Friday, October 23, 2015

“Grilled Vegetable Sandwich” & “Apple-Cranberry Crisp” To Celebrate "Vegetarian Awareness Month"

October is “Vegetarian Awareness Month.” It is a celebration established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977, used to promote the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing possibilities of Vegetarianism. Mostly Vegetarians, but even those who are not vegetarians who want to be healthy or just love fruits and veggies will be serving meatless meals. Official Vegetarian website:  It brings awareness to the ethical, environmental, health, and humanitarian, benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. 

It is important to note that all vegetarian diets are not alike. There are many categories to vegetarian diets, but theses are the major ones used which include:

  • Ovo-vegetarian: eats eggs; but no meat
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: eats dairy and egg products; but no meat
  • Lacto-vegetarian: eats dairy products; no eggs or meat
  • Vegan: eats only foods from plant sources
  • Semi-vegetarians: who have eliminated red meat, but may eat poultry or fish 
 There are many cultures and religions that require you to eat vegetarian. People that are practicing vegetarians tend to have lower body mass index, (BMI) lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and less incidence of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, as well as renal disease. This also includes dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other disorders. Non-lean red meat, in particular, has been found to be directly associated with increase risk of cancers of the esophagus, liver, colon, and the lungs. 

Here is a small list of many notable people who have been reported to have been on a vegetarian diet at some point during their life; Alyssa Milano, Bob Barker, Sir Paul McCartney, Russell Simmons, Carrie Underwood, Lea Michele, Kristen Wilg, Forrest Whitaker, Russell Brand, and Bill Clinton. 

So make a difference this October by informing others about the benefits of Vegetarianism. You will be helping to make a better world because vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives, and help preserve the earth.

This week I have a few recipes to share. They are not only nutritious, but very tasty and it fits within the guidelines of a vegetarian diet. “Grilled Vegetable Sandwich”… Sweet, delicious, and very fulfilling. You can’t go wrong with this dish. Enjoy and don’t forget what you mother always told you to do which was, “to eat all of your fruits and veggies!” Also I have some recommendations for some tasty wines, and then finally a dessert “Apple-Cranberry Crisp,” that you will not believe how delicious and nutritious it is!

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

The ideal meal when cooking vegetarian. Balsamic vinegar brings out the natural sweetness in grilled vegetables, while also imparting a mouth watering tang. Served on whole grain rolls, these sandwiches are completely guiltless, and sure to satisfy even the most committed meat eater in your family.

prep time: 35 min
cook time: 30 min
ready in: 1 hr 5 min

Yields: servings 4

8 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp canola oil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 red bell peppers, halved, seeded
4 eggplant slices, 1/2 inch thick
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 slices
4 large fresh Portabella mushroom caps
4 slices red onion
4 large whole grain rolls, halved, toasted
1 tomato, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place garlic in an oven proof small bowl; drizzle with 1 tsp oil. Cover with foil; bake until garlic is tender, about 35 minutes. Cool and mash garlic. Use your grill outside or grill pan inside. In a large bowl, combine the oregano, basil, vinegar, and 1 Tbsp oil. Add the bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and onion and stir to coat. Grill the vegetables in batches, turning once until lightly browned and tender, 10 to 15 minutes per batch. Spread rolls with mashed garlic, dividing equally. Top each roll with tomato slices then roasted red pepper, eggplant, zucchini, mushroom cap, and onion. Serve with a potato salad or whatever you like as a side dish…..Enjoy!


                         What wine do you pair with a vegan & vegetarian meals?

Just because wine is made out of grapes, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s vegetarian or vegan. Some wine makers use fining agents that are derived from milk or animal protein during the wine-making process. So double check the labels before you drink your wines. If you don’t care what wines have these products in them, you may want to check into these wines as they are great with this meal.

A nice “Grenache” wine…..
Body and Tannins: soft tannins, body depends on the blend
Pairs Well With These Foods: grilled veggies, risotto, light Italian dishes, eggplant, Fontina Cheese.

Another nice one would be a “Syrah” wine…..
Body and Tannins: full-bodied
Pairs Well With These Foods: olives, barbecue, grilled or roasted vegetables with bold sauces, parmesan cheese.

A “Cabernet Sauvignon” wine…..
Body and Tannins: strong tannins, full-bodied
Pairs Well With These Foods: grilled or roasted veggies, barbecue sauce, Chimichurri, garlic and onion, aged cheddar.

                               (Please Drink Responsibly) 


Apple-Cranberry Crisp

This delicious dessert not only tastes great, but is chock full of nutrient-rich fruit and whole grains as well. It's equally good warm or cold, and low-fat vanilla ice cream makes a nice topping.

3 cups cubed Granny Smith apple (about 1 pound)
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
Cooking spray
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°F Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; spoon into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, sugar, and oil, stirring with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apple mixture. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Till Next Time……………….

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  1. I believe that too. The less meat you eat the better. Plenty of fruit and vegetables are so important in our diets and you can make fabulous vegetarian meals.
    Your vegetarian sandwich looks so appealing! So does your crispie dessert. Very yummy indeed.
    I wish you a good weekend dear friend. Ciao!

    1. Dear Alida,
      Thank you for your comment. Yes, this dish Alida is awesome, and you really don't miss the meat...the Portabella mushroom seems to have the flavor of meat and the texture is really like meat. I try to stay away from red meat if I can...Love those veggies, and that Apple Crisp dessert is amazing, so yummy and a perfect addition to this meal. So glad that you agree and see the difference.. I know that you would get it! Have a wonderful and fun weekend with your family dear friend...
      Dottie :)

  2. Apple crisp has been on my mind for a while... your recipe sounds delicious! As do the other vegetarian ideas.

    1. Hi Mae,
      So good to hear from you..Thank you so much for your comment and your visit! Now that we are in the fall, as you said apple anything is on my mind as well...I love anything that has apple in it and it fits so perfect with this post. I try to stay away from red meat...But I learned about the wines, when I did my research that sometimes they contain animal products. Who knew? Thought they were just made from grapes! Have a wonderful weekend, Mae....
      Dottie :)

  3. Good afternoon dear Dottie ,
    I do so agree we should eat more vegetables and fruit , grains also . Family loves Portabella burgers , I don't cook as much red meat , it's so many other meats , vegetables and fruits you can serve to make your meals delicious and complete .
    Love the apple crisp , your post was a much need post . Thanks for sharing . Have a great weekend ... stay say my friend (((HUGS))) Nee :).

    1. Good evening dear Nee,
      Thank you for your comment...I always remember my mom say to my brothers and myself if you are hungry eat some "fruit"...instead of cookies...She as usual was correct, fruits and veggies are so important and like you said it makes your meal so complete and yummy! Glad that you enjoyed this one...The apple crisp is really good love the apples and the cranberries..Have a great weekend with your family, and thanks for your visit.
      Dottie :)