My Favourite Vegetarian Recipes

Since becoming a vegetarian, all I think about is food. What I want to eat, what I wish I could eat, and what I can actually make. Because I’m a student, I do eat a lot of the same foods, to save time. But now I have my favourite recipes that I can easily make in no time at all! See below for some of my go-to vegetarian meals.

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Jalapeños and Bean Soup

Toss the following into a crock pot and leave on high for four hours:

  • Mix of beans you’d like (I normally put in: black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans…etc.)
  • One can of corn
  • As many jalapeños you’d like! (I leave the seeds in because I like the burn)
  • Half an onion (cut into small pieces)
  • Box of vegetable stock
  • Cup of water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

I make this soup at the beginning to the week and eat it almost every day for lunch! So spicy!!!

“Gourmet” Grilled Cheese

(please note the intended joke here…)

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Upgrade your regular grilled cheese by adding avocado, spinach, garlic powder and a slice of tomato if you’d like! Just adding the spinach makes it feel so much healthier…

Roasted Potato/Corn Salad

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Photo from Aberdeen’s Kitchen

http://www.aberdeenskitchen.com/2016/05/southwest-roasted-potato-salad/

An excellent dish to bring to a party or to impress your friends and family…

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Tofu

Made this pasta the other week and have been loving it!!

  • Heat up some chopped up garlic and olive oil in a pan
  • Cut up some sun-dried tomatoes and toss them in (adding more oil if necessary)
  • Add in any vegetables you like, I use mushrooms, onion, spinach
  • Crumple up the tofu and toss in with the vegetables
  • Let simmer until all the vegetables are soft
  • Add more oil and add the cooked spaghetti noodles (I use rice noodles)

Serve with parmesan cheese on top!

Thanks for reading,

Shelby

 

 

 

Vegetarian Grocery List

I have recently decided to give the veggie lifestyle a try and with help from my friends Sarah and Jackie, have been convinced that this is not only the right decision, but an easy decision to make.

Maintaining it however, has been hard. Anyone who has ever eaten with me knows I love meat. I love chicken fingers and burgers and steak and turkey and…sorry what was I talking about again?

This is a beginner post, as I am new to the vegetarian lifestyle. So I would like to share with you my sample grocery list for anyone who is debating going vegetarian. Hopefully this can help you out when you’re scratching your head in the produce section.

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  1. Quinoa (a complete protein I am told). Mix this in all of your salads or fry it up like rice and eat it as a stir fry.
  2. Spinach. Perfect for tossing in smoothies. I put one serving of it in my smoothies in the morning and I don’t even taste it so it’s like I’m tricking myself into eating healthier…
  3. Zucchini. Spiralize it and use it to replace noodles when making pasta. I made an amazing tomato basil sauce, contemplated using noodles and instead used zucchini and felt so much better afterwards. No bloating and zucchinis have a lot of potassium in them so they are a really good pick!
  4. Vegetable stock. After realizing that French Onion Soup is made with beef broth, I almost died (it’s my favourite). Now I use vegetable stock when making my own soups (I make probably two soups a week, in big batches) because it can be tough to know which ones are made with vegetable broth when eating out. When in doubt, always ask!
  5. As for seasonal veggies and fruits, my favourites are: any type of squash, broccoli, peaches, strawberries, corn, avocados, leeks, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.
  6. Beans. Chickpeas and black beans are my main ones but I have been know to experiment with lima, white, and lentils.
  7. Greek Yogurt. I eat this with granola and berries or else I toss it into the smoothie. Another trick to hide the fact that you’re no longer eating Big Macs.
  8. Nut Butter. Smear it on apples and you’ve got your 3 pm snack.
  9. Vegetarian Substitutes, i.e. veggie dogs, veggie burgers. I will be honest, these took me a while to get used to but they are actually pretty good substitutes. Nothing will ever beat Kelsey’s Chicken Fingers but the veggie burgers are alright. Mind the texture though.
  10. Protein powder. Feel free to toss this into your smoothie every day as well. Buy in bulk to save money (Costco anyone?)

Rice could also be included on this list but since I never touch the stuff, I excluded it. I have been told that rice and beans are the perfect meal but I was also once told that the Tooth Fairy was real, so idk.

I did not include tofu on the list because I know it scares some people but when cooked just right, it can be really good (okay it can be decent). Squish all the liquid out of it first before cooking it with spices so that the flavours are absorbed into the tofu. Cut it into strips and put it in a wrap, cut it into cubes and toss it in a stir fry, so many different ways to eat it just do not eat it by itself. That will turn you off tofu forever.

Thanks for reading,

Shelby

Hamilton’s Restaurants Part I

Hamilton’s food scene is unreal. I have eaten some of the best food in some of the weirdest restaurants and I can’t wait to try more! If you’re in the area looking for some good grub, look no further:

Naroma
Who doesn’t love pizza? Naroma is the ultimate pizzeria, with amazing different pizza combos (including a Nutella dessert pizza!). My favourite (before I went vegetarian…) was the Brie e Prosciutto, i.e. mozzarella, triple cream brie, fig jam, prosciutto, caramelized onions… my mouth is literally watering. Some other awesome ones are the Pollo (chicken, pesto, roasted red peppers…), Funghi (oyster, portobello mushrooms, truffle oil…) and the Pancetta Dolce (maple bacon, tomatoes, asparagus…). Depending on how many people you go with will influence the size of pizza you should get. If it’s you and a friend, two Coppia sizes is plenty (with enough for leftovers!). The next sizes up are Famiglia (Serves 3-4) and Festa (Serves 4-6). Pizza lovers unite!

Raspcallion
The weirdest food ever but so amazing! This is an amazing date place if you’re both adventurous. It’s a little on the pricier side but eating there is an experience in itself that is definitely worth the splurge. Their menu changes often but when I went I ate a range of different meats including pork, duck, fish and lamb. Rapscallion is a meat lovers dream but they do have a meatless Monday menu as well! Some of the recent dishes on their website include: Bone Marrow, Shrimp & Pork Belly, Smoked Duck, Veal Brisket and the ever so tempting The Best Grilled Cheese On The Planet… Definitely give this restaurant a go if you’re downtown.

Bangkok Spoon
Who doesn’t love Thai food? And until I get my ass to Thailand (it’s on the list!) I am always on the hunt for good pad thai. Bangkok Spoon is amazing, it’s a bit of a hike (located in Dundas, rather than the Hamilton centre), but worth the trek. The people are amazingly friendly and don’t mind if you ask a billion questions (I always do!). I recommend the Shrimpy Cocktail as an appetizer, any of the pad thai dishes, the Spicy Duck dish, the Garlic Shrimp dish and the Pad Po Tak.

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The only thing I would avoid for me personally is the chicken dishes because I did not find the chicken to be that great. Felt a little bland but I am a picky foodie. Also if you’re in the mood, or if it’s after 5pm (ok or any time after noon) try their mojitos!

The Mule
Went here very recently and loved it! The menu is split into Tacos and Not Tacos (super cute and who doesn’t love tacos). They had a lot of good vegetarian options which was awesome for me but they still had enough variety for my meat loving friend, Emily. The drink menu is mainly tequila which agrees with me.They also serve brunch on the weekends with menu items like: Chili Cheese Dog Taco, Mule Eggs Benedict, Banana Chocolate Johnny Cakes. They don’t take reservations so be prepared to wait or come at an off time!

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The Ship
Coincidentally went here right after I went vegetarian which was a true test of my veggie commitment because this is a burger place for sure! Luckily for me they had a quinoa and black bean burger that I could substitute and it was delicious. Also the sweet potato fries are unreal and because I have a problem all I can think about right now is their Sangria. Tastes like a fuzzy peach! Definitely give this one a try if you’re anywhere near Augusta Street.

Next on my restaurant list is The Black Sheep, The Ancaster Mill, the Burnt Tongue and Earth to Table Bread Bar so stay tuned for Part 2 (once I’ve eaten my way through Hamilton!)

 

Thanks for reading, xx

It’s not all McDonalds I swear.

I don’t know about you guys but when I travel, one of my main concerns is food. Where do I get it, will I like it, do they have a McDonalds if necessary and most importantly – how much does it cost? The UK is not known for its amazing food but they do have a lot of selection (Paris was another story so stay tuned for that…). That being said, with the conversion rate being absolutely crap, food was basically double in England and Scotland. Therefore, I had around 50$ Canadian to spend on food a day…

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What you can alternatively spend your food budget on…

So that equates to about one good meal in the UK (not including alcoholic beverages which were a priority for me and the girls). So how did I combat this? By spending my food budget on dinner and scrambling for breakfast and lunch.

Meaning: between the three of us we would purchase one loaf of bread, one small block of cheese and some salami for the day. We would pick at this all day until dinnertime rolled around and we could splurge. Sometimes if we were lucky the hostel we stayed at would provide a small breakfast (usually just toast and coffee but still it’s something!) and we could gorge on that before heading out for the day.

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The amazing cheese shop in Galway where we purchased our daily trifecta

You will be starving by dinnertime due to all the walking during the day but you will be surprised at what you can survive on. You will also really enjoy and appreciate your dinner more because you really suffered for it (sarcasm). That being said, this is no way to live permanently!!

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We would munch through one of these between the three of us all day

If you’re in one place for a long period of time (as we were in London for 7 days on the first trip) go to the local grocery store and stock up on breakfast and lunch materials. Buy a couple muffins and a bag of apples and you’ve got breakfast. Buy a loaf of bread, some sandwich meat and lettuce and you’ve got lunch.

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One of our most amazing meals out! (Cork, Ireland)

Definitely make dinner in your hostel one night at least! Another way to save money but also a good conversation starter. When we were in Glasgow we bought enough pasta to feed the entire hostel so we went around asking people if they were hungry (nobody wanted our pasta but at least we were talking to people!). It can save you a lot of money and sometimes it’s nice to have a home cooked meal while travelling. 

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Our little treat for the day – hot chocolate! (a nice break from the daily cheese and bread)

Bring granola bars from back home. Julie did this on our trip and it was a good idea! That way during the day you can just have a small snack to keep you going until dinnertime. Also the bars were purchased back at home which made them half the cost of anything in the UK at the moment.

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Another amazing dish from a Thai restaurant in England

Purchase your alcohol from the local store – not when you get to the bar. On our trip we would buy a couple bottles of wine, pre drink a little before going out to dinner, maybe get one bottle to share at dinner, and then return home to drink some more before heading out for the night (sorry girls – I am making us sound like alcoholics). It is much cheaper to buy your alcohol at the grocery store than at the restaurant or bar (and lucky for us, they sell alcohol everywhere in Europe it seems like).

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A little too much wine at the pre-drink I think…

Try the local food i.e. street meat. Definitely okay while travelling in Europe but I’d be careful in other countries where the definition of street meat is literally meat found from the streets. Be brave and order the most random thing or ask the owner what they recommend!

All in all remember that eating while travelling is an experience in itself so try and limit the trips to McDonalds if you can (this tip is mostly for myself since I am a sucker for Big Macs).

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I can’t help myself