Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Wish: Take Care of Your Pets...

Ok, I'm sure you've figured out by now that I'm an animal lover.  After all, I give my dogs full props for my new dietary choices (although I'm pretty sure they DON'T understand WHY I would want to give up meat, for heaven's sake!).  What I have failed to do was mention my beautiful pain in the ass sweet tempered, vicious loving cat, Snickers.  She is making great strides and trying to support my new lifestyle.  I'm not sure, but I think she's given up the notion of beef, lamb and even fish for a new tasty treat:

When I scolded her for being so mean and a bully rambunctious, she just stared at me.  I know she understands...and means well.

And then she simply turned away, ignoring me completely.  While leaving some of her fur on my beautiful white bed.

What can I say?  I'm devoted to these animals.  Snickers has the most incredible, soft, thick fur that would make a great coat that is wonderful to cuddle with.  Did I mention she barks?  Yeah, and growls too - for no apparent reason.  The few times I've actually heard her purr, she quickly ran away - as if embarassed to be caught acting so cat-ish.  In my house, it's the cat who chases the dogs.

So why do I bring this up?  Yes, I do have a reason...  If you happen to be fond of animals, take the time to read whats in their food and do some research on the internet.  Dog/cat food tip:  there is NO food sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, etc. that is good for your dog.  None.  But you can get cheap food there.  Just do the research, you'll soon find yourself at Petco, Petsmart or your local feedstore.  The ONLY thing I feed my dogs and cat is "human-grade" food.  None of those weird animal parts (by-products), euthanized animals from the shelter, fillers (corn, wheat), or sugar.  And no, I'm not exaggerating.  My pets eat Blue Buffalo and Natural Balance.  It is a little more expensive, but they eat less of it, so it last longer and they are soooo much healthier.

So that is my wish for Valentine's Day:  pay attention to not only what YOU eat, but what your pets are eating too.  And watch out for those dog treats!  If it doesn't say "fit for human consumption" or something similar, why would you feed it to your dog or cat?  Ewwww...  Now you've received the benefit of all my hours obsessively researching pet food, in short form.  Use the knowledge well.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cape Verde meets Ireland - Two Islands Unite

Tonight was International Night. Totally by accident, of course - I don't usually plan that well. I've talked about the Cape Verdean rice dish - Jagacita - in a previous post and once again, managed to make a splendid replication. I'm so proud... My daughters are 1/4 Cape Verdean from their father so I feel I owe it to them to just enrich their little complaining, teenage lives with some culture. Whether they like it or not. And just to round things out, I made some steamed cabbage to represent a 'wee bit o' the Irish' from their mom. The Irish are a simple folk: boil some water, throw in cabbage, put a lid on it til soft. Period. Pour me another pint, mate!

The Cape Verdeans, on the other hand, are a tad more complex. Peel, chop. Peel, chop - said the onion and garlic. Sizzle went the pan as the olive oil heated up - all together now - SAUTE! Lets do the carmelize dance and throw in some dark red paprika for color and flavor. Oops, did someone send Little Will out to pick some fresh Bay leaves? Go ahead, toss them too. Add some water, some lima beans and rice. Cover and relax for a bit. Or just go ahead and keep dancing. Dinner with a Cape Verdean is always a party!

So there you have it. And you're wondering if the cranky, demanding, volitile teenage girls willing ate this veritable 'island' feast? The surprising answer is YES. Of course they poked around trying to find the MEAT...and grumbling that they just can't get full from these crazy veggie dishes I insist on making. Interesting side note: they practically licked their plates clean and are in bed as I type this - sleepy from full tummies... Dontcha just love kids?

Now it's recipe time (the cabbage is pretty self explanatory so I won't insult you by explaining how to boil water or cut a cabbage in half!):

1 medium onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons Paprika
1/2 cup frozen lima beans
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3-4 Bay Leaves
1 1/2 cup Uncle Ben's Rice
3 cups hot water

Peel onion and garlic. Heat heavy pot on medium-high stove, add olive oil. Slice onion and chop garlic, add to hot oil and saute until soft. Add Paprika and Bay leaf, stir. Add hot water and lima beans. Bring to a boil, add rice and stir to prevent sticking. Cover with lid and turn heat down to low. Simmer 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed. Enjoy! (don't forget to remove Bay leaves before eating!)

Note: I use the same pot for everything and almost always double the recipe - this is a favorite dish in my house. The leftovers are wonderful! And while I've used other rice, this dish always turns out PERFECT for me when I use Uncle Ben's Rice. I don't plan to risk my rep with this recipe! Also, don't skimp on the Paprika - that and Bay leaf really make this dish. Many Cape Verdeans will use other beans (kidney, pinto, etc.) so feel free to experiment if you have a preference. There are many recipes available online for Jag, but they are essentially the same. Every family is just a touch different.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ok, have you ever wondered how people eat those Boca Burgers? I mean, they look kind of disgusting - right? Lol - I discovered how just yesterday. I was looking for more variety and a good source of protein while grocery shopping yesterday and found myself looking at that section of the frozen food (you know, the soy replacement - "pretend" food). I decided, what the heck! I'll give it a shot, and just for good measure I also bought some portobella mushroom veggie burgers (by Garden Burger). Well, surprise surprise... I do believe I'm a convert!

I made the most fabulous late lunch/early dinner: a cheddar/avocado Boca burger with grilled onions! It was very, very good! And extremely filling. Apparently I can no longer make fun of "those people" who eat Boca, et al. Darn.

P.S. In case you didn't notice, I've added some revelations to my Easy Tips: Subway and Panda Express menu options that are actually quite good! I've noticed that since I stopped eating meat, I have become more sensitive to the flavors of vegetables and what I may have thought of as bland before is now very flavorful and tasty! What really had me laughing was my newly revised opinion of a veggie burrito: previously, I thought ewww...why bother - it's so bland! After having one a few days ago, I'm now thinking what did I ever see in that meat anyway? Lol, anyway the good news all around is that generally speaking, it is cheaper to order menu items sans meat! Woo-hoo! More money to spend on my bedroom...

Which reminds me, I'm thinking of changing my lamps to white box shades and hanging my mosquito net canopy back up. Perhaps even recovering the long bench at the foot of my bed - and maybe even making my own padded headboard with a piece of plywood, batting/quilting stuffing, heavy cream and plum fabric (to match my bench), a staple gun and some fabric covered buttons. Mrs. Chic does inspire me so.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shame on me!

Oh the shame!!... Did I eat meat? No, silly - I've been a bad blogger! It's been, what, almost 2 weeks? But I'm back, with lots to tell. First, I've been swamped with school - and school comes first (just in case my kids are reading this, lol). Then one of my daughters had to be admitted to the hospital for a severe asthma attack & pnemonia (very scary - 4 days of freaky machines, enough IV's on her arms to look like a Christmas tree, and a fortune in oxygen!). At the same time, we had a loss in our family (kids grandfather), and a birthday (I now have a 13, 15 [birthday girl] and 16 year old in the house - the 18 year old has her own place). I had my first real 'test' - and yeah, got a 97/100!
Everything is back to normal now (what the heck is normal?). I'm sitting on my wonderful, newly redone bed sneaking looks at my math I need to work on while I type this. About my bed - it was very autumn-y, with rust/gold/sage/forest/bronze colors. My window sheers were topped with a sage scarf. A few days ago, it was all just too much for me. So dark, and dreary. I'm tired of the rain, gloomy days, and cold weather. So, I decided to make spring come early (at least in my room!). I found a gorgeous pure white dobby-striped comforter, 500 thread count ($35), perfectly matching white bedskirt ($12), luscious plum square pillows ($10 ea.), classy white ornately embroidered king pillow cases, 700 thread count ($12), a pastel turquoise satin throw pillow ($7), new plum scarf to top my white window sheers ($20) and a couple of plum colored queen size solid colored pillows ($4 each). I already has some new sheets I had bought a few months ago but never took out - that turned out to be my inspiration. Once on my bed, I realized the color was Tiffany blue - that beautiful pastel turquoise! All together, my impromptu remodel was $114! Did I mention that I have a king size bed? This is the cheapest re-make I've ever done! Where did I go? Well, I started out at Ross - found a few pillows, the gorgeous embroidered white pillow cases and my beautiful white comforter. From there I went to Anna's Linens and found the rest of my pillows as well as my bed skirt - all marked down I might add... I'm not the sort of person who likes cheap bedding, so suffice it to say that my new look is not only crisp, clean and fresh - but also very soft, well made and classy. All for $114!

I do all my homework now on my bed - it's like sitting on a cloud, surrounded by spring! And my dogs are not allowed on my bed anymore, lol. Now I just have to finish cleaning my room!!

Ok, now that I've purged and shown off, time to talk veggie. I have to admit, this is a very easy lifestyle for me to follow. I'm not sure exactly why, but I think it has something to do with all the research I've done on meat processing plants, dog food, etc. I haven't been terribly creative lately in the kitchen, but here are a few things I threw together:

Quick breakfast for everyone: tortillas (the homemade ones from LaTortilla Factory) with scrambles eggs, cheese, grape tomato and a little hot sauce.
Lunch - french bread pizza: french bread (fresh), sun-dried tomato pesto sauce, artichoke heart brushetta, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese.
Mini-pizza's: homemade tortillas, sun-dried tomato pesto sauce, portobello mushroom, zucchini, pizza cheese. This was very good!
I realize there is a theme to the above dishes, but honestly, those are the only ones I have pictures of, lol. Some other things I've made are brown rice with veggies on the side, steamed cabbage with rice, fruit salad with marshmallows and cool whip, and just a few days ago I made some Jagacita (Cape Verdean rice dish) for my daughter who was giving a speech at school about Cape Verde. This is one of my favorites - and it turned out incredible! Basically, you saute sliced onion and garlic in olive oil with paprika, add to boiling water, add rice (I usually use Uncle Ben's), add a few bay leaves (very important) and some frozen baby lima beans (1/2 to 1 cup - depending on how much rice you are cooking). Everyone in my house loves this dish and there is never left-overs! My ex-mother-in-law is Cape Verdean so my recipe comes from the source, lol.
Well, that about wraps it up for today. It's grocery day, so we'll see what's on the menu in the coming week!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quick and Easy Lifesaver

Ugh...the weather was awful today. LOTS of rain and HIGH wind. Broken umbrellas everywhere. Down power lines. The power went out while I was doing my homework this morning before class... It was so dismal outside that I had to light candles everywhere just so I could get ready, my house was so dark! Any-who...after dashing to the groomers to pick up my dogs (aren't they cute?!):

I raced to the school campus, driving through mini-ponds, whipping rain and lots of tree debris just so I could circle the huge parking lot like a vulture for 20-30 minutes looking for a parking spot (the beginning of the semester is the worst!). By the time I had parked and hiked the 35 miles or so from the parking lot to my building, I was soaking wet. And I was using a large umbrella - to no avail since the wind just whipped the rain up and under! For the next 3+ hours, I sat shivering and drip drying. Do you know how uncomfortable very wet denim is?? Finally dry and warm, I headed back out to my much for dry and warm! If it sounds like I'm complaining, I am. You can't imagine how happy I was to be back behind the wheel.

As I began to feel human again, I realized how hungry I was. Have you ever had one of those days? So busy that you only think about food once the day is over? I just hate that! And to make it worse, I was headed to Safeway by my daughter's request. I'm not going to say how much I bought because it's just silly and embarrassing...however, I did buy a cheese pizza from the deli - and discovered the quickest, easiest way to eat veggie and relatively healthy:

Go home, kick your shoes off (that's an important step). Turn the oven on to 400 degrees, start pulling out whatever you have (mushrooms, peppers, onion, olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, pineapple chunks, baby spinach, garlic, whatever..). Chop it up and toss on pizza. Sprinkle a little cheese on top (I keep bags of shredded italian blend, cheddar and mozzarella handy). Throw it in the oven, grab something to drink, and relax for 15 minutes. This is a good time to drink a big glass of water.

Ding-ding! Dinner's ready. And there's leftover for tomorrow. Woo hoo!

Another super-easy and satisfying lunch/dinner: get one of the veggie soups from the Safeway deli department (I bought Broccoli & Cheesy Cheddar) and a warm loaf of French bread. Don't forget the Pellegrino's (or for an occasional treat, try Blood Orange Italian soda - mostly carbonated water w/juice - but there is some sugar so remember this is a treat only!). Soup and fresh baked bread are great on those cold, rainy days!

Here's another picture of my sweetheart, Irish. She's just so pretty (smile). I would show you my finished pizza, but alas, I got distracted on my computer (homework - I swear!) that it cooked a little too long. Still edible, but more than a little "golden brown", lol. Note to self: set a timer when cooking pizza!!

P.S. I got into all my classes - no more waitlist!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Veggie on the Run...

Well, today was my first school day of the 2010 spring semester. My first day at school as a veggie - how exciting. This semester I've opted for shorter class times and multiple class days - which means I'm at school pretty much all day. Honestly, I was a tiny bit nervous this morning because I knew my 2nd class was in waitlist status and I really needed it this semester. Which means: I didn't eat breakfast. Such a bad idea! I grabbed a banana on the way out the door, but didn't eat it until around 12:30. However, I did breeze through the cafeteria and scoop up a slice of veggie pizza. Not exactly health food, but definitely veggie.

OMG - I just realized that I had root beer with my pizza! Until this very moment, I wasn't even aware I had broken one of my rules!! Talk about subliminal programming...I'm really gonna have to pay attention to that from now on!

Oh well, lesson learned! In case you aren't aware, Sacramento is in the middle of a crazy rainstorm right now with high winds - kind of makes you forget about food! When I finally got home, I made a quick peanut butter sandwich using some small, very brown and nutty, super-healthy bread. It made me feel like one of those health food nuts in the movies, lol. No more soda - Pellegrino's instead :) Also, threw together a quick cole slaw salad to rest in the fridge - maybe I'll toss the butternut squash in the oven tonight and have the warm butternut and cold cole slaw. Hmmm...

Honestly, I was a little worried about eating during school (and on the run in general), but after today I'm reassured. Although I did walk past a food stand making hamburgers and will admit to half-closing my eyes for a moment and turning my head toward the aroma. Fortunately, I quickly came to my senses, reminded myself exactly WHY I have chosen a veggie lifestyle (perhaps the topic of a future post), and sauntered on past without a care. many temptations!!

Now, I'm full, tired and really starting to think about that butternut...I've never cooked or eaten it before so I'm very curious - everyone says it's wonderful, including Mrs. Chic! Also thinking about quick snacks I can toss in my bag such as raw almonds (love 'em), baggie of granola, baggie of baby carrots, pretzels, apple, small container of yogurt, dried fruit, sugar peas - and I guess I could actually make a sandwich (PB&J, tomato, cheese & avocado), lol. Now that I think about it, I have a cupboard full of Atkins food (shakes and bars) from a few months ago when I thought I'd try that path to health. Too much meat for me - even then. However, the shakes and bars have a lot of great nutrition and are high in protein. So that may be a good use for them. The only downside is the ingredients include sucralose as a sweetener which I am trying to avoid. So perhaps I'll use up those dietary supplements over the next few weeks while getting my new veggie rythm down.

Woohoo! I'm so glad to be back in school! I'm a total dork - but I don't care!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Girls Night, Vol. I

As I glance over my newly created blog, I can feel the excitement fairly crackling off my laptop screen. Who, other than no-life having losers, get excited about going veggie? Apparently me. I feel like I've just discovered some secret - how silly is that? I was in Safeway the other day (I'll admit, it's my favorite grocery store) in the produce section and found a great little spinning recipe card holder - full of almost entirely veggie recipes. I walked away with 17 cards, lol. Much to my amazement, there is a whole world out there dedicated to veggie eaters! These recipes got me so excited, I was almost embarrassed. My kids were definitely embarrassed.

When I got home, I started reading through the list of ingredients and comparing to what I have in the fridge and cupboards. I was pleased to find over half of the standard ingredients I already had. Now, as stated before, I am a college student again - which of course means that I'm broke. Did I mention I also have an 18 year-old daughter who is now a sophomore in college? So I'm super-broke. And she now has her own apartment, which mean she comes by regularly for cash, food, laundry soap, etc. So...I'm actually super-super broke! How in the world can I afford to buy such things as Avocado Oil, Marsala Cooking wine, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, etc. etc.? Aha! In my part of the world, it's called Grocery Outlet (sometimes called Food Rainbow) where I can find a very large bottle of excellent extra virgin olive oil for $7.99. And jars of artichoke hearts for $1.49. Let's not forget the wildly popular 99 cent Store - a haven for us bargain gourmets!

I'll admit to being a little worried that becoming a veggie might mean boring, tasteless and mundane. To my great surprise and relief, the opposite has happened. In the last few weeks, I've made some of the most interesting, flavorful food of my entire life. And I re-discovered brown rice (I tried some years ago and decided YUCK) which has miraculously become quite tasty! Go figure.

A few days ago I had one of my regular "girl nights" with my best-friend Mrs. Chic (chiclittlehouse.blogspot). These evening usually involve great food -always something new and different - lots of girl talk, and a movie or two. I was hosting and had just discovered the Safeway recipe cards; you can guess what my meal plan was. Mrs. Chic was in total veggie agreement so I scampered to the store for some vital ingredients. Our menu read as follows:

Cucumber Salad
Cold Greek pasta salad
Cucumber-Feta dip
sliced french baguette rounds

Grilled Squash and Ravioli
Fried tomatoes

Spiced Asian Pear Salad

As I was driving home, it suddenly occurred to me, "I feel like Julie in the recent movie Julie/Julia!" I couldn't wait to get home and start preparing. Understand, I rarely cook anymore (I CAN cook, I simply don't) so this was a bit unusual for me! I called Mrs. Chic and she must have caught my excitement because she said she was on her way over - to help! Now the way this usually works is the person hosting does the cooking and the guest might bring a side-dish, beverage, etc. We were about to break the 'girl-night' rule.

A few hours later, Mrs. Chic and I were well sated, toasting each other with gorgeous cobalt glasses full of Perrier and feeling terribly proud of ourselves. With the exception of the Pear Salad, everything was great. The pears weren't ripe (neither of us are pear eaters, sooo NOT our fault, lol). Of course that didn't matter because we were too full anyway! I had a lot of leftovers which quickly disappeared the next day.

As I sit here writing this, I'm thinking ahead to our next girls night...which may involve some butternut squash (haven't had it yet), risotto, stuffed portobello mushrooms, ???


Grilled Squash and Ravioli (serve warm)

YUMMY! That's all I can say about this recipe. So good, in fact, that my daughters were in the kitchen sneaking bites while checking to make sure I couldn't see them - since they are huge believers in meat and staging an on-going protest! When I first read this recipe, I thought "yeah sure, I'll just preheat my grill - since I have a gourmet kitchen, just call me Julia...". Then, I remembered I DID have a grill - a Foreman grill! Guess what? It works perfectly - for everything: squash, mushrooms, garlic - you name it! So without further ado, lets cook!
  • 1 lb. frozen cheese ravioli (I used fresh from the deli)
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed yellow summer squash
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing (I used light Sicilian Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette)
  • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced FRESH basil
  • shredded Parmesan cheese - optional

1. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

2. Place large sections of squash on a Foreman Grill, along with whole mushrooms and garlic cloves until tender (4-7 minutes). Remove and cut accordingly.

3. In a large bowl, combine grilled veggies, cooked ravioli, fresh basil and Italian dressing. Toss to coat and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serves 4.

Roasted/grilled garlic, fresh basil and good ravioli are the most important ingredients here. The original recipe said to grill the veggies in aluminium foil with the dressing for 20-30 minutes. If you, like me, do not have either the patience or the time for this - a Foreman Grill is your answer. Also, make sure you use a good tomato - very flavorful and ripe (if it doesn't smell like a tomato - it's not a good one!). Any Italian-type dressing will work. My recipe was on the sweet side because of the basil and balsamic vinaigrette I chose to use. Be creative. Also, I served this with Fried Tomatoes - a first for me that left me wanting to watch the movie, lol. I'll post that recipe another time, after I have made it again. Unfortunately, it was only mediorce since the tomato was somewhat bland. I can't emphasis enough the importance of fresh, ripe "smelly" tomatoes. As far as the ravioli, my personal preference is fresh ravioli - the frozen seems so "cold" lol. Also, next time I'm thinking of using a spinach-cheese blend.

Fast, tasty and easy...what more could anyone ask for?

Greek Pasta Salad (cold)

Zucchini is the featured veggie in this recipe. There are many ways to adjust this, which is why I really like it - and it can be made the day before. I personally don't like garbanzo beans (at least I didn't) but figured I should try a recipe exactly the way it reads before adding my own flavor. Turns out, garbanzo beans aren't so bad!

3 oz. small farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 can (15 oz., drained) garbanzo beans
1 can (8-14 oz., drained) artichoke hearts, quartered
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese (or gorgonzola)

1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water. Drain again. In large bowl combine pasta, beans, artichoke hearts, zucchini and onion. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, oil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta. Serves 8.

This recipe seems best if chilled for at least one hour (or overnight). Also, try cutting the onion in half and cutting very thin slices instead of chopped pieces. I found the onion a bit overwhelming so next time I will use green onion or less red onion. The feta and artichoke hearts really make this a winner - and it's very satisfying! Great served with sliced baguette rounds. I may change the beans next time to kidney, for both flavor and color. Also playing with the idea of adding some sun-dried tomatoes...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Along Came a Veggie...

So, what would you do if you woke up one fine December, post-Christmas morning and decided that meat just no longer fit into your preferred lifestyle? yourself a vegetarian and start a blog, lol!

When I say this was a random, cold turkey decision, I really mean it. I don't wear Birkenstocks, don't drive a Subaru, I do shave my underarms on a regular basis, absolutely LOVE chocolate and have no plan to give it up, HATE Clif Nutrition Bars (otherwise known as processed cardboard), and wouldn't be caught dead with any Kashi product in my cabinet!

So how, you ask, did I arrive at this decision to "go veggie"? Well, all I can say is my dogs made me do it. This is my Lhasa Apso 'Irish' (on right) and her companion Shih Tzu 'Riley' (on left). These guys are spoiled and their health is one of my top priorities - which resulted in my doing some in-depth research into dog food. Suffice it to say I was completely GROSSED OUT by what I learned and suddenly found myself repulsed by meat. Thats it. No great story, no horrible experience, no convenient epiphany regarding my health, and not yet another New Year's resolution to start "eating right".

This is now my third week of being a veggie. Strangely enough, I don't have the slightest craving for meat of any kind! I had originally thought that I would give up all meats except seafood, but after eating a teaspoon of tuna fish on a baguette slice today - I'm reconsidering. I found I didn't like eating meat.

You may be wondering what 'going veggie' means to me. Well, I'm not following any pre-determined philosophy or strict 'official' rules. These are my personal veggie guidelines:

  • NO MEAT, including broth and boullion
  • lots of fresh, whole fruit and vegetables
  • whole grain bread (with the exception of french bread baguettes!)
  • no soda or sugar sweetened beverages (100% juice only)
  • as much whole foods as possible
  • limited processed food
  • eggs and cheese in moderation
  • no refined sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • real butter and olive oil - no more margarine
  • absolutely NO fast food! (not a new decision)
  • variety, variety, variety :)

I have to confess, since changing my personal eating habits, I've had the most varied, interesting and tasty meals ever. It's important to mention here that I'm a single mom with 3 teenage girls living in the house. Fortunately, one of them is also an aspiring veggie and is totally on board with me. However, the other two girls...well this quote says it best, "Mom! Where is the MEAT! Just cuz you're eating healthy doesn't mean we have to!!"... You can see my dilema. To cook, or not to cook...that is the question. Oh yeah, and I'm not exactly Mrs. Cleaver - cooking a lovely meal for my darling daughters each evening while dusting, singing and generally catering to their every need. I'm more of a "make it yourself, you know how to cook!" kind of mom these days (I'm a full time college student again) and sit down meals tend to be limited to holidays and my occasional generous moods. My schedule is, putting it mildly, a little hectic and meals are generally on-the-run.

Stay tuned for interesting facts (did you know Baba Ghanoush is made from eggplant?), great recipies, awful recipes to NEVER try, tips to making life easier, and updates on how this change affects my life.