Uncategorized

Meal Re-Makes

Hey guys so I know I’ve been MIA for the past few months on here. It was summer and I did a lot of traveling to see family, i went on a few vacations and i actually just moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend which has all been super exciting :) We are finally getting settled into our new place and our kitchen is now fully stocked with all of the best stuff that we both love! Something that we struggle with as a couple sometimes is what to eat. I am a pescatarian and have been since i was younger and he eats meat basically with every meal lol. Meat is something that i decided to give up because of the animal cruelty that goes on in the meat industry today and the mass production of it all which is so un-necesary seeing that americans and people in general throw out SO much food including meat that just is an animal’s life that goes to waste! This is a personal choice I’ve made to not eat it however i do buy and cook it still for family, friends and most of the time my boyfriend. Now that we are on our own in our apartment I’ve found that there is a lot of leftover meat and food in general now that theres only two of us and i don’t eat a lot of what he eats.

A very common meal for him is chicken and rice. I make about 3-4 chicken breasts in the crockpot and i shred it so he can mix it with his rice. After a few days of this he gets tired of the same old meal so I’ve been trying to come up with ideas on how to use this leftover food and re-purpose it into something he will want to eat again so it doesn’t go to waste! The shredded chicken i made at the beginning of the week has since then been made into chicken tacos, chicken and rice, a buffalo chicken crescent roll ring (which he raves about) and i have even put some of it in his eggs in the morning. The rice we usually make in pretty big quantities and whatever is leftover after a few days we make into fried rice and add shrimp or veggies to make it into a meal. The same thing can honestly be done with any kind of meat like pulled pork, steak and even leftover lunch meat. All of these stuff can be added to casseroles, breakfast, tacos or other cool recipes that can be found all over the internet.

If you don’t eat meat you can repurpose veggies and other foods the same way! I cut a ton of veggies in the beginning of the week and just store them in a tupperware container. Throughout the week i add these veggies to my omelets and eggs, to rice or zoodles to add some more substance and i use them as a side with some fish for dinner. These saves me a ton of time with meal prep every day and i also don’t have to do as many dishes (which is always a plus in my book).

Not only does this re-purposing save us tons of money on food every week but it also saves time! We both are students and we both work so we have very little time during the school year to plan a new meal every night. Its way easier to throw some meat in a croc pot before work or class and repurpose it for the whole week and by doing this you don’t get sick of the same meal every single day.

Uncategorized

Stress Eating

Being a college student is stressful. Being a college senior and still not knowing what you want to do with your life is stressful. Stress is such a common occurance today yet it is still not fully understood. People release their stress in differnt ways. Some people go to the gym, some people read and some people eat. Mac and cheese and pizza is called “comfort food” for a reason. You can be the most health conscious person in the world but sometimes stress can just take over.

Stress eating is something I have always dealt with and over the years I have found some things that help me to deal with it. I love to cook even if I am not necessarily the one eating it. Sometimes just making unhealthy food is “theraputic” enough. I think a big problem with unhealthy food and food in general is the portion size. If you are up late working last minute on a paper for class or trying to finish an important presentation for work and you want a brownie you make a whole box of brownies. So the next day when your paper and presentation are completed and the stress is gone…the brownies are still there so you continue to eat them and it is a reoccuring cycle. I think the best solution to this is buying single serve pacakges. You can buy boxes of individually packaged brownies, cookies anything you crave when you’re stressed. This will keep you from eating a whole pan of brownies.

Eating an occasional dessert doesnt mean its the end of the world. But sometimes stress eating means you’re eating that occasional treat every day. The best way to deal with this is to find what works for you and stick with it because stress is something that can take your life over and if you let stress eating acompany that then you will soon be not only stressed out but also unhappy with yourself.

Breakfast, Vegetarian

Eating Healthy While on Vacation

Trying to eat healthy is a challenge in our fast paced and busy world. When you’re constantly living on the go, in your car and at work its hard to plan ahead and pack healthy food to keep you from wandering over to your nearest fast-food restaurant on your only hour long break for the day. As hard as it is to eat healthy on an everyday basis, its equally if not even more hard to eat healthy while you’re on vacation. This past weekend was Easter weekend (doubly whammy for me with vacation and a holiday at the same time) and my family came down to Florida where I live and my family, boyfriend and I drove a few hours to Anna Maria Island for around a week.

I think one of the most difficult parts about eating while on vacations is the fact that you want to eat out so often. Im lucky in this aspect because my whole family loves to cook so whenever we go on vacations we make sure our hotel or rental house has at least a small kitchen so we can cook our own food for the most part. The whole week we made our own food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then we ate out once on Saturday. This makes vacation eating so much easier because you can control your portions and what you eat.  Its important to try and squeeze in fruits and vegetables at least once during every meal even if its just an apple or a few carrots. While I did very well with eating healthy during most of my meals its also hard to cut back on the snacking. We had lots of chips and other quick snacks in our cottage and while i know it isn’t necessarily good to snack on those things, don’t completely cut yourself off from enjoying some foods you don’t usually eat. Its a vacation for a reason! Enjoy a few chips if you want to and then work even harder to burn them off the next morning! If you are actually eating out while you’re on vacation just make healthier choices! Get something from the “light” menu. Get your fish or chicken grilled instead of fried. Choose broccoli instead of french fries. Small decisions like that can be the difference of 200 calories or more on your plate.

Below are pictures of some of the foods that I made and ate while i was on my vacation this past week :)

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Vegetarian

Minestrone Chili

Today I had minestrone soup for the first time in a while and as soon as I finished my small cup I instantly wanted more so I went to the store to get some ingredients to make my own. I decided that instead of using shell pasta I was going to use orzo pasta. Orzo is a very small grained pasta almost fully resembling grains of rice. Originally I was making a soup, but the last thing I did while making it was add the orzo and it may or may not have come out of the box extremely fast….and thats how I got minestrone chili!

The first thing I did was take my pot and heat up some oil at the bottom. I then added my salt, pepper, garlic, dried oregano and basil, chopped onion and sliced zucchini for about 3-4 minutes by themselves just to cook them down a bit. I then added my beans, peas and diced tomatoes. Lastly I added the vegetable broth to de-glaze the pan. Then I added the orzo to the soup and let it cook in the broth for around 8 minutes.

Even though adding that much orzo was a mistake it came out amazing and turned out to be a more hearty meal rather then a light soup.

Recipe

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium chopped white onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of both dried oregano and basil
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of white beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of small sweet peas
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of orzo pasta (can add more or less depending on if you want soup or chili)
  • Parmesan cheese on top
Uncategorized

Meat Eater —-> Vegetarian —-> Pescetarian

Recently I was asked to write a post on my reasoning for being a vegetarian and how I transitioned, so here it is! Honestly a lot of people now-a-days are becoming vegetarians to have more of a plant-based diet. I don’t dislike meat, I’m just an animal lover, and ever since I was younger I told my parents I wasn’t going to eat meat. So one day a long time ago I made up my mind. It wasn’t really a transition period for me, it more was like a sudden stop. When I first stopped eating meat I stopped eating all of it. But being a vegetarian and getting the correct nutrients into your body that it needs was difficult for me. I was playing soccer, volleyball, running track, riding horses during the summer and taking all of my usual protein sources out of my diet definitely effected my body. My mom talked to me and told me it was a good idea for me to start eating seafood again, that way my body could get some of its needed protein from there and also a lot of awesome nutrients that fish and shellfish have. At the time I wasn’t fond of the idea but I have stuck with it ever since.

Even though I personally didn’t transition over a period of time, I know people who have and I think one of the best ways to start to transition is to cut red meat out of your diet. Some red meats are high in saturated fat and there are many speculations that the consumption of red meat is linked to heart disease and even certain cancers. Once you cut out red meat the rest should be easier for most people.

Since I don’t eat meat I take some vitamins to make up for the nutrients my body lacks because of that. I take a B-12 supplement and an iron supplement, both of which are prevalent in meat sources. If you lack certain vitamins such as iron your body can develop a deficiency such as anemia which can actually cause further health problems so its very important to give your body proper nutrition after you fully cut meat out of your diet. In addition to that its important to still give your body enough protein and other then seafood I get a lot of mine from beans, nuts and protein bars.

 

Breakfast, Vegetarian

Veggie Omelet With Fruit

When I have class or work in the morning my day can sometimes start off a little crazy. As easy as it is to just quickly grab a granola bar oran apple, it’s so important to eat more then just that.

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Calories, carbs and sugars keep you alert and awake and give your body energy. So for those mornings that you do just grab whatever you can as you run out the door (like this morning for me), make sure that you eat something else within an hour or two. I had class at 8am and 10am today and woke up around 7:30…which is usually when I leave my apartment. I grabbed a Brookfield granola bar and didn’t look back. After I got home from class around 11 I decided to make up for my missed breakfast with this omelet and fruit!

Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of chopped peppers (I used red, yellow and orange mini)
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheese
  • sliced strawberries
  • 1 small banana

This is a quick and simple omelet that took about 10 minutes to make after prep time and cook time. You can easily change the recipe based on what you like by adding more/less veggies or using egg whites.

Pescatarian

Easy, Cheap Stir-Fry

stir-fryThis past weekend, I had one of my best friends Katelyn come and visit from Arizona, where she goes to school. Tampa has a huge festival and parade called Gasparilla, and I had a ton of friends at my apartment before and after the event. Sunday night, after a long weekend, my friend and I decided to head over to a grocery store and pick up some ingredients to make homemade stir-fry. Stir-fry is one of those meals that is quick to make, even if it has a ton of ingredients added. We picked up some yellow peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, egg noodles (you could swap this for rice), shrimp and eggs. I got out my wok, added some coconut oil and garlic and then seared all of the vegetables into the mixture. Katelyn made this amazing sweet and salty sauce just by mixing soy sauce with brown sugar.

stir-fry2Once the vegetables were cooked, I pushed them to one side of the wok and cracked three eggs on the empty side. After my eggs were fried, I added the cooked shrimp and pasta followed by the flavorful sauce. I let everything get evenly heated and coated by the sauce, stirring it occasionally.

After everything we bought, the ingredients cost us under $20, and it made enough to feed at least four people (we had lots of leftovers)! I found my wok at Walmart a few months ago for just a little over $4! It isn’t necessary to use a wok when you cook stir-fry, but it definitely is worth the money — it makes it easier to stir, and it helps cook everything evenly.

Vegetarian

Veggie Pasta Salad

pasta_salad_ingredientsIf you go to any grocery store or specialty food store, they usually have an array of pre-made foods for anyone to pick up and grab on the go. Among those pre-made foods is usually at least one type of pasta salad. While they may look good and taste even better, many of these include heavy dressings, mayo, added calories and large amounts of fat. Instead of stopping by a store to get a packaged meal, I’ve found that it is easier, cheaper and healthier to make your own! This pasta salad that I made has asparagus, red peppers, sliced red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and some mozzarella balls. I used multiple fresh ingredients to add both color and flavor. I found that the more natural flavors you add through vegetables and cheeses, the less need there is for calorie loaded dressings.

pasta_saladThe first thing I did when I made my pasta salad was to cook the ravioli. I decided to use spinach and ricotta ravioli instead of regular pasta to get some extra flavor and add more substance to the meal. While the ravioli was cooking, I chopped the asparagus and peppers into bite sized pieces and sautéed them in a frying pan with coconut oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The extra coconut oil and spices made a sauce that I used as the dressing for my pasta salad. Once the ravioli was finished cooking, I added it, the tomatoes and the mozzarella into the sauté pan to combine it all and coat it with the sauce.

Not only was this meal quick and easy to make, but it also was healthy and satisfying.