Archive for Musings

6 Tips to Help You Embrace Meatless Monday

In my house, we have a big challenge that we are faced with every day, and I’ll bet you struggle with something similar in yours.

There are two of us living here; and we have different diets. My son is a bacon-loving omnivore, and I am a vegetarian (though I do still sometimes eat sustainably harvested fish). How many of you have a similar dilemma? Maybe someone has allergies, or is gluten-free, or perhaps you, too are a carnivore living with a vegetarian.#MeatlessMonday

It’s a tough one. Because I’m the one that buys the groceries and cooks the dinners, we basically don’t have meat in the house. Michael gets his fill of burgers when we go out. But the challenge is coming up with dinners that are satisfying enough to someone who likes to eat meat, while still being vegetarian.

There are lots of reasons why people choose to be vegetarian, but for me, the most compelling one is the environment. Raising livestock puts a much heavier stress on the environment than growing vegetables or grains does. Additionally, livestock contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. 

I’m not suggesting everyone go vegetarian, those are just my reasons for doing so. BUT if everyone gave up meat just one day week, it would save “99.6 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions. This would be the equivalent of removing 46 million round trip flights between Los Angeles and New York, or taking 19.2 million cars off the road for a full year,” says the Huffington Post.

The Meatless Monday movement was born out of this concept. You basically choose to not eat meat on Mondays. Great! Then what do you eat??

Here are some tips to help you embrace Meatless Monday.

  1. Find a good grocery store. This is key. I find that if I have to run all over town and go to 7 grocery stores to find what I like, that seriously puts a damper on things! I’ve been shopping at Save-On a lot lately, and have been really impressed by their variety of vegetarian-friendly products. They have tofu, as well as meat subs like veggie burgers, Tofurkey, Yves and Field Roast products. They also have the best selection I’ve found of Gardein products, which are our favorites. Michael happily eats them. We especially like the Porkless Bites, the Mandarin Orange “Chicken” and the Crabcakes. Bonus: you can order online and they will deliver to your house, or they’ll do the shopping for you and you can just pick up your groceries on the way home from work. So convenient!

    We eat this about once a week. So tasty!

  2. Eat a (Veggie) burger, man! My son, the carnivore, loves veggie burgers. Try a bunch of different ones until you find one you really like, or experiment with recipes online. We have them in our freezer at all times.
  3. Pasta! Pasta makes a hearty and filling meal, and is pretty darn healthy to boot. We have a vegetarian pasta with Caesar Salad at least once a week. I throw a bunch of vegetables in there, some pesto, maybe a tomato sauce? You could add in some veggie meatballs if you like. Try some of the newer gluten-free pastas for a bonus shot of protein: many of them are made with quinoa or beans.
  4. Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit: speaking of beans, those things are the bomb! They are cheap, tasty and filling, you can prepare them a million ways, and they are packed with protein.

    These tacos are made with lentils!

  5. Eat ethnic: many culture’s cuisines focus more heavily on vegetables than others. Indian cooking, for example, is very vegetarian friendly, as can be Asian cuisine, especially Thai or Vietnamese. Or just think a big ol’ stirfry with tofu, rice and a yummy sauce, served alongside vegetarian potstickers or egg rolls.
  6. Breakfast for dinner: who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? We love quiches, waffles or pancakes for dinner. I keep frozen pie crusts in my freezer all the time, making it a matter of minutes for me to cook up some veggies and whip those together with some eggs and cheese to make a delicious quiche. Makes a great leftover breakfast or lunch the next day, too!
  7. Comfort food: grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup? Mac ‘n’ cheese? A big ol’ casserole? Ooooh yeah. Delicious, comforting, and very vegetarian friendly.

So there you have it! 6 tips to help you embrace Meatless Monday!

Do you participate in Meatless Monday? I’d love to hear what your families’ favorite dishes are. Please share in the comments below.

This post is sponsored by Save-On Foods, but the opinions are my own.



Let’s Make Less Waste

Last year, I watched the documentary Just Eat it.  Jen and Grant are a local couple who decide to make a three-month commitment to not purchase groceries, but rather to scavenge every bit of food. It sounds weird, right? Who would take up dumpster diving if they didn’t have to? Well, it’s an incredibly interesting film, and if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s worth checking out.

Photo Credit: AdamCohn via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: AdamCohn via Compfight cc

I really hate throwing out food. Last year, the City of Vancouver introduced a mandatory food scraps program, and I was stoked. I spearheaded the introduction of the program into our building (which has 100 units), and it went really well. Now our food scraps go to Worm Works to create compost, instead of to the landfill.

Recycling! Yay! Composting! Yay! We’re reducing the amount of garbage we create, and therefore, our carbon footprint.

But what if we could reduce it even further by creating less waste? We waste a lot of food here in the Lower Mainland: 190,000 tonnes a year, according to David Suzuki. That translates into about $700 a year in groceries we are throwing away!

I can really be a food hoarder. Because I’m a food blogger, I like to have a stocked pantry, because I never know when I might need something to create a certain dish, and I hate having to run to the store all the time. When it comes to pantry items that don’t go bad, that’s probably okay, but sometimes I end up throwing out whole produce, and that makes me mad.

There’s a new website called that aims to help. Not only is it packed with tips about to reduce the amount of food you throw away, it even has menu planning! Kinda cool.

Let’s Make Less Waste!

    1. The freezer is your friend: I bought the smallest deep freeze I could find. It’s a tiny, apartment-sized chest freezer, and I love it. Freezing is a great option. You can buy in bulk, separate and freeze in smaller containers, or I often make big batches of cookies or soup or sauce and freeze in individual portions. I also buy frozen fruit in bulk that I use daily for smoothies. I buy big bunches of bananas, peel them, cut them into chunks, and freeze them on a cookie sheet, before storing them in a ziploc bag, again for smoothies. I love my freezer.
    2. Learn how to store produce for the long run: I’ll buy a pack of lettuce with three heads in it, bring it home, chop it, wash it, spin it dry, and then pack it into mason jars. It’ll stay fresh like that for a week or more. You can do the same with kale or spinach. Click here for more ways to store your produce.
    3. Plan your meals: one great way to reduce waste and save money is to plan your meals for the week. This means taking inventory of what you’ve got on hand (and needs to be used up), and then planning next week’s meals around that. Then go to the store and only buy what’s on your list!


    1. Make RC soups, stews, stirfrys and stocks: “RC” stands for “Refrigerator Cleanout,” not “Rebecca Coleman,” though you’re welcome to use my recipes. 😉 You can freeze the ends of things you’re not going to eat, like say, the kale stems, in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Once you have a bag full, throw it in your slow cooker with some onions and garlic, the carcass of a chicken if you have one, and let it simmer for 24 hours. You’ll be left with the most beautiful, rich stock for soups or risottos. You can do the same with leftover vegetables to create soups. You can always puree it into a smooth soup–that covers a multitude of flavours and textures. Tomato sauce is also great for throwing leftover veg into, and, again, you can puree it if you want to hide them better. All of these are also freezeable. I will also roast or stir-fry leftover vegetables for lunches. You just need to add some protein to make it a full meal.
    2. Give it away: I often double recipes, but I end up giving half of the recipe away. Why not help feed someone else?
    3. Buy ugly: I often shop at Sunrise Market, and they get a lot of “leftovers” there. A couple weeks back, they were selling 2 packages of blueberries for $1. I bought a bunch, brought them home and froze them, they are now making an appearance in my daily smoothie. 2016 is the year of the ugly fruits and vegetables. They don’t have to be pretty!
    4. Juice it! Speaking of ugly fruits and veg, I have a juicer, and it doesn’t matter if the fruit is a bit overripe, or it doesn’t look good when it’s just going into the juicer, it still tastes good when it comes out the other side. You can even use the leftover juice pulp to make bread and crackers.


  1. Grow your own! You can easily grow things like lettuce in a balcony box. I also grow herbs, strawberries, kale, and cucumbers (if the bugs don’t eat them). For more info on balcony gardening, click here.

What are your favourite waste- and money-saving tips? Share them in the comments below.



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