A Simple "Seuss-ggestion"

       “I will not eat them here or there
I will not eat them anywhere!” 
This was Chris Cockerham’s motto about vegetables just 3-4 years ago…but not anymore.  Vegetables are not my God, but I do love them, and I believe that as Americans, we are a vegetable deficient nation.    The more produce and less processed that our family has become, the more incredible, share-worthy recipes we find.  So, while we are in the middle of our E2 challenge, it seemed timely to share a few! 
For us, our nutritional shifts have come gradually and very often by simple challenges made by ourselves or friends.  One of our favorites was the challenge to go without meat one day a week.
So, I thought by posting this on a Friday it would give you an opportunity to get to the store and buy a few items if you felt like getting crazy, checking out one of the recipes and trying a “Meatless Monday”!  
“You have probably heard about the movement called ‘Meatless Monday‘ which is an effort to educate people on the health and environmental benefits of abstaining from consuming meat one day a week. 
Intentionally removing some of the meat from our diets continues to be proven to be better for your body. 
·      Americans eat far more than they need to get their daily-recommended dose of proteinEating too much meat can contribute to heart disease and obesity, and a 2009 National Cancer Institute study cited by the EWG that found people who ate the most red meat were 20% more likely to die of cancer and 27% more likely to die of heart disease than those who ate the least·           
·     People who eat mainly plant-based foods generally eat fewer
     calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart
     disease.


     ·      Just eating less meat has a protective effect. A National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces (113 grams) of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to have died of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less. Sausage, luncheon meats and other processed meats also increased the risk. Those who ate mostly poultry or fish had a  lower risk of death.  (Stats from the Mayo-Clinic website)


In addition to the health benefits, decreasing our meat intake has significant impact on our environment.  According to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry. Livestock farming accounting for 18% of greenhouse emissions vs all the world’s cars, trains, planes and boats combined to account for 13% – so it’s better for me to drive my car than to eat meat!
·      If you eat one less burger a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 320 miles or line-drying your clothes half the time.
·      If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
·      Following a plant-based diet just one day a week cuts more greenhouse gas emissions than buying all locally grown food, according to Carnegie Mellon University        
So my challenge for you: give plants a try.

Thinking there is no way you could go meatless for one day?   Maybe you are in Sam’s camp, convinced that you should not, would not, and could not eat green things…
  
Let me remind you of the Dr.’s brilliant “Seuss-ggestion:”
 “You do not like them so you say, try them try them and you may!          
                Try them and you may I say!” 


Hoping your experience with the green is as joyful as Sam’s.
Here are just a few recipes.
Happy to share more next Friday if folks find these helpful or interesting.   
Meatless Mornings:
 CROCK POT Oatmeal!  (talk about fast and easy!)
1 cup steel cut oats
5 cups water
Night Before:  Add oats and water to slow cooker.  Add more water if you will cook longer than 8 hours or if your cooker runs hot. 
In Morning:  Stir oatmeal.  Serve w/ fresh fruit, dried berries, or nuts.
Source:  The Vegan Slow Cooker
Double Green Smoothie  (I tell Kylee it is the Green Goddess smoothie)
1 ½ c unsweetened non-dairy beverage (almond, coconut, rice or soy)
2 dried apricots or 4 pitted dates
1 banana
1 c chopped kale leaves
1 c chopped spinach leaves
½ c fresh or frozen berries
Combine all ingredients until smooth
This is an invaluable resource and can search from their database for hundreds of healthy options and dietary needs, whether gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, etc.   CHECK OUT THIS SITE!
Meatless Mid-Day:
A salad or soup sans meat and you are set. 
My favorite salsa can also be eaten with a few chips, on a salad or placed in a wrap. 
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
3-4 limes( 8 to 10 tbsp fresh lime juice)
2 tbsp red wine vinager
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
1/8 to 1/4 cup of finely minced red onion
1 to 2 avocados chopped
1/8 cup finely chopped/ minced cilantro
1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)
Mix all together and serve.  It tastes a little better if it has chilled for an hour to absorb the flavors.  I serve this as salsa, as a wrap, or even on my eggs in the morning. 
Source:  Becca Weibe
Meatless Dinner Menu:
BLACK BEAN CAKES
6 ½ cups black beans
½ cup salsa
½ cup diced red onion
1 ¼ red bell peppers, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon diced jalapeño peppers (optional)
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco jalapeño sauce (optional)
2 cups crushed tortilla chips  (your preference)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
Rinse black beans in cold water. Place in a colander and drain well (at least 10 minutes). Add all ingredients except tortilla chips, cumin, coriander, and olive oil to a mixing bowl. Blend well with hands, mashing some of the beans to form a thick mixture. Form into 3-ounce patties and set aside. Using a food processor, blend tortilla chips, cumin, and coriander until it is a crumb consistency. Dredge each bean patty in the tortilla mixture. Heat oil in large skillet and sauté bean cakes over medium-high heat, turning when they are golden brown.
Serves: 4 (if serving as a appetizer make smaller in to 8)
Source:  Lucky 32

SLOW COOKER Pumpkin and White Bean Lasagna
(don’t be scared off by the title—it is ridiculously good…and the simplest lasagna I have ever made!) 
(For ricotta)
1 T Olive Oil

3 Sundried tomatoes rehydrated by pouring boiling water on them, and let them sit for 5 minutes.  I just got a bag of dehydrated tomatoes. 
1 package tofu.  (again push through—it is WORTH it.)
1 (15oz) can cooked pumpkin
1/4c nutritional yeast (can be found in bulk at whole foods)
1 T Italian seasoning
1 t onion powder (optional)
2 cloves garlic (I used more)
Salt and pepper to taste
(for lasagna)
1 jar marina sauce
1 package of lasagna noodles (your preference)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
Night Before:
In a food processor combine olive oil, and tomatoes until paste forms.  Add remaining “ricotta” ingredients until creamy.  Add water if it is too thick.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Store in fridge overnight.
Morning:
Spray the crock with olive oil for easier clean up.
Spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of slow cooker.  Break off the corners on one side of each noodle so that they fit snugly in the slow cooker.  You can add the corners in as well.  Place a single layer of noodles over the sauce.  Spread 1/3 of ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Spread another thin layer of sauce over the ricotta and sprinkle with 1/3 of the white beans on top of that.  Repeat the layers two more times, ending with the last layer of lasagna noodles, and then top that with more sauce.  (I personally added raw spinach to my layers and you could get creative and add any vegetable that you like to your layers!) 
Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1 ½ to 2 hours until a fork will easily go through the middle and the pasta is al dente.  Add 1/2c extra  extra sauce or water if you need to leave it an hour or two longer.
Source:  The Vegan Slow Cooker
Meatless Munchies
(gotta throw in 2 favorite treats…no egg or dairy)

Chocolate Chip Zee Bars
½ c old fashioned oats
½ c oat flour (aka old fashioned oat ground in to flour…I use my food processor and viola:  oat flour!)
½ c vanilla protein powder (any type) or additional ½ c of oat flour
½ t salt
1 T baking powder
½ c + 2 T. unsweetened applesauce
½ c + 2 T. non dairy milk
1 t vanilla
1/4t cinnamon
1/4c + 3 T chocolate chips divided
1t coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease or spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, protein powder, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
In a smaller bowl, combine applesauce, vanilla and milk.
Add applesauce mixture to oat mixture and stir until just combined.  Add stevia to taste.  Fold in 1/4 c. of chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bar is set and pulling away from edge of pan.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into kid-sized bars.
For chocolate drizzle, place 3 T. of chocolate chips in a resealable plastic bag and microwave in 30 second increments, kneading bag until chocolate has melted.
Add coconut oil to melted chocolate and knead again.  (you can omit this step)
Snip a tiny corner of the bag with a pair of scissors.  Pipe chocolate across cooled bars and stick bars in fridge or freezer to allow chocolate to set, if desired.
Store remaining bars in the fridge.
Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Tools
Food processor
 or Large mixing bowl
Spatula
Ingredients
2/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cooked oatmeal
3 tbsp. agave or honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (or dairy free chips)
Note: If you don’t want to use the chocolate chips, they could be very easily substituted with raisins, nuts or dried fruits of any kind.
Directions
Step 1 – Mix everything except the chocolate chips in the food processor. You should have a nice wet, sticky dough when you’re done.
Step 2 – Using your spatula, scrape dough into your mixing bowl and mix in chocolate chips.
Step 3 – Spoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Step 4 – Bake for 20 minutes.


May you be a blessing and may you be blessed,

Jenni 

3 thoughts on “A Simple "Seuss-ggestion"

  1. Thank you for all of these recipes! Chris was telling us about the pumpkin lasagna. I ordered The Vegan Slow cooker and can't wait to make the pumpkin lasagna and some of the other dishes!

    Like

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