At the end of November I went from working out often and eating healthy, to a four day all inclusive vacation and a full week of Thanksgiving feasting. At the end of the two week binder I was bloated, groggy, and to say the least just feeling off. Unfortunately, I caught myself unhappily looking in the mirror one too many times. I finally turned my mindset around and said, "It's alright Sophie - this is just your time to get back to a routine". So I set a challenge for myself and found many new recipes and at home work outs during the process!
My sister has been a big motivation for me to pursue the pescatarian, maybe someday vegetarian, path. Over the last two months I have avoided buying any white or red meat and have only eaten meat at family functions or gatherings where there wasn't another option. And honestly, I have noticed giant changes in my overall being. This, combined with just eating more raw vegetables and fruits in general, has made an enormous change in my daily energy levels. I do enjoy sleeping in (not sure if that will ever change), but after I wake up and drink a quick 8 ounces of water, I am more than ready to tackle my day. Food journal coming soon. If anyone knows of a good food journaling site, app, or notebook, I am open to options.
Okay, let's get down to the real reason you are here - recipes! My sister has been a vegetarian for almost 15 years and she has not been shy about helping me build my vegetarian cookbook library. Cookbooks, you might ask? What about the internet?! Well - in my opinion if it has been praised enough and if the author is well known enough to make a cookbook, then the majority of the recipes are going to match any expectation; that doesn't mean I haven't found any good recipes online - in fact I'll be sharing a few here.
Let's dive into the flavorful, worth every minute, discoveries!
Vegan General Tso's Tofu
Not sure what my issue has been recently, but I have been craving nothing short of pizza and Chinese buffets! My boyfriend and I tend to splurge on a local restaurant often, Wok in the Park, because the food is local and tastes amazing every time. My meal prep this week I discovered a General Tso's flavored tofu and - OH MY GOSH - I could not have been more impressed. The thing that really pulls this together is the sauce and it can be easily whipped up for tofu, or even just to use over mixed veggies. Highly recommend this one.
Vegan Enchiladas with Avocado/Cilantro Sauce
Before diving into what I like about this, 100% make it yourself - ha! This recipe was amazing; I did add a little more chili powder and garlic powder just because I love spice, but overall the flavor was amazing. Silly me - I did forget to buy the tortillas but I combined the ingredients to make it more of a hot dish instead. My boyfriend and I love spicy - so that combined with the slight sweetness of sweet potatoes made it easy to eat each day of the week.
Homemade Vegetarian Chili
The best chili recipes I have ever had can actually be found as one of my first blog posts - Whole30 Chili. One of the factors of that chili that I could not get enough of was the chorizo flavoring. I combined the recipe from the vegetarian recipe and replaced the seasonings with a chorizo seasoning blend, and yum did that flavor come out! This recipe has a vegetable explosion and is a great protein source with the beans - make it spicy on your own with an extra jalapeno or two for a kick.
Pineapple Shrimp Curry
Kathryn Budig wrote the book Aim True, including many amazing recipes ranging from smoothies to full entrees. One of my all time favorites is this curry recipe. It is sweet and delicious! Pineapple, thai peppers, red curry, what more could you ask for. I like to put this over spaghetti squash - highly suggest.
If you have ever attempted the Whole30 and completed it - way to go! This is a tough diet to follow and definitely pushes your limits. At the beginning of 2020, I followed the Whole30 diet for two months; the thing I love the most about this is just becoming more aware of the foods you are buying off the shelves at the grocery store, and awareness overall on diet. I highly suggest! My sister sent me the Whole30 Cookbook and there are some amazing recipes included - here are two that stuck out to me during my challenge if you end up getting this book.
Whole30 Thai Cucumber Cups
My own review - the inside filling was amazing, I just think it would pair a little better inside of a lettuce wrap. This recipe technically has chicken, but I added tofu instead and it was just as good. Definitely suggest.
Whole30 Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts
I would change nothing about this - the combination of the savory vinegar with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes was amazing. I was so inspired by this recipe that I decided to bring it to Christmas for the family. Overall, this cookbook has a lot to offer!
I cook often, and each of these recipes really held up to their ratings. If you end up trying them out, let me know! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Having good recipes to turn to makes it easy to be pescatarian. If you have any suggestions for me regarding cooking with tofu or just recipes in general, let me know! Contact information below.
And Happy 2021! Let's make this year great.
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