Hello New Internet Friends! I’m so excited to make my debut into the blog world. Because I know that you are dying to know, here is a brief summary of why I decided to be a vegetarian.
My family is beautifully southern. We cook with all the bad things that everyone has been warned against. That being said, my immediate family is in good health, they exercise, practice moderation and all that jazz. That was all lost on me apparently and at 23, I was told I had high cholesterol (in my defense, it does run in the family). I’ll be honest, I panicked. I’m young, in good shape and with the exception of frequent sugar binges I eat well or so I thought… After really paying attention I realized that it was packed with preservatives (frozen meals), sugars (snack bars and pretty much everything I ate), all the bad stuff. I also had a really hard time saying no to the things I loved (donuts, chocolate cake). So, I made a change. Well, I wallowed in self pity and started eating Cheerio’s like a fiend initially.
Then I watched “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Forks Over Knives” and that lit a fire under my butt. Particularly because if it’s in a documentary it must be true! Now, full disclosure, I did not do a juice fast (although it sounded kind of interesting) and I did not go vegan. What I gleaned from these films was the importance of fresh veggies (aka listening to mom) and that some studies have linked the consumption of meat to cancers and other ailments. Additionally, once you freeze vegetables they lose most of their nutritional value and American’s eat too much salt. You may be saying “DUH!” All I can say is, well… don’t be rude, I’m learning.
Eating vegetarian has been surprisingly easy for me. It stops me from eating fast food (except for the cheese quesadillas with pico at Taco C… oh man, delicious). Having to think about what I’m eating has made me more conscientious of where my food comes from and what’s in it. At the beginning, I would make 2 dinners on Monday so I had leftovers to eat all week. Recently, however; I haven’t had time! Terrible excuse, I know, but seriously. So I found myself relying on frozen meals yet again. But this time I looked for healthier options...
|This one is all natural and vegetarian!|
The frozen meal was a good quick fix but I had really enjoyed being in full control of what I was eating. I also have a tendency to say “I could make that” so this was my test. I wrote the ingredients down, bought ‘em and got to chopping. Side note: my boyfriend was skeptical that I could pull this off so I just had to prove him wrong! I am happy to say that I did. He has to repent and wash my car.
Ingredients are listed on the box in order of their amount so I tried to work with that. Mine had WAY more vegetables than the box.
Tortellini Primavera Parmesan
Ingredients: tortellini (prepackaged)
1 red bell pepper
5 baby zucchinis (1 large one would probably work)
No salt added tomato sauce
Heavy whipping cream
Red pepper flakes
Directions: simmer garlic in the EVOO, then add your chopped up veggies, the tomato sauce (I ended up using the whole can but I like lots of sauce), about a glass of chardonnay, basil and red pepper to taste. Let simmer about 20-30 minutes depending on how tender you want your veggies. Cook the tortellini. Once sauce is ready, stir in about a tablespoon of the whipping cream.
|Look at that goodness...|
I love cooking with garlic because it always smells like you know what you’re doing. I was amazed at how well this turned out! We ate all of it. Literally. The entire container of pasta. Guess I’m still working on portion control…
|I couldn't find good light but there's the finished product.|
Every good cook has helpers. I found out that the Twins love carrots and zucchini!
|Healthy Little Dogs!|
Peace, love and veggies Y'all,