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Adventures in cooking, booking, and being a healthy twenty-something

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New recipe website- perfect for convenient cooks!

Thu, 08/11/2011 - 10:46AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

You've been waiting for a site like this forever. Here it is- Gojee!

Thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, knowing that you have a leftover avocado and say...a lemon, in the fridge? Type this into Gojee's convenient "I HAVE" field and voila! Up pops a variety of recipes containing these two ingredients and more. Woops, you remembered that your boyfriend hates eggplant. Just type that into the "I DISLIKE" field and Gojee excludes all dishes containing eggplant. What if your kitchen is barren- totally cleaned out. Check out Gojee's "I CRAVE" field and go wild with new recipe ideas. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Seriously...no more endless google searches for recipes that contain 3 or more of the ingredients you have on hand. Gojee does the work for you. Plus, the site features tantalizing photos of the dishes. I invite you to give it a whirl at http://www.gojee.com/



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Vegg Books you've got to read

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 8:30AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

 

Holy crap people. I've been a vegetarian for 6 months!!!! I consider it normal to slip-up every once in awhile, especially when Mom force feeds you homemade meatballs on your bi-monthly visit home. But I discovered that books are the perfect aid for such mistakes, bringing you back to balance when your mind (and appetite) causes you to stray.

For starters, I highly recommend Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, which speaks to the reader from a place of compassion. Think after volunteering on a farm with baby cattle you'd be able to easily ingest these slaughtered creatures aka VEAL? Her book is not at all about some trendy diet, but rather a new lifestyle, one that is free of meat and other animal products. It teaches us to listen to our body's senses and discover ways to treat ailments by adjusting our diets rather than ingesting pills. The second half of the book features a slew of vegg recipes to easily integrate into your daily life.

Alternatively, the no-nonsense and hilariously aggressive Skinny Bitch, is the perfect beach read for those curious about veganism. Think you're gonna lose weight on a diet of bacon and cheese, think again bitch. (this is how it's written!) The authors do a fine job of defining, through comedy, fact, and a lot of common sense, the truth about weight loss. In a country blinded by monthly tabloid diets and billion dollar ad campaigns (got milk?), Skinny Bitch explains that the healthiest and most effective way to lose weight is to rid the body of toxins- meat, dairy, and white sugar.



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The Crockpot- my new favorite toy

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 11:34AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe is super healthy and packed with protein. I adjusted it slightly from Food Network's Robin Miller's 2006 recipe. Serves 5-6

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen baby lima beans or regular lima beans
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients but the barley, shredded cheese, cilantro and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Ten minutes before serving, cook barley in separate pot as directed. Season to taste, with salt and black pepper and add to chili.

Just before serving, top each serving with shredded cheese and cilantro.


 

 

 

 

For my recent birthday, little bro bought me an adorable red crockpot to match my adorable little kitchen. Having recently turned vegetarian, I could not celebrate the way I normally would- braising lamb shank for 6 hours. So I decided to go with good ol' soup instead. The first crockpot attempt was homemade split pea soup...which turned out oh so good. I mean really, really good. It was a few days after Easter and Mama V managed to send me home with a ham- well, what ham was left surrounding the bone (I know... I'm the worst vegetarian). Not wanting to actually eat the ham, but still craving that ham flavor, I decided to make the following recipe:

 

Split Pea Soup

Adapted from Soupbelly.com

  • 2 cups dry split peas (NOTE- you should soak and drain your split peas the night before)
  • Ham on bone (pre-cooked)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (or shallots for a sweeter taste)
  • 1 cup chopped celery with leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 Tbs ume plum vinegar
  • 2 cups broth (I used veggie broth)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dry whole wheat cous cous
  • salt to taste (after it is cooked)

**If omitting the ham, please use 4 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of water.

Are you ready? You really can’t get much easier than this…

1) Layer first 8 ingredients in a crock pot starting from the top of the list, down. Do not mix.

2) Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-6 hours.

3.)Cook cous cous according to box instructions and add to soup.

3) Cook cous cous as directed on the box then mix into soup. Serve with toasted Italian bread

 

Disclaimer- I was terrified of leaving the crockpot on all day while I was at work. Really, I expected to come home to a pile of ashes. But alas, the bunker is still standing. Success!

 




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DC Outdoor Film Festivals!

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 7:44AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

One of my favorite things about DC is the abundance of free things to do- in this case, a slew of outdoor film festivals that mark the coming of summer. Free movies + summer nights + BYOB = <3

Check 'em out yo



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Say "no mas!" to Junk Mail

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:14AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

I swear if I get one more letter in the mail from Discover offering me a credit card I'm going to scream!!!! Junk mail is terribly wasteful of paper and just plain annoying, so why not eliminate it? Good thing sites like Precycle allow us to put an end to the paper masses infiltrating your mailbox...and opt for the more green friendly on-line version. Your $10 donation also plants 5 trees in your name. Check 'em out.



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End Sex Trafficking NOW

Thu, 04/14/2011 - 12:18PM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher will be guests on Piers Morgan Tonight at 9pm/CNN bringing to light an offensive issue in modern day- human trafficking, also known as modern human slavery. I encourage everyone to watch tonight!!

Full CNN article



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My New Favorite Shop in AdMo

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 9:59AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

I rarely plug businesses or bother to Yelp them but for this place I'll make an exception. The newest addition to the 18th st. strip of AdMo is Violet Boutique- a women's clothing shop. Finally!!! Not that I mind the excessive amount of bars and ethnic dining options in my 'hood but sometimes a girl just wants to shop. I dipped into this store after just finishing a run, not intending to try anything on. Rather, I was honestly just intrigued by the sight of a women's boutique admist the greasy Town Taverns of AdMo. Much to my delight, I entered the quiet shop (albeit in sweats and a t-shirt) and was warmly greeted by a salesgirl, who I later learned is the shop owner. I perused the colorful racks expecting to see overly-priced items to match the overly-priced AdMo rent and was graciously shocked. An adorable green and gold summer dress- $42. SCORE. In fact, as I examined the shop I noticed not only that I wanted to try on everything but that I could almost afford everything! Girls- think cute summer dresses with eclectic prints and accessories to match. I began conversing with Julie, the affable shop owner, who happens to be a neighborhood local. We discussed the lack of women's clothing shops in AdMo, and her desire to create a space with gorgeous pieces at affordable prices. Her vision was to operate a shop that feels like a high-end boutique with personal customer service (she even offered me water, as it was obvious I'd just finished a run) but with practical prices conducive to the young bohemian neighborhood.  Before leaving, I chose a great pair of gold and teal studded hoop earrings for just $12. Sure you can probably find a similar pair in Forever 21 for $10 but why not support a growing local business? All in all, this shop is fantastic and we're happy to welcome it to the neighborhood! Best of luck Violet! Check out the new site: http://www.violetdc.com/



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Vegetarian- 3 weeks in!

Wed, 03/30/2011 - 12:27PM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

Today marks day 21 of going meatless for Lent. People!- It's really not as hard as I thought! My inital interest in dipping into the vegetarian pool was to improve my health, specifically my immune system. Truth be told- I have not been sick in 3 weeks. Perhaps for most that doesn't seem like an accomplishment but for a gal who's used to the weekly sore throat or sinus infection IT IS! Plus, to top it off I spent a third of this 3 week period celebrating Spring Break in Miami (think: many many drinks and late nights). So what does all this mean? I'm thrilled to finish off my 40 days of being meat-free and may just consider staying this way forever (sorry Adam.)

Next challenge- cutting out sugar. This comes after eating a Boston Cream doughnut for breakfast. Damn my office! Interested in taking the plunge with me? Check out Gwenyth's two cents- GOOP



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Best Meat-less Burgers in DC!

Thu, 03/10/2011 - 9:06AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

BGR's veggie burger


Thanks to this great find by my roomie, I bring you the greatest Meat-free burgers in the city! The best part is that none of them come from Vegetarian/Vegan-specific eateries so you can bring your Jewish friends with you ;) Cheers to 40 days of Lent!


The Counter

Reston, VA

The vegan patties unique to this cool California-based burger chain are merely the tasty canvas for a vegetarian meal of your own design: You pick the size (from one-third of pound to a pound), your bun (or salad greens) and as many as a half-dozen toppings from a list that extends half a page, nearly all of which are free. Will it be herbed goat cheese, tomatoes and grilled onions? Or pineapple, hard-boiled egg, ginger soy glaze and crispy onion strings? If only the waitstaff apprised you of the virtues of restraint. (Starting at $8.50)

BGR: The Burger Joint

Bethesda, MD

BGR owner Mark Bucher says his vegetarian wife inspired his burger, an unwieldy slab of brown rice, sweet potato and black beans that could probably sustain a small family for days - though thanks to a crunchy, sweet coating of molasses, it's unlikely you'll leave behind a single bite. If you're vegan, ask for it on a salad - the golden brioche bun is made with eggs and butter. ($7.99)

Good Stuff Eatery

Washington, DC

Spike Mendelsohn's Capitol Hill burger joint is a place to indulge, even for vegetarians. His meat-free selection, cheekily named the "Vegetarians are People Too 'Shroom Burger," is as thick, juicy and caloric as the best of his beef burgers. Portabello tops are stuffed with muenster and cheddar cheese, coated in panko bread crumbs and flash-fried, then topped with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, the house sauce and a pickle. ($6.89)

The Reef

Washington, DC

No one expects this aquatic-themed nightlife destination to have such a good menu, let alone a revelatory veggie burger. The house-made patty, with flaxseed, almonds and black beans, packs a savory, earthy flavor that easily stands up alongside the menu's bison burger; the veggie burger has body without being dense and is moist without feeling soggy. Vegans should request the dairy-free buns. (3 oz. slider, $6; 6 oz. $10)

Science Club

Washington, DC

Coated in panko and studded with black beans, celery and carrots, the housemade vegan burger at this sleek downtown bar has the crunch of falafel and the distinctively earthy flavor of veggies. And it's practically guiltless: It's served not with fries, but a heaping spinach salad. ($10)

Breadsoda

Washington, DC

Though the (non-vegan) patty is mass-produced by Morningstar Farms, it's hard to care when it comes sandwiched in a pillow of ciabatta bread slathered in an aioli spiked with basil, tarragon and rosemary. A little Swiss cheese, sauteed red onion, field greens and tomato elevate the sandwich, accompanied by one of Breadsoda's housemade pickles, to surprisingly refined bar food. ($8.95)

See the full article in the Washington Post

 



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Veggies- 40 days and 40 nights

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 10:24AM by healthymeatball 0 Comments -

Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the first day of Lent. I've been considering trying a vegetarian diet for a few days now- mainly for health reasons. I've read testemonies of women who claim it's done wonders to their immune system. One women even boasted that she hasn't been sick in 8 years- since she's been a vegetarian. Ahhh I wish I was lying when I say that I'm pretty much constantly sick- a sore throat, followed by a cold, nasal congestion, and occasionally mono. FML. So I decided that this lenten season I will go meat-free on Fridays and every other day...for 40 days.

What better way to start than with a $1.00 off coupon from Veggie Patch.

Here's a link to their entire product list: http://www.veggiepatch.com/products/