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My Favorite Salad in the Dining Center

IMG_9096.jpgHey everyone! Today I will be sharing my absolute favorite, go to salad at the dining center.  There are not very many vegetarian options in the dining center, so I am typically stuck eating salads. I normally eat salads since the only other vegetarian option is cheese pizza and I’m not trying to eat cheese pizza every single day. If you want to learn how to make my favorite salad then just keep reading:

What you’ll need:

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Edamame
  • Feta or mozzarella(depending on what they have that day)
  • Kidney beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Corn
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Once you have all of the ingredients, just mix them all in a bowl and you’re done! It has taken me months to figure out what I like the most from the salad bar here. This salad gives me the protein that I need from the spinach and the beans so I am getting the nutrients that I need.

I really suggest adding dried cranberries to your salads. Dried cranberries are low in calories, low in fat, and are a source of dietary fiber. They add the perfect amount of sweetness to a salad and it just takes it to a whole new level. I just tried them for the first time on salads when I came to school here and I won’t make one without them!

Coming up with different salad combinations is kind of tricky because the options are kind of limited in the dining center. I have tried pretty much everything there is to offer and nothing really stood out until I tried this one. I used to make an “Asian” themed salad but I got pretty sick of it really quick. This one however, I keep find myself making it overtime I go to eat in the dining center. Even if you’re not vegetarian it can be hard coming up with creative ways to make the food good so here are some hacks to help.

I hope you enjoyed reading!

An Interview With an “Expert”

Hey Everyone! Today I will be sharing an interview that I had with my friend Maddy. She’s been vegetarian for quite some time now so she knows some things about vegetarian. Here’s what she said!

Me: How long have you been vegetarian?

Maddy: I’ve been vegetarian for the past 5 1/2 years

Me: Why did you become vegetarian?

Maddy: I decided to give up meat because in my 7th grade science class we watched the movie Food Inc one day and it really disturbed me seeing the way the animals were treated and slaughtered.

Me: What is your favorite source of protein?

Maddy: My favorite source of protein is usually eggs or beans.

Me: Do you think you’ll be a vegetarian for your whole life?

Maddy: For now I think that looking into the future I will stay vegetarian because it’s a diet that I’m use to, however if I need to start eating meat again for health reasons then I would.

Me: What’s your favorite thing about being vegetarian?

Maddy: My favorite thing about being vegetarian is getting to discover really amazing vegetarian foods.

Me: What’s your least favorite thing about being vegetarian?

Maddy: The downside to vegetarianism is that there aren’t always lots of vegetarian-friendly foods everywhere I go.

Maddy and I are very similar when it comes to our vegetarian lifestyles. We became vegetarian for the same reason and we both pretty much eat the same proteins. If you haven’t seen the Food Inc. documentary I would really recommend watching it. You will really learn about what really happens behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses. Here is the link if you would like to watch it. Maddy suggested that when it comes to being vegetarian, you just need to stick with it. sometimes it can get hard but just keep going and have faith in yourself that you can do it.

I hope you enjoyed!

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Here’s Maddy!

Protein Rich Peanut Butter Balls

Hey everyone! Today I will be sharing one of my favorite snacks with you: protein rich peanut butter balls. This delicious snack only need 5 ingredients and are SUPER easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (plus extra for rolling)
  • 1½ tablespoons honey (I use agave nectar)
  • 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips (plus extra for rolling)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds (optional)

So here’s what you need to do:

  • Start of by combining the peanut butter, oats, honey, chocolate chips, and flaxseeds in a bowl
  • Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
  • After it has chilled, grab about a spoonful of the mixture and roll it into a ball
  • Lay out a thin layer of oats and chocolate chips on a work surface
  • Lastly, roll the balls in extra oats and chocolate chips
  • Store these in the fridge until they are ready to be eaten.

I personally don’t like flaxseeds so I leave them out but is completely customizable for your liking! I have seen this done with coconut flakes added in or even cranberries You could also replace the peanut butter with cashew butter, almond butter, or even sun butter. This recipe is super easy and it makes a lot so you can grab one for a snack on the go. I tend to have one or two of these with my breakfast and the definitely fill me up. These protein rich peanut butter balls are for sure a snack that I make frequently because they are so easy to make! I can throw these together in my dorm room with no hassle and my roommate loves them just as much as I do.

Here are some more vegetarians snacks that are full of protein!

I really hope you try making this snack and I bet that you will enjoy them as much as I do! See you next time!

The Cons of Being Vegetarian

Hey everybody! Today I will be talking about the cons of being vegetarian :/. I would definitely say that there are more pros than cons when it comes to being vegetarian, however there are quite a few cons.

First lets start with the biggest con of them all: sometimes it’s hard to find vegetarian options when going out to eat. I have this problem all the time. Sometimes, I don’t want to be stuck getting a salad every time I go out and it would be nice if restaurants had more vegetarian options. Some restaurants do have garden burgers, but most do not and it’s kind of annoying sometimes.

Another con would be that sometime people say stupid things when they find out you’re vegetarian. Whenever people find out that I am vegetarian they usually always say something like “you don’t know what you’re missing” or ” why would you do that?” It gets kind of annoying sometimes and people don’t realize that the questions they’re asking are kind of stupid lol.

Another con would be that sometimes, you end up eating worse than you would if you ate meat. Some places, like the dining center, have literally no vegetarian options so you just end up eating junk food to fill up. At the dining center, 99% of the time there are no vegetarian options besides the salad bar and cheese pizza and that is mostly what my diet consists of since I’ve been here.

Lastly, some of the items you think may be vegetarian are not. Some veggie soups, cheeses, tortillas, candies, and even beer (even though I don’t drink beer since I’m not 21) are not vegetarian. Some veggie soups are cooked with some sort of meat stock and some candies contain gelatin and that is not vegetarian. That one hurt me the most because gummy candy is probably my favorite thing in the world and I don’t eat it anymore. To see more foods that you thought were vegetarian but actually aren’t click here.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

 

 

 

The Pros of Being Vegetarian

Hey everybody! This post will be all about the pros of being vegetarian. This is a two part post and my next post will be all about the cons of being vegetarian :/. To start things off, having a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because a vegetarian diet usually consists of foods rich with antioxidants. Antioxidants can reduce the stress that is caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants. To learn more about oxidative stress click here.

Another pro would be that vegetarians usually have lower cholesterol. There is no health benefit at all to eating animal fat, yet people continue to do it and it increases you chances of having high cholesterol. Once you remove these animal fats form your diet, then you also remove the effects it will have on you later in your life. To learn more about the benefits of a vegetarian diet for high cholesterol click here.

Vegetarian diets also helps build healthy bones because they consume more calcium. Meat contains a high amount of renal acid which the body must neutralize by leaking calcium from bones. This calcium is then passed through urine and lost. Vegetarians usually eat tofu, kale, spinach and collard greens and these are all high in calcium. Without eating meat, no calcium will be lost since the renal acid won’t be there. To learn more about the importance of calcium in your diet click here.

Lastly, a vegetarian diet conserves water. It takes about 2.500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and about 660 gallons of water to produce a bound of chicken. It only takes about 220 gallons of water to produce a pound of tofu and about 180 gallons to produce a pond of wheat flour.

I hope from what you’ve learned today it will make you consider changing your diet! see you next time!  :,)

 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Tacos Recipe

Hey everyone! This post is going to be all about my favorite food of ALL time: tacos. Now I know this may sound crazy, but I’m going to be telling you how to do it with a spaghetti squash. This vegetable is a complete substitute for the meat and personally it tastes wayyyy better. Here’s how to do it!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded 
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package dry taco seasoning mix
  • small onion, diced
  • jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
  • 12 crisp taco shells

Now here’s what to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place the 2 halves of the spaghetti squash face down in a baking dish
  2. Bake the squash for about 30 to 40 minutes
  3. Using a fork, shred the spaghetti squash from the rind. This is really easy because the squash is super tender. When it’s done it the squash should resemble spaghetti noodles (hence the name haha)
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet to medium heat and cook the onion and jalapeño pepper until they become browned. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Combine the shredded spaghetti squash and taco seasoning to the onion and jalapeño mixture and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. If needed, season the mixture with salt
  6. Stuff and garnish the tacos to your liking! (Personally, I like to add avocado, cheese, hot sauce, and sour cream to mine but these tacos are totally customizable to your liking so top them with whatever you like!)
  7. Enjoy!

And thats it! These tacos are soon good and I 10/10 recommend. I was really skeptical about putting spaghetti squash into a taco since i had only ever had it as spaghetti before but I definitely was pleasantly surprised. If you wanted, you could even add some tempeh or tofu to these tacos but I definitely think that the spaghetti squash is enough on its own but again it is totally up to you! Thank you so much for reading and if you do try out these tacos I really hope that you enjoy them!

How to Deal with Meat Cravings

Hey everyone! Today’s topic is how to handle meat cravings. When you’re a new vegetarian it isn’t uncommon to start to crave meat at certain times. Hopefully after reading this post, the tips I give will be able to help you manage those cravings.

Personally I have not had any cravings for meat but I have talked to several other vegetarians and they have given me some tips on what to do with the cravings in a meatless way. My first tip is to eat meat substitutes. Some brands have tofu based foods that have a meat like taste and texture and this can really help to minimize those cravings. One brand that I have tried that is pretty good is Gardein. This brand makes so many types of meatless food that actually tastes really good. My favorite food item from this brand would have to be the Barbecue Chickn Wings. These wings taste very similar to actual chicken and i ate them years ago when I wasn’t even vegetarian. I definitely recommend this brand. Here’s a link to their website.

Another tip would be to use the same spices that you would use on meat on vegetables. This way you can still get a similar taste to the meat you were eating previously, but without the meat. You could put these spices on “meatier” vegetables like portobello mushrooms and eggplant. When putting these spices on the meatier vegetables can give you the feeling that you’re eating meat, even though you aren’t.

Lastly, remind yourself why you chose to be vegetarian. If it was for the rights of animals, then picture meat with a face. If you chose to be vegetarian because you didn’t like the taste of meat, then remember that you don’t like meat and that you don’t need it. Don’t let these cravings change the way you eat, just try to focus on why you chose this diet in the first place and this should make the cravings go away or at least minimize them.

I hope that these tips can help you maintain or minimize your meat cravings. Vegetarianism can be hard, but as long as you focus on the bigger picture and why you chose this diet, then the cravings should begin to subside. Here’s a video on dealing with cravings.

I hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you next time!