please post them in the comments! I’m always looking for new recipes to try 🙂

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Cranberry Apple Spiced Sangria

You can find this original recipe here: https://www.bangtutor.me/2019/09/cranberry-apple-cider-sangria-drinks.html and I think this is just perfect for these cooler winter months.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 bottle of red wine, I prefer a Cab, but a red blend would work nicely as well
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup cranberry juice (get the 100% juice, not the concentrate version)
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup cranberries (I use fresh since they’re so easy to find right now)
  • sparkling water
  • 1 cup diced apple cubes
  • cinnamon sticks for presentation

To Prepare:

Mix everything except the cranberries, apple cubes, sparkling water, and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher.

Add cranberries and apple cubes, and ice if you desire. Top with sparkling water to fill the glasses.

Add your cinnamon stick for presentation.

 

 

Veggie Filled Shepherd’s Pie

One of my favorite dishes is a good shepherd’s pie, but I generally like to tweak the recipes to fit more my tastes and style. Hope y’all enjoy!

You’ll Need:

  • 1 pound ground turkey (if you want to go full vegetarian, this can be cut out, but I like using a lean white meat in mine)
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 squash, sliced
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth, low or no sodium.
  • Garlic to taste
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • Mashed potatoes

To Prepare:

  • Brown your turkey in a large pan.
  • Add carrots and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables and broth, and cook on medium heat for another 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  • Add garlic and turmeric, and transfer into a baking dish.
  • Add prepared mashed potatoes to top, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown on the top.
  • Enjoy!

This is super quick and easy to make, absolutely loaded with delicious veggies, and a touch of turmeric that won’t affect the taste for some anti-inflammatory properties.

Clean as You Go

One of the biggest tips a top chef will give you while working in the kitchen is to clean as you go. A messy kitchen is not a sign of a good chef, even while preparing a delicious meal, so if you find yourself surrounded by dirty dishes and ingredients strewn about, you may want to change your method. Clean as you go and you won’t dread doing the dishes after dinner.

Prepare Everything Early for Thanksgiving

Hey y’all one of my favorite holidays is coming up this week and are you ready? Whether you are hosting a bunch of family over for the day, traveling to be with others for the week or spending it on your own, you’ll want to start preparations early. For those hosting, that’ll start with doing chores one evening, the next making pies ahead of time, then preparing the stuffing mix, etc. If you split it up into a few tasks each evening leading up to the big day, you can enjoy the actual day of a little more without feeling so stressed out. For those of you traveling, the same thing applies! Pack your bags ahead of time, make sure your arrangements for your pets are done, get that rental car confirmed, and then make sure to take time to relax beforehand. Traveling can be super stressful, so take care of yourself and try to alleviate any extra stress that you can. For those who will be spending it on your own, prepare a smaller version of the big meal for yourself, and then find some time to relax. Whether you have to work Black Friday or are studying for a big test, get some of the other things done out of the way chore-wise so you can focus on that and not feel as stressed each day.

Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

In the spirit of fall, this recipe comes from https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/healthy-pumpkin-zucchini-chocolate-chip-bread// and looks like an absolutely delectable option for a mid-morning snack that’s guilt-free. Check it out!

You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

How to Prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a bread loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

In another bowl, combine pumpkin, zucchini, honey, oil, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Add in almond milk.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Add chocolate chips.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

This is super easy prep, and will make a delicious fall-themed snack that is perfect for an afternoon party or mid-morning snack with your cup of coffee. Not to mention, it’s got some veggies right in it!

 

Bowtie Lasagna

Try this bowtie lasagna for those nights you’re cramped on time and need a delicious meal the whole family will love!

You’ll Need:

1 pound ground beef

1 box bowtie pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup shredded mozzarella (there’s a great vegan alternative, if you have any dairy allergies or intolerance)

1 cup sour cream (again, if necessary, there are vegan alternatives)

Preparation:

  • Boil pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In separate pan, brown beef and drain excess fat.
  • Add pasta to beef pan.
  • Drizzle on olive oil, then add sauce, salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir all together.
  • Add cheese and sour cream.
  • Stir over low heat until the cheese melts completely.
  • Enjoy!

That’s it, you’re done! This can literally be ready in 30 minutes, perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

Rum Balls

Enjoy this boozy treat 🙂

You’ll Need:

4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup nuts finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/3 cup light Karo syrup

1/4 cup rum

Prepare:

Stir everything all together, create little balls, then roll in powdered sugar.

Ta da! Was that easy or what?

Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Try something easy and healthy one night this week. This recipe for a Cucumber Quinoa Salad is easy to prepare, takes barely any time, and is perfect for a healthy summer meal.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups of cooked and then chilled quinoa
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (there are vegan options available)
  • 1/3 cup basil (fresh preferably, but packaged will work too, just make sure it’s in small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Prepare:

  • Toss the quinoa, cucumber, cheese and basil together.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together.
  • Combine and enjoy!

Original recipe can be found here: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cucumber-quinoa-salad-recipe/

Chicken Cheese Pasta

This is a recipe I made in food prep class in high school and it was one of my absolute favorites. Y’all it is easy, it takes literally under an hour to cook, and it tastes amazing. This is perfect for a quick dinner on a busy night.

You’ll need:

2 cups frozen peas

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cans cream of chicken soup

A dash of garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

4 pieces baked chicken

Pasta

2/3 cups cheese

 

Prepare:

Dump everything but the pasta and cheese into a pan on the stove and turn on high until it begins boiling, stirring occasionally. Once it hits boiling, turn down to low and simmer uncovered for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 2/3 cups cheese and mix in. Once your pasta is cooked, add the pasta in, and voila! Dinner is served. If you are lactose intolerant, use vegan cheese and unflavored unsweetened almond milk instead.

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