A blog series by Lena: proud vegetarian, age 17, Geppetto intern
Whether you are a meat eater or not it is beneficial to vary your diet, since it is very common for people to get stuck in a routine. I included some recipes below that you can test out to see if you enjoy them! These recipes are wonderful because it is easy to change the ingredients within them to create new and exciting meals! The recipes are vegetarian, but they are not restricted to vegetarians.
1 cup strawberries
½ cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup ice
Blend ingredients until smooth. Enjoy as a tasty and healthy breakfast!
Quinoa Chickpea Lunch Salad
Ingredients (2 parts)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 ½ cups sliced fennel bulb (about 1 large)
1 ¾ cups (¼ -inch-thick) slices carrot (about ¾ pound)
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ cup white wine
1 cup organic vegetable broth
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 (14 ½ -ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
1. To prepare quinoa, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth and next 4 ingredients (through ¼ teaspoon salt); cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
2. To prepare chickpea mixture, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek and 4 garlic cloves to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil, fennel bulb, carrot, and fennel seeds; sauté 10 minutes or until vegetables are golden. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in 1 cup broth, 2 teaspoons thyme, and chickpeas; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, and spinach.
3. Place about 2/3 cup quinoa in each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 ½ cups chickpea mixture. Sprinkle each serving with ½ teaspoon thyme.
Spinach Lasagna Dinner
20 lasagna noodles
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups tomato pasta sauce
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook mushrooms, onions, and garlic in olive oil until onions are tender. Drain excess liquid and cool. Boil spinach for 5 minutes. Drain, then squeeze out excess liquid. Chop spinach. Combine ricotta cheese, Romano cheese, spinach, salt, oregano, basil, pepper, and egg in a bowl. Add cooled mushroom mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Lay 5 lasagna noodles in bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread one third of the cheese/spinach mixture over noodles. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese on top. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce over cheese. Repeat layering 2 times. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before serving.
Hopefully these recipes will give you some meal ideas if you want to try eating meatless a few days a week, or modify your normal diet. Or, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of making the lunch or dinner meals, we make great vegetarian dishes as well that you can order from our website! Good luck!