Lawton Real Estate, Inc



Posted by Lawton Real Estate, Inc on 2/15/2018

Many people have chosen to live a meat-free or dairy-free lifestyle. Whether it's for health reasons, environmental concerns, or ethical beliefs there are now more vegans and vegetarians than ever before. If you're not familiar with the details of the diet, cooking for vegetarian and vegan guests can be difficult or even embarrassing. But with an open mind and a bit of research you can pull off a delicious meal that won't leave anyone out.

Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian... what does it all mean?

There are countless different names for the various types of restricted diets. However. there are a handful of common diets that everyone should familiarize themselves with. They are:
  • Vegetarian.†Vegetarians abstain from meat (including air, land, and sea-food) but may consume other animal products like dairy and eggs. In some cultures, "vegetarian" means eating no animal products at all.
  • Vegan.†A vegan diet contains virtually no animal products. No meat, cheese, milk, eggs, or anything made with traces of those items. Some vegans even consider things like honey an animal product and abstain from eating it.
  • Pescetarian.†People who call themselves pescetarian often abstain from meats like chicken, pork, and beef, but will eat meat from fish and other forms of seafood (shrimp, crabmeat, etc.)
  • Ovo- and lacto-vegetarian.†Some vegetarians abstain from food that contains either dairy or egg according to their own preferences. Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy, and lacto-vegetarians consume dairy but not eggs.

Planning for dinner

All of those diets are a lot to keep track of, we know. But the best way to plan dinner for a guest with a restricted diet is to simply just ask what works for them. You will most likely find that your guest appreciates that you ask in advance. It shows that you want to provide them with a happy meal and have concern for their dietary requirements. Once you know what animal products your guest will or will not eat, it's time to start thinking of dinner ideas. If you want to play it on the safe side, you can ask your guest what they like to eat. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try making meat-free versions of some of your favorite recipes. Whatever you choose, it's important to remember to read the labels of your ingredients. You might be surprised to find that many food items contain animal product like beef stock or fish oils, or eggs. Most Caesar dressing, for example, contains anchovies, though you would never guess it from the taste.

Dinner ideas

If you're stuck on choosing what to cook, try some of these meal ideas that tend to be easy to make without animal products.
  • Tacos or burritos.†It's easy to make many Mexican-inspired dishes meat-free by using ingredients like rice, beans, salsa, and grilled vegetables. If you can't stand the thought of a meat or dairy-free meal for yourself then you can have a make-your-own taco dinner so you and your guest can both eat happily.
  • Pasta and sauce.†Most styles of spaghetti†are vegan. To make the meal a bit more substantial add eggplant or grilled tofu to the mix.
  • Dessert.†To impress your guest prepare a vegan dessert for after dinner. Several brands make vegan ice cream (including the revered Ben & Jerry's). And if you're extra ambitious try a vegan cupcake recipe out as well. You might like it more than traditional cupcakes!
   





Posted by Lawton Real Estate, Inc on 10/12/2017

If you live a busy work and home life, finding time to cook nutritious and filling meals can be difficult. As a result, many people find themselves ordering out for lunch during the work week and settling for low-effort dinners during the week.

One economical and time-saving solution to this problem is meal prep. You pick one day during the week, usually Sunday, and devote an hour or two to preparing meals for the week.

Not only does it take away the concern of not knowing what to cook for dinner each night, but it also helps you save a ton of money while eating healthy.

In this article, weíre going to give you some tips for preparing your meals in bulk, and a few examples of meals that are easily prepared at home in advance.

Expert advice on meal prepping

One of the first issues people face when they start prepping meals is storage. Our best advice is to look for rugged, microwavable and freezable containers.

Itís good to have a variety of sizes, but if you have stray pieces to sets of Tupperware it can make it difficult to find the right sizes. So, we suggest starting from scratch and buying a set of three-compartment and a set one-compartment containers.

Find out the volume of the containers you buy. Doing so will help you keep track of the portions of your meals and make it easier to prepare the right amount to avoid waste.

Planning meals

Many poor eating decisions happen when youíre in a pinch and need to come up with something quickly. It can seem like the cheapest option at the moment is to stop at a fast food restaurant, but you can likely prepare 3 or 4 meals for the price of one trip to the drive-through.

The key is proper planning. Sit down and make your menu for the week. An easy way to start is to think about your favorite lunch items and figure out how you can make them in bulk.

Make sure your shopping list reflects the portions you need to buy, and youíre good to head to the store.

Once youíre home and have started cooking, remember that you neednít freeze all of your meals. Refrigerate items that youíll eat over the next 2-3 days and freeze the rest. If youíre worried about losing your meals in your crowded freezer and finding them months from now, use some masking tape to label and date them.

Easy meals to prepare in advance

You can usually find a way to prepare most meals in advance. However, some are easier than others. A good place to start is with rice and grain bowls and stir fries. These tend to be cheap (around $1.50 per serving) and simple to prepare. To add protein, you can include boiled eggs, beans, chicken or beef.

Along the same line, make some brown rice and stir fry black beans, peppers, and onions. Add your favorite southwest seasonings, and buy a large bag of tortilla chips. You can scoop the rice and beans onto your chips for a nutritious and cheap lunch.

For dinner items, you can make your favorites like shepherdís pie or lasagna in advance and slice and freeze them in portions.




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