Posts Tagged ‘ Vegetarian ’

Butternut Squash Chili in a Crock Pot

I love when I find a recipe that my husband enjoys without commenting on the lack of meat protein.  I was surprised to find out that this was one of them.  As far as I know he’s not a big fan of squash but he happily ate this meal including a second helping as well as leftovers later in the week.  That makes it a hit in my book!  Another great thing is that this is a vegan and gluten-free dish.

I wish I had taken a picture of this because it’s actually a very pretty chili.  It’s quite colorful with the dark red sauce, bright orange squash, and the assortment of beans and peppers.  However, having assembled it one day and completing it the next I totally forgot.  It’s been a crazy week for me.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’m starting a new job.  I’m in the process of becoming an insurance claims adjuster.  A few weeks ago I had to go through a course to get my state license.  That was tough enough.  Now I’m in training to learn how to actually do my job.  For the first time in my life I feel at a disadvantage and I’m trying to figure out if it’s age related.  It definitely feels like those in their 20s and 30s are catching on quicker than us older 40 somethings.  I am enjoying the process I just wish it would come to me a little quicker.

With that said, I don’t remember the last time I was so grateful for the weekend!  I’m considering a trip to the beach while my husband is thinking about chores around the house!  Perhaps we’ll barter for a day of each.  In the meantime I’ll be looking for something new to make using some of the 2 bags of barely I have.  Another sign of aging, I  bought 1 bag this week and realized that I already purchased barley last week.  If you have a great barley recipe for me, please share!


1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed into 1/2 pieces

1 28 oz can tomato sauce

1 28 oz can Bush’s Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce

1 28 oz can Black Beans rinsed

1 large onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

½ to 1 whole jalapeno finely chopped (depending on personal taste)

1 red or green pepper chopped

A few shakes of Tabasco Chipotle flavor

Pepper, Chili powder, and cumin to personal taste

Vegetable or Canola oil just a few teaspoons

Optional grated cheddar or vegan cheese to top


The night  before, or early in the  morning:

In a large pan saute the butternut squash in oil for a few minutes  on medium high and then add the onion and jalapeno and pepper

Saute 2 until onion becomes translucent and add the garlic, saute 1 more minute

Turn heat off and add sauce, beans and seasoning, stir well

Add a little water, tomato juice, or broth to bring to your desired consistency, I like it thick so I use very little

Transfer mixture to your crock pot.  Refrigerate over night if needed

Place in crock pot on either low heat for the entire day or if possible high heat for several hours and then more to low once heated through and the squash is tender.  We had it on high for about 4 hours and low for 2 hours before serving

Season to your own taste, and serve with cheese if desired

If cooking on a traditional stove use the same steps but simmer until the squash is tender



5 more questions

This seemed to be a hit last week so I decided to go for round 2.  Feel free to answer on my blog or at Vegetarilin on Facebook.

1. What is your favorite source of protein? I love tofu.  It’s so versatile and soaks up the flavor of whatever you cook it with.

2. What’s your favorite prepackaged vegetarian product? I don’t eat many of these but I enjoy Morningstar Farms Chipotle Black Bean Burgers from Costco.

3. Do you personally cook or allow meat products to be cooked in your home? Meat is almost always grilled to keep the smell out of my house.  I respect my husband’s decision to eat meat but I don’t want to smell it.

4. If you have pets are they vegetarian? Not totally, but we’re working on it.  We switched over to a veg variety but we (not me) mixed the veg variety in with the old dog.  I need to have them finish this current mixture and then buy another bag and try this again!

5. Is your entire household (humans not pets) vegetarian? As stated above no.  Currently half my household is vegetarian and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Peace, love & greens Lin

5 Questions

I recently saw this on an RV blog I read and found the questions and answers very interesting.  I was thinking about the questions people usually ask me about being a vegetarian as well as my own personal thoughts on the subject.  I’d love to see what you thoughts are on the subject.

1. What’s the most annoying question people ask you? “You can eat fish right?”

2. Do you miss any specific meat? At this point I don’t miss meat at all but I absolutely missed a good barbecue early on.

3. What do you order when you end up in a restaurant with no veg options? This happened to me the other day.  I had a salad and 3 sides.

4. Why or why not vegan? I have 2 reasons.  First I love cheese and it’s hard to give up.  Second, my husband is not a veg and it’s difficult enough working around our different diets.

5.  Do you ever knowingly cheat? I haven’t in over a year but I used to occasionally order vegetable pad thai which has fish sauce.  My rationalization was that it was just a minor ingredient, I wasn’t eating the entire fish or anything!

6. For the non-vegetarians: If you’re reading this you’re obviously interested in a vegetarian diet.  What stops you from going veg?  (no judgement here!)

Peace, love & greens, Lin

Vegetarian Dogs

I just stumbled upon this article and found it interesting.  Awhile ago I decided not to force my dogs to live my vegetarian choice and kept them on their regular low fat kibble.  However, my pit mix Casey has been having some skin issues which are not terrible but aren’t going away after visits with the vet, antibiotics, and several home remedies.

Is a vegetarian diet safe for my dog? | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

While browsing through the pet store recently I saw Nature’s Recipe healthy skin vegetarian formula and decided to look it up. After Googling reviews I found that several people had older dogs with similar skin issues and going on this formula helped immensely.  There were definitely some negative reviews as well but for the most part they were positive.  I decided to put my dogs on a vegetarian diet.

In reality this will be a transition.  They are eating 50/50 old and new formula and will finish their box of meat biscuits which is a giant box.  So far, they like it.  They’re doing that funny thing where they manage to pick out and eat all the new veg food and leave their old food behind. This would be fine except that it never stays in the bowl, kibble is now all over the laundry room floor.

Only time will tell if this is a good idea or not.  Casey and Rocki’s health and well being is of most importance to me.  Are your dog’s veg and if so what have been the overall effect of this diet?  I’d really love to know.

Have a peaceful day, Lin

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Have you ever tried finding a recipe for a decent vegetarian pad thai? The results are dismal at best.  Several recipes call for the traditional fish sauce.  Fish is not a vegetable, it is not vegetarian, nor is their sauce.  I saw a recipe that was considered veg but had shrimp in it.  There we go again.  Another recipe called for 1.5 cups of peanut butter!  I don’t think I use that much when making cold sesame noodles and peanut butter is the main ingredient for that!  Another called for the juice of several limes and got great reviews.  I tried a similar version awhile ago thinking it odd but figuring my family enjoys lime so how bad could it be?  We all dumped our plates down the disposal and ordered pizza that night.

With all that failure I pretty much gave up on pad thai but recently found myself really craving it.  I googled it and reviewed several recipes and as always came up with my own version.  This one had quite a bit of heat and good overall flavor.  It is certainly the first recipe I’ve made that I would share with anyone.  My one mistake I knew in advance.  I couldn’t get the appropriate rice noodles for pad thai and used rice spaghetti instead.  I haven’t cooked that particular pasta in a while and realized too late that it tends to be either too chewy or overcooked with no happy medium.  The right pasta does make all the difference.

I cooked the pasta in advance, made a bowl of wet ingredients and a bowl of chopped ingredients.  This way I was able to have everything at hand and toss them into the pan quickly as needed.  Once again I messed up my attempts at being gluten-free.  I used gf tamari instead of soy sauce but the hoisin sauce contains wheat products.  Oh well, I do the best I can.   My version was vegan but feel free to scramble an egg or 2 and cook it in the pan flat like a pancake.    Once removed from heat slice the egg and add it to the finished recipe.  For my husband I grilled a piece of tilapia in an Asian sauce.

Don’t let the amount of ingredients scare you away.  This was pretty simple to cook and took no time at all.  I bought sliced mushrooms and julienned carrots to make it go quickly.  This recipe is pretty true to how I cooked it and found the heat level to be just right for me.  My only descriptive is to say that it was the hot enough to affect my sinuses and almost gave me a runny nose but not quite.  Please adjust the heat to your personal taste.


8 oz thin flat rice pasta often called pad thai pasta

1 vegetable bouillon in 1/2 cup hot water

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot chili sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1-2 tablespoons brown sugar

up to 1/3 cup peanut oil

1 block extra firm tofu cubed and blotted to remove water

8 oz sliced mushrooms

4 scallions sliced, greens separated from whites

1/2 cup julienned carrots

1/2 cup julienned pepper jalapeno for more heat (I used small sweet peppers, it’s what I had)

2-3 minced garlic cloves

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)

1/2 cup chopped peanuts


Cook pasta according to directions, drain and put aside,

Mix all wet ingredients  except peanut oil in a bowl adding the brown sugar

Place peanuts and scallion greens in a bowl and set aside for garnish

In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil and add tofu and vegetables except garlic and scallion whites, saute for several minutes letting the tofu start to brown a little but don’t over cook the veggies, when they look almost done add garlic and scallion whites, saute another minute

Add the wet ingredients and then the pasta, mix until everything is well coated, top with peanuts and scallion greens.

Have a peacful day, Lin

Vegetarilin on Facebook

Eating Lions

I am very perplexed by the recent uproar regarding an Arizona restaurant serving lion meat.  This restaurant owner decided that the best way to honor FIFA’s World Cup location was to serve Lion Burgers!  Poor lion, how did it get caught up in the middle of all of this.  How is eating an animal paying homage to anything.

In reality it is just a pathetic sick way to make a buck. If people are willing to eat lion meat then he will profit greatly.  So will the entire chain behind him including those that obtained the meat, the seller of the meat, the butcher, etc etc.

There’s one thing I don’t understand.  If you’re willing to eat a cow, pig, deer, chicken, or fish why not eat a lion?  Why not eat a dog or a cat?  Is it because we haven’t changed the name of lion meat to make it more diet friendly.  We have beef,pork, venison, and poultry, do we just need a friendly, less obvious name for lion meat to make it more palatable?

I wish I could say I was a lifelong vegetarian but I’m not.  It’s been an on and off process for years although I never ate much meat.  I had odd rules like nothing with bones so that I could fool myself into believing it hadn’t once been alive.  I can no longer do that.  An animal is an animal, life is life and we should not eat those that are unable to defend themselves.

Gandhi stated: “I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”  Personally I think that says it all.

Coke Products Vegetarian?

I actually don’t remember what I was viewing online that made me question if Coke products are vegetarian or not but I had a moment of concern.  I have to admit while working towards a healthier diet with less and less processed ingredients Caffeine Free Diet Coke is still a guilty pleasure.  I’ve greatly reduced the quantity of this product that I consume but can’t seem to abstain completely.  Being that I have been caffeine free for several years my consumption of carbonated beverages has been greatly reduced due to lack of availability in the form of diet beverages.  I am down to about 5 cans per week versus a few years ago when I enjoyed my first diet coke at 7am and things went downhill from there.

I wrote to the Coke Company and would like to share my response from them.  Please note the comment stating that I should be happy because their products that contain gelatin are derived from fish and are kosher.  Rest assured I’ve already responded to them on this regard.

Here’s their response:

Thank you for contacting The Coca-Cola Company.  We certainly appreciate the opportunity to respond to your inquiry.

Except the products that contain cochineal (which is listed on the label) and the products that contain milk (which is also indicated on the label), brands of The Coca-Cola Company in the United States do not contain any ingredient derived from animals.

However, some of our juice products contain Vitamin D3, which is derived from lanolin.  Lanolin is a natural oil in the fiber of sheep’s wool.  It is separated from the wool after the sheep’s hair is cut (sheared).  Lanolin oil is obtainable without harming the sheep but may be an issue for strict vegetarians.

Additionally, some of our suppliers use a common industry practice for grape juice clarification that does involve animal by-products.  This practice is becoming increasingly less common as ultra-filtration systems are gradually replacing the gelatin used in this process.  However, you may be interested to know that because our juices are certified kosher, the gelatin used to clarify the juice is made from fish.

In the U.S., the only Coca-Cola brand products that are currently produced with cochineal are Minute Maid Juices To Go Ruby Red Grapefruit Drink, Jugos Del Valle Strawberry Banana Juice Nectar, and Jugos Del Valle Strawberry Juice Nectar.

The only currently manufactured Coca-Cola brand products that contain milk are Far Coast (World of Coca-Cola only), Caribou Iced Coffee, FUZE Refresh, and Minute Maid Fruit and Creme Swirls.

We hope this information is helpful.  Please feel free to contact us again.

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The Coca-Cola Company