Tag Archives: Namely Marly

Veggie-tastic

This past Friday (February 8th) marked my 6th month as an official vegetarian!

Becoming a vegetarian is something that I had been interested in for a long time, but never committed to for one reason or another. So after months of generally eating meat-free, I decided to finally take the plunge in August, and I haven’t looked back. Sure, I’ve made a few mistakes here and there (dipping a chip into an unassuming dip at a party only to find out there’s shredded chicken in it), and I haven’t inquired in great detail while out at restaurants (is the meat-free pasta dish truly vegetarian?), but I’d say that overall the last 6 months have been a success.

I thought I would share with you what has helped me in the journey, in case some of you are toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian, but feel like they don’t have enough resources to be successful in your attempt. Or, if you’re just looking for more ways to incorporate a meat-free diet into your life (even if not all the time)! I’d be lying to you if I said it’s easy; sometimes I just want a hamburger, and I often get questioned and teased by friends and family, but at the end of the day, I know that I’m making the right decision for myself. And at the end of the day, that’s what is most important! So here are a few different things that have really helped me.

Vegetarian/Vegan blogs, with tons of delicious recipes (just to name a few):

Vegetarian/Vegan Cookbooks:

  • Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
  • Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
  • The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen
  • Vegan Fire & Spice by Robin Robertson
  • The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel
  • Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook by Carole Raymond

All of the above blogs and cookbooks have either vegetarian or vegan recipes (some a mix, some just one). I’ve made plenty of vegan meals despite being a vegetarian. But I’ve also made plenty of vegan recipes and easily turned them into vegetarian (usually just by adding cheese). Most of them are also easily adaptable to other dietary restrictions (gluten free, etc.).

Pantry Staples:

  • Grains: quinoa, cous cous, farro, brown rice, lentils
  • Meat substitutes: Tempeh, tofu, soy chorizo, TVP (textured vegetable soy protein)
  • Beans and protein: pretty much any and all bean types, eggs, Greek yogurt
  • Condiments/extras: almond butter, peanut butter, nutritional yeast, lots of spices
  • Vegetables! Fruits! Milk and cheese!

Quick Fixes:

  • LightLife refrigerated and frozen meals
  • Amy’s Kitchen frozen meals and soups
  • Frozen veggie burgers (what can I say, I’m a sucker for them. Though I do love homemade!)

Obviously the above isn’t an extensive list, but just the basic things that have really helped me over the last 6 months. There are tons of resources for vegetarians and vegans (tons of blogs, websites, magazines, etc.), and while nothing will completely replace the taste of meat, there are plenty of foods and recipes that will help you not miss it so much. And I know for a lot of people, the above information is not new. But I can’t tell you how many people don’t truly know what vegetarians eat (yes, we eat more than lettuce!).

Do you have any other suggestions for resources I should check out (food brands, recipes, blogs)?
Are you a vegetarian? Ever gave it a try, or thinking about it? 

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Filed under Vegetarian/Vegan

Vegan Baking

I’ve known many a vegan in my life, and even more vegetarians. Up until recently, however, I hadn’t ever experienced vegan baking. A good friend of mine was once a vegan herself and just so happens to be the delicious mastermind behind Serial Baker. So, every now and then she makes vegan treats since she has quite a few friends that are vegans. After sampling yet another amazing cupcake from her (recipe and drool-worthy pictures here), I decided to give vegan baking a try.

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this recipe from Namely Marly, but I was excited to see that I had almost all of the ingredients on hand. I had been given a generously sized jar of Tropical Tradition’s Coconut Oil awhile back to sample, and was pleased to see the recipe called for coconut oil. It had never occured to me that coconut oil is a great substitue for butter because of it’s not quite liquid, not quite solid state. Using the coconut oil as well as some apple sauce made the cookies super moist and chewy, which happens to be my favorite qualities of a good cookie.

Now that I’m aware of coconut oil’s versatility, I’m looking forward to incorporating it more into my baking. Though I do really need to work on my presentation. These cookies blobbed together, as do most of my cookies. I realize that it isn’t always about looks (taste is much more important), but I do want my baked goods to look pretty, too! I suppose that will come with practice, and I certainly haven’t made enough cookies in my life to even think for a second I’ve had practice. I’m also hoping some new baking and cookie sheets will help do the trick (along with all of the other awesome kitchen gadgets on my wedding registry).

So what’s the bottom line here? Vegan baking can be absolutely delicious (for all you skeptics out there), coconut oil is awesome, and you should go make these cookies. Okay, so that was more than one line.

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Filed under Baking, Vegetarian/Vegan