Vegetarian Meal Challenge
Let’s recap the Vegetarian Meal Challenge posts we’ve covered so far this year, just in case you missed any of them.
As a note, I’m not able to post a new entry this month for this series. This was a physically challenging month for me, and I over-estimated my energy levels.
I made the decision to have back surgery to correct a problem with my spine that had been causing me significant discomfort for about a year and a half. Everything went well, but I’m facing a 4 month recovery, and need to take care of myself.
The next 6 weeks will be the most trying, if only due to all the limitation placed on my movements. But I plan to be back in July with another segment of this Vegetarian Meal Challenge Series.
We kicked off the year with the importance of eating seasonally, and focused on the health benefits of fresh citrus fruits. As I recover from surgery, my go-to easy snack right now are oranges. They’ve got great anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and the fiber keeps me feeling satisfied longer.
Of the three recipes shared, this one for Pesto Cauliflower Steaks + Citrus Salad, pictured above, was the most popular by far.
February’s Vegetarian Meal Challenge was all about protein, and the many ways vegetarians and vegans can get ample protein into their diets. I add protein powder to my morning non-dairy Greek yogurt, and I have protein powder smoothie most days for or with lunch. Additionally I make sure the majority of my snacks are high in protein.
The above photo of Sesame Crusted Sweet Potato Cakes was one of the several recipes I shared that are packed with protein, fiber, nutrients and flavor. Oh, and they’re ready in 30 minutes if you cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave.
March dove into reasons why you might feel tired when following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Insufficient protein tops my list, but there are other culprits such as vitamin deficiencies, particularly B12 if you don’t eat dairy or eggs.
But one of the best ways to fight fatigue, particularly if you’re following a well-rounded diet, is to stay hydrated throughout the day. This one is my own personal challenge, and I shared a Honey Lemon Ginger Tea I make all year round for both hydration and a boost of immunity.
In April, as we were deep into stocking up for social isolation and quarantining, I shared my essential pantry items. Having a well stocked pantry is always a good idea, and I got into the habit years ago when we moved full-time to the mountains. In winter, we can be cut off by snowstorms.
I divided the list into categories, to make it easy.
- High Nutrient and Protein Items
- Frozen Plant-Based Meats
- Canned Goods and Flavor Boosters
- Grains and Pasta
- Fruits and Veggies
The recipe for April’s Vegetarian Meal Challenge was baking flatbreads.
Many people complain that vegetarian food is missing the oomph of meat. It’s the umami flavor they’re talking about – the flavor that literally makes our mouths water. So in May, we suggested 10 great ways to get your umami back.
The post includes lots of recipe examples, including these killer Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes that I ALWAYS have on hand and require no more than 5 minutes prep.
So there you have it, my friends. I promise to be back on track with you guys for July’s Vegetarian Meal Challenge.