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Up Your Meal Game
It has been over a year since I became a re-nester and my daughters moved home due to the pandemic. We share recipes all the time and try a lot of new ways of cooking the type of foods we like to eat. A great resource for recipes is food bloggers. I am sharing my top 10 food bloggers to follow on IG.
Balancing our diet, which is not all the same, can be challenging but we make it work. And, when you are cooking a minimum of five dinners a week, it is nice to mix it up. I follow a Pescatarian, Meditteranean diet with vegetarian and plant-based influences. My daughters eat almost any protein except for dairy. But they usually will eat my style of food and save chicken or other meat-based protein for either lunch or when they eat out.
We all adhere to a dairy-free diet. Fortunately, it is easy to find substitutions. My go-to brands are Kitehill, Violife, Earth Balance, and Miyoko’s for yogurt, cheese, cream cheese, and butter. We also try to limit our pasta and carb. Our substitutions include Banza, Whole Foods’ Yellow Lentil and Brown Rice pastas, and quinoa pasta. I recently tried, and loved, Trader Joe’s Hearts of Palm Pasta.
Food Influencers to Follow
As far as where we get our recipes from, we follow several food bloggers on Insta as well as having a subscription to NYT Cooking. That’s not to mention my collection of cookbooks from Food Network Chefs. If it is a recipe that requires a lot of prep, it better be good. I have no problem standing in a kitchen and chopping, dicing, mincing- it is a great stress reliever. The longer the prep, the higher the expectations.
Over the years, I have learned to sub out ingredients to fit my diet. Since we do not use dairy products, there are substitutions that are quite palatable. For example, we make pasta sauce from cashews and it is delicious. You just need to learn to play around with the spices to get the flavor profile you most like.
And even though I can buy vegan ricotta cheese (I like KiteHill), I found a great recipe substitution using silken tofu. I also added fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese to the ricotta. Recently I made a lasagna and eggplant rollatini using this substitution. I fed some friends without telling them until they had tasted it. The fact that it passed their taste preferences was a bonus.
These are the food bloggers or chefs that my daughters and I follow:
Half Baked Harvest – I love this blog and have tried many of her recipes. Most of her recipes have a very small amount of prep and cook time.
Minimalist Baker – This is another blog I love as her recipes fall into three categories: 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl or 30 minutes or less to prepare.
Recipes to Try
I try at least three new recipes each week. It is fairly easy to substitute ingredients based on your own personal preferences. Here are some of the more recent, and successful, recipes I have made from the above food bloggers and chefs:
Sage Lemon Butter Chicken Piccata with Mashed Cauliflower ( used Sea Bass instead of chicken and it was delicious)
Greek Salmon with Lemon Feta and Orzo Summer Salad – Her recipe called for orzo but I subbed Trader Joe’s artichoke pasta
Do you have a favorite food blogger? Would love to learn about other food influencers 🥗🥠🥘