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Food News Restaurants

Santa Claus Is Coming To Harvard Square – Beat Brasserie Hosts Fifth Annual Santa Brunch with Live Holiday Music

WHAT:                 It’s the most wonderful time of the year! On Saturday, December 9th, 2017 Rudolph will guide Santa’s sleigh to Beat Brasserie in Harvard Square for its fifth annual Santa Brunch from 10:00AM to 3:00PM.Guests can enjoy a delicious seasonal menu, live holiday music, and photo opportunities with jolly Kris Kringle himself.

The Beat’s acclaimed kitchen will serve a delicious selection of brunch fare from Executive Chef James Lyons, with dishes that include Pumpkin Coffee Cake with honey butter ($7.50), Hummus with Roasted Lamb or Vegetarian($16/$11.5), Eggs Shakshuka with baked eggs, eggplant, spicy tomato sauce ($14) add chorizo (+$3) or fresh baked pita (+$2), Prime Natural Beef Hamburger with balsamic onions, special sauce, and French fries ($17) with the option to add cheddar, gorgonzola, pimento cheddar, or bacon for ($5 ea.), Breakfast Pizza brick oven pizza with hot sausage, bacon, red bell peppers, potato and egg ($16), and for the kids, enjoy dishes like Kiddie Scrambled Eggs & Frites ($8.5), Grilled Cheese, Chicken Dinos, or Cheese & Tomato Pizza.

While the little ones are frolicking with Santa, parents can sneak in one of Beat’s “pick-me-ups” such as the Bloody Mary ($11.50), Mimosa with Domaine Chandon Brut and OJ ($12), and Honey Crisp with Domaine Chandon Brut, apple brandy, apple cider, and burlesque bitters ($13.50).

This is an event for all ages and is sure to get you on the nice list! Santa will be available for pictures from 10:30AM to 2:30PM, however cameras will not be provided. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 617-499-0001. Regular brunch pricing and specials offered. No cover charge.

WHERE:               Beat Brasserie, 13 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA

 

WHEN:                 Saturday, December 9th, 2017 from 10:00AM – 3:00PM

 

RSVP:                   Online at www.beatbrasserie.com or by calling Beat at 617-499-0001

About Beat Brasserie:

Beat Brasserie is an American brasserie and bar located in the heart of Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA. Inspired by the hippie and beat movements of the mid-twentieth century, The Beat caters to all walks of life. Their mission is to satisfy the local community as well as vagabonds passing through. With an always fresh, seasonal, and wholesome menu, enjoyable for carnivores and vegetarians alike, Beat’s dishes draw influence and flavors from around the world. The bar celebrates American spirits and American artisanal wines crafted by small batch winemakers with heart and soul. To heighten the senses further, Beat features daily live music by cutting edge musicians in jazz, blues and world music, bringing eclectic artistry to their stage in Cambridge.  For more information visit www.beatbrasserie.com.

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Categories
Alcoholic

Smirnoff Offers up Peppermint Holiday Drink Recipes

  1. Winter Whisperer
  • 1.5 oz Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
  • .75 oz pomegranate syrup
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 oz Club Soda

Instructions: Muddle mint with syrup, and add lemon juice and Smirnoff Peppermint Twist. Fill with ice and shake.  Strain over ice in a rocks glass and top with club soda.

Pomegranate syrup: mix 4 oz POM with 4 oz sugar

  1. Cranberry Pineapple Punch – Courtesy of Karly Gomez from A Simple Pantry
  • 1 gallon 100% cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail)
  • 1 46 oz can pineapple juice
  • 3 cups lemon-lime soda
  • 3 cups Smirnoff No. 21 vodka
  • Sliced oranges, oranges, lemon (optional)
  • Fresh cranberries (optional)

Instructions: In a large drink container add the cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lemon-lime soda, and Smirnoff No. 21 vodka, stirring gently to combine. Toss in the optional fruits and serve chilled, or room temperature over ice.

  1. Nutcracker
  • 1 oz Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • .5 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • 1 oz organic pear juice
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz orgeat syrup

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and shake.  Strain over cubed ice into a rocks glass.

  1.  Chocolate Peppermint Martini– Courtesy of Kendra Darr fromSimply Darrling
  • 4 ounces Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka
  • 2 ounce crème de cacao
  • 1 ounce chocolate liquor
  • 2 ounce cream chocolate sauce & crushed peppermint for garnish

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker, add ice, cream, and liquors. Shake, Shake, Shake. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with chocolate and crushed peppermints.

  1. Gingerbread Martini – Courtesy of Kendra Darr from Simply Darrling
  • 3 ounces Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • 3 ounces Irish cream
  • 2 Tablespoons gingerbread syrup (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces cream
  • Whipped Cream & Crushed Gingerbread cookies for garnish

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Smirnoff Vodka, Irish Cream, Gingerbread Syrup, Vanilla Extract, and Cream. Shake, Shake Shake, Strain into a martini glass and garnish with whipped cream and crushed gingerbread cookies

  1.  Holiday Bliss
  • 1 oz Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
  • .5 oz Don Julio Añejo Tequila
  • 3 oz Rich Chocolate Milk

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake.  Strain into a rocks glass and top with grated cinnamon.

  1. Kissed Caramel Apple Punch – Courtesy of Karly Gomez from A Simple Pantry
  • 1 ½ gallons spiced apple cider
  • 1 12.2 oz bottle caramel syrup
  • 3 cups Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka
  • Sliced apples (optional)
  • Cinnamon sticks (option)

Instructions: Pour the apple cider into a large drink container, then stir in the caramel syrup. Add the Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka and stir gently to combine. Add the sliced apples and cinnamon sticks, and serve either chilled or room temperature over ice.

  1. The Original Mule
  • 1.5 oz Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 3 oz. ginger beer

Instructions: Build all in copper mug and stir gently to mix.

  1. Cardamom Pear Punch ( 12- 16 drinks) 
  • 3 cups Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • 6 cups pear juice ( from a jar)
  • 1-2 teaspoons orange bitters
  • 2 red pears, sliced thinly horizontally

Instructions:

Cardamom Ginger Syrup

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

10 cardamon pods crushed ( or sub 1 teaspoon ground cardamon) 

1/8 cup sliced ginger root, peels ok

1 tablespoon vanilla 

Make the Syrup. Place honey, water,  cardamon, ginger and vanilla in a small pot and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let this steep one hour, or overnight for the best flavor. 

In a medium punch bowl or beverage dispenser, pour in the Smirnoff Vodka, pear juice, bitters and sliced pears. Stir in the Cardamon ginger syrup.

Refrigerate until ready to serve, and serve over ice. 

This can be made a day ahead or the night before the party and refrigerated, allowing the flavors to meld.  

Categories
Alcoholic Autumn Drinks/Cocktails Holidays Recipes Thanksgiving

Drink up! Low calorie Thanksgiving cocktails

Mouthwatering Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie might satisfy our test buds, but holiday meals can wreak havoc on our waistlines. Thankfully, we have some low calorie Thanksgiving cocktails courtesy of Amoretti for those who want to imbibe for 165 calories or less!

The Sip and Fall cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti)
The Sip and Fall cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti)

Sip and Fall

Ingredients

1 oz. watermelon vodka

1 oz. Amoretti Premium Sour Apple Martini Mix

3 oz. club soda

Directions

Combine the vodka and martini mix in a glass, add ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a green apple slice (optional).

Calories: 98

The A-pear-ently Apple cocktail. (Media/Credit Amoretti)
The A-pear-ently Apple cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti)

A-pear-ently Apple

Ingredients

1 oz. Amoretti Premium Pear Martini Mix

12 oz. (1 bottle) low calorie hard cider (Amoretti recommends Magners Irish Hard Cider, Crispin Original or Michelob ULTRA Light Cider)

Directions

Gently combine both ingredients in a tall glass. Garnish with a pear wheel (optional).

Calories: 165

 

 

Mango You Didn’t!

Mango You Didn't!
The Mango You Didn’t! cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti) 

 

Ingredients

2 oz. Amoretti Premium Cosmopolitan Martini Mix

1 oz. mango nectar

6 oz. club soda

Directions

Gently combine all ingredients in a glass and fill with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel (optional).

Calories: 115

Ginger Winter
The Ginger Winter cocktail (Media/Credit: Amoretti) 

 

Ginger Winter

Ingredients

½ pump Amoretti Premium Gingerbread Syrup

½ oz. Amoretti Premium Pomegranate Martini Mix

4-6 oz. nonalcoholic sparkling apple cider

Directions

Gently combine the gingerbread syrup and pomegranate martini mix in the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill with the sparkling cider. Garnish with a thin apple slice (optional).

Calories: 103

Categories
Food and Health Food News

The Question of Sustainability in Organic Farming

EarthTalkOrganicUnsustainableEarthTalk®
E – The Environmental Magazine

 

Dear EarthTalk: Do you agree with the recent claim in the Wall Street Journal that organic agriculture isn’t actually sustainable?                                      — Chuck Romaniello, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Henry I. Miller’s May 15, 2014 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal has indeed made waves in the organic farming community. Miller, former director of the Office of Biotechnology at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, argues that conventional farming—which uses synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers and often genetically modified (GM) seed stock to maximize yields—is actually better for the environment, producing more food and using less water compared to organic farming.

“Organic farming might work well for certain local environments on a small scale, but its farms produce far less food per unit of land and water than conventional ones,” says Miller. “The low yields of organic agriculture—typically 20 percent to 50 percent less than conventional agriculture—impose various stresses on farmland and especially on water consumption.” Miller adds that organic methods can cause significant leaking of nitrates from composted manure—the fertilizer of choice for most organic farms—into groundwater, polluting drinking water. He also cites research showing that large-scale composting generates significant amounts of greenhouse gases and “may also deposit pathogenic bacteria on or in food crops, which has led to more frequent occurrences of food poisoning in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

“If the scale of organic production were significantly increased, says Miller, the lower yields would increase the pressure for the conversion of more land to farming and more water for irrigation, both of which are serious environmental issues.” He adds that conventional farming’s embrace of GM crops—a no-no to organic farmers—is yet another way we can boost yields and feed more people with less land.

But, the Washington, DC-based Organic Center takes issue with Miller’s allegations about nitrates polluting groundwater: “Most studies that examine nutrient runoff show that organic production methods result in reduced nitrogen losses when compared to conventional crop production,” reports the group.

The Organic Center also disputes Miller’s claims about the organic farming’s carbon footprint, arguing that overall energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions are much less from organic farming than for conventional agriculture. The group also says that taking into account the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the production (not just the use) of synthetic fertilizer changes the equation entirely. The group cites a recent study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which found that organic agriculture could potentially reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent compared to conventional farming.

Also, Miller’s statements about GM crops overlook the ecological problems associated with their use. “For example,” the Organic Center reports, “transgene movement from GM crops to wild, weedy relatives could increase the invasiveness of weeds.” Also, genetic modification has led to higher pesticide use in agricultural systems and an increase in herbicide-resistant weeds. Some worry this is leading to a vicious cycle whereby farmers use more and more chemical herbicides to battle hardier and hardier weeds.

As the price of organic food continues to drop, more and more people will be able to afford it and the increased demand may well drive the conversion to organic agriculture more than policy or philosophy.

 

CONTACTS: Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com; The Organic Center, www.organic-center.org.

 

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

Categories
Holidays Restaurants

Red’s Restaurant and Lounge Celebrates St. Patty’s Day with a Menu Homage to Coach Red Auerbach

958f2c0bac2c05300c574553ba4a3947Former Celtic’s coash Red Auerbach already serves as the namesake for Red’s Restaurant and Lounge located at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel and now the eatery is honoring him even more.

This St. Patrick’s Day, Red’s Restaurant and Lounge will have a specialty menu with an Irish theme that is accompanied by the live entertainment of The Familiars of Cape Cod.

Led by Executive Chef Daniel Kenney, the restaurant will offer its patrons a slight American-Cape touch to the Irish cuisine that includes A Tasting of Ireland’s Best Cheeses Served with Clover Honey and Toast, All-Day-Cooked Corned Beef, Tender Cabbage, Local Roots, and Guinness Broth, and Bailey’s Irish Cream Crème Brule with Toasted Almond Macaroon.

With an a la carte menu that represents Red Auerbach and his local pride, the restaurant will put on this special St. Patrick’s Day menu March 15, 16, and 17th.

Categories
Food News

Truck Full of Ribs Ignites on California Highway Causing Delays and a Delicious Aroma

beef-ribs-getty.jpg?w=300&h=225On Saturday night, a truck that was carrying 76,000 pounds of beef ribs erupted in flames along Interstate 40 in Ludlow, California.

The fire started in the truck’s rear wheels. According to Al Franco, spokesman for the San Bernadino Sun, the entire trailer was burning by the time firefighters arrived on the scene. By this point, the truck was no longer hooked up to the trailer.

Passersby were welcomed with the distinctive aroma of beef ribs as they sat stuck in traffic for about two hours. There were no injuries, but the cause of the fire is still unknown.

Local rib restaurants may have had an influx of customers after the incident, though.

Categories
Meals

Christmas Albums Worth Listening To

Christmas season has officially arrived and is in full swing, which means Christmas music can be played at all times of day! Listening to holiday tunes is such an easy way to get into the Christmas spirit and make any moment feel more festive and to remind ourselves that Christmas is a celebration, not a frenzy of consumerism. Everyone knows the classics like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, but what about the new songs out there? Here are a few albums that put a new spin on some favorite songs that you can listen to this Christmas season.db47b6b7c7f485499597393a5863cc40
1. Artist: Pentatonix. Album: PTXmas. The group Pentatonix released eight tracks this year of their favorite Christmas songs. Their version of “Little Drummer Boy” is all over the Internet right now, and you should watch it if you haven’t yet. The five member group is full of such talent that it gives me chills to listen to their album. I put this first because it is my number one album this year. If you only want to listen to a couple instead of the whole album, I suggest “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “This Christmas.Michael Buble - Christmas (inside1)
2. Artist: Michael Bublé. Album: Christmas. I know he released this album in 2011 but I love singing along to it or hearing it at Christmas parties. For a slower and more peaceful pace, “Silent Night” is a go-to. I love listening to it on Christmas Eve while in the car with my family. His rendition of “White Christmas,” accompanied by Shania Twain, is one that my little sister and I love dancing around too, and maybe you will too!
3. Artist: Kelly Clarkson. Album: Wrapped in Red. Kelly Clarkson possesses the ability to reach high notes with pristine ease, as well as soulful notes with power. This album reaffirms her talent and reasons why she was American Idol’s Season 1 winner. “Underneath the tree” and “Wrapped in Red” are two of the upbeat and popular songs on the album, but I think her talent is really showcased in “Winter Dreams.”
4. Artist: Mariah Carey. Album: Merry Christmas. Here’s another extremely talented female singer whose talent puts the rest of us to shame. Although she released this album in 1994, it consistently appears on the top 10 albums chart. Obvious choices are “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” If you really like the first song, you should go ahead and watch “Love Actually,” a British movie from 2003 that includes a preteen singing that song. It’s one of my favorite movies, especially at Christmas time.fda28efbf89aec4ec25780eccf08617a
5. Artist: The Piano Guys. Album: A Family Christmas. This group of musicians from Utah released their 12-track album with all the classics, like “We Three Kings,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” and “Carol of the Bells.” This group is instruments only, but it’s a beautiful soundtrack and their talent is unbelievable. A Youtube video accompanies each song, and I love watching them and seeing the joy these guys have as they make music!
Those are my top 5 picks for this year. What are your favorite Christmas songs or albums? Did I forget anything?

Categories
Alcoholic Drinks/Cocktails Restaurants

MET Restaurant Group Bringing a “Crafty Mary” Bloody Mary Bar to All of Its New England Locations

If you love a good Bloody Mary, the MET Restaurant Group is launching a menu for you. This November, all five of their New England locations will have a “Crafty Mary Menu” with more than 13,000 combinations of this favorite cocktail. Sunday brunch has never looked or tasted so good.

The Metropolitan Club in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, The MET Bar & Grill in Dedham and Natick, Massachusetts, the MET on Main in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Met Back Bay on Newbury Street in Boston will offer the menu at Sunday brunch. The Met Back Bay will also have the menu available on Saturdays.

Restaurant patrons get to choose their liquor from a list of spirits that includes everything from Ketel One to Don Julio. Once the liquor is chosen, guests have the option to pick from an unlimited combination of “fixins & garnishes” that include olives, lime, or even a Salami and Cheese Skewer. To top it all off, guests can choose traditional sea salt or the soon-to-be favorite bacon salt. A wide selection of hot sauces like Sriracha, wasabi, and Worcestershire give guests the option for as little or as much kick as they want.

Take your brunch experience to new levels with this Crafty Menu that is the perfect accompaniment to your weekend meals.

bloody-mary-cocktail-recipe-3

CRAFTY MARY MENU

 

SPIRITS (Choose One)

Belvedere $13

Belvedere Bloody $13

Ketel One $13

Ketel Citron $13

Tanqueray $12

Hendricks $12

Don Julio Silver $14

Don Julio Reposado $15

Don Julio Anjeo $16

Bulleit Bourbon $14

 

FIXINS & GARNISHES

Celery

Lime

Lemon

Olives

Cocktail Onions

Cured Garlic Cloves $1

Pepperocini $1

Cornichons $1

Cherry Tomatoes $1

Hickory Smoked Bacon Strip $1

Tomolives $1

Caperberries $1

1/2 Sour Pickle $2

Clams $2.5

Cheddar Block $3

Salami & Cheese Skewer $3

Oyster $3

Mini Cheese Burger $5

Shrimp $5

Lobster $8

 

RIMS

Sea Salt & Pepper

Old Bay

Bacon Salt

 

MIXERS

Met Bloody Mary Mix

Met Clamato

 

HEAT & TANG

Green or Red Tabasco

Worcestershire

MET Sauce

Horseradish

Sriracha

Wasabi

Categories
Meals

10 Foods with Hidden Health Benefits

We all hear about the importance of healthy eating, but why? What do we gain from eating more fruits and vegetables? Well, here’s a list of 10 “super foods” that can give you some serious health benefits when added to your diet. I listed just a few of the benefits found in them, because they are packed full of nutrients! Besides sharing what and why you should eat these foods, I also included potential snacks to make with them! All of these snacks are definitely worth a try in my opinion.
1. Chia seeds- Add to breakfast smoothies or in Greek yogurt. 2 tablespoons have double the antioxidants found in blueberries, 41% of your daily fiber, 100% more omega 3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega 3 lowers cholesterol levels, boosts brainpower, and improves blood vessel functions. Chia seeds are amazing!2d7b16370ae35ae88aa09f5ae52acdda
2. Blackberries- Blackberries make a delicious treat, especially when they are juicy and in season. Try a handful with cottage cheese, or with yogurt and granola or sliced almonds. Blackberries provide excellent source of iron and Vitamin K. Vitamin K prevents blood clotting and strengthens your bones.
3. Grapes- Have you tried frozen grapes? A healthy snack when you’re craving something cold. My roommate and I always eat these after we work out. Grapes are anti-inflammatory, stimulate your metabolism, and improve your vision. They also contain Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C.
4. Tomatoes- Sprinkle a slice with mozzarella, garlic, basil, and olive oil. These contain beta-carotene that protects against sun damage. These colorful fruits also contain Vitamin A to improve vision and reduce risk of macular degeneration in your eyes.
5. Oatmeal- Add cinnamon, honey, and bananas to oatmeal for breakfast! (And always eat breakfast!) Oatmeal has high levels of soluble fiber, which makes you feel full longer, and controls blood sugar levels. Oatmeal also has 5 grams of protein for ½ cup, and it is low calorie! I used to really hate oatmeal, but over the years I’ve come to love it and now I have it for breakfast almost every morning.94822b42f68fbc4cefb80fce1661ff56
6. Avocadoes- I wish avocadoes were in season all year, they are one of my favorite snacks. Sprinkle half an avocado with garlic salt and olive oil for a quick and filling snack. They are rich in Vitamin E, which gives you healthier hair and skin- who doesn’t want that?! They also contain 35% more potassium than a banana. Avocadoes have more natural fiber than any other fruit- so you feel full longer. Natural fiber also aids in digestion and helps regulate blood sugar.
7. Kale-Sauté it first to bring out flavor, then add pine nuts, cranberries, and lemon-flavored dressing. Kale increases your metabolism and helps detoxify your liver and kidneys. It contains iron, Vitamins A and C, calcium, and is anti-inflammatory.
8. Sweet potatoes- Slice and drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese after. Sweet potatoes possess high levels of fiber and beta carotene. Those nutrients promote a healthy digestive tract, they and contain Vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts your immune system and your skin because it produces collagen.

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9. Apples- Try with carob ships and peanut butter as a filling snack. Apples contain phyto-chemicals plus solid doses of flavonoids and carotenoids which lower disease risk and protect against cancer. They protect against osteoporosis, cataracts, and diabetes because of the antioxidants and high levels of soluble fiber.

10. Quinoa- Try it with black beans, corn, and salsa. It contains amino acids- the building blocks of protein (thank you high school biology for that fact). Quinoa is high in iron and calcium for strong bones. This grain also has riboflavin to improve your metabolism and energy production. It has twice as much fiber as other grains and carbs with a low glycemic index, so your body can convert it and use it without storing the carbs as fat.
Which of these are you going to try? Is there another super food that you love to snack on or cook in meals?

Categories
Food News Tips, Tricks, and Advice

Everything but Turkey for Thanksgiving

Vegetarian Quiche for Thanksgiving!
Vegetarian Quiche for Thanksgiving!
One thing many vegetarians will have to break to their family at one point or another is that they will no longer be eating turkey on Thanksgiving. People will ask you why you can’t just eat meat on this one day. They may say that they thought you still ate chicken and turkey. They may fear that you will bring Tofurkey.

Another problem vegetarians and vegans may face when it comes to a large dinner gathering is having diverse and nutritious options. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been tempted to  just go for a 100% pie and potatoes diet, but let’s be honest…even for a holiday, that’s not the healthiest. Many pre-made options are highly processed and salty. Plus, isn’t it much more fun to mix it up a bit? Don’t you want some protein in there? Time to step it up!

Fear not, my veggie friends. I’ve gathered some of the best vegetarian and vegan recipes out there, tried and tested.

Baked Tofu (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Ready for a super simple, protein packed recipe?

It’s a pretty simple process, as detailed in this Whole Foods step by step recipe. I like to coat the tofu cubes in olive oil with a brush, and then sprinkle sugar in the raw or other seasonings. Spicy, savory, sweet, it’s up to you! The tofu comes out crunchy and golden.

Roasted Chickpeas (Vegetarian/Vegan)

The chickpea, or garbanzo, is a diverse little legume. It can be made into flour, hummus, falafel…but it’s pretty great in its bean form, too, and don’t you forget it! A friend of mine gave me the idea to roast chickpeas with some spices a few years ago, and it has been a favorite ever since. I often serve it at dinner parties, and I’m complimented on how delicious it is. The recipe is also pretty basic. As a spice, I prefer to add cumin and turmeric, maybe a kick of cayenne. Or add some sriracha after roasting them. Especially tasty with some sauteed kale on the side. And healthy!

Quiche (Vegetarian)

A quiche can be so very festive and, let’s be honest, it’s like you’re getting to jump straight into the pie portion of the meal.

My sister enjoys making a broccoli and cheddar quiche for the holidays, similar to this recipe. If you want to make it a tad easier, you can pick up a pre-made crust. Whole Foods has some great gluten free and dairy free crusts, if you prefer, and you can always make this recipe vegan with a milk and butter substitute and egg replacer. I’ve prepared this vegetarian and gluten-free and vegan, and didn’t have a problem with any of the variations!

Festive Quinoa (Vegan)

Quinoa is nutritious, and this recipe is flavorful and festive.

We served this last year and I enjoyed it quite a bit. For added flair, we added cranberries with orange essence. Quite filling!

Zucchini Boats (Vegetarian/Vegan)

It’s a combination of boats and zucchini. What more could you ask for?

I follow a recipe similar to this one, but honestly, I use whatever floats my boat. Pun intended.

Brown rice, couscous, some beans, grape tomatoes, it’s all fair game! Scoop out the zucchini filling (aside from the seeds) and mix with your filling of choice. Fill the boats with the cooked mixture, and bake! Sprinkle cheese/vegan cheese of your choosing. Once again, I also like to just spot with sriracha. You’re ready to sail!

Sweet Potato & Black Beans (Vegetarian/Vegan)

I initially made a recipe similar to this one as a vegan burrito a few years back, omitting the cheese in lieu of avocado. However, this recipe also works great without wrapping everything burrito style. Sweet potatoes and black beans are an absolute winning combination!

Polenta with Eggplant (Vegetarian/Vegan)

My friend gave me a recipe book that has a recipe like this one in it, and it has become one of my favorites. I admit that I cheat and buy the Trader Joe’s polenta. I tend to omit the cheese on this as well.

Fellow vegetarians and vegans, what has been your Thanksgiving plight? Do you have any favorite meals for this time of year?

One thing I love about Thanksgiving is sharing all of the food, and the fortune of being able to try so many recipes. I’m thankful that I have these options. I also believe that everyone’s body is different, and just because a diet works for you does not mean that it is for everyone. While I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons, I initially stopped eating meat because I simply don’t enjoy eating it. However, I think it is nice to keep in mind that not everyone who is sharing your Thanksgiving with you will share these views, and they should be able to eat in peace. I have many friends and family who have diets based on personal beliefs and/or health restrictions, and Thanksgiving should be a time of sharing and giving, not judging. I think it is important to remember this because I am often asked if I am angry at others for eating meat, and I don’t think that is a kind way to approach what is said to be a kind diet.

I hope you all have a great holiday, and I would love to hear your recipe ideas!