Archive for the ‘vegetarian’ Category

Cutting carbs? You can do that and still go veg!

Friday, November 25th, 2011
Salad greens two ways by liza31337
Salad greens two ways, a photo by liza31337 on Flickr.

Many people think vegetarians and vegans are doomed to gain weight because they’re eating lots of carbs. It is possible to reduce your carbs on a vegetarian diet. You just need to know what to eat and what to avoid.

The lowest

This list of the lowest carb veggies comes from’s Low Carb Diets site. The full page and resource is located here.

Low-Carb Vegetables

This list is roughly arranged from lowest to highest carbohydrate counts, but all are non-starchy and generally low in carbohydrates. Exact carb count depends on serving size. Remember when counting carbs in vegetables that the fiber is not counted, and can be subtracted from the total.

Sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc.)

Greens – lettuce, spinach, chard, etc.

Hearty Greens – collards, mustard greens, kale, etc.

Radicchio and endive count as greens

Herbs – parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.

Bok Choy

Bamboo Shoots



Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)


Cabbage (or sauerkraut)





Cucumbers (or pickles without added sugars)

Green Beans and Wax Beans





Green Bell Peppers

Red Bell Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers

Summer Squash


Brussels Sprouts

Scallions or green onions

Snow Peas/Snap Peas/Pea Pods








Spaghetti Squash

Celery Root (Celeriac)




Which to avoid?

Also on the’s Low Carb Diets site is a listing of the highest carb vegetables:

Carrots (some diets flag carrots as a problem, though they are lower in carbs than others in this group)



Winter Squashes, such as acorn and butternut

Water Chestnuts


Potatoes in all forms

Sweet Potatoes



I don’t understand why winter squashes such as butternut and acorn are considered high carb, but pumpkin and spaghetti squash are low carb. If you know the answer, I’d love for you to share it in the comments.

T-Day sides

I tried three low-carb recipes for Thanksgiving this year that were new tastes for my family, and all three were warmly received:

  • Rosemary Roasted Radishes
  • Pumpkin Bisque
  • Cauliflower Gratin

(Check ‘em out at the blog here.)

It was a nice offset to all the high-carb fare that you can’t avoid on Thanksgiving, such as stuffing, mashed potatoes and warm dinner rolls.

Spotted in the freezer, and other Sunday musings

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Spotted in the freezer by Just Nora
Spotted in the freezer, a photo by Just Nora on Flickr.

Didn’t make it to the market until today. I always feel like I don’t get the best “pickins” when I wait until Sunday, but sometimes there is no choice.

Life is moving back into school mode here in our house. This week, our son had his last “first day” at school. He’s a senior. That means that while we are indeed moving back into predictable rhythms, there is also the frenzy of college applications, waiting and the sick feeling of oh my lord how will we pay for this? running through our veins.

Convenience foods and frozen foods

For crazy week nights, sometimes convenience foods can be a blessing. Is it possible to eat convenience foods as a veggie and still eat well? Yes.

Today in Whole Foods I saw Vegan Fish Fillets from Sophie’s Kitchen for the first time. I’d heard of vegan seafood, but never encountered it. I live in the landlocked Midwest. New stuff is slow to reach us. I’ve not tried them, and would love to hear from you in the comments if you have.

I find that frozen veggies and fruits can be really handy for quick weeknight meals, smoothies and soups. They’re certainly cost-effective, and they don’t spoil before I get around to enjoying them.

We also love Boca Burgers, Gardenburgers and Five Star Foodies’ Artichoke Burgers.

Having a stash of a few quick, healthy freezer items can help you eat well on the run during your busy week. What go-to items do you keep handy for quick meals?

Zucchini Banana Bread

Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Zucchini Banana Bread by Just Nora
Zucchini Banana Bread, a photo by Just Nora on Flickr.

Cooling on my kitchen counter this afternoon are a couple of loaves of low fat Zucchini Banana Bread.

What makes it low fat?

The recipe makes 2 loaves, and only calls for a 1/4 cup of oil, which is 3 tablespoons. Dispersed over 2 loaves, it’s not terrible at all. The recipe also calls for 4 eggs. Skip the eggs and use an egg replacer, or, use Egg Beaters like I did.

The recipe uses white flour, whole wheat flour (I like Whole Foods’ 365 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour) and oats, plus a generous addition of shredded zucchini, applesauce, smashed bananas and raisins. As of this moment, half of the first loaf is already gone – my husband, high schooler and I all sliced warm bread and stood around the kitchen cramming it into our mouths.

What else is on the counter?

I picked up a fab cannonball melon at the Covington Farmer’s Fair yesterday, along with a cantaloupe, some lovely romas, garlic and a pepper. Fresh pasta sauce (the uncooked kind) is on the menu tonight.

The recipe

Let’s face it – zucchini is everywhere right now. Whip up some loaves or muffins of this great recipe and freeze a few.

Here’s the recipe on

I still miss RecipeZaar!

Quick Ozouni

Sunday, March 13th, 2011
Quick Ozouni by Just Nora
Quick Ozouni a photo by Just Nora on Flickr.

32 oz vegetable broth (I use reduced sodium) or dashi stock

2 cups water

1 bunch baby spinach, washed, de-stemmed, chopped coarsely

2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)

1-2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

A spoonful of white miso to taste

Generous sprinkling of Triple Blend Flakes Sea Seasoning

4 mochi

Rice seasoning for garnish


Wash and coarsely chop the spinach. Toast the mochi in the oven or toaster oven until puffed and slightly browned on top. Heat the broth, water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, miso and Sea Seasoning while the mochi is toasting. Add the spinach to the broth and simmer until wilted. Drop the toasted mochi into the broth like dumplings, heat briefly. Serve garnished with Rice Seasoning, if desired.

Warning – mochi is highly glutenous. A few people die each year from choking on it. Take small bites and chew thoroughly. Ben likes to remove the mochi dumpling from the broth and sandwich it in a piece of sea weed to eat on the side.

Using convenience foods

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

The longer we eat vegetarian and vegan in this house, the more restaurant food doesn’t taste like we’d expect it to. With a high schooler in our family, we have our share of crazy, over-scheduled nights. Pizza and salad is one rescue meal we turn to, but more and more, we are making it right here at home.

There are a number of delicious frozen pizzas out there. A recent Consumer Reports study showed that DiGiorno was the recommended best buy. However, Amy’s pizza (in this case, the one with the corn meal crust), was also a recommended buy.

Last night, Eric and I tried an Amy’s Rice Crust cheese pizza. It was delicious. Even though we don’t have a gluten intolerance, I will reach for this fresh-tasting, crisp, not too doughy pie again and again.

Amy’s has a really extensive line of delicious convenience foods that can help you stay on your selected eating plan, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, soy free, lactose free, low sodium, tree nut free, or require Kosher certified foods.

Vegetable Stock in the making

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Vegetable Stock in the making

Originally uploaded by Just Nora

I’m going to make Vegetarian Matzo Ball soup today, so I decided to make homemade vegetable stock.

First time

This is the first time I’ve made homemade vegetable stock, but I’m confident that I can create something tasty. My homemade chicken stock (which I don’t make anymore) had an abundance of vegetables in it to help it taste fab.

Waste not, want not

Making homemade stock is a great way to use up veggies in your fridge. Here’s what I put in my stock today:


Bell peppers
Yellow tomatoes
Red tomatoes
Sweet onion

For seasoning, I added:

Capful garlic powder
Capful Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper
Capful Onion powder
Capful celery root powder (since I didn’t have fresh celery to throw in the pot)


The secrets to great stock are patience, slow simmering, and doing as little prep to your veggies as possible. Wash all veggies and remove any loose skin from onions and tomatillos. Do NOT peel, cut or anything — put the veggies into your pot whole. Exceptions for me are if the vegetables have a thick, waxy coating on them from the produce department (such as parsnips). If that’s the case, I definitely peel them.

Cover all your veggies with water, bring to a boil, then reduce your heat, cover and simmer all day.

Strain and discard the vegetables from the stock, taste the stock and add salt or other seasoning to your taste. Refrigerate or freeze and enjoy!

PS – looking for a vegan matzo ball recipe? Check this out.