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Butternut Squash Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Grabbed this recipe from one of my favorite veg loving sites – Vegnews.com. Squash is abundant at the moment so you really need to put this one in your menu arsenal.

Butternut squash and shallots combine to aromatic perfection in this salad perfect for every autumn meal.
Makes 2 servings

What You Need:

3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
cooking spray or minimal amount of olive oil
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 medium shallots, minced
1 cup water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1-1/4 cups mixed baby greens

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In oven, toast pumpkin seeds for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove seeds and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.
On a jelly roll pan lightly coated with cooking spray or olive oil, arrange squash in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bake for 45 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep warm.
In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté shallots in water for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Drain shallots and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together shallots, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard. 

Place salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over greens; toss gently to coat. Arrange on serving plates, top with warm butternut squash and pumpkin seeds.

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October 18, 2012 Comments Off
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Help For You

I will frequently get asked what on earth I do eat and that is quickly followed by “How do you learn to cook and prepare your meals when you make such a huge diet switch?” The answer is simple really. GOOGLE.

When I made the decision to adjust my diet, I knew that it would require TONS of adjustments. I knew enough to know that I couldn’t live healthy on salads for the rest of my life not to mention that eating only lettuce is going to get really boring really quickly. So, I learned how to become super resourceful.

Today, since many of you might be feeling overwhelmed with the next 14 days staring at you, I wanted to share some of my favorite cooking resources with you.

  • Hit the library. I checked out literally PILES of cookbooks from my local library. This was awesome because I was able to sit down and devour so many sources and figure out what exactly wasn’t going to work for me. I decided rather quickly that it wasn’t going to be practical for me to spend hours hunting down rare ingredients in an effort to make a meal. I found a few cook books that contained tons of recipes with what I call “real” ingredients in them and I was even lucky enough to find a couple of amazing cookbooks that contained recipes that went from your fridge to the table in 30 minutes or less. The best part was that when I took advantage of my local library, it didn’t cost me a dime.
  • Check out the Happy Herbivore. Lindsay Nixon is one of my favorite foodies on the planet. She has 2 cookbooks out that I just love. (I have even given a copy away here on our site.) I love her cookbooks because she uses real ingredients that you can usually find at your local grocery store, most of her meals are easy and fast to prepare and they taste amazing. Currently, she offers a great 7 day meal plan for a single person or a family for $5. The plans are released each Wednesday and the comments that I have been reading from her readers have been superb. 5 bucks is minimal to pay in order to take the guess work out of your meal planning in my book.
  • AllRecipes.com has a great section for Vegetarian recipes. You can often type in an ingredient and their site will give you a PILE of recipes using that ingredient. I use this when I have things in my fridge that I need to use up.
  • Meat Free Mondays is a HUGE movement put into fruition by Paul McCartney. MeatfreeMondays.com takes Mr. McCartney’s plan one step further and offers suggestions for meals to make your meat free Mondays relatively painless.

 

We also have quite a few of our favorite recipes right here on our site but be sure to register while you are here. That way, you can receive our newsletters and get some more of our favorites sent right to your e-mail box. (Yes, we know that we are awesome!)

What sort of changes are you partaking in for this challenge? Share in the comments.

July 16, 2012 Comments Off
Fruits and veggies in heart tape

It’s Here. It’s Here.

Today we kick off our 14 day challenge and we are so stinking excited about it. For anyone who is new to OWW, please take a second to register. We will be shooting out some messages to all of our readers throughout the challenge offering up some of our favorite recipes along with some hints and tricks for maintaining your sanity if you happen to be taking the BIG plunge into a plant based diet for the first time. Also, we select one lucky reader at the beginning of each moth to win some nifty prizes from us. It’s totally worth your two seconds to register.

I posted yesterday about how we are calling this a vegan challenge however we didn’t want readers getting all hung up and overwhelmed about the title. Going Vegan is a HUGE step and not everyone is ready for that quite yet. We get it. BUT…this challenge isn’t really about who is going extreme and kicking critters from their diets. This challenge is about becoming conscious about what you are shoving in your mouth. Realizing that no matter how good you think you are doing, diet wise, you ALWAYS have something you can improve on.

Here are some ideas for you to consider conquering during the next 14 days:

  • Kick meat. It’s really not as hard as you think. I have no willpower and I still managed. You can do it!
  • Portion sizes. 80% of people have no clue what a real portion is supposed to look like let alone stick to only having a single one of something when they eat. Research and plan to spend 14 days eating SINGLE servings of your foods. You will be surprised at what this can do to extra pounds and digestions.
  • Vow to go with the 80/20 plan. 80% of your plate is whole foods. Fruits and veggies. 20% is your not so healthy stuff. Meat, pasta, bread ect.
  • Pick on one food/habit that you need to kick and spend the next 14 cutting it out. Maybe it’s soda. Sugary snacks. Or OMG your Daily Mcdonalds trip that you know you shouldn’t be taking. Just spend 14 days without it. Chances are, you won’t miss it when the 2 weeks is up.
  • Processed foods. Follow my lead and spend the next 14 days without eating anything that comes out of a bag or box. WHOLE foods.
  • Drink WATER. This is something that has always been hard for me. I have fairly recently started LOVING water. Plain water. No fancy add ins from shiny tubes. Just icy, lovely, clear water. It is amazing for your body in so many ways so adding it into your diet should be easy breezy.

The important thing….let me say it AGAIN…is to make a conscious choice to improve SOMETHING over the next 14 days.

For the next 2 weeks, we will be flooding you with information and resources to make your challenge easier…no matter what you are choosing to work on.

Conscious choices. You can do it!

July 15, 2012 Comments Off
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