Get Kid-Friendly and Vegetarian Recipes!
Diane cooks foods that are organic and locally made. In her interview, she tells us about her favorite vegetarian foods and reveals her most popular recipes that are kid-friendly.
Tell us more about yourself, your site, and your family.
My site is called Simple Living and Eating and it is focused on living and eating in harmony with the planet… which translates into living with less material possessions and being more connected to your local environment. We have an organic garden and we bee keep and try to buy locally made products. As a family, my son is 13 and my daughter is 11, and we spend a lot of time outdoors in all kinds of weather, hiking and camping when it is warmer, and skiing in the winter. Everyday we walk our dog in the woods near our house.
How I interpret eating in harmony with the planet is eating a plant and grain based diet, light on meat and dairy. I focus on cooking traditional foods, primarily Mediterranean because my heritage is Italian.
Your site has a section called, “Foodie Friday”. What recipes do you include in that section?
“Foodie Friday” is a food party in which I share a recipe of my own; it is usually Italian, and I usually include a family story… because I love food family connections. My readers are invited to post their recipes and visit other peoples blogs and get a taste of what is cooking in their kitchens. It is my favorite blogging day of the week because I love connecting with people through their food.
What are your favorite vegetarian recipes? What do you think are the benefits of a vegetarian diet?
My favorite vegetarian recipes usually involve beans, especially lentils and white beans, because they are so much part of the Italian diet; and lentils, are especially healthy and iron rich, which is usually lacking in vegetarian meals. I often cook my Simple Lentil Soup and Escarole and Beans. Also dishes that I have eaten since childhood like: Eggplant Parmesan are comforting to me.
The benefits of a primarily vegetarian diet are endless, not just for helping to maintain good health and weight, but also for not stressing the planet. You see raising cattle especially, requires a tremendous amount of land and water and is very polluting. The same area of land used to raise cattle, if used to grow vegetables, could feed a lot more people and be good for the land at the same time.
What are a few other healthy recipes that are kid-friendly?
All food can be kid-friendly if you have always fed your kid a variety of foods. From the time my kids started eating solid food, I ground up whatever my husband and I were eating and served it to them. In other countries children do not eat different food from their parents. My kids go through phases where they say they don’t like this or that… but I keep serving it to them. They don’t have to eat it, but eventually they usually do. My doctor always reminded me that sometimes a kid needs to be exposed to a food 10 times before he will like it… which when you think about it, is a lot of times. The most popular of my recipes with kids are the pasta dishes like: Stuffed Shells and Italian Mac n Cheese.
What do enjoy the most about cooking?
I like to cook because I get to share my heritage and my childhood memories with my friends and family through the dishes I prepare.