Love to eat? So do we!


Hello readers! Thank you so much for checking out WeekdayVegetarians. I have decided to broaden my blog and rename it too! Please check out my new location at The Family Standard Blog for great ideas, recipes, and inspiration on giving your family the best life has to offer! Don’t forget to subscribe so that you can be notified whenever a post is made!


“Spring” cleaning.


Some people make new year’s resolutions. I used to, until I realized that come lunch time on the first day of the year, I already wasn’t following my resolution and then I would feel terrible about breaking it and would give up and have more dessert. Usually, my resolutions were food related. This September, my daughter started senior kindergarten and my son started going to daycare two days a week leaving me with two whole days to do whatever I want. I have had four of these days so far and they have been… great, and busy, and I can’t believe 3:00 pm rolls around so fast. This year was a new schedule for us, but familiar because of my daughter going to school on the same schedule as last year. Except this time around it felt more like a new year, more so than 1 January ever feels for me. I wanted to start this year off on the right foot so I made some commitments to myself (some I have already let slip) and they were to: 1. spend 20 minutes a day writing, 2. spend at least 30 minutes a day walking, 3. spend 10 minutes a day meditating or giving prayerful thought to something and 4. put thought into what my children are eating and what we will be having for dinner. Also, I resolved to clean my house. Not just your regular weekly or biweekly clean. I cleaned my house. I’m actually still cleaning my house. I went through almost every nook and cranny and looked at the things that I haven’t looked at since we moved in over 5 years ago. I opened the cupboards and drawers that normally I would quickly shut again for fear of going through it. I still have a few cupboards and drawers to go through, but I no longer spend 4 minutes searching for a wooden spoon in our utensil drawer in our kitchen, nor have I bought a double of something we already had in our cold storage room. In 5 years you accumulate a lot of stuff – some good, some bad, some just because you can’t bring yourself to throw it out. I must have about 5 kilograms of dried beans which I bought with every intention of making. However, I have never made a bean dish from dried beans before, as opening a can is so much easier. So I was a little intimidated. Last night, I decided I wanted to do it! I wanted to make beans from scratch. I wanted to finally put a dent in that bean collection we have had for years. So, I found a recipe from a Turkish cookbook that I have and went for it. The first step is to soak the beans overnight. This is the sort of dish you can’t just decide to have for dinner, it takes some forethought but it ends up being worth it in the end. If you have never soaked beans before, it’s a little disconcerting in the beginning because the soaking dried beans take a long time to resemble canned beans and they look a little freaky. However, this dish is filling and satisfying (and strangely enough, doesn’t make you bloated or gassy) and served with some nice fresh crusty bread, it’s a delicious hearty dinner. We had guests over and we served it with chicken – I know, I know – some vegetarians we are!… but we didn’t eat the meat, only our guests did.

Turkish-Style White Kidney Beans with Garlic and Olive OIl

  • 2 cups dried white kidney beans, picked through

1. Put your picked through kidney beans in a bowl that will hold at least 4 cups of liquid as your beans will double in size. Cover the beans with cold water so they are fully submerged and allow to sit overnight. If the beans absorb most of your water, simply add more cold water.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, broken into whole cloves and peeled
  • 4 small carrots, chopped

2. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic and carrots and allow to soften without browning, about 15 minutes.

  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and allow to soften, about 5 minutes.

4. Drain the beans that have been sitting and add to the pot. Stir until the beans are covered with your other ingredients and then add the sugar and salt. Stir. *Adding the 2 tablespoons of sugar will give your beans a sweeter flavour but adding 3 will make them quite sweet. My husband likes it with 3, but it was too sweet for me. It’s personal preference.*

5. Add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 1 1/2- 2 hours. If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the lid for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time to allow the water to evaporate. If you like a sauce to dip your bread in, leave the beans covered.

These beans will keep in a fridge for 3 days, and will serve 6 – 8 generous portions for dinner. Serve with fresh crusty bread and a nice thick plain yogurt. Bon appetit or as they say in Turkey, “Afiyet olsun!”

If you’re like me and you have a pantry or cupboard full of meal ingredients you haven’t got around to making, give it a whirl and see what interesting and different things you can come up with. Making dinner every night doesn’t have to be the bane of our existence, it can be an adventure into something completely different, a step in the right direction. One of our guests ate 2 servings of the beans and after dinner commented on the fact that he loved dinner because he couldn’t remember the last healthy meal he had. It made me feel great. When people take seconds (and thirds and fourths in my husband’s case), it speaks volumes for the food. And look at that, I just got more than 20 minutes of writing in. Two of my four resolutions done in one day… if I can only find a way to count cleaning as my walking!


What a summer!


Well, it’s almost been 2 months since my last post and while I wish I had a plethora of photos and recipes to share with you, it seems we got too busy eating food and the keeping track and the photographing of it, sort of slipped my mind. I suppose I should ask you to take my word for it that we ate some amazing, new vegetarian dishes – some made by me, some made by family, and some eaten out – and we had our fair share of non-vegetarian dishes and (I’m ashamed to admit this) we neglected our green smoothies for the better part of the summer. However, after the whirlwind that was our summer, we are back to our regular schedule, back to our regular diet and back in the swing of things. Our bodies are once again adjusting to a high-fibre vegetarian diet and I’m encouraged by the fresh produce that is still available where we are (tomatoes, wild blueberries, herbs from our own garden, eggplants, pears, apples…) to help keep our food interesting.

We have had a garden for three of the five years we have been in our house. Our first year we planted strawberries, raspberries, mint, chives, tomatoes, cucumbers and jalapeno peppers.  Now, in our third year, we have two strawberry leaves (I’m holding onto hope that they’ll one day yield fruit), a raspberry BUSH (with so much fruit it’s amazing!), chives and mint that are taking over most of the garden, and several other things that, thanks to the amazing weather, have provided us with a nice variety of delicious healthy treats. 

My kids love helping me water, de-weed, and pick the vegetables in our garden and I love letting them help me. The first time they followed me into the garden, my husband got worried they were going to get filthy, and they did, but I told him I would clean them up and the result was wonderful. They enjoyed themselves, and I enjoyed myself because I wanted to be sure they saw where some of the food they eat comes from. Most kids will answer that food comes from the grocery store. The answer is correct, but as we all know, that’s not where food originates from. In fact, I can remember when my daughter learned what a chicken was and the next time she had chicken, she stared at her fork for about 2 minutes. She was making the connection that what she was eating was an animal that she just learned about. Truth be told, it didn’t seem to bother her that much, and I know it doesn’t bother my son (he is a meat-eater through and through) but I was happy that she realized that it wasn’t just some food that magically gets made.

If you watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, it’s staggering to see how many children can’t identify various vegetables. I am determined to educate my children on food, what they eat, why we eat it, why we don’t eat certain food, etc. I do this by letting them help in the garden, and getting excited to take them to the farmer’s markets around us. They get excited too, which makes me so happy. The best thing is that as we make changes they don’t seem to notice or mind. We stopped buying yogurt with all sorts of sweeteners and fruits inside and instead buy organic Greek-style yogurt. The kids love it and don’t miss their old yogurt at all. If you were to take a look at our grocery bill from a year ago today and our grocery bill now, you would be shocked at the difference. Before we bought processed foods (because they were convenient and appealing to a child) and didn’t pay much attention to the label (for ingredients or nutritional values), but now we are mindful of everything we put in our cart and therefore, in our mouths. Of course, we eat out occasionally and let go of our “rules” every now and again, but most of the time, we watch and our hopes are, that doing this now, will set up the kids for the future. I’m not going to say that coming up with delicious vegetarian dishes my 4 and 2 year old children want to eat has been a walk in the park, but, as I said above, I’m excited to continue trying new vegetarian dishes. We have our staples that I know they’ll eat, but we can’ t have homemade pizza or “tacos” every night so I continue to search and cook and blog and I hope you come back and see what I’ve tried!

To tantalize your taste buds, here are some things I plan to make in the next little while:

Whole-Grain Morning Loaf

Portable Breakfast Pastries

Thyme-Cheddar Twists

Seeded Savoury Mini Scones

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Potato Gnocchi with Walnuts, Browned Butter and Sage

Couscous and Vegetable Stuffed Tomatoes

Cuban Style Baked Beans and Rice

Check back often for more regular updates as we get back into the swing of things. I hope your September is going smoothly and if you are getting back to school or work, or have kids that have gone back, I hope you are able to snatch a moment to yourself for a cup of coffee or tea and a chance to read this blog! See you soon!!


Salad *correction*

It has been a while since my last post. I apologize for this but this is a double-edged apology. The first edge is the sincere apology to my readers for not getting any updated posts, but the other side is the side where I’m not sorry for being away from computers and internet and technology for a while… and more of this seclusion is coming. My family has a cottage and as our children get older it gets easier and easier for me to spend more and more time up there. I will be back and forth most of July but this time next year I plan on being up there for most of the summer. Another great thing is that as our friends’ kids get older too, they get more comfortable coming up (and staying over! yay!!) too, which is great as 24/7 with Mom gets boring for my kids (and once they’re asleep, boring for Mommy too!).

We have been making some delicious things and I will do a big post full of photos sometime soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy a fast, easy and delicious recipe for Salade Nicoise (sans the tuna). I had this while out wedding dress shopping with my recently engaged friend (I have been asked to be a bridesmaid and am SO excited). The salad was so delicious, that I made it the next day for my husband and I for lunch. I am still thinking about it… it’s filling, and healthy, and oh so good!

Nicoise Salad (without Tuna)

This is the recipe for 1 salad.

  • 2-3 boiled mini potatoes, cut into halves or quarters
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 boiled egg, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 english cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 carrot, grated
  • 12-15 green beans, boiled and cooled
  • 2 handfuls of green lettuce salad

Sherry Vinaigrette

I use about 1-2 tbsp of this dressing for each salad.

  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a suitable, closing container and use sparingly on salad. Keep in the refrigerator and shake well before using each time.


Chili and corn bread.


First off, let me apologize if you read my Tuesday Treats on my Good to the Last Crumb on Facebook. This recipe is so good I want to share it here too so I am doubling up on my posts.

Every Christmas, my husband buys a litre of eggnog thinking that he is going to like it… he never does. I do the same thing with corn bread. I always think I am going to like it. I ate it in Bobby Flay’s restaurant and it left me unimpressed. I come across recipes for it often and always give it a go, but inevitably, I end up unhappy and, again, unimpressed. I just can’t see the big deal. So, when I decided to make a pot of vegetarian chili, I decided I needed to make something on the side and naturally I thought of corn bread. So I did a search and found tonnes of recipes all slightly similar with a few things different in all of them, some added cheese, some added broccoli and one added green onions. Well, in our house adding onion to anything makes it an instantly better dish, so I decided to, once again, give corn bread a whirl. This recipe is so easy (it only makes 6 muffins) and so quick and so delicious that my mind as been changed about corn bread. We added some extra toppings to our chili too to make it extra delicious (sour cream, cheddar cheese and cilantro) and had a dinner perfect for cool spring nights!

Vegetarian Chili

A bit of olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced
3-4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1-1 1/2 large can(s) of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 large can red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed (no salt or organic)
1 large can pinto beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed (no salt or organic)
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Fry the onion until it is translucent. Add the garlic, carrot and celery and fry until soft, turning down the heat as necessary to avoid burning. Add the red pepper and fry until starting to soften – we like our vegetables a bit crunchy still. Add the tomatoes (juice and all), beans and spices and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to a simmer, cover and allow to simmer until the chili is coked through and the flavours have melded. If you need to add water or more juice from tomatoes, do so. We like our chili thick and crunchy, but not too thick or too crunchy, so adjust it as you see fit and to your tastes.

Please click here for the recipe for the corn bread courtesy of Martha Stewart.

If you’re also not a corn bread fan, these may be the muffins that change your mind! Enjoy!!!


A lot of the things we eat are the things we have always eaten. And a lot of the things online for vegetarian options are similar to what we have been eating. Mexican food is a very popular vegetarian flavouring as is Middle Eastern flavours. My husband and I sometimes make lists of the food we like to eat (and we know the children will like) because I get into slumps. Well, three weeks of curries, falafels, quesadillas and tacos (our list), and it seemed like I was out of ideas and just tired of eating the same things. I should also mention that I meal plan. I figure out at the beginning of the week what we are going to eat for most of the week. With two children and a pretty busy life, I can’t waste time going to the grocery store every night just for something I forgot so I try to get most of it on my grocery shopping day. I have the luxury of grocery shopping during the week because I am still at home with my son. I actually refuse (unless it’s life or death) to go shopping on the weekends because I fear for my life when I’m out. If I have to go to Costco on a Saturday, it’s common that my husband thinks I have been kidnapped because I’ve been gone so long and I usually only return with the one item we needed because my nerves for dodging carts going this way and that, can only take so much. I’m getting a bit off topic. What I’m trying to say is that I needed to make and eat something different than what we had been eating. So here is our list of what we are eating this week:

  • Monday – Grilled vegetables, Rice, Tzatziki and Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Salad
  • Tuesday – Lasagna (with a pureed vegetable sauce because I’m tired of my things getting picked out)
  • Wednesday – Veggie Burgers with Pan Roasted Mini Potatoes and Spinach Salad
  • Thursday – Soba Noodles with Sugar Snap Peas and a Peanut and Mint Sauce (no. 38 from Republic in NYC).
  • Friday – Vegetarian Chilli
  • Saturday – Chicken Wings (from this organic, local meat farmer), Asian Coleslaw and Naan bread
  • Sunday – Father’s day brunch with Bacon (also from Beretta farms), Banana Waffles, Hashbrowns, Eggs Benedict, Fruit Salad and Virgin Mojitos

But don’t for one second think I just sat down and said I would make this without putting a lot of thought into it. I want to take this opportunity to share with you a few of my commonly used resources. These are blogs, or cookbooks or magazines or websites that I consult often. Even if you just get one idea from them and never return again, hopefully these sources will get you thinking differently about what you’re preparing or they’ll get you putting in an ingredient you hadn’t thought of before. However, as with anything found online – use your discretion! I often change things in recipes or in the directions based on how I do them. For cooking this usually ends up okay, with baking it is sometimes hit or miss. Also, check out your favourite restaurants and see what they’re putting in your favourite dishes to encourage you too! Almost anything can be found online and if you use some creativity you can try to recreate restaurant dishes at home. Happy cooking!


Main-Course Salads


Kid-Friendly Vegetarian

Classics for Vegetarian Cooking

Chilli, Soups and Stews

Lasagna and Pasta


Food & Drink Magazine

Whole Foods Market

“You’re vegetarian? You can have the fish.”

How I Fell in Love with a Fish! TED Talk

A lot of our friends and family have encouraged us since we have become Weekday Vegetarians. In fact, a weekly class I go to (where our host provides breakfast) now makes a meat option and a vegetarian option. People who have us over for dinner often make a vegetarian main to help us have a meat-free option. It’s really great and really humbling to see how people have embraced this healthier lifestyle for us.

Every now and then, people say a comment that makes us laugh every time we hear it.

“You’re a vegetarian, you can have the fish.”

Whether we are out at restaurants or at someone’s house, people treat fish like it isn’t meat. I have had a waitress show me the fish and seafood section of a menu after hearing I was a vegetarian. It’s as if fish marketers have left the impression that it’s not a living thing… so it’s okay to be eaten by vegetarians.

However, given that we occasionally eat meat on weekends, it doesn’t offend us, but I could see how, if you are a full time vegetarian it might be a bit frustrating.

I have attached a link to another TED Talk– this one is very interesting and eye opening. I suggest you watch it, whether or not you’re a fish/seafood eater or a vegetarian. It will definitely open your eyes to the misconceptions of what we are eating and the large food companies perversions of the natural order of things, namely the food chain and how mass, intensive food production is creating flavorless food and destroying our earth. It will also encourage you to think of different ways to encourage local, organic and therefore healthy and tasty food options – like Farmer’s markets or organic grocery stores. I hope it is food for thought!



Mexican food, or rather Canadianized Mexican food, is a favourite in our house. At any given time we have 3 or 4 avocados ripening and a bunch of cilantro waiting to be made in to a delicious, refreshing guacamole, black bean salad or simply spread on to a tortilla instead of mayo. We have integrated “taco night” as a staple in our weekly meal plans, but after 4 weeks of tacos, you want a change. So what are your options? Burritos, or fajitas, or quesadillas! Quesadillas are kind of like pizzas with a bottom and top crust. Well, that’s how I sold it to my recently-picky son. Last night I made them with cut up tofu, zucchini, onions and yellow bell peppers. I fried those up and then added some chili powder, turmeric, oregano, cumin and cilantro (dried). I put my tofu mix on top of a tortilla covered with cheese, put more cheese and another tortilla and then baked the whole thing until the cheese was melty. We then cut it up into 8 slices and added salsa, sour cream and guacamole. The kids LOVED it. And as long as my son couldn’t see the green from the zucchini skin, he was good. I also made a plain cheese quesadilla and little D had no problem with that one. Serve this with a black bean salad and you’ve got yourself a delicious, homemade dinner in about 10 minutes.

We recently tried the Yves “Ground Meat” and let me tell you, it has quickly moved to the number 1 slot for vegetarian substitutes. I know some people are opposed to being vegetarian and then eating things that simulate meat… BUT, with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, sometimes you have to keep things familiar, and this product does that. I fact, we had tacos one night with my brother-in-law and I asked him what meat he thought we were eating (it was a Sunday, so he thought it was meat) and he said turkey because it wasn’t greasy. Once he finished eating his tacos, I told him he hadn’t eaten an ounce of meat and he was shocked and I think pleasantly surprised.

If you haven’t eaten tacos in a while, try them, and try making your own taco seasoning too. Because we like tacos so much, we used to buy the seasoning packs a lot but then realized there was a lot of crap inside that wasn’t necessary, so I started making my own – each time it’s different, but cooking is easy like that, it can be delicious but a little different every time.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried cilantro
Spice, if you like it.

If I make this for meat, I put the spices in about a cup of water and add the mixture to the fried meat, allowing the water to evaporate from the meat, flavouring it all the while. If I am making this for the Yves “Ground Meat,” I don’t add the water because it does something to the structure of the product and makes it mushy.

Buen apetito!


Good morning!


Today I thought I would do a running blog of what we are eating starting with my glorious, in-house cappuccino, made by moi (and with a little help from my Nespresso machine). Eating something great today? Let me know or better yet, send me a photo!!!

This is our green smoothie – this morning my husband made it for us and I almost ended up losing a finger in the magic bullet… true story. Then we had smoked paprika hash browns with scrambled eggs on English muffins! Lunch will be a treat because we are going to a birthday party! Stay tuned!!!

Well, that was a meat-eriffic day. We had hot dogs for lunch with potato salad and coleslaw and then for dinner (after a couple of hours in the pool) we had delicious hamburgers. All four of us are zonked and I completely forgot to take photos of most of what we were eating while we were out except for the most important part – birthday cake!


My children were the only ones in the party room polishing off their dessert plates. Their hotdogs they ate quickly and wanted to get back to playing. But dessert was different, somethings in life aren’t meant to be rushed… like beautiful treat-filled weekends – hope yours was amazing!

Fresh rolls.


Here in Ontario we celebrated our recent Victoria Day holiday with quite possibly the nicest May long weekend we have had in a while. We were swimming all day Sunday and had three full days of being outside and enjoying our recently de-weeded yard. We entertained a lot this weekend, and the one thing I forgot WAS TO TAKE PICTURES of the delicious things we made.

On Saturday, we had family and friends over and we served all vegetarian food. Actually, almost the whole weekend was vegetarian and we were a bit nervous about what our guests might think, but they ended up loving it. So, Saturday we had my Thai Green Curry that I have posted before, with coconut rice, Pad Thai and Mango Salad. Same old, same old. BUT, I switched it up a bit, and made some fresh rolls. I love spring rolls but I also know that deep frying food often is not so good for us, so I decided to try my hand at fresh rolls. The recipe is here. Try it, you will love it. And definitely make the sauce, because separate they are okay, but together they are amazing.

On Sunday we spent the day with different friends at their house and pool and enjoyed our meat quota with steak sandwiches, sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs. We spent the entire day in the pool and cooled off afterwards with a homemade (by me) brownie ice cream cake. I love ice cream and I love brownies, but what I don’t love about brownies combined with ice cream is that you usually put all of it in the freezer and your delicious chewy brownies become hard and cold. So, what I did was put the ice cream in a saran-wrapped cake pan the same size as my brownie pans and put the softened ice cream in that then put it back in the freezer. I baked and cooled the best brownies known to man and kept them out of the freezer until it was ready to assemble. I put the very frozen ice cream on the bottom brownie and then put the top brownie on top and then we ate it and it was gone very quickly. I apologize for not taking photos, but now that I think of it, there was a very small window of opportunity for picture taking!

Then, on Monday we had more friends over and this time we had a barbecue! We served roasted vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, onions, red peppers, asparagus and portobello mushrooms) which we used to make panini sandwiches. I put out pesto and different sauces (mustards and mayonnaises, etc.) and two different cheeses (Jarlsberg and chevre) and then a whole bunch of fresh vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach and red onion). Our guests were also served a homemade 4 bean salad and a homemade cucumber-mint-couscous salad. This was the meal we were worried about – we were worried that our friends would want meat. In fact, about 20 minutes before our guests arrived my husband turned to me and said “Should we go out and get some hot dogs for the kids, just in case?” I stuck to my guns (well, it helped that the stores were all closed) and said “no.” The kids ate the food we served but the adults really enjoyed the food we served. They all commented on how filling the food was and how they felt full, but not “gross.” They also said they appreciated the “fresh” factor of the food given that they had spent most of the weekend eating meat. They weren’t looking forward to eating yet one more steak, and we didn’t serve it to them.

It was an important lesson for us. This weekend showed us that we could serve our normally meat-eating guests delicious, simple and flavourful vegetarian food and they could be satisfied and to their own surprise satiated with it. It showed us that even if the stores are open, we shouldn’t rush out to get hot dogs for the kids because they will eat what we serve. And what we are serving is healthy, delicious vegetarian food. What a great weekend!