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    15 Recipes to Make at Home Using Trader Joe’s Ingredients

    Trader Joe’s is the novelty grocery store we know and love. From the friendly workers donning their Hawaiian “uniforms,” the store’s awesome floral selection, and of course, all the different grocery items TJ’s has to offer, there is a lot to like about shopping at Trader Joe’s. One of my favorite parts is seeing all their new product releases. I’m also intrigued by what they’re going to launch next, but sometimes I’m not sure how I can incorporate their new products into my meals.How do I cook with harissa?
    What would pair well with coconut milk?
    Can I put the Impossible Burger on the grill?
    How do I make an acai bowl at home?
    See what I mean? If you’re anything like me and avoid buying new products because you’re not quite sure what to do with them once you get home, fear not! Below, I’ve rounded up 15 recipes using Trader Joe’s ingredients so you can grocery shop with confidence and add new meals to your weekly rotation.

    TJ’s Ingredient: Frozen charred corn

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    TJ’s Ingredient: Spicy Thai cashews

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    TJ’s Ingredient: Sweet Chili Thai Sauce

    Source: One Lovely Life

    TJ’s Ingredient: Coconut aminos

    Source: Food Heaven Made Easy

    TJ’s Ingredient: Everything But The Bagel Seasoning

    Source: 40 Aprons

    TJ’s Ingredient: Jackfruit

    Source: Love & Lemons

    TJ’s Ingredient: Frozen seafood mix

    Source: Budget Bytes

    TJ’s Ingredient: Coconut sugar

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    TJ’s Ingredient: Pimento cheese

    Source: The Kitchenista Diaries

    TJ’s Ingredient: Cruciferous cabbage mix

    Source: All The Healthy Things

    TJ’s Ingredient: Dark chocolate PB cups

    Source: Gimme Some Oven

    TJ’s Ingredient: Cauliflower gnocchi

    Source: A Saucy Kitchen

    TJ’s Ingredients: Beef bone broth

    Source: The Defined Dish

    TJ’s Ingredient: Vegan cream cheese

    Source: Minimalist Baker

    TJ’s Ingredient: Quinoa spaghetti

    Source: Foolproof Living More

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    The Trader Joe’s Staples I’ve Relied on During Quarantine

    I haven’t had Taco Bell in 46 days.
    I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Wow Beth, this is big!” and you’re right. I hate cooking. Absolutely despise it. But I’m also on a ~journey~ of sorts to learn how to cook things that make me feel fabulous (because my rotation of ramen and Taco Tuesday is getting a little stale), so I’ve had to do some digging to find things that were easy to make, didn’t require a million ingredients (read: a bunch of trips to the store during a pandemic), and weren’t filled with excess sodium and sugar.
    Like many of us, I turned to Trader Joe’s for my grocery shopping the majority of the pandemic thus far. It’s the safest grocery store in my area (carts are always sanitized, only a select number in the store at a time, etc.), and it feels like a treat and a hint of normalcy to make my weekly trip. Here are a few of the staples that I’ve relied on the last few months of cooking at home: 

    Pre-Cooked Chicken Breast
    I don’t have time to make grilled chicken every week, especially considering it’s one of the two proteins I ever eat (I am super picky, please don’t judge me). At the beginning of quarantine, I would talk myself out of having a salad or wrap for lunch because I didn’t meal prep enough chicken on Sundays. Now, I just buy this and keep it in a storage container for the week to eat from. I also love adding this into stir-frys, pasta dishes, and bowls to make my meals more filling.

    These came straight from my freezer because I could not wait to eat them! 

    Riced Cauliflower Stir-Fry
    I used to buy the chicken fried rice stir fry and the frozen cauliflower rice to mix together, and while I still love that, I’ve been purchasing this more often. For one, it takes up way less space in my tiny, tiny freezer, but I also love the flavor and never miss “real” rice. I feel good every time I eat this, and it is beyond easy to make. My current favorite meal is a bowl of this, some chicken breast, and a couple of Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons!

    Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons
    Like I said, these are a go-to for me with the Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry. I love to dip them in a little bit of TJ’s Coconut Aminos (a good alternative to soy sauce if you’re trying to lower your sodium intake!) as an easy dinner that keeps me full all night. 

    Banana Trek Mix
    If you’re a banana-hater, don’t be scared of these. When I first tried them, I was actually a little bummed because you can’t taste the banana in them at all. They’re seasoned really well and have the perfect crunch. Work-from-home has truly brought out the snacker in me; I feel like I’m hungry all day long, and it’s absolutely because my desk is ever-so-strategically placed right next to my kitchen. I’ve been keeping a bag of this by my desk, and a couple little bites every now and then keeps me from going back and forth to the kitchen all day long.

    Sugar Snap Peas
    These are one of my favorite snacks of all time. I’m a major chip eater (you’re about to see below), but I know if I keep too many in my apartment, I will eat them all in a mere sitting. I snag these every time I’m at TJ’s because they’re a mindful snack I can eat at my desk and feel good about. The crunch is perfect, and I love pairing them with hummus or my other favorite dip from TJ’s (again, see below). 

    Spicy Cheese Curls
    I would literally die for Flaming Hot Cheetos. I’m not kidding, my body absolutely punishes me every single time I eat them. I was always unsure about grabbing these from TJ’s, but they’re a new staple in my kitchen. They’re baked, not fried, so I can eat a quarter of the bag and feel full and satisfied without feeling gross afterward. Whenever I make sandwiches for lunch, you can bet I add a handful of these to my plate.

    Bamba Peanut Snacks
    Peanut butter is quite possibly my favorite food on this earth, but it took me a really long time to try these. I. AM. OBSESSED. Did you read that like I am screaming because I am. These are filled with protein, so I actually feel full when I snack on these and rarely have the urge to mindlessly eat the whole bag (note that I said rarely). I have a very minimal sweet tooth, so these suffice as the perfect treat at the end of the day for me.

    White Meat Chicken Salad
    My dad makes the best chicken salad ever, so while I was at home during the first part of quarantine, I had the luxury of his cooking at my fingertips. Then, I came back to Chicago, remembered how much I hate cooking, and went on a bit of a roll ordering take out, especially when it came to busy days and lunch time. I tried this chicken salad from Trader Joe’s and never looked back! My go-to lunch on a workday is a little bit of this on two slices of bread, a chip variety, and a giant glass of water. Am I a beacon of health or what?

    Chili Lime Chicken Burgers
    Cooking dinner during quarantine has been a challenge. OMG, I made it through yet another dreary day of doing the exact same thing? I deserve a treat! Keeping weeknights special without going to happy hours and seeing friends has really fallen on ordering Uber Eats or making the same pasta dish every night. I snagged these on a recent trip, and they give me all those feels that I’m eating something exciting and different, but they’re so good. I like to top mine with a little cheese and my favorite spicy ranch, and they’re delicious. 

    Butternut Squash Spirals 
    I’m doing just about anything to get some extra veggies in my diet, and this is my new favorite creation. I spread these out on a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and season with pepper, garlic powder, and a little crushed red pepper (I like it spicy), and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping half-way through. They get crispy and taste similar to sweet potato fries! I love pairing these with one of the Chili Lime Burgers or with my other new obsession … 

    Turkey Corn Dogs
    Do I have the palate of a 12 year old? Basically. My brother got my addicted to corn dogs a few months ago, and these are a slightly healthier version. I love these as a lunch or for those nights I just want to watch a nostalgic movie and feel like a kid. 

    Mini Chicken Tacos
    Y’all, I live in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s. Is it the healthiest thing I could eat? No, but it’s a step up from the other things I could make in my arsenal. These are really filling, and the entire package lasts me a few meals. I’ll pair them with some salsa to dip for a casual Taco Tuesday that requires seriously zero effort.

    Smoked Turkey Breast
    I get all of my lunch meat from Trader Joe’s because it’s delicious, organic, and doesn’t require me to awkwardly speak to the person working the deli because I never know what to ask for. (Once, I asked for 3 lbs of Havarti cheese not realizing that is a giant amount of cheese for just myself because I don’t necessarily remember measurements from math class.) I always either get the Smoked Turkey Breast or the regular Oven Roasted Turkey Breast. Regardless, they’re both delicious and so easy for sandwiches and wraps! 

    Cauliflower Jalapeno Dip
    This is a very new find for me, but I absolutely love it. It’s not super spicy, which is great for those who hate spice and just means I add extra jalapenos because I prefer my mouth to be on fire at all times. This dip is super creamy. I love it with my sugar snap peas or baby carrots, or with pita chips. I also just tried it in a wrap with chicken and veggies, and that was delicious. I will buy this for eternity. More

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    Carbs Aren’t the Enemy—These Healthy Recipes Prove It

    Can you eat a healthy diet and still eat carbs? Well, to be fair, part of that depends on your definition of “healthy,” but experts suggest that you should focus on the quality of what you’re eating, rather than trying to cut them out entirely, according to Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Carbs definitely have a place in my diet, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about trying to make good choices—at least, much of the time. If you, like me, don’t feel like cutting out carbs is right for you, but you still want to eat healthy, try one of these 22 recipes, which prove that healthy recipes with carbs are totally possible—and absolutely delicious.

    Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

    Source: Foodie Crush

    Source: Isabel Eats

    Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Platings and Pairings

    Source: My Food Story

    Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    Source: Isabel Eats

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Snixy Kitchen

    Source: Gimme Some Oven

    Source: My Food Story

    Source: Platings and Pairings

    Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea More

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    The Plant-Based Recipes You Need for Every Craving During Quarantine

    As a self-titled health nut and nutrition nerd, this may come as a surprise, but I’m a big fan of cravings. In my humble opinion, suppressing cravings is total BS. Not only are cravings your body’s way of communicating to you, but feeling guilt about cravings can lead to bingeing or an unhealthy relationship with food. My trick for getting the nutrients my body needs while still indulging in whatever I want? Finding plant-based alternatives.If staying at home for months on end has left you ordering pizza most nights of the week or going through chocolate chip cookies quicker than you go through a new Netflix series, not to worry. Whether you’re craving sweet, salty, heavy carbs, or all three, honor your body and most importantly, enjoy your life. Get in the kitchen and get creative with these plant-based alternatives that will nourish the body and satisfy taste buds.

    Source: Love and Lemons

    Source: The Movement Menu

    Source: Live Eat Learn

    Source: Love & Lemons

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

     

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    Source: Cotter Crunch

    Source: One Lovely Life

    Source: Feasting at Home

    Source: Cotter Crunch

    Source: Love and Lemons

    Source: Abra’s Kitchen

    Source: The Movement Menu

    Source: Well and Full

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Eating Bird Food

     

    Source: Love and Lemons

    Source: Isabel Eats

    Source: Drizzle & Dip

    Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Downshiftology

    Source: Love and Lemons

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Cotter Crunch

    Source: Live Eat Learn

    Source: One Lovely Life

    Source: Downshiftology

    Source: Cookin Canuck

    Source: The Movement Menu

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Love and Lemons

    Source: Lively Table

    Source: Top with Cinnamon More

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    I’m a Health Coach and These Are the 15 Items I Always Buy From Trader Joe’s

    Trader Joe’s is not just a grocery store. It’s our go-to for affordable wine (that will still impress guests), a favorite food sample destination (pre-pandemic, of course), America’s sweetheart of food stores, and my favorite place to score healthy products on a budget. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had my fair share of emergency Cookie Butter runs, but I became a health coach in part because of my passion for nourishing myself with plants that make my body feel its best, in a delicious and satisfying way (because food is meant to be enjoyed). Trader Joe’s is full of hidden treasures that are as delicious as they are nutritious. Here are the 15 items I always have stocked in my kitchen that make healthy eating a breeze:
    1. Kale Gnocchi

    I’m also a huge fan of the Sweet Potato Gnocchi and the Cauliflower Gnocchi (who isn’t?), but my personal preference is the kale variety (maybe that just shows how weird I am?). The TJ’s Kale Gnocchi has a simple ingredients list of potato starch, chickpea flour, sea salt, olive oil, and, of course, kale, making it the perfect way to sneak in some extra greens. I know there’s a lot of mixed reviews on TJ’s beloved plant-based gnocchis (you either love them or you hate them), but I’ve found that sautéing them in olive oil or ghee and then putting them in the oven for a few minutes help make them crispier.  

    2. Green Goddess Salad Dressing

    I’m not usually a big fan of bottled salad dressings, and much prefer to DIY with some olive oil and apple cider vinegar. However, sometimes we need a little change, and having an already-made delicious way to dress up greens for lunch can make all the difference in a stressful workday. Many salad dressings contain sneaky processed ingredients and added sugars, so I love this list of clean ingredients (avocado, fresh herbs, apple cider vinegar, garlic, etc.). Bonus: you can also use it as a dip or pasta sauce to sneak in the extra clean ingredients for little picky eaters (and no shame if “little picky eaters” means you, and not your kids).  

    3. Coconut Aminos Seasoning Sauce

    If you’re a soy sauce lover, your life is about to change. This healthier version is free of gluten and soy, meaning it’s the perfect (more natural) option for people with any gluten and soy sensitivities or allergies. It also has one-third the sodium content of traditional soy sauce, making it the perfect guilt-free topper for all your stir-fries and sushi rolls. On top of the health benefits, it’s cheaper than other coconut aminos sauces on the market, and also happens to be certified organic (what can’t Trader Joe’s do!?). Order it online here. 

    4. Chickpea and Red Lentil Risoni

    Is it just me, or is veggie-based rice all the rage these days? I love brown or wild rice as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s nice to pack in even more legumes for extra protein and nutrients. Of all the veggie or legume-based alternatives out there, this one is my personal preference. It’s one of the cheapest options, happens to be certified organic (many aren’t!), and is made of chickpea and red lentils instead of just one, so you’re getting in a wider variety of nutrients. Make as any rice or orzo replacement, and you’ll never want to go back. 

    5. Shaved Brussels Sprouts

    I always tell clients who don’t have the time or energy to cook to find ways to streamline the cooking process, like purchasing the prepared veggies at TJ’s. I particularly love the Shaved Brussels Sprouts because Brussels sprouts are particularly a pain to prepare. This packaged version is easy to toss into salads, stir-fries, sheet meals, etc. I’m also a fan of the Cruciferous Crunch collection, which is delicious in pasta or a creamy salad (see: the Green Goddess dressing above). 

    6. Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

    OK, it’s so popular it’s basic at this point, but this EBTB Seasoning is one of the can’t-live-without products I always have stocked in my kitchen. A bagel sandwich is one of my favorite foods, so I love making some sourdough toast with vegan cream cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and topping it all with the seasoning to satisfy my bagel craving. I also put the blend on popcorn, avocado toast, eggs, etc., for a flavor that I truly cannot get enough of (plus, I’m a sucker for a chic black-and-white label). Order it online here.

    7. Cauliflower Thins

    These genius cauliflower thins are one of the newer products, and I could not be more thankful for the powers that be (AKA whichever TJ’s employee had the idea to turn cauliflower into bread). Made of cauliflower (over 60 percent), eggs, parmesan cheese, and deactivated yeast, they’re a delicious alternative to bread, tortillas, etc., for anyone who’s gluten-free or trying to sneak in more veggies. Full disclosure: I sometimes eat them plain because they’re just that delicious. 

    8. Juice Shots

    Being the health nut I am, I’m a major sucker for a good juice shot. I like them for easily getting in some extra nutrients and good-for-you ingredients. The problem with juice shots? They’re hella expensive for literally one sip. Luckily, the shots at Trader Joe’s are the cheapest I’ve ever found, and are still certified organic (that’s huge for me, if you couldn’t tell). I’ll stock up on a few for when I feel a cold coming on and need an extra boost. Let’s be honest: they’re also a great hangover cure. 

    9. Frozen Wild Blueberries 

    Whenever I go to Trader Joe’s, I stock up on packs of these berries (like, there’s currently seven in my freezer). I eat blueberries every day because they’re so nutritious, and I swear they’re my #1 secret to glowy skin. Since they’re frozen, I can continue adding to smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods for months. Why do I love Trader Joe’s specifically? You guessed it: they’re cheaper than other certified-organic varieties.  

    10. Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil is a serious staple in my kitchen. I use it to cook, blend in my coffee, and slather all over my skin for hydration (don’t worry, I have a separate coconut oils for cooking and for beauty purposes). I love this one from Trader Joe’s specifically because it’s certified organic (I know, I’m predictable, right?) and cold-pressed (which means it might retain more nutrients than oils treated with heat). Another bonus tip: the Coconut Oil Spray is not one of my ride-or-die products like the Cold-Pressed Oil, but when you just want a spray, it’s way better than your average Pam. 

    11. Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta

    Yes, I’m a health coach, and nutrition is ~my life,~ but I also love food. Extra emphasis on love. It’s not that any food is “off-limits” (we’re not meant to eat from a place of deprivation!), but I know I can find more nutritious and plant-based options of the foods I crave. The perfect example: Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. I have a gluten sensitivity, so try to stay away from the white-flour version anyways, but we can all afford to opt for whole grains like quinoa and brown rice that are loaded with extra nutrients. 

    12. Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea 

    If you can’t already tell, the #1 theme here is organic. I love knowing that this tea is not only full of superfood ingredients, but TJ’s took the extra step of ensuring the superfood ingredients are organic too. I drink this tea when I’m getting sick (I swear it helps soothe any sore throat) or feeling bloated (the ginger and licorice can help soothe stomach discomfort or digestive issues). Order it online here. 

    13. Vegan Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto

    Pesto is one of my favorite sauces to DIY, but we can’t all be Martha Stewart 24/7. For the weeks that I have very little time to cook or prep my meals, I love this vegan-friendly version. Not only is this option dairy-free, but it’s also more plant-based than the traditional version by incorporating kale and cashews (no, you cannot taste the kale). Use the decadent sauce on top of bruschetta, with your favorite pasta, or as a dip for veggies. 

    14. Cauliflower Pizza Crust

    Perhaps one of the most beloved Trader Joe’s products of all time, the cauliflower pizza crust revolutionizes fast food (and drunk food) by replacing greasy crusts with nutrient-dense cauliflower and gluten-free cornflour. I always have a plain crust in my freezer for when I want to get creative (I make a mean Mexican pizza with smashed black beans, cheese, lettuce, and vegan ranch), but also keep one of the Cheese Cauliflower Pizza Crusts for the nights when I only have time to pop something in the oven. 

    15. Chocolate Hummus

    I know what you’re thinking: chocolate … hummus? Before you think I’ve officially lost it, hear me out. I don’t like to think of it as a hummus because the only similarity is that it’s made with chickpeas. However, it tastes much more like a delicious chocolate frosting than anything in the hummus family. With a base of cooked chickpeas and tahini (a sesame seed paste), it’s a genius way to sneak in some extra nutrients like fiber, protein, potassium, and iron.
    Just a warning, I do not eat gallons of this stuff, thinking I’m eating my veggies. It still contains some cane sugar, so use it as you would any other dessert, but knowing you’re giving your body an added dose of nutrients while satisfying your sweet tooth. I like to use it as frosting for baked goods or as a dip with apple slices when I’m craving something sweet. 

    What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s product? More

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    How Going Vegan Changed My Relationship With My Partner

    It was just another lazy weekend at home, as my partner and I decided to watch a few documentaries on Netflix, where we stumbled across The Gamechangers, and afterwards, immediately decided to cut out animal products altogether and go vegan. After a quick chat about our intentions for this new journey, we looked at each other for reassurance of our decision to go vegan for our health and the environment, not knowing whether this would bring us closer together or completely starve us. Whatever the outcome, we would be changing our lifestyles together. Going vegan was never in the plans for us. Before going vegan together, we ate what we wanted, which usually came along with some pretty unhealthy choices. With both of our families also being from the South, we were used to home cooked meals full of an obscene amount of butter, salt, meat, cheese, and starch. We were no strangers to turkey necks in a pot full of greens, big helpings of BBQ ribs, hot dogs and hamburgers at each cookout, and three-cheese baked macaroni and cheese. The benefits of veganism usually skate past or disproportionately don’t make it to the Black community due to the lack of access to healthier food options in many of our communities and the African-American diet overall, even with more and more African-Americans adopting a cleaner diet faster than many other demographics. My partner and I took our new journey day-by-day and started to recognize some of the benefits veganism had on our relationship, shifting the way we viewed food and each other. 

    We work out together more 
    Before, working out together was very sporadic for us. In between work schedules, making time for friends and family and scheduled events and outings, our workouts together would be few and far between.
    Transitioning from working out a day or two every week to multiple times a week wasn’t an easy transition. Holding each other accountable to make time to work out, even after a long shift at work, helped push us mentally. When one of us was tired, we tried to push through and compromise where we could. 
    Since making our collective health a priority and going vegan, working out together became another way we showed our commitment to our wellness—and each other. We both kept the same goal in mind: to be better from the inside out. That meant to make sure not just only one of us was active, but that we both stayed active and made it a point to fit working out into both of our schedules. 
    Instead of a chore, working out to complement our new vegan lifestyle consisted of fun activities like hiking, taking walks on our local trails, biking, and in-home workouts when our schedules got too hectic. In a way, going vegan gave us the push to be better to ourselves for ourselves, and each other. 

    Our sex life improved 
    One unexpected change we noticed instantly after going completely vegan was that our sex life improved in a way that gave us extra energy and stamina. When our eating habits changed to mostly plant-based foods, our libidos and sex drive followed, a welcomed change we both benefited from!
    Before committing to a plant-based diet, my partner and I ate what we could get our hands on between our busy schedules, which usually came in the form of a pre-packaged meal or from a fast food restaurant. Those meals usually consisted of heavy forms of proteins and carbs, which put us in the food coma, and thus, making time for sex would take the backburner. 
    As our meals got more plant-based, we noticed we felt lighter and full of more energy after a meal than sluggish and sedated, giving us that extra “boost” we needed in the bedroom. Having energy for sex now was a great improvement from where we were before, passing out after most meals and only sustaining ourselves enough for quick sessions in the bedroom. And since we made the change in our eating habits together, we both saw—and felt!—the difference. 

    Source: rawpixel

    We cook with and for each other 
    Changing up our eating habits to eat more plant-based came with a whole new way of looking at food and how and what we cooked on a daily basis, and since we were going vegan together, planning dinners, meal prepping, and date nights became a team sport. Whereas before when one of us would get the other some food on the way home, with a different type of diet, we became more mindful of what we ate, and cooking together became more frequent and fun. 
    We started to plan our meals together to make sure we both were eating well and staying full throughout the day. Cooking dinner together became even more fun, as we browsed through Pinterest, vegan cookbooks, and scoured the internet to find new ways to cook our favorite meals, and helped each other in the kitchen. Once we found our new favorite vegan recipes, my partner quickly went from my sous chef to the head chef, taking the reins in the kitchen and whipping up meals for the both of us. As we stayed committed to this new way of eating together, we stayed in the kitchen longer and cooked as a unit instead of making two separate meals that could accommodate both of our appetites. 

    We take more accountability for each other’s wellness 
    Before switching up our eating habits, caring for each other’s overall health wasn’t exactly second-nature. Besides the regular annual doctor’s appointment and daily multivitamins, our health wasn’t exactly top of mind. Going vegan helped us be more attentive to what goes in both our bodies, holding ourselves accountable for making changes to better our overall health. 
    It was no longer about whether I or he was eating well; we both took accountability for each other’s eating habits. We gave each other more grace and patience as well. When meal prepping wasn’t an option, we made an agreement to continue our vegan journey, even while away from each other. This included checking in on each other and giving each other permission to eat how we wanted to. There were some easier days being vegan and not-so easy days where we craved our favorite seafood restaurant, but we remembered why each other’s health was important and gave each other grace when necessary. 

    We now know that changing our eating habits by going vegan was the push we needed to help sustain a healthy relationship from the inside out. Changing up years of eating habits didn’t come naturally overnight, but we had each other as motivation, and as a result, our accountability to each other, how we made time for each other, and our love for food—and each other—grew.  More

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    7 Ways to Start Eating More Vegetables—Plus All the Recipe Inspo You Could Need

    If you’re anything like me, some days are a vegetable paradise—healthy and colorful meals all.day.long—while on others, there’s nary a vegetable in sight. So, basically, I’m always striving to fit more vegetables in where I can. And, luckily, it’s pretty easy to sneak extra vegetables into just about anything.Eating plenty of vegetables is super important when it comes to your overall health and well-being. From nutrient deficiencies to higher rates of chronic disease and beyond, focusing on getting enough vegetables in your diet is key. Here are just a few ways that you can up your vegetable intake—without changing things up too much or sacrificing flavor.

    1. Add extra to soups, sauces, and smoothies
    Soups and sauces probably aren’t too shocking in terms of where you can make sure to get your veggies in, but you can pack a serious punch in both of them. Soups, in particular, are such an easy place to add extra vegetables. There are probably already vegetables in your soup anyway—just add some more. Sauces, too, can be easy spots. Add spinach, kale, broccoli, or even beets to pesto, purée carrots or red bell peppers and add them to a pasta sauce, or make a creamy sauce a little healthier by including cauliflower—the possibilities are endless.
    Smoothies are one of my all-time favorite ways to “trick” myself into eating extra vegetables, though. Of course, adding greens to a smoothie is always a good way to go, but there are plenty of other vegetables that make great additions as well. Frozen cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, and pumpkin or butternut squash purée are all good options. You won’t even taste it.

    2. Stick them on a pizza
    What’s better than pizza for dinner, you ask? Not much in my book. I don’t guilt myself for eating plain old cheese, but I’ve found that adding herbs and vegetables can make it even better. Try kale, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, potato, peppers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, a pickled vegetable like giardiniera, carrots, broccoli, and more.

    3. Get creative with dessert
    Add beets to your brownies, make carrot, zucchini, butternut squash, or pumpkin cakes. It’s such an easy way to get a few more vegetables in your diet. Of course, you’re still eating dessert, so don’t feel too much like the epitome of health, but it’s something!

    4. Add them to breakfast
    If given the choice, I will always opt for a savory breakfast over a sweet one. The good news? A savory breakfast makes it even easier to add vegetables. Serve your fried eggs over sautéed leafy greens, add tomatoes or mushrooms, make a veggie-packed frittata, quiche, or omelet. You’re already well on your way to your vegetable goal for the day and you’ve only eaten breakfast.

    5. Make vegetable tacos, sandwiches, or quesadillas
    If you’re a meal-prepper (or even a sort of meal-prepper), roast or sauté a big batch of vegetables at the beginning of the week and then season for tacos, layer onto sandwiches, tuck into quesadillas—it’s just as quick (if not quicker!) than making the veggie-less versions and oh so delicious.

    6. Go meatless one day (or more!) a week
    Whether it’s Monday or another day, opting to try to go meatless at least one day per week can help you boost your vegetable intake. A meatless day isn’t a guarantee that you’ll eat more vegetables, but you might find that it encourages you to branch out a bit more and get more creative with what you’re eating those days, leaning more on vegetables than you otherwise would.

    7. Try a new-to-you recipe
    If you don’t usually eat a ton of vegetables, trying new-to-you recipes just might encourage you to eat more. Rather than sticking with your typical side salad, try vegetable-packed meatballs, a vegetarian curry, one-pan dinners, and more. You’ll be introduced to a new dish, but maybe also new foods and cooking techniques. It’s a great way to help shake off your routine.

    What to Make

    Source: The Real Food Dietitians

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Midwest Foodie

    Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: My Food Story

    Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: My Food Story

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Midwest Foodie

    Source: The Real Food Dietitians

    Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

    Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea More

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    Forget Boring Salads—15 Plant-Based Recipes to Meal Prep This Week

    It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of eating more fruits and veggies. In fact, the only “diet” I’d ever universally recommend is plant-based, because it’s one of the few ways of eating that isn’t about limiting or labeling foods as “good” and “bad.” Instead, it’s about how you can add more of the foods your body needs. Plant-based means exactly what it sounds like: the majority of your diet is made up of plants (it really is that simple!). But that doesn’t mean you need to settle for boring salads at every meal. Eating more plants requires simple alternatives to recreate favorite dishes like nourishing bowls, filling tacos, and delicious pastas. Whether you’re vowing to stick to Meatless Monday or just want to eat more plants, here are 15 delicious, filling, and plant-based recipes you’ll be craving all week long:

    Source: Love & Lemons

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Drizzle & Dip

    Source: Downshiftology

    Source: Live Eat Learn

    Source: Abra’s Kitchen

    Source: One Lovely Life

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Cookin’ Canuck

    Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    Source: Jessica in the Kitchen

    Source: Love & Lemons More