Friday, January 30, 2015

My Vegetarian Lifestyle Change

vegetarian lifestyle

 I thought I would do a relatively short video on WHY I became a vegetarian and kind of the process I went through with this lifestyle. It is such a huge part of my life, and I hope to inspire anyone who is interested in transitioning into a plant-based diet :)

I can’t believe I haven’t made a video like this yet, but it's definitely taken me a long time to actually become a healthy vegetarian, as funny as that sounds. 




I would love to hear your feedback if you have any questions about becoming a vegetarian, utilizing my 7 day vegetarian meal plan, or getting started with your health and fitness :)





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cheat Clean--Vegetarian Style

Did you Know...

Vegetarians can be super unhealthy?! #duh

When I became a vegetarian over a decade ago, I only binged on carbs, carbs, sugar . . . and more carbs. It's taken me a 2-year trial as a vegan and about 5 more years as a carbatarian to understand that what I was eating was NOT making me feel good at ALL!

So what did I do? I started eating veggies! My secret...spices :)
My biggest problem with vegetarian food was the blandness, but obviously I was cooking tofu and veggies all wrong. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite cheat clean vegetarian snacks and some delicious heavy foods that can be made healthy with only a few, cheap ingredients!

I hope you enjoy them as much as me :)

clean pancakes

Let's start with breakfast...

These protein pancakes only have a few ingredients in them, are protein-packed, and drizzled with melted hazelnut butter and berries. Can you say NOM?! 

▶️ 1 egg, 2 egg whites

▶️ 1/4 cup instant oatmeal (blend in a magic bullet)

▶️ 2 tbsp water

▶️ 1 scoop protein powder

*yields 3 smallish pancakes
cheat clean pizza recipe
On to the yummy snacks/small meals!


I'm obsessed with Pizza!! (who isn't?) SO, this was basically my diet off and on forever...Lean cuisine pizzas were healthy right? Absolutely not. I found this recipe in my Insanity meal plan and I made these whenever I was craving my fave carb food :)▶️ 1 whole wheat English muffin, sliced▶️ Couple spoonfuls of your favorite/healthiest marinara or pizza sauce▶️ Couple pinches of low skim mozzarella, sriracha drizzle optional :)▶️ Bake in the oven until melted and crispy! DELISH



vegetarian ratatouille

Ratatouille is one my favorite heartiest meals!! I usually make this in a casserole dish, and it's a great idea for your family to have throughout the week. You can definitely use spaghetti squash instead of whole wheat penne, but this makes it heavier.

▶️ Whole Wheat Penne, spaghetti squash, or ravioli

▶️ Zucchini, onion, bell pepper 

▶️ Dried basil, dried parsley, diced tomatoes

▶️ Mozzarella Cheese

▶️ 5 cloves garlic

Saute all veggies, add in spices, tomatoes, cook pasta according to directions, poor in casserole dish in layers: pasta, then veggies, then sprinkle cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 350! Simple, quick, and SO good!!



cauliflower mashed potatoes

Don't you love those Thanksgiving Mashed potatoes? I love how quick and simple this recipe is, with ZERO guilt--yet you're still satisfied! I love having this with broccoli too :) There are only 3 ingredients:


▶️ Cauliflower, boiled until soft

▶️ Vegetable Broth

▶️ Greek Yogurt (optional for it to taste like sour cream)

▶️I also add a little garlic powder and salt

All I did was blend these ingredients together in my Nutri Bullet, and dinner was served! 

clean pizzas

If Protein Pizza Muffins just won't do it...try these AMAZING Pita Pizzas!! I discovered this recipe out of a huge pizza craving and lack of a car, and it's my new FAVE!!

▶️ One 100 Calorie Whole Wheat Pita Pocket

▶️ Shredded Pepperjack cheese (spicier the better!)

▶️ Pizza sauce, a little pesto

▶️ Stuff with any pizza toppings: I had Pineapple, black olives, and jalapeƱos 

Ok so this isn't exactly the cleanest "cheat meal," but if you have a Trader Joes near you, it's very inexpensive, you can use one Pita for two people, and it's much better than calling up the delivery man. 

I do this all by sight and smell. I bake it at 400 on foil for about 15-20 minutes, but I love it crispy! If you pinch the pita together before putting it in the oven, the more likely the inside will get nice and bubbly! Best #treatmeal ever!


nice cream
On to Dessert!!

I don't know about you, but I used to LOVE ice cream. But my 2 year veganism venture made my body unable to handle vast amounts of dairy, so I found this AHmazing quick recipe and had to share!
Banana ice cream?! Also known as "nice cream," this dish is made up entirely of bananas! All I do to prep is freeze a few banana halves over night, then the following night after indulging in some pita pizzas or ratatouille, I get out my nutri bullet and these other delish toppings:

▶️ Frozen banana halves (about 2 bananas total)

▶️ 1 cup almond milk or whatever you prefer

▶️ Blend that, and you can add vanilla flavoring, chocolate chips, fruit, etc to make a different flavor!

▶️ Toppings: hazlenut granola and melted hazlenut butter



Perfect way to end a Cheat Clean Night--Vegetarian Style!

I hope you all enjoyed these simple recipes, and be sure to check out my Pinterest for more vegetarian meals, eating clean on a budget ideas, and more! Pinterest.com/laurenmchugh14/


Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Clean Eating Vegetarian Grocery List

vegetarian grocery list

Here it is!! I always get the question about what my weekly groceries look like, so I decided to put together my top favorite food items! Obviously, I don't get all of these every week (now that would be a TON of food), but I usually buy a few in each category and have recipes planned to make in bulk for the week :)

If you'd like to get my free 7 day vegetarian meal plan that goes with this list, follow me on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/laurenmchugh14/ and then send me an email me at laurenmchugh14@gmail.com :) I'd love to connect with more veggie lovers! <3

Friday, January 2, 2015

21 Day Fix Approved Quinoa Tacos


21 day fix approved tacos

I'm obsessed with this recipe! I found a version of it on Pinterest a while ago and just today decided to make it my own! I'm so excited with how it turned out! Keep reading for the full-recipe.
ps, this is carnivore-loving boyfriend approved ;)


What you will need:

*1/2 onion chopped (smaller the better and I used a white one)
*1 medium chopped bell pepper (I used red)
*1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used white)
*1/2 package of Mexican style Smart Ground veggie protein crumbles 
*2 cups tomato sauce 
*4-5 minced garlic cloves
*2 tbsp chili powder (you can use a little less)
*2 tsp cumin (this is strong, again you can use less)
*1 tsp onion powder
*4 blue containers of shredded vegan cheese (I like Daiya)

veggie meat recipe
My Favorite Veggie "Meat" Brand

vegetarian meals

Let's get cookin! First you will want to cook the quinoa according to whatever brand directions you have. It's basically the same as cooking rice (1 cup dry is 2 cups water). Preheat your oven to 350 in the meantime and spray a large pyrex dish with cooking spray. Chop your onion and bell pepper. Use a splash of olive oil with your minced garlic and add the 1/2 onion for several minutes. I like my onions very soft, so this is up to you how long you want to keep them in there. Add the bell pepper for a few minutes, then proceed to stir in the protein crumbles. You can definitely add a little cayenne if you want to kick it up a notch! This is when you also add all the spices, then pour in the tomato sauce and stir to perfection. When the quinoa is done, add that as well. I also added 1 blue container of the Pepperjack after I took the mixture off the heat. Now you're ready to put the mixture into your sprayed pan!

quinoa tacos

Smooth the veggie goodness so it's somewhat even, then sprinkle the remaining 3 containers of whatever cheese you desire on top. Cover with foil and bake for around 20 minutes. It should be ready after that, but if you want the cheese to be super bubbly and delicious (vegan cheese takes longer to bake), remove the foil and cook for 5-10 minutes longer.

21 day fix tacos

TA-DA!! Quinoa-Veggie Perfection!! 

Now get out those corn tortillas, heat them up, and scoop that deliciousness into 2 of them!


21 day fix vegetarian meal

Note: I should have chopped the onion and bell pepper smaller so it wasn't in large chunks.

21 day fix approved tacos

I added 1/4 ripe avocado to my tacos--always makes any dish more amazing, and adds another healthy fat to the dish!

21 day fix quinoa tacos

The finished product: you can also add vegan sour cream! This was just a few spoonfuls! Of course, I had to drizzle my favorite hot sauce, Sriracha on top! This was incredibly satisfying and filling. Who knew that portion control could be so easy and delicious?!


I hope you all enjoyed this recipe! If you are going to try this version out, message me and let me know how you like it! Happy cooking :)
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