Saturday, May 25, 2013

Baller Meatless Meatballs

Spaghetti is one of those comfort foods, like chili, that can be made vegan and most meat lovers won't even realize they're missing the meat. It's also pretty easy to make from scratch.  I usually just make the marinara with tomatoes, garlic, onions, red peppers, mushrooms, oregano, basil and red chili pepper flakes, but tonight I wanted to kick it up a notch and make it super hearty. 
Spaghetti marinara with Gardein meatless meatballs, parsley and faux parmesan
What's heartier than meatballs? I've tried a couple veggie meatballs and can say without a doubt that Gardein's meatless meatballs are the best. Gardein's meatballs have a great fennel flavor that reminds you of an Italian grandma's handmade with love meat-ah-ballls. The texture, when sauteed before adding to the sauce, has a great juicy, slight crumble with a browned crisp crust that rises above and beyond the usually wheat-y or rubbery consistence faux meats can have.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

To Meat or Not Meat?

Recently, my fiance celebrated his 2nd anniversary of eating only plant-based foods with a reflection on what it was that convinced him after decades of eating animals to stop. It got me thinking about the people I've encountered (and the struggle I've had personally) where this idea that to stop eating animals means to somehow give something up. The reality is in the last few years there has been a tremendous move to offering plant-based alternatives to animal products. For instance, Gardein's sizzling sezchuan beefless strips with some fresh veggies stir-fried in (pictured above) makes passing on eating a cow for some beef and broccoli much easier. 

My fiance has transitioned his diet in his move away from eating animals. He eats way more veggies and much healthier than he did. As a result, he's seeing major health benefits. I haven't transitioned my diet as much in the move away from eating animals. Instead of consuming pigs and cows to eat a grilled ham and cheese, I've switched to Lightlife's baked ham style slices and Daiya's provolone slices. This week, I got a slice of cheesecake that one would be hard-pressed to tell was 100% plant-based. On my cereal, it's just as easy to use one of the countless alternatives to milk from a cow.  That's just it, you have choices - lots of them - every day in what you choose to eat. 

I still slip up and choose foods that come from animals on occasion - often thinking it'll be more convenient or comforting.  The thing is I know better and more and more that knowledge with the experience of finding tasty plant-based food that works for what I like is helping me transition away from eating animals. It isn't hard if you go at your pace and are willing to try. 

Resources for exploring eating more plant-based foods: - resources, recipes, Twin Cities-based activities, and more. - searchable resource of restaurants that offer plant-based meals - blog list with lots of recipes, motivation and inspiration - magazine with lots of helpful tips, recipes, reviews.
Whole Foods Market - they've got a lot of 100% plant-based options on their shelves, but so do your everyday grocery stores and Target.
Trader Joe's - convenience and they mark 100% plant-based foods with a V(vegan) for ease in shopping.