Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why Are You A Vegetarian?

The most common question I get when I tell someone I am a vegetarian is, "why?" Most vegetarians chose to live meat free after reading up on the treatment of animals or watching a gut-wrenching documentary, others made the decision for health reasons or to simply lose weight. I am a bit different, I originally started a vegetarian diet as a personal challenge. I honestly wanted to see if I could do it. After a few months of going without meat, I was hooked. I have since learned the ends and outs of being vegetarian and can now share some of the best reasons to be vegetarian!
  1. Reduce Pollution - The meat industry is making a huge impact on our environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. Runoff from farmlands is one of the greatest threats to water quality today.
  2. Lose Weight - A large, five-year study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2013 revealed that people who don't eat meat have a lower average BMI than meat-eaters. I can speak from experience, that you will lose weight if you become a vegetarian. I did not need to lose weight when I switched to a vegetarian diet, but without even trying I lost about 4 pounds.
  3. Health Benefits - So many health benefits, I don't even know where to begin. A meat free diet can reduce your risk of diabetes, improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure, slow the aging process, increase the immune system and more!
  4. Cancer Prevention - No one wants the dreaded C word. Studies have shown a significant reduction in cancer risk among individuals that avoid meat. In addition, animal products increase hormone production, which increases your risk for hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate.
  5. Beautiful Skin - No Joke. Eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains increase the antioxidants in your body which neutralize the free radicals that can bring on wrinkles, brown spots, and other signs of aging.
  6. Happier - How could you not be happier with a smaller waist, beautiful skin and a clear conscience? But seriously, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a natural mood-booster. Economists and public health researchers from the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College studied the eating habits of 80,000 people in Great Britain and found that mental well-being appeared to increase with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
Cool, huh? I hope you enjoyed reading some of the reasons why I think being a vegetarian is awesome. If you are a vegetarian I'd love to hear why you love being a vegetarian! If you are a carnivore and aren't considering becoming a vegetarian I encourage you to try a meatless meal at least once a week, just to test the waters!

Until next time

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fuel Cafe

Happy Saturday Yall! Today has been a wonderfully confusing day here in the Mid-South. From the time I woke up this morning I could not tell weather (spelled correctly for the occasion) I would need my rain coat or my sun block. So my initial plan was to spend the day strolling the Memphis Zoo with the love of my life then heading out to C-Ville to spend the rest of the evening. Little did I know that the weather had a different plan for us.

After picking Jake up from a much needed boys night (I needed it as much as he did) we quickly decided the weather was not permitting for a Zoo trip. A few hours were then spent in Collierville buying Jake a new phone (yippee) and before I knew it I was hangry! For those of you that also get hangry you understand the feeling of wanting food so bad yet not want to settle for anything less than mouth watering. So in my half-starved stupor I decided we should go to Midtown to try out Fuel Cafe. Within an hour I was completely stuffed and content.

I have been wanting to try Fuel Cafe for a while now. Every time I suggest we go there Jake says "I don't know what that is." and every time I respond, "It's that place that looks like an old gas station turned into a restaurant." And that is exactly what it is.

Placed in the heart of Midtown on Madison Ave. is housed Fuel Cafe, one quaint and delicious dining experience for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. They have two separate menus for lunch and dinner with a wide variety of dishes. All of their food is made from scratch featuring fresh, all natural ingredients.

Today, I was in the mood for something hearty, as was Jake. And although it is the middle of summer I ended up ordering the Quinoa and Red Bean Chili with French Fries while Jake ordered the Chicken Pot Pie.

I guess rainy days often spur the urge for a warm and tasty entree, however , I cooled off my hot meal with an ice cold beer. In fact, in the spirit of trying new things I got the Blue Pants Workman which turned out to compliment my meal quite nicely!

Fuel Cafe left us full and fueled with a delicious, healthy and nutritious meal. Really, what more could you ask for?

Check out Fuel Cafe here!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vegetarian Jambalaya

It is a rainy day here in Memphis so of course I am longing for my big warm bed and a huge bowl of yummy goodness.  The first meal that came to mind when I walked out of the door at 5 o'clock was vegetarian jambalaya. Jambalaya is one of my favorite comfort food dishes and in my opinion is perfect for a rainy day. When I first became a vegetarian I was restricted (mentally speaking) to the typical dishes. Salads, veggie burgers, vegetable stir fry, etc. It wasn't until I started experimenting with different recipes did I realize how many options vegetarians do have!

Vegetarian jambalaya is just one of the many recipes that you can simply substitute the meat for a meatless product. In my jambalaya I like to use Lightlife brand sausage. This "sausage" has a great consistency and a really good flavor too. Overall, this is quick and rather filling dinner idea. Check out the recipe below!

Vegetarian Jambalaya


2 Lightlife Sausages
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup baby kale
15 oz can black beans
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups water
28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 cup white rice (I use minute rice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

  1. Heat a pan to medium with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Chop the "sausage" and cook them until they are browned. Put them in a separate bowl off to the side. We will add it to the jambalaya later. 
  2. Using the same pan you cooked the "sausage" in saute the onions, peppers and garlic with another tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Crush/Blend the tomatoes until they are smooth. Add them to the pan with water, rice, kale and seasonings. Mix everything together. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. 
  5. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. 
  6. Add the beans and "sausage" and cook uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.


Sunday, May 11, 2014


When I wanted to start this blog I really had no idea where to begin. Of course I wanted to impress you guys with an awesome and intriguing post so to be honest, I have been putting it off. 

Today is the day though; the sun is out its a warm 85 degrees and Jake and I went to one of my favorite places in Memphis, Huey's! For those of you that aren't Memphians, Huey's is a local favorite, made famous by its burgers and toothpicks (yes, I said toothpicks).

At first glance you might think this is your usual  restaurant with various burgers, sandwiches, and plates. However, a quick overview of the menu and you will notice that the "Huey's Prescriptions" contain quite a few options for the odd ball vegetarians here in the dirty meat filled South.

For appetizers, they have spinach and artichoke dip, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms, and my all-time favorite, fried pickles. Fried pickles really are a must have here. 

I would go into how perfectly crisp yet juicy these fried pickles are but I will hold my tongue and simply let you salivate at the picture. 

 That's right, take it all in. 

Ok, moving on! Huey's also has some of the best burgers for vegetarians. Yes, that is plural.

All of the burgers on the menu can be served with either a black bean patty or a veggie burger patty. I love that I can enjoy a burger without being limited to a usual garden burger hosting the usual toppings. At Huey's your veggie burger might come on a texas toast with pepper jack cheese, onions and jalapenos or it might be served on a sesame seed bun with Blue cheese crumbles, Heinz 57, and onion straws.

My favorite is the West Coast Burger with a black bean patty. It contains pepper jack cheese, guacamole, red onion, mayo, lettuce and tomato, this burger is to die for. Regardless of what you choose, it is bound to be delicious!
Along with the burgers and appetizers there is always the safe route of going with a Huey's tossed salad. I mean you can get that if you want to be a boring typical vegetarian. Just sayin.

Any who, I love Huey's! I don't know if you could tell, so I thought I would make myself clear. It is a great place to grab a quick bite while watching the Grizzlies play or take the family after church on Sunday. With 7 locations around the Memphis area there is always one right around the corner.

So the next time you want to get something Meatless in Memphis. Eat local. Eat Huey's.