Tag Archives: vegetarian

Big Game breakfast: sweet potato + black bean hash

The “big game” is almost upon us (it’s up for debate, but most people are not allowed to use the official term in media… this peasant, yours truly, almost always plays it safe).  When it comes to football, I am basically Zoolander in a coal miner’s bar, whispering “Who’s winning the match?”  It would also not be unlike me to self-diagnose with the black lung… pop.

I used to watch the game specifically for the commercials, but then State Farm gave my soul the black lung with that series of ads about preventable accidents, delivered by the ghosts of dead children.  Or whatever that was.  All I know is, I had a newborn in my arms and didn’t breath for at least three whole minutes.

Sometimes I watch for the halftime show.  I wish Left Shark was the star every year.  But I have high hopes for Gaga.

This year, though, I am fairly invested in the actual game. The Patriots are my hometown team (as in, they play in my hometown) and the Falcon’s Matt Ryan played quarterback at BC (and went to school too, obvi)… while I was playing quarterback of breaking the microfiche machine in the art library on the other side of campus.

Now that you have all that wind up (including a Zoolander reference and a bit about a depressing insurance commercial), let’s talk about the most important part of football Sunday.  The food.  

You likely have your drinks, dips, snacks and sweets lined up.  But have you considered breakfast?  I’ve got an easy + delicious way to kick off (get it… like… sports…) the day.

Big Game breakfast: sweet potato + black bean hash with green apples

Serves 2, gluten-free + vegan

big game breakfast sweet potato black bean hash

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, cubed + roasted
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed + drained 
  • 1 organic green apple, cored and diced (leave peel on)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • optional: cilantro greens, shredded cabbage, or arugula

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add diced onion and saute until soft
  2. Stir in peppers and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes before adding black beans, sweet potatoes, salt + pepper
  3. Remove from heat and stir in diced green apple
  4. Adjust seasoning if needed and top with greens, if you wish (my recipes aim to be polite…)

If you find yourself with leftovers, I have a feeling this hash would be a real winner on a plate of nachos.  Now that would be a touchdown.  Stop me.  Please.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your football-watching menu?

What to eat when it’s freezing.

The Polar Vortex is baaaa-aaack.  So I made it some chili (vegetarian, obvi).  In my opinion, it’s what to eat when it’s freezing.

what to eat when its freezing

You can find my original recipe (a term I use lightly, mostly because it’s just like… sauté onions and garlic, add beans, add tomatoes, add whatever spices you have on hand, simmer, eat) here: vegetarian chili for lazy people.  

I topped today’s piping hot bowl with a handful of tortilla chips, some Fire Roasted Corn + Black Bean Salsa from Nola’s Fresh Foods.  Nola’s is made minutes from our place in Southie and is a 2015 Martha Stewart American Made award winner.  After receiving a complimentary sample a few weeks ago (delivered to my doorstep, no less), their salsa keeps ending up in our shopping cart.

As for the lime wedge and the useless miniature wooden spoon… they’re mostly there because chili looks like, you know… chili.  And I wanted to distract you from this.  Did it work?

But seriously.  Make yourself a bowl.

Also On Tap for Today:

How are you showing the Polar Vortex who’s boss?  Or like… what’s for dinner tonight?

 

Vegan snacking with Lightlife + The Boston Veg Food Festival

You know my favorite meal is snack time.  No secret there.  I love a good snack plate.  Grace says, “Me too.”

VEGAN SNACKING WITH LIGHTLIFE

vegan snack

 

I recently had the chance to try Lightlife‘s new vegan Smart Jerky, the perfect addition to our afternoon snack plates, along with a few of the following:

Each serving of Smart Jerky contains 9 grams of protein and is 100% plant-based, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Certified Vegan.  It’s also really good. It’s low in calories (90 per serving) and shelf stable, so I could see this being a great on-the-go snack for fall adventures.  Which reminds me… I really want to take a walk (a hike?) in the Blue Hills while the trees are still looking so spectacular.  And we’ve yet to go apple picking.  Jeez.

lightlife smart jerky

Smart Jerky is available in two flavors (original and teriyaki) and can be purchased in the Boston area at Stop and Shop.  It will be available nationally in 2017.

 

THE BOSTON VEG FOOD FESTIVAL

Lightlife is one of the sponsors of this weekend’s 21st Annual Boston Veg Food Festival at the Reggie Lewis Center.  The event is free and open to the public and features food sampling, 120 exhibitors, cooking demonstrations, noted speakers, opportunities to learn about protecting animals and the environment, children’s activities, and shopping.

I’ve attended this event several times in the past and learned a great deal about new products and local vendors who cater to vegetarians… as well as how to live a bit healthier, a bit greener and a bit kinder.  I recommend bringing a shopping bag (or two) with you and planning to spend a few hours checking out each booth and exhibit.  It can get crowded, given the popularity of this event.  (We vegetarians and vegans are very fun people to be around, after all.)

You can park for free at the Reggie Lewis Center or take the T to Roxbury Crossing station (orange line), which is right across the street.

The Boston Veg Food Festival

  • Saturday, October 22nd 11 AM – 6 PM
  • Sunday, October 23rd 10 AM – 4 PM
  • Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street in Boston

vegan snacking

Alright… snack time!

This post was sponsored by Lightlife.  All opinions are my own.  Obvi.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite on-the-go snack?

Sweet potato toast with a kick.

When it comes to trends (and cool things, in general), I’m rarely on time.  I think sweet potato toast reached its peak coolness this summer, so it’s fitting I just popped my first batch out of the toaster in mid-October.  We’ll get to that in a second.  Let’s relish in my uncoolness a bit longer.

sweet potato toast

I was the last to read the first Harry Potter book and never got around to reading the others.  I did, however, watch all of the movies while icing my knees after marathon training runs.  I’m still not really clear on how things end.  Like, did Harry turn into a baby snake under a bench at a train station?  I realize this entire paragraph will horrify many of you.  I just can’t get with imaginary stuff.

Sun In: No.  The Titanic:  Never saw it.  Snapchat:  Still mostly a mystery to me.  Crop tops: I think everyone’s okay with me skipping that phase (a sales girl at Nordstrom did recommend I try one on a few months ago… I blessed her with all the power my postpartum body could muster).  

In some cases (see Sun In and Titanic), I wear my uncoolness like a badge of (midriff covering) honor.  But in other cases, I’m disappointed I didn’t catch on sooner.  Such is the case with the aforementioned sweet potato toast.  It’s really delicious.  And easy.  And gluten free. And all you need is a sweet potato.  And a toaster.  Ok, and a knife.

SWEET POTATO TOAST WITH A KICK

sweet potato toast

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • A toaster (I guess that’s less ingredient and more equipment, but whatev)

Suggested toppings:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
  • Shredded cheese
  • Black beans
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Pico de gallo 
  • Hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Wash sweet potato and slice lengthwise evenly (each slice should be approximately 1/4 inch wide)
  2. Arrange sweet potato slices in your toaster so that they don’t overlap; toast on the highest setting until slightly browned (this took about 10 minutes for me)
  3. Add toppings as you wish + enjoy

I finished my sweet potato toasts off with a bit of Poor Devil Pepper Co.’s Cajun Widow lacto fermented hot sauce, recently sent to me by my friends at Small Batch Daily.  This stuff is the real deal (read: hot) and added the perfect cajun kick.  It’s also organic, raw, probiotic and decidedly cool.  For once, I feel sort of ahead of the curve.  Maybe?

sweet potato toast

If you’re looking for similarly cool food items, I definitely recommend checking out Small Batch Daily’s shoppable Instagram feed (@smallbatchdaily). They release new small batch finds each Monday and Wednesday.  You can learn more by visiting their website.

Okay.  But seriously.  What happens to Harry?

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done lately?

August 2016 | Currently

August has been hot, hot, and hot.  

august 2016

I was driving through the city this weekend and saw a man wearing a wool-looking sweater and corduroy pants.  Mind you, it was 80-something degrees out.  I can only imagine two plausible explanations:

  • He was a tourist… visiting from, like… the sun (or somewhere just as warm).
  • He’s ready for fall.

I don’t believe in aliens and I want it to be summer forever.  Also I’m allergic to wool.  So basically, that man is my mortal enemy.  Just kidding.  

AUGUST 2016 | CURRENTLY

EATING

august 2016

  • Salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner – There is just so much incredible summer produce available and I feel personally compelled to eat all of it.  Looking for the perfect summer salad? I’ve got you covered.
  • 80% of all my meals and snacks – This is not some sort of fad diet.  My children and dog (and occasionally, my husband) eat all their food… and then they eat my food.  I am basically the peasant of the family.

READING

august 2016 reading

A bunch of books with pretty covers (and really good insides, too)

And a few articles and posts worth sharing

LISTENING TO

  • Adele on repeat… in anticipation of seeing her perform live next month (insert 100 of the red-dress-dancing-lady emojis, and then a crying emoji, and then the two-hands-in-the-air emoji and then 47 exclamation marks)
  • This fantastic episode of On Being: Running as a Spiritual Practice
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Big Feelings” album on Spotify during every, single car trip… while cursing the day I revealed to Grace that this was a thing.
  • Grace and Nick laugh hysterically on the swings.  And in the car.   And in their highchairs.  And in the bath.  It is the best sound ever.
  • A new workout playlist, which I’ll share here in the next few days.  I’ve been enjoying a few Pinterest-inspired home workouts and running at Castle Island during the break between Mama Beasts sessions.

FEELING

august 2016

  • Bittersweet about Grace beginning preschool next month.  She is super excited and I know she will love it.  And I’m looking forward to some one-on-one time with baby Nick, and a bit more structure to our weekdays.  But I also sort of want both kids to stay tiny and young forever.  Which would be very weird and hinder their prospects for becoming healthy, successful adults… I am aware.  Meanwhile, we’ve been painting and making some pretty cool stuff together.  The girl loves her googly eyes.
  • Way less itchy and way less dependent on Benadryl spray than I was two weeks ago… when I somehow got poison ivy all over both feet and like, in between all my toes.  We live in the city.  The only greenery on our property burned down a month ago (True story: someone threw a lit cigarette into one of our hydrangea bushes and it burned to the ground… but not before sending flames six feet into the sky.  We weren’t home at the time, and fortunately everyone in our building was okay.)  I still have no clue how or where or when I got it, but I’m telling you.  Poison ivy is no joke.
  • Excited to sneak in one more quick trip to the Cape this month

WATCHING

  • The Night Of on HBO – We have a couple episodes to catch up on, and I still run out of the room at least twice a show for fear of what’s going to happen next… but I’m hooked.
  • Bad Moms – Watched this hilarious (and surprisingly heartfelt) movie the best way possible, with 34 other moms in one of those fancy movie theaters with the reclining seats and hard cider and french fries and no children… such an awesome Mom’s Night Out with the Mama Beasts.  

LOVING

august 2016 babywearing

For the record, these are not ads, just things I’m obsessed with and feel like everyone should know about them.  Some of these links, however, are referral links.

  • Wearing baby Nick! He quickly outgrew our Baby Bjorn and was starting to feel not-so-secure in our linen ring sling… so we upgraded to the silk Sakura Bloom ring sling and I am completely obsessed.  I also really like the midnight black color way.  The silk grips really well and feels a bit more structured than the linen.  Let me know if you have questions about baby wearing — I could talk about it forever (or at least an hour).  
  • Ebates for “back-to-school” shopping, or more accurately “both kids outgrew all their clothes on the same day” shopping – I hit the BabyGap sale hard (and will get magical cash back from Ebates) earlier this week, saving baby Nick from a lifetime of wearing togas fashioned from swaddling blankets.  It nearly came to that.  But it didn’t.  I also use Ebates for regular purchases like Diapers.com.  It really adds up. 
  • Dollar Shave Club – I decided I was done spending a million dollars on razors and joined Dollar Shave Club on a whim (Nick uses Harry’s, a similar service).  For $6 a month, I get 4 razors delivered to my door.  The handle thing came in my first order, and yes, it’s super plain… but let’s be serious.  We don’t need lady razors.  Just like we don’t need lazy forks.  Or lady pencils.  Or lady steering wheels.  I’m super happy with the blades and for the first time ever, I’m remembering to use a new one every week.  So adult.
  • Instagram stories.  I love seeing everyone’s candid videos and fun photos!  You can find me on IG at @elizabethev and @elizabethevart (for the painting, doodling, making a mess-type stuff). 

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Making 9,000 appointments for the fall (check-ups, dentists, dermatologist, GI, vet, hair, and so on…)
  • Looking forward to a little brainstorming session with my fellow HLB ambassadors
  • Walk to the playground

How’s your August shaping up?

 

What to eat in the summer | 4 favorite salads

Most days, my meal planning (if you can call it that) goes something like this:  

  • Consider what we have on the counter, in the cabinets, in the fridge and sprouting on the deck
  • Hold baby Nick with one hand, rummage with the other hand
  • Hope something miraculously falls out and a. doesn’t hit me or Nick in the head and b. somehow lands in my mouth and c. is delicious.  Oh, and nutritious.  

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to have a perfectly made summer salad fall into my mouth.  Or onto my head, for that matter.  As with most (all?) good things, it takes a bit of work.  But not much.  This is summer, after all.  If you’re wondering what to eat in the summer, I’ve got a few (simple, delicious) ideas.

WHAT TO EAT IN THE SUMMER | 4 FAVORITE SALADS

Mixed greens with pears, bleu cheese, walnuts + dried cranberries

what to eat in summer 1

This is really as easy as slicing a pear and throwing it, along with everything else, into a bowl.  I added a drizzle of Champagne vinaigrette because I like to pretend I’m fancy.  In reality: It’s well past noon and I haven’t showered yet.  Also, I just congratulated myself on wearing my “nice” sweat pants.  

Caprese salad

what to eat in summer 2

I basically eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner… all summer long.  The heirloom tomatoes are Canadian, but the mozzarella is from Rhode Island and the basil is from South Boston (more specifically: my deck).  So… it’s mostly #eatlocal.  Or whatever.

Both babes were asleep at the same time for an entire 11 minutes last week, so I made myself an extra pretty platter from which to dine solo while Nick was traveling.  That was a long sentence.  The salad didn’t last nearly as long.

Chopped salad with sprouts

what to eat in summer 3

I tend to chop a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week for easy salads such as this.  Instead of the usual greens, though, I used some Earth Salad (sprouted lentils, sprouted chickpeas and alfalfa sprouts) that I picked up at Whole Foods in the South End (it’s in the cooler next to the salad greens, alongside the cooked lentils). 

Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing

Speaking of cooked lentils, I keep a package or two in the fridge because I am lazy like to avoid cooking as much as possible when it’s 90 degrees out.  And because I love making this salad.  And because I’m lazy.

I’m thrilled (and grateful!) that my recipe was included in Wayfair’s Simply Summer Recipes cookbook.  The cookbook is free to download and features over 100 pages of summer recipes created by bloggers and tested by Wayfair team members.  I love that they included their own notes after testing each dish.  I hope you’ll check it out!

In the meantime, I’m off to go shower.  Or eat another salad.  Or both.  Not at the same time.  OK.  Bye.  I love you.  And I love summer.  And cheese.  Bye.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • A favorite read: Sam’s weekly meal planning posts 
  • Closest thing to a wonder drug? Try exercise from The New York Times
  • Playing with Grace’s new water table (“All day!  All day long, mummy!  All day!  And when it’s dark!”)

What’s your ideal summer meal?

 

Chai + peanut butter protein bites

 

You guys.  I can’t stop making these balls.  And giggling about… balls.  I promise this recipe is more refined than my sense of humor.

chai and peanut butter protein bites

CHAI + PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN BITES

Vegan, gluten-free… and like, cooking-free.  Which is to say, you don’t need to cook them.  Makes 10-15 protein bites (or balls, call ’em what you will).  

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix protein powder, nut butter and oats in your food processor or blender.
  2. Add agave nectar, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt and pulse until dough is well combined.
  3. Move mixture to a small bowl and carefully stir in chocolate chips.  
  4. Roll dough into small balls and place in a parchment-lined container, store in the refrigerator.  Or just, like, eat them.

Recipe notes: You can use your favorite protein powder for this recipe — chocolate or vanilla would work great.  And feel free to use maple syrup in place of agave.  Oh, and you can omit the chocolate chips (thereby omitting the fun… but, hey) if you’d like.  

I used a brand-new blend from Bob’s Red Mill line of nutritional boosters and am completely hooked.  It’s made from pea protein powder, chicory root fiber, chia seeds, probiotics, and sweetened with monk fruit extract. It is gluten free, vegan, a good source of omega-3, an excellent source of iron, and high in protein and fiber.  

No weird chemicals.  No weird tastes.  Just balls. 

Disclaimer: I received complimentary samples of Bob’s Red Mill new nutritional boosters for an Instagram project (you can follow me here: @ElizabethEv) with Sweat Pink… but I didn’t want to keep this good stuff from you and just had to share it On Tap, too.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have a favorite broprotein powder?

Today: Ten minute onion tartlets.

In the spirit of honesty, these onion tartlets take closer to fifteen minutes to make… but ten minutes sounds better.  

Caramelized onion tartlets with feta and thyme

caramelized onion tartlets

Makes approximately 12 mini tarts, vegetarian (contains dairy and gluten)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 package of frozen mini phyllo dough shells (I keep a few packages of these shells in our freezer — they are fully baked and just need to be reheated, a lazy woman’s dream)

Directions:

  1. Remove phyllo shells from freezer and follow directions for thawing (or baking, if necessary)
  2. Heat oil or butter in a large skillet and saute onions for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until caramelized
  3. Remove onions from heat and add to large bowl with feta and thyme; mix and set aside
  4. Arrange shells on a rimmed baking dish
  5. Fill each shell with the onions, feta and thyme and bake according to package directions (for these, I baked them at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes)

caramelized onion tartlets

These little guys can be served hot or cold and are one of my favorite appetizers to make and share.  The filling can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated.  While you’re at it, you may want to make a big batch of caramelized onions (Julie wrote a great “how to” post that includes 16 different ways to use caramelized onions).  

Ten minutes… fifteen-ish minutes… you could probably lie and say these took all day.  But lying is bad.  And these tartlets are good.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the last lie you told?  Your secret is safe with me.  And the Internet.

 

Today: Just Add Cooking.

I recently had the opportunity to try a complimentary two-person, three-meal box from Boston-based meal service Just Add Cooking.  In theory, I love to cook… but in reality, I love to cook the same three things over and over.  I often end up eating whatever I whip up for Grace for dinner (fortunately, she has good taste).  

Just Add Cooking provided the perfect opportunity to shake things up a bit… and eat like an adult.

With seven recipes to choose from each week, three of which are vegetarian (so the choice was an easy one for me).  The remaining options usually feature poultry, seafood, pork and beef.  Meals that are designated as gluten-free have been evaluated by a dietitian and are clearly labeled as such, so there’s no second guessing.
My box included everything I needed to make the following meals:
  • Indian Vegetable Curry
  • Vegetable Hash
  • Halloumi Skewers and Couscous
My box was delivered on a Sunday morning, so I carved out some time with my favorite little pajama-clad sous chef and got to work.  Grace loves helping mix and pour ingredients, and asking, “What this is?” about… everything.  
It takes a bit longer for meals to come together, but it’s worth it to hear Grace yell, “More cauliflower!” at Clark later in the day.  
I’ve checked out other meal services before, but never followed through after reading mixed reviews.  Being a local company, Just Add Cooking is able to pack and deliver meals throughout Eastern Massachusetts the same day.  They use couriers instead of shipping services, so packing materials are minimal.  Like… surprisingly minimal.  Everything except the freezer bag is biodegradable.
I loved knowing that the ingredients I received were locally sourced, locally produced, and organic whenever possible.  In addition to detailed recipes (which include a really helpful preparation timeline for people like me who are inclined to wing it… only to burn half of what I make after forgetting to chop the onion or grate the carrots or, like… stop sampling the cheese), Just Add Cooking includes source information about each perfectly portioned ingredient included in each box.
My box included:
  • Spinach from The Kitchen Garden in Sunderland, MA
  • Tomatoes from Long Wind Farm in Thetford, VT
  • Apples from Barden Family Orchard in North Scituate, RI
  • Red potatoes from Maplewood Farm in Portsmouth, RI
  • Cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese Company in Brattleboro, VT
  • Bell peppers from Confreda Greenhouses and Farms in Hope, RI
Because Just Add Cooking took the guesswork out of both meal planning and shopping, I really enjoyed preparing each meal — almost as much as I enjoyed, you know… enjoying them.  Each recipe yielded exactly two portions.  I found cooking on Sunday and reheating during the week to work quite well (life as a lazy pregnant lady at its finest).  
Boxes start at $39 for a two-person, three-meal box (normally $69) and $69 for a four-person, three-meal box (normally $109) for the first box for new customers.  This promotional price will be automatically applied to your first purchase (Just Add Cooking and register by clicking “Get Cooking”).  Subscriptions are flexible, so you can skip weeks whenever you please.  This means I can keep an eye out for weeks when all three vegetarian meals capture my attention (and appetite), without being wasteful on weeks when I’m just not feeling it.
I’m already looking forward to our next delivery.  And I think Grace is, too.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary meal box.  All opinions are my own.  Obvi (I hope).
Also On Tap for Today:

Do you meal plan/prep each week?  Or do you wing it?

Today: Banana muffins with raspberries and dark chocolate.

Alternate title: Organic raspberries were on sale… and I had a bunch of bananas on their way out. So I made muffins.  

These are a bit more dessert than breakfast, which means… they’re delicious at breakfast.

Banana muffins with raspberries and dark chocolate

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used an all-purpose gluten free mix)
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. miniature dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and either grease or line your muffin pan.
  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl (I used a potato masher… worked like a dream).
  3. Add melted butter and sugar.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  5. Gently fold in raspberries and dark chocolate chips.
  6. Fill each muffin-cup-thing 3/4 of the way.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes (begin checking at the 15 minute mark and remove from oven when muffin tops have slightly browned).

You can easily replace the raspberries with blueberries, and omit the chocolate… you know, if you’re a terrible person or whatever.*

*Just kidding.  You’re okay, I’m okay, we’re all okay.

Also On Tap for Today:

Salty or sweet?