Along the Bu

Deciphering food code, pressure and feeding your family

From the time I found out I was pregnant, the stress of having to worry about feeding another child began. Being so sick and not eating like I usually do brings on another set of worries. Everything I put in my mouth is transferred to my baby, and they miss out on all the healthy stuff I can’t handle eating right now too. This has been tough on me, going from such a healthy veggie filled diet, to basically living on fruit, bread and beans. I know I just need to do what I have to to get through this time, but it’s still stressful.

My only saving grace is that when it comes to feeding my non womb living family, I am pretty relaxed. Today’s world is filled with more information than we can process, with new “bad” things in our food coming out each day. So how do I stay relaxed in this crazy information overloaded world? I READ INGREDIENTS. Sure, you can spend time learning all the lingo and keeping up with the latest and greatest in the food industry…but I prefer to spend that time with my family. So I read my labels, make sure I know what each ingredient is, stick to fresh, organic and local ingredients when possible, and let the rest go. I can live with that and my life is pretty stress free when it comes to food.

Click here for more including two great recipes…

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Veggies Don't Bite Baby

Veggies Don’t Bite Is Growing! Literally!

The past few weeks have been pretty quiet on the blog, as compared to my usual activity. I have been feeling terrible about not being able to keep up, but I have a very good reason, our family is growing! We are expecting our third child in March 2015! As exciting as it is, I have been having a rough time…

Click here to read more about my journey…

Linguine with corn, tomatoes, zucchini, kale and rosemary

Linguine with Summer Vegetables

With summer being my favorite season, but it being hot here in sunny San Diego, I try to create dishes that are quick and easy but also filled with the delicious vegetables that the season brings. This recipe was a result of a fridge full of these fresh veggies and no plan in mind. I pretty much threw it all together, added some herbs, and hoped that it would work. The good news is that I turned out great! However, now I wanted more of these flavors and continue to work at more summer creations.

Lucky for me, I found a few recipe contests out there looking for just that. I decided to submit this recipe into one of them (wish me luck!) and continue to work hard coming up with more summer flavors for your dinner table! Maybe one of them will give me some recognition in the food contest world!

Speaking of contests, I was a winner in the Round Pond contest a few weeks back, and my prize was an awesome set of infused olive oils. So I ended up using one of them in this recipe, and it was the perfect addition! It can of course be omitted if you are avoiding oil, but for those that don’t mind a little bit in their food, I highly recommend it. Hope you enjoy!

Linguine with corn, tomatoes, zucchini, kale and rosemary with Round Pond olive oil

 

Linguine with corn, tomatoes, zucchini, kale and rosemary

Click here for full recipe…

Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza

I love it when you throw together a random dinner because you have nothing planned and it turns out awesome. This recipe was exactly that! I had no idea what to serve for dinner and was feeling lazy, so I looked in my refrigerator and freezer to find some leftover Spicy “Refried” Lentil Dip, tortillas, and a bunch of fresh veggies. Next thing we knew, we were eating a new favorite quick meal! We call it Mexican Pizza because of it’s crispy tortilla crust layered with creamy lentil filling and topped flavorful ingredients. It was tasty and hit the spot. The kids loved it too, especially building their own.

Mexican Pizza

I love that you can make each person their own pizza, and customize it for their preferences! These are the kind of meals that make everyone happy, even the feisty 2 year old. You can add as many or as little toppings as you want, spice it up or make it mild. There is so much versatility in this recipe, you can’t go wrong! So gather your beans and fresh veggies and give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza

Click here for full recipe…

Vegetable summer rolls with carrots, cucumbers, shitake mushrooms, green onions, spinach, cilantro, kelp noodles and optional tofu

Vegetable Summer Rolls

With the warmth of summer enveloping us like a wool blanket, there are many days that the thought of turning on an oven makes me shudder. These are the days we turn to take out, picnic lunches and especially those creations I’ve made that scream fresh and cool…these summer rolls are exactly that.

Vegetable summer rolls with carrots, cucumbers, shitake mushrooms, green onions, spinach, cilantro, kelp noodles and optional tofu

Creating these were really fun because I had the help of my 3 year old son. After I had washed and chopped all the filling ingredients, he loved helping me put them together and watching me roll them up. Being able to create his own rolls, gave him some control over what he was eating, which is a big deal for toddlers. Let’s just say, he ate more than his fair share, win win for mom! Although the rice paper gets a little tricky to roll up, you get better with practice. Once I folded in the sides, my son was even able to help me roll it up. Having a variety of dipping sauces also makes this meal more exciting for everyone in the family because it gives choice and variety, and this keeps them coming back for more! Even a simple Tamari/Soy/Bragg Liquid Aminos dip would work if you are pinched for time. Whatever it takes, get some of these babies rolled up and enjoy the freedom from the oven and stove top for at least a day!

Vegetable summer rolls with carrots, cucumbers, shitake mushrooms, green onions, spinach, cilantro, kelp noodles and optional tofu

Vegetable summer rolls with carrots, cucumbers, shitake mushrooms, green onions, spinach, cilantro, kelp noodles and optional tofu

Click here for full recipe…

Vegan beanball sub with sautéed kale marinara sauce

Vegan Beanball Sub with Sautéed Kale Marinara

I’ve been wanting to put together this recipe for a while now, but I kept pushing it aside and dealing with all the other recipe ideas that spring into my head at all hours of the day. I swear when it comes to cooking, I am the anti to my normal type A. I jump from idea to idea, without any clear path in mind, driving myself crazy, but the need to try all these creations must be done or my brain won’t rest. The good news is that a lot of my test trials result in something delicious to share with all of you! It almost feels freeing to be able to ditch my normal organized personality and transform into the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show (Remember him? Loved him!).

So finally, here I am getting this amazing sandwich on the blog. This will rock the socks off meatless Mondays! My whole family devoured it, even the little one who we usually expect to throw his dinner on the floor and proclaim the normal nightly starvation diet. Hallelujah, a meal we all will eat! This is going to be making it’s rounds quite often around here.

Vegan beanball sub with sautéed kale marinara sauce

The greatest thing is that you can make all the beanballs and freeze for later use, it only calls for half in the recipe. You can also make the sauce and freeze that too, but to make it really easy you can simply use your favorite jarred red sauce. All you have to do the day of, is bake the bean balls (which can be done at any time) and sauté the kale. Easy! Another idea for a kid version, is to cut the beanballs in half and make a panini out of it. You’ve got to love an easy meal that even the little ones will eat! Serve this up with my Eggplant Fries and you’ve get a veggie filled awesome meal.

Vegan beanball sub with sautéed kale marinara sauce

Vegan beanball sub with sautéed kale marinara sauce

Click here for full recipe…

Oven baked eggplant fries

Oven Baked Eggplant Fries

I love it when I try a new veggie fry and not only do I love it, but my kids love it too. My oldest actually said “These new french fries are delicious!” Totally on his own, not when asked or even prompted. And the little one, that gives us the most trouble with food, literally almost devoured a whole eggplant of fries. These are definitely going on the “must make often” list. I used a combo of my recipes for Asparagus Fries and Oven Fries and needed to tweak a few things, so I am rewriting it for you all to follow. Happy eating!

Oven baked eggplant fries

Click here for full recipe…

Raw strawberry margarita cheesecake cups

Raw Strawberry Margarita Cheesecake Cups

Strawberries signal the start of summer, and being a Southern California girl, strawberry margaritas are the next step! There’s nothing better that a cool refreshing fresh strawberry margarita, I have enjoyed both the virgin and the adult variety, and either way they relax me to the core. So it was natural for me to turn one of my favorite drinks into a family friendly creamy vegan dessert.

Raw strawberry margarita cheesecake cups

I wanted this sweet treat to be delicious but also healthy, a no guilt eat with your bikini on type of dessert. So I focused on using fresh strawberries and limes and sweetened with the natural goodness of dates. The flavors complement each other beautifully and the creaminess of the cashews is the perfect touch. The crust adds an extra layer with a touch of salt to offset the sweetness of the filling, but again uses purely dates to achieve that rich nutty taste. My kids loved indulging and I had no problem saying yes to seconds! All natural sweeteners, fresh in season fruit and a taste you’ll love. It’s a no fail dessert. Time for that summertime party you always wanted to throw!

Raw strawberry margarita cheesecake cups

Click here for full recipe…

Philly Portobello cheese steak sandwich

Philly Portobello Steak Sandwich

Meatless Mondays just went to a whole new level. I have seen a ton of drool worthy vegan “cheesesteaks” out there, and I wanted to create one that was simple and easy to make, something we could turn to on those crazy nights where no one wants to put a lot of effort into dinner but a healthy meal is still necessary. This pretty much hit the nail on the head. I left out the “cheese” part of the dish since I really haven’t found a vegan cheese type sauce that I love, however I did include the option of making the Alfredo sauce I created as a creamy addition to the sandwich. It gives it a creamy feel, which you will love.

I made this meal many times before I posted it here. Mostly because I wanted to see if there was a difference between throwing all the ingredients in a pan, cooking and serving or taking the time to sauté each veggie separately to achieve the perfect cooking temperature for the individual ingredients. Well, from my trials, it worked just as great doing it the easy way! I actually even sliced everything the night before, threw it all in a bag, then when we were ready to eat I sautéed everything together and added all the other necessary add ins. It worked beautifully and everyone loved it. I even include a spicy option, a few of my favorite cherry bomb peppers, for those of you spice fans like me. They are really tasty and although hot, there is still some great flavor. Hope you enjoy and use this on those busy nights!

Philly Portobello cheese steak sandwich

 

Philly Portobello cheese steak sandwich

Click here for full recipe…

Chipotle sofritas veggie burrito

“Bite” of the Month- Chipotle and an Amazing Giveaway!

Chipotle has been loved by my husband since it first appeared in our neighborhood in Southern California. Me, not so much. For some reason, I didn’t quite get his love for this new “fast” food joint. I rarely ate fast food, not that this was your typical fast food restaurant, but the options were limited in their menu and that deterred me. Then one day, they started serving brown rice, so I gave them another chance. Better, still not my first pick for those “need to eat quick” days, but they were on my list and I would now go without a huge fuss. Then along came Sofritas…and this is when Chipotle and I reconciled our differences and started our courtship.

I love spicy, and spicy Sofritas are, but they are definitely still very flavorful. For me and my love of all things hot, they are perfect, but it may be a nice option to have a less spicy version for those who are not spice fans. Their veggie burrito however, is another great option and that is not hot at all, unless of course you add hot sauce like I do! The only thing Chipotle is missing before I can declare them a true love affair, is a whole grain tortilla. Although we do gluten free as much as we can, when it comes to tortillas we opt for whole grain or sprouted wheat because the taste is much better than all the gluten free burrito sized tortillas out there. Overall, I give Chipotle a two thumbs up…but get that healthy tortilla and I’ll be waving my thumbs way up high!

Click here for the details for an amazing give away…

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