Staff Spotlight Series: Every now and then we thought we’d spice up our typical posts on HSAs, health insurance & wellness to offer up a better opportunity for all of you out there to get to know all of us here at American Health Value on a more personal level. To that end, we’re creating a series of blog posts called our “Staff Spotlight Series”.
In this first installment, our Customer Service Manager Robin wanted to write a piece about how eating healthy food every once in a while isn’t only good for you, it can be both practical and economical as well. Check it out below!
During World War I, the US Food Administration (USFA) urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to help the war effort. Conserving food would support U.S. troops as well as feed populations in Europe where food production and distribution had been disrupted by war. This time around, Meatless Mondays is brought back as a reminder that meat production can be expensive and sometimes hard on the environment, and unfortunately not always the healthiest choice. Replace one meal a week with a vegetarian meal. Save money and reduce your cholesterol!
This week my Vegetarian Times Magazine came in the mail. It had an article about a week's worth of meals that you can put together, refrigerate or freeze, and be ready for dinner each night without a hassle. I cook a lot, so I don’t find dinner to be a chore. I was intrigued however, by the beautiful recipes I saw. It motivated me to try my meatless week of dinners.
Monday night I made Zucchini Corn Cannelloni. It was hearty, gooey, and yummy. No one in my house complained that it was missing meat! Paired with a spinach salad, it did the job of filling empty bellies.
Tuesday night I made Broiled French Onion Soup with homemade whole wheat garlic scallion bread. I worried that soup would not make a meal, so I added a side of kale salad with mandarins, pepitos (roasted pumpkin seeds) with a chili lime vinaigrette.
Wednesday we ate pinto bean, mushroom, walnut veggie burgers. This recipe is a hybrid of many veggie burgers that I have been trying. I love pinto beans, so they became the basis of the burger. It is so easy to change up the ingredients in a Veggie Burger, that you can add most anything you want. I used bread crumbs and a little grape seed oil to bind it together. I figure, as long as it doesn’t fall apart when you are pan frying it, it’s all good! I added an Israeli couscous salad on the side. To the couscous, I added raisins, grape tomatoes, sugar peas, pepitos, and onion. I finished with an apple cider/grape seed oil/ brown sugar vinaigrette. Once again, no one complained because there was no meat!
Thursday night, I admit I was starting to feel a little bit daunted by the fact that I needed to come up with another vegetarian dish. As I peered into the refrigerator, checking out my options, I saw that I had bought smoked tofu. I took the tofu, (my first time trying it, I will definitely use it again!) and cut it into small cubes. I had some rice noodles in my pantry. I added sautéed veggies that were in the fridge, with the tofu and topped it all with a lime, brown sugar, ponzu (citrus soy sauce) dressing.
I rounded off the week on Friday by making Veggie Chili. How hard is it? Just make chili and don’t add the hamburger or chicken. Make sure you make some corn bread to keep everyone happy!
My week of meatless meals turned out to be easy and delicious, and economical!
For the record, I am not vegetarian or vegan. I don’t endorse any style of eating, except that of using and eating quality, healthy food. Life is too short to eat bad food!
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