Breakfast…

Breakfast is seriously my fave meal of the day I love coffee and for me it’s the easiest meal to think of things to eat.  Fruit, oatmeal, egg whites with veggies, smoothies, and raw juice are some that I always go back to.  Recently on my 21 day Vegan venture I have had to make slight changes to what I normally eat to complete this goal I set for myself.  As I have mentioned previously I have been a pescitarian for about 7ish months now so it wasn’t that hard of a transition to make even though I am obsessed with cheese!

For starters my coffee, the past couple of months I switched over to unsweetened vanilla almond milk because it has significantly fewer calories than even skim milk.  The brand I prefer is Almond Breeze and it only has 30 calories per cup compared to about 90 calories in your typical fat-free milk.  It may not seem like a lot but it adds up at the end of the day.  I always put a sweetener in my coffee with dairy milk, soy, or almond, so I honestly couldn’t tell a difference in taste.

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I would rather save these calories and have a piece of cheese later in the day where you can actually taste and enjoy the flavor.  I have tried other brands of almond milk and for some reason don’t like them as much, the ingredients are similar but personally I will always buy the Almond Breeze.  I also always use this when making any type of smoothie, this would be a great way to incorporate it and you literally can not taste it at all.  It works great with fruit and also with protein powder one of my fave combos is chocolate protein powder a banana and a cup of almond milk its delish!

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Source- http://www.almondbreeze.com

The next substitution I have made for over a year now is to a different type of sweetener other than sugar.  I have read articles and books that compare the different types of artificial sweeteners and as far as I know there is really nothing positive linked to any of them and the ingredients can be linked to all types of health problems and even cancer.  Personally I love Truvia, that’s what I use in my coffee and whenever I bake anything.  It gives me enough sweetness but I don’t get that gross feeling after I normally do when I eat regular white sugar.  I also buy the baking blend and individual packets which are great to throw in your bag and take with you on the go.

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Source- http://www.truvia.com

So a typical breakfast for me in the winter is oatmeal, I think it tastes amazing and the best part is you can make it taste however you want.  You could add protein powder if you want more calories, frozen berries, cinnamon, vanilla extract, really the possibilities are endless.

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My Fave Oatmeal

1/2 c dry Whole Oats (so much better than the instant)

1/2c Water (or a milk)

1tsp Truvia

1tsp Hershey’s Baking Chocolate

1/2 Ripe Banana

Total Calories: 230 (could vary depending on your oatmeal brand and type of chocolate)

For me this keeps me more than full until lunch or my next snack and I have tons of energy!  Combined with my two cups of coffee (about 20 calories for both) all for under 250 calories.  If you are working or don’t have a lot of time for lunch you could increase your calories easily by adding more oatmeal, different fruit, or a whole banana.  I like keeping my breakfast around 300 calories that way I have more flexibility during the rest of the day or if I know we will be eating out and personally I am always hungrier later in the day.
IMG_6630 Pictured above is the baking bar of chocolate and has been a recent substitution for me because the normal chocolate chips I was previously using were made with buttermilk.  I made the mistake of taking a bite of this chocolate and it was the most bitter thing on the planet! haha So please don’t make the same mistake its 100% cocoa and has no sweetener added!  I shave as much as I want off and it melts perfectly into my oatmeal and when mixed with the Truvia it’s not bitter at all!IMG_6631 IMG_6633 IMG_6636 IMG_6637

xo Meg

Pesto Shrimp & Quinoa…

So let me start with how excited my husband and I were to plant a garden as soon as we moved into our new house.  We couldn’t wait to pick fresh veggies with our daughter and thought that it would be so amazing to walk into our back yard and pick a fresh salad! With little to no research we headed out to Lowes to buy a ton of veggies dirt and stone to build our garden and it turned out so great we were so proud.  We used half already started plants and half seeds, everything was doing great and really growing until we had about three weeks of horrible rain and that pretty much killed everything in our garden we were so upset!

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Before everything died…
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The sickest bug I have ever seen & literally ate all of our tomato plants!

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All that hard work and aspiration for this amazing organic garden! Pretty much the only thing we have left is our basil plant which seems to be doing great, which leads to this recipe that I came up with determined to cook with something that we grew!

I always keep frozen shrimp on hand because they are super quick and easy to defrost, luckily my husband likes shrimp so its an easy meal for us to make.  You could easily substitute whole grain pasta out for the quinoa and that would be delic! I just happened to have this on hand at the moment.

I browsed online for a couple of pesto recipes and ended up making my own version that I loved and shockingly my husband liked too!  The main difference would be the lemon juice that I added but I love the tangy taste that it gives and made the pesto less thick.  You could use this pesto on anything like chicken, spread on french bread with tomatoes, or just on plain pasta.

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Pesto Recipe

1.5 c Basil

1 t Garlic

3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 c Grated Parm Cheese

1 Lemon (juice only)

Salt & Pepper to taste

*combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until your desired consistency!

After I made the pesto i marinated the shrimp in the mixture for a little and then threw them into a frying pan, we had planned on grilling them but it started pouring so that was a no-go! I had started the quinoa in the beginning of my prep and let it cook until it was done.  When my shrimp were done I threw in about two cups of spinach for some extra veggies, then added in my quinoa and it was all done!

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This was really a pretty simple meal and not very time consuming, the best part is if you make extra you already have a great lunch packed for the next day!

xo Meg