Tag Archives: Food

15 Vegetarian Freezer Meals

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Before I had Kevin 2 and a half years ago, I spent a weekend making a few freezer meals for us to have after he was born. I made 4 meals and blogged about it here. That post remains one of my most viewed (out of over 500 posts!). This time around I knew I wanted to make freezer meals again, but I wanted to make it easier on myself by slowly working on them rather than making them all at once. I also wanted to make a LOT more- at least enough for us to eat for about a month.

I made a list of recipes from some of my favorite websites and cookbooks, and then did some meal planning. I decided that over the course of a few weeks, I would make each meal in a double-sized portion- one for us to eat now and one to freeze. By doing it this way it was much easier since I was already buying and prepping the ingredients, and would cook them both at the same time. I was so excited about this plan and got started right away, and just finished last night with #15!

With all of these freezer meals, I fully cooked them and then froze them, so that they just require a reheat before eating. Since these meals will feed us for 2 or more days (we love leftovers!) it should definitely last us a month after Kyler is born, which makes me very happy! Here are all the meals I made with links to most of them – unless they came from a cookbook that I purchased. In that case I won’t be able to share the recipe due to copyright issues. But the cookbooks are definitely worth purchasing – they are our favorites! Here we go!

1. Baked Pasta with Spinach & Ricotta. A simple and delicious twist on baked ziti. It consists of layers of mini pasta shells in marinara sauce, spinach and ricotta cheese, and mozzarella sauce. All 3 of us love this meal!

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2. Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada BakeAnother recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod, and this one is a favorite of ours! I make it frequently, and I made it for a friend after she had her baby a couple months ago. It is delicious by itself or with some tortilla chips for dipping. I can’t wait to eat this one after baby is here!

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3. Black Bean Burgers. Someone randomly gave me this recipe and I’ve blogged about it before, but it’s so simple and delicious! I thought that it would be nice to have some healthy homemade veggie burgers in the freezer for an easy and quick lunch or dinner.

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4. Tortilla Soup. This recipe is from one of our favorite cookbooks, More Peas, Thank You, which was written by a former blogger named Sarah Matheny. It is so easy to make but has a ton of flavor. We love to top it with fresh avocado and baked tortilla strips. I made a double batch of this soup and put the extra in two large ziplock bags that I laid flat in the freezer to save space. I can’t wait to eat this soup on a chilly late-spring evening!

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5. Vegetable Lasagna. Lasagna is pretty much the ultimate standard freezer meal. Some lasagna recipes are pretty complicated though, so I wanted to find one that was simple but packed with veggies at the same time. I used the recipe that I linked above, but I omitted the mushrooms and added more zucchini. I also didn’t cook the noodles before assembling the lasagna, and it turned out perfectly!

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6. Red Lentil Enchiladas. This recipe is from Sarah Matheny’s original cookbook, Peas and Thank You, and is my hubby’s favorite meal. It was also one of the freezer meals we made last time! These are pretty much basic enchiladas that are filled with a mixture of red lentils, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and enchilada sauce. I topped half with real cheese and half with vegan Daiya cheese. I am slightly lactose intolerant but (obviously) still eat some cheese if you haven’t noticed in all of these freezer meals! I decided to use the vegan cheese for this meal just to give my body a break from the dairy. It still tastes awesome to me!

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7. Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes. I got this recipe from a friend after she made it for dinner one night when we came over. It is PACKED with flavor and so yummy with cornbread muffins or tortilla chips. Like the soup, I froze this in two large freezer bags by lying them flat.

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8. Naan Pizza Pack. This was an idea I just made up. We love making pizzas with Indian naan bread, so I thought it would be fun to make a frozen ‘pizza pack’ with everything we needed to make simple pizzas for dinner one night. Inside a large freezer bag I put a pack of naan bread, baggies of marinara sauce and cheese, and a frozen vegetarian sausage that we usually split between the two of us. I figure whenever we want pizza after baby is here we can also throw any veggies we have on top as well.

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9. Roasted Vegetable Burritos. If you haven’t noticed we really like Mexican food! This recipe is from Budget Bytes, which is a website I discovered recently and love! Like the veggie burgers I made, I thought these burritos would be awesome to grab and eat for dinner or lunch. They are filled with Mexican rice, black beans, a little cheese, and roasted veggies. After having a couple for dinner, we were able to freeze 8 of them. I’m so excited to dig into these later!

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10. Easy Cheesy Baked Tortellini. This is another recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod. Both of my boys LOVE tortellini, so they were big fans of this meal. For this one I decided to just freeze half of it rather than make a double portion, which is why the pan is smaller. It’s still enough to feed the 3 of us though because it’s filling- a little tortellini goes a long way! My hubby actually made this one himself because I had a late doctor’s appointment on this night. He’s the best!

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11. Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. We LOVE these little cakes from Vegetarian Times, but I do modify the recipe a bit. First, I skip the tahini (just not a huge fan of the flavor) and add an extra egg instead to help bind the cake together. I use baked/mashed sweet potato rather than grated, also for binding purposes. I also do not use the optional nuts. I love to eat these by themselves with the roasted red pepper sauce, or on top of a salad.

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12. Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas. Yet another Two Peas and Their Pod recipe! This dish consists of layers of enchilada sauce, tons of roasted veggies, black beans, corn tortillas, and cheese. It’s really delicious!

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13. Vegetarian Meatballs. This recipe is also from the More Peas, Thank You cookbook. I wanted to freeze some “meat”balls for us to be able to throw into a pasta dish or make meatball subs with. This was the first time I made this recipe and we were all very impressed. These meatballs are made with pinto beans, ground flaxseed, ground oats, onion, garlic and other yummy ingredients. It was super easy to throw it all into the food processor and then form into balls, that then baked in the oven. We made meatball subs with them that night and froze the rest. They were delicious, and so similar to real meat that it almost freaked me out a little bit 🙂

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14. Pancakes. Who doesn’t love pancakes? We do! We love them for breakfast, but we also enjoy breakfast for dinner a couple times a month. Pancakes are super easy to make, but it’s also nice to have a frozen stash to pull from when time (or free hands) are limited. I kept it simple by using our favorite Kodiak Cake mix (just add water and they taste delicious!). I wrapped up the pancakes in sets of 3 and then put them in a larger freezer bag. Yum!

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15. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. This last recipe is not technically a “meal” but it is super delicious! My husband was upset when I made these and froze them all- he wanted me to save him some to eat now. Oops! I use the recipe linked above, but I cut the sugar down to 1 cup (you won’t miss the extra, I promise!) and use half white and half whole wheat flour. I didn’t use any nuts but I did use chocolate chips of course! One batch ended up making one loaf and 10 muffins, that I wrapped individually then put in a large freezer bag. These will be great to pull out for a quick snack or a sweet treat once baby is here 🙂

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I am more than a little proud of my stocked freezer! I know I’ll be so thankful for these meals once baby is here and I can take a little break from cooking to enjoy some extra newborn snuggles 🙂 Please share your favorite freezer meals below- I am always looking to add more to my list!

What I Ate Wednesday

It has been a while since I’ve done a What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) post, so I decided now was a good time for another one! I actually remembered to take photos of most of my food yesterday too, which is kind of a miracle 🙂 Here’s what I ate on April 7, 2015 at 34 weeks 1 day pregnant.

After running club with the kids at school!

After running club with the kids at school!

6:30 a.m. ​I always start my day with coffee. I’m allowed about 200 mg of caffeine a day while pregnant, so a cup in the morning is all I need. I am so thankful for it though- it definitely helps me get through the day!

7:15 a.m. I have been loving my green smoothies again lately! I got away from them for a while when it was colder but have started having them again recently. I still use pretty much the same recipe as the one I posted a while back, except now I add about 1.5 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to it for an extra nutritional boost. Other than that it’s basically one fresh banana, a cup of frozen fruit (I used a blend of strawberries, peaches, mango and pineapple), 1 scoop SunWarrior vanilla protein powder, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1.5 – 2.0 tablespoons of almond butter and a big handful of spinach. Yum! I like having a smoothie for breakfast because it’s light and refreshing but still keeps me full. I drank this on my way to work since I had to be there early to help with our kids’ running club!

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10:15 a.m. ​I usually find myself needing a snack around this time, especially if I have been active in the morning like I was at running club. I keep it simple with 2 hard boiled eggs. I got into the habit of eating hard boiled eggs during my last pregnancy and it’s stuck ever since. They’re so yummy and the protein/fat combo keeps me full until lunch.

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12:20 p.m. It was kind of a rainy and dreary day, so I thought leftover Tortilla Soup that we made over the weekend would be perfect! This recipe is from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, More Peas, Thank You. I brought an avocado to cut up and put on top, along with a half sandwich- whole wheat bread with hummus.

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4:05 p.m. The rest of my busy afternoon flies by and before I know it I have to head off to our staff meeting. Usually I can leave school at 4:00, but on staff meeting days we stay until 5:00. I am very thankful for my snack to hold me over until dinner! I brought a chocolate chip peanut butter Larabar and enjoy every delicious bite while trying not to fall asleep during the meeting 🙂

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6:10 p.m. I make it home from work around the same time that my hubby gets home with little Kevin. I throw some broccoli in the oven to roast and pull out the dinner I made last night, Vegetable Lasagna, since we still had a ton leftover! I always try to make something that produces leftovers for nights when I get home later due to a staff meeting or something like that. It’s definitely a huge time and energy saver! Both Kevin and I love this lasagna that is packed with veggies and flavor. Little Kevin has some of his own pasta and broccoli, which he loves!

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8:30 p.m. ​After dinner my hubby helps me get Kevin ready for bed and then heads to his second job at the brewery. I lay down with Kevin and get him to sleep and pretty much fall asleep next to him- that’s the norm these days! I force myself to get up because I have some things I need to get done before I go to bed. I eat a mini Twix egg for some energy and a sweet treat. I also ended up eating the crumbled up chips at the bottom of the bag too but don’t have a picture of that. Just keeping it real over here! 🙂 I ended up taking my tired pregnant self to bed around 10:30… way later than I wanted but my long to-do list was haunting me!

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And that’s what I ate yesterday! A pretty typical day. On days that I work out or run more I usually try to eat a little more, but I felt perfectly satisfied all day so that’s good! What was the best thing you ate recently?

What I Ate Thursday

It has been a long time since I’ve done a What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) post! I planned to do it this week and then forgot, so this will actually be what I ate on Thursday 🙂 Pregnancy, running, working and chasing after a toddler has me pretty hungry these days!

7:15 a.m. After having green smoothies for breakfast for months, I am back to loving my oatmeal now that it’s gotten colder! I make it with almond milk, banana, cinnamon and blueberries. I also mix in some peanut butter at the end. It’s so yummy! I also have a small cup of coffee with breakfast every day. I can’t have very much caffeine during pregnancy so I savor every sip. I eat after my husband and little Kev leave for daycare. I really enjoy this quiet time before my work day begins.

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10:00 a.m.  Tummy starts growling for my mid-morning snack! I love bringing hard boiled eggs for a snack because they have a lot of protein which keeps me full until lunch time.

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12:15 p.m. After working some more it’s time for lunch. It’s freezing outside and in my office, so I am regretting my cold lunch choices. I decide to make a cup of decaf coffee to warm me up. I have this along with my salad (spinach, Mexican roasted chickpeas, corn, red onion, roasted red pepper, avocado, and a broken up corn tortilla shell). I use Zesty Lime Vinaigrette dressing by Kraft, and have cucumbers with cilantro jalapeño hummus on the side. I am LOVING the Mexican flavors these days 🙂

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4:00 p.m. My work day is done and I begin my commute home. I’m usually starving by this point and today is no exception. I eat a Larabar while on the road.

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6:00 p.m. Dinner time! When I got home I went for a quick run then started getting dinner together for the family. We had planned grilled cheese and tomato soup, which was perfect for this cold and windy day. It was so delicious and brought me back to my childhood.

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9:00 p.m. Lately I have been getting hungry right before bed, and have found that if I ignore it I end up waking up starving in the middle of the night and have a hard time sleeping. I started having a late night snack which has helped a ton. I guess my body needs the extra calories right now. My go-to snack before bed is a little bowl of cereal. A bowl of different cereals mixed up with cold almond milk always sounds so good to me! On this night I had Kashi Heart to Heart and Kashi Cinnamon Wheat cereal.

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And that’s what I ate this past Thursday, at 17 1/2 weeks pregnant! I have been trying very hard to clean up my diet after really slacking on it during my first trimester where all I wanted were carbs. I still want carbs all day long, but I’m trying to balance them with salads, veggies & hummus rather than crackers/pretzels, choosing oats instead of pancakes or toast for breakfast, etc. I obviously still enjoy my bread and especially my cereal, but that is a-okay in my opinion 🙂

What’s the best thing you ate this week?

Food We’ve Been Loving Lately!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “recipe round-up” style post where I share some of the vegetarian meals we have made and enjoyed lately. Since I have been on summer break I’ve had more time to look for new recipes, and there’s nothing like fresh summer produce. Here are some of our recent favorites!

Pasta with Spicy Zucchini-Tomato SauceWe started a garden this year and now have an over abundance of zucchini! I was looking for ways to use it and found this recipe which sounded really good, and it was. The best part is that it was super simple. It wasn’t too spicy either, even little Kev ate it! We did add some cannellini beans for protein.

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Greek Orzo Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette. I found this recipe when I was randomly watching Bobby Flay on the Food Network and knew we had to try it. It was delicious and perfect for summer! I added chickpeas for extra protein and avocado because why not?  My husband declared that this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper SauceThis recipe is from Vegetarian Times, which I love, but I did modify it a bit. I didn’t use any tahini (not a big fan of it) and added another egg instead to help bind it together since I left the tahini out. I also used mashed sweet potato instead of grated, again for binding purposes. I used all of the other ingredients except for the optional nuts. I also made the roasted red pepper sauce that is linked in the recipe. So good and surprisingly very filling! I had the leftovers the next day on top of a salad and it was delicious too!

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Veggie, Cashew & Pineapple Stir Fry. This stir fry has the yummiest sauce ever! Here is the recipe: Whisk together juice from a 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of corn starch (to thicken it up). Add sauce to sautéed vegetables of your choice and chickpeas (or meat) and bring to boil for a couple minutes until it thickens, then add the pineapple. Serve over rice, top with some cashews and enjoy! This sauce made our dinner taste like Chinese take-out. YUM!

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Pasta with Lemon Basil Butter SauceThis dinner was ridiculously amazing!!! We used regular pasta rather than ravioli like the recipe calls for to lighten it up a bit, because we didn’t want it to be too heavy with the butter sauce. I do think ravioli or tortellini would have been delicious though! This meal tasted like something from a restaurant and the lemon and basil flavors are perfect for summer. You just cannot go wrong with Two Peas and Their Pod, definitely bookmarked this recipe for the future!

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Black Bean & Corn Tacos. I don’t really have a recipe for this one because it’s so easy. This is one of our quick meals that we like to make in a pinch or if we are low on groceries. We always keep a box of tortilla shells and cans of black beans and corn in our pantry, and we have frozen peppers and onions in the freezer. All we do is sautee the peppers and onions, add the beans and corn, then add some seasoning to it (chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, salt- basically everything in taco seasoning). We put that into taco shells and top with some salsa and avocado. My husband also likes cheese on his. Simple and delicious!

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread & Muffins. What to do with even more zucchini? Make chocolate chip zucchini bread of course! My friend passed this recipe along to me and it is seriously amazing. She healthified it a bit and I used her modifications, using 1.5 cups of regular flour and 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour. I also cut the sugar to 1.25 cups. Other than that I followed the recipe the way it is and it turned out perfectly. I made a double batch and STILL have a ton of zucchini to use! Ideas?!

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While I like to make a lot of our food, the reality is that life is busy and we also have some prepackaged food that we love that is convenient and delicious. Here are some of our recent favorites.

Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix. We LOVE pancakes around here, but who has time to make pancake batter from scratch? Not me, at least not at this point in my life with a toddler and husband who wake up hungry in the morning! This mix is great because it only contains a few ingredients and all you have to do is add water. Somehow it tastes delicious though, and we love it!

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Saturday morning pancake breakfasts are the best!

Saturday morning pancake breakfasts are the best!

Lemonade Coconut Water. I’ve been drinking Vita Coco coconut water for a while now, but they recently came out with a new lemonade flavor that is amazing! It tastes like regular lemonade while still providing all the benefits of coconut water. So refreshing after a hot and sweaty summer run!

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. My husband discovered this powdered peanut butter when he stopped at Target to pick up some groceries. We put peanut or almond butter in our smoothies every morning, and he thought it was a good alternative to try. It has less calories and fat but it still has a decent amount of protein to keep us full and a great flavor. Our diet is pretty heavy in nuts/nut butter so it’s nice to incorporate something different occasionally to lighten it up. It does have a small amount of added sugar in it, but only 1 gram per 2 tbsp, so not bad. The other ingredients include roasted peanuts and salt- that’s it! You can read more about it here!

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew KIND Bar. I’ve been loving KIND bars for a while now, but this one has become my absolute favorite. So delicious! The only drawback is that it’s messy to eat in the warmer summer temperatures.

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Go Macro Bar. I don’t eat these too often because they are expensive ($2.50 each!), but oh my gosh they are so good! They’re very dense- this one has 290 calories and 12 grams of protein- so I like to have them on hand if I know I will be out somewhere for a while or if I am traveling and not sure if I’ll have access to vegetarian food. I love them!

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What are some recipes or other foods that you have been loving lately? I’m always looking for new things to try! Let me know!

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Meals for Runners

As runners, we obviously need our carbohydrates to fuel our workouts, but if you are anything like me most of those carbs tend to come from mostly wheat/gluten-based foods. I do not have a gluten sensitivity or allergy like a couple of my friends, but I have learned recently that too much can leave me feeling bloated and heavy at times. However, as a vegetarian runner, it can be challenging to find meals that are filling AND have enough protein to satisfy the hunger that comes with marathon training. I often fall into the routine of having gluten-based food at every meal: cereal, sandwiches, pasta, pancakes, pizza, bread, bagels, wraps, granola bars, etc. It can get to be a little much. While I will never most likely never eat entirely gluten-free, it doesn’t hurt to have a little more balance in my diet. I have been looking for different recipes that we could eat for dinners and lunches, and have found some that we really like!

Here are six gluten-free and protein packed vegetarian meals, perfect for runners! Tested and approved by my husband, my toddler, and myself!

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake. This is from the blog Two Peas and Their Pod, which has become my go-to for recipes. Every single thing we have tried from here has been delicious. We like this blog because it’s written by a husband and wife- she is a vegetarian but her husband eats meat (like mine does on occasion), so the vegetarian meals they make are hearty, flavorful, and satisfying enough to make our hubbies not miss the meat at all. This recipe is so, so good. We love Mexican-inspired food and we’ve really been into quinoa lately (as you will see)- it’s gluten-free and has a ton of protein! We served this meal with homemade baked corn tortilla chips. We make them by spraying a baking sheet with olive oil spray, slicing up corn tortillas into triangles and spreading them out on it, spraying the tops, and sprinkling them with salt. Then we baked them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until they were crispy, watching them very carefully to make sure they don’t burn. I usually flip them over about half way through.

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Spaghetti Squash. I don’t really know what to call this- Nicole’s Spaghetti Squash? My friend told me how she prepares hers and I just followed her directions. It’s simple and can be customized however you want. Here are the basics: Roast a spaghetti squash and scrape out the “noodles” (I used this tutorial), chop up any veggies you have and sauté them in a pan with olive oil. I used bell pepper, red onion and zucchini. Nicole also uses spinach but we were out.  I also sautéed some chickpeas with the veggies for extra protein. Toss the spaghetti squash and the veggie mixture together with Asiago cheese- however much you prefer (this part is KEY!). The cheese gives it an amazing flavor, and it really does feel like you are eating pasta. This recipe makes a ton too, and it is delicious leftover. I can’t wait to make it again.

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It was delicious for lunch the next day!

Red Lentil Enchiladas. I am pretty sure I’ve shared this recipe before, but it remains my husband’s favorite meal and I love it too. He requests this every couple of weeks and says it never gets old. It’s from the Peas and Thank You cookbook. I used to be able to link to the recipe on her blog but she has recently shut it down, so I linked to an article about her that features this recipe instead. I used Daiya vegan cheese on my half because too much dairy = unhappy tummy. Her cookbook is definitely worth buying- we’ve made almost every recipe in it and they have all been awesome. If you use corn tortillas, this meal is gluten-free. It makes a ton of leftovers too!

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Roasted Chickpea Tacos. We loooooove these tacos! While I was typing up this post my husband looked over and said, “Oooh, can we have those next week?” Haha! You can find the chickpea recipe here, and then to make the tacos we just put them inside corn tortilla shells with salsa, guacamole, and any other toppings you like. The chickpeas are really good leftover on top of a salad too.

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Avocado-Lime Dressing. A friend of mine shared this recipe with me because she thought I would like it. She was totally right! These cakes have a great balance of sweet and savory flavor and go really well with the sauce- although I am not the biggest tahini fan and would probably skip that ingredient in the dressing next time and add more lime juice/olive oil instead. We made them with baked kale chips on the side. If you haven’t tried kale chips yet, you have to! They are so delicious!

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Quinoa Bowls. This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a “throw everything you have together to clean out your fridge” concept. But it turned out really good! I made extra quinoa when I made the sweet potato cakes to have for lunches during the week (told you we love quinoa around here). The next day I threw it in a bowl with some black beans, roasted red pepper, red onion, cilantro, and the rest of the avocado-lime dressing above. It was creamy and really good. I make random bowls like this often, and they are always super satisfying!

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Those are just some of the gluten-free meals we’ve been enjoying lately. I love keeping track of the recipes we try on the blog, and sometimes when I’m meal planning I scroll through my “food” category page for ideas. I hope this gives some other people a few ideas as well!

I always love trying new recipes- do you have any good ones to share? Gluten-free or not!

WIAW: Snow Day!

I have been wanting to do a “What I Ate Wednesday” post for a while now, but I always remember when it’s too late and I’ve already eaten a bunch of food. Today I had another snow day (I haven’t been to school since last Friday- and we are off tomorrow too!) so I decided today would be the perfect day.

This is more of a what WE ate post, since I was able to spend the whole day with my sweet boy. The temperatures were below zero so we just hung out inside in our PJs all day and kept things low-key. Life has been pretty crazy lately so this was the BEST kind of day and just what I needed.

Here is what we ate today!

Breakfast

I went downstairs to start making breakfast while little Kevin was still asleep. I decided to make a big batch of pancakes, some for him to eat today and some to freeze. We love to cheat and use the Kodiak Cake pancake mix. They are whole grain, have a short list of ingredients and all you have to do is add water. Best of all, they really taste homemade! I also had some coffee while I made the pancakes.

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While I finished up the pancakes little Kevin woke up. My husband Kevin went up to get him and brought him down before he left for work. He immediately said, “yum yum” when he saw the pancakes- he loves them! He ate almost 2, and I froze 8 more for later. He also had a cup of whole milk.

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While he ate his pancakes I made a green smoothie. I have been loving having these for breakfast lately! I made a little extra so Kevin could have some too. He’s really been enjoying green smoothies too, which makes me so happy!

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We brought our smoothies into the living room to drink them and relax. After playing for a while it was time for Kevin’s nap. I brought him upstairs, rocked him for a few minutes and put him down. Once he was asleep I went back to the kitchen to make part 2 of my breakfast: peanut butter and honey toast with 2 hard boiled eggs. I’ve been really trying to front load my day with more calories so that I’m not so hungry at night. I’m also making sure to get a lot of protein. It has definitely helped.

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After eating I decided to roast some chickpeas for us to have later. I used a recipe for Tamari Roasted Chickpeas from the cookbook Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. You can find the recipe here. My whole family loves these chickpeas. We use them in wraps, salads, pasta, stir fries, or just as a snack.

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Morning Snack

Since I ate my “second” breakfast kind of late, I wasn’t hungry for a morning snack. Kevin always eats one though, and when he woke up from his nap I gave him the rest of his green smoothie. While drinking it he stared longingly at the snow outside. He’s been sick this week though, so I didn’t think it was best to take him out in sub-zero temperatures. Instead I decided to bring the snow into him! He LOVED it! He did eat some of it too, so I guess it counts for WIAW :).

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Lunch

Kevin loves PB & J, so I made him a half of a sandwich for lunch, with some mandarin orange and a cheese stick on the side. He also had some more milk. Basically 4 of his favorite foods. He was in heaven! He ate all the oranges and cheese, and left a few bites of his sandwich (mainly the crust). I was so happy to see him eat so much. He hasn’t had much of an appetite since he has been sick!

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While Kevin ate I made my own lunch- a big spinach salad with onion, bell pepper, carrots, avocado, and chickpeas. I used a Zesty Lime Vinaigrette dressing by Kraft, which I really like!

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Afternoon Snack

When Kevin woke up from his second nap he snacked on some roasted chickpeas. I had a Cashew Cookie Larabar.

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Dinner

Later on while making dinner, I snacked on some leftover cornbread from dinner the night before. I gave Kevin a few bites too. Is there anything better than warm cornbread with butter? Mmmmmm.

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For dinner tonight we were having homemade black bean burgers again (recipe can be found in this post). I ended up having enough to make 4 adult-sized patties and 1 kid-sized. We had the burgers on whole wheat buns with sautéed veggies on the side. When I made our meal plan for the week we actually planned to grill all of this, but then the snowstorm and freezing temperatures came so we cooked it all inside instead.

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Little Kevin had his own black bean burger, some veggies and corn. He didn’t eat as much as he did at breakfast and lunch, but that’s okay- he still got a lot of good food in today!

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Late-Night Snack

After putting the baby to bed I did an at-home strength training workout, basically replicating a bunch of Body Pump moves and trying to hit all areas of my body. After finishing I felt a little hungry, and since I hate going to bed with a growling stomach I had a small bowl of cereal. It hit the spot! I think I’ve had cereal for my late-night snack in every WIAW I’ve ever done… haha! I really don’t eat it every single night though.

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And that’s what we ate today! I had such a fun, relaxing day with my boy, and tomorrow we get to do it all over again! Woo hoo!

New Vegetarian Meals We’ve Been Loving

For a while there we got into a little bit of a food rut. We were eating the same meals over and over and over again. Needless to say we got tired of them and were ready to try some new ideas. So I went on the hunt for some fresh, fun and delicious vegetarian meals that Kevin, the baby and me would all like, and I found some real winners! I can’t take credit for creating these recipes (except for one), but I did want to pass them along and share them with others who may be looking for some delicious vegetarian meals.

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Kevin having some tortellini and a green smoothie- his favorite!

1. Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup. We have REALLY been into soup lately. It’s just easy and filling and warm in the cold winter months. I shared 4 of our favorite vegetarian soups back in October, and in this post I actually have 4 more! My sister passed this one on to me. It’s from Two Peas and Their Pod and was originally a Lemon Chicken Orzo soup. To make it vegetarian I just used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and chickpeas instead of chicken. I also added oregano and basil for a little extra flavor. It was delicious with just a hint of lemon in the broth. My sister said the original chicken one was great too!

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2. Roasted Vegetable Soup. Another soup! This one is from Vegetarian Times and is one of their top rated soup recipes. The roasted vegetables give it so much flavor, and it was creamy without having any dairy in it. I added chickpeas for protein since it didn’t have any in the recipe, and I used vegetable broth instead of water. Yum!

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3. Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Roll Ups. Another delicious recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod! I really liked this one and it’s easy to adapt based on what type of fillings you like in your lasagna. The leftovers were amazing also! We couldn’t eat it all, so we gave some to our neighbor who loved it too.

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4. Slow Cooker Taco Soup. This is another soup we loved. It’s from Peas and Thank You, and I tried to find the link to it but it seems like she shut her blog down since I made this recipe. The picture below is all that’s left of it (I forgot to take my own!) That’s really sad, because a lot of the recipes I have on here in other posts were linked to her blog. She does have two cookbooks published, which we LOVE and use all the time. A lot of the recipes that were on her blog are in her books but this one isn’t. I found one that looks similar though and you can find it here. Any meal that cooks itself is great in my book!

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5. Homemade Black Bean Burgers. One of my coworkers gave me this recipe that she used to make for her son when he was a vegetarian. We buy a lot of Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burgers, which we love but can get expensive! These are SO yummy and super simple too. The recipe says it makes 4 burgers and on this night I made 2 regular sized burgers and 6 sliders. Both of my boys loved these!

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6. Pesto Pasta Primavera. We actually just made this dinner tonight and it’s so simple. It’s not really a recipe- it’s just veggies (whatever you have in the fridge- I used onion, bell pepper and zucchini) and chickpeas sauteed, and then added to some pasta. I then added some jarred pesto from the grocery store, parmesan cheese on top, and called it a meal! I guess I could’ve made my own pesto but you know… the pre-made is just so easy! We have made this a few times now and really enjoy it.

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7. Tortellini Soup. The last recipe is another soup. It has delicious tortellini (we used the tri-color fresh kind you can find in the refrigerated section- Wegmans brand), spinach, and a tomato-based broth. It is SUPER quick and easy. It only took about 10 minutes and was really good!

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(Not my picture, but this is what it looked like. I got the picture here!)

If you have any good vegetarian meal ideas please pass them on to me! We are always looking for new ones! You can find a lot more recipes and vegetarian meal ideas on my food page!

My family’s favorite green smoothie