My blog exist to help busy vegetarian moms feed their families healthy, budget friendly food that makes them want to ask for seconds. As a vegetarian mom myself, I often struggle with what to make for dinner. It feels like the same question comes up every day, and I always spend precious time looking around my kitchen wondering “what should we eat tonight”. It’s a delicate balance between making something healthy, making something they’ll love, not spending hours in the kitchen, and not breaking the budget.
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- Empower moms with the skills they need to cook vegetarian food for their families
When I first met my husband, he used to joke that I was not a vegetarian, instead I was a “pasta-tarian” because it seemed all I would eat was pasta. While there might have been some truth to that back then, I started a journey to eat healthier, include more variety, and make things that both myself and my husband would enjoy eating.
For those of us not raised in a vegetarian household, it can sometimes be difficult to learn the skills needed to cook really good vegetarian food. As I’ve grown, I’ve taught myself skills like how to cook tofu (which was something I’d never heard of before I was in college), how to make a really good vegetable stir fry, and what this thing called nutritional yeast is (and how to use it). It’s been a long journey, but a very rewarding one as I tackle new challenges every week.
- Provide easy to follow recipes that make cooking simple and fun
I grew up learning how to cook by watching and cooking alongside my mom. There were a few trusted, dog-eared, note filled cook books that were so well loved that they became part of the family. I can still quote you page numbers from the Joy of Cooking by Irma S Rombauer for some of our favorite recipes.
As I’ve gone on my vegetarian jouney, I’ve learned how to modify recipes and adjust to make them fit me and my family. One of my kids doesn’t like eggs but the other one loves them, how do I adjust the recipe to meet both needs (while still using the eggs in my fridge so they don’t go bad)? My husband happens to be a die-hard carnivore, yet I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 11 years old. One of the things I’ve learned to do is make one meal that meets both our needs. (Side note – over time, he’s gradually eating less and less meat, mostly because I’ve found enough other yummy recipes that satisfy those urges.)
- Recommend strategies for saving time in the kitchen
You name it, I’ve tried it. Make ahead meals. Once a month grocery shopping. Freezer meals. Instant pot cooking. Air fryer cooking. Making my own mixes and meal kits. Etc.
Mostly for financial reasons, my husband and I decided to stop eating out at restaurants except for special occasions (birthdays, anniversary, etc.). This means that 99% of our food is cooked at home, which can be very time consuming. In order to avoid spending hours and hours in the kitchen when we didn’t have the time (full time job, three energetic kids, etc.), I started exploring and experimenting with different time saving techniques for making our meals. One of my favorite time saving tricks was to make ahead mixes for things I baked often. For example, there was a period of time when I made homemade wheat bread in my bread machine every week. Instead of measuring out all the ingredients each time, I bought the ingredients in bulk and made my own mixes in ziplock bags and mason jars, which I could then just pour and use each week when making my bread. It turned a 10 minute bread making task each week into a 2 minute one. (And I got fresh bread each week – which is always a good thing!)
- Help moms save money by eating at home instead of takeout or restaurants
You don’t have to go to the same extreme that my husband and I did. But each meal you choose to make at home instead of eating out will save you money. You no longer have to pay for the restaurant overhead like rent money and labor costs in the price of your meal. And added bonus, you actually know what’s in your food when you cook it at home (which is great for folks with food allergies like me).
When our family of five took a look at our finances a couple years ago, I was shocked (and very appalled) by the amount of money we spent on fast food, restaurants, and food delivery services. We changed directions and stopped eating out except for special occasions. I’ll admit, the first month or two was really hard. I was missing the convenient and often delicious food that we used to eat. But over time, we got used to the new normal, and developed a lot of really good, money saving recipes that we can make ourselves.
- Write a weekly blog post to help busy vegetarian moms on their journey
I’m still learning and growing as a home chef. As I grow, I would love to give back and help other moms like me feed their families as well. There is something deeply satisfying about putting a new recipe on the table and having your six year old give it a thumbs up and say “it’s a winner”.
Whether you want to just try something new, or are looking to eat healthier, or more budget friendly, or all of the above, I’m hoping that my journey will help inspire you to create your own path. When my husband and I were first starting out, my mom gave me my own copy of our beloved cookbook, Joy of Cooking. Inside the cover, she wrote “May you always find joy and satisfaction in the nurturing of your family’s bodies and souls through good nutritious food.” That is my wish for you as well, and hopefully my experiences can help you to have joyful ones of your own.