Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

A Southern Delight

I’ll be eating super early dinners most of this week as I am working mostly every night! The good part is that I’ll make money..the bad part is that my final exam for my hospitality class is this week too–on Friday, and I have no idea when I will study! Tonight for dinner I made one of my favorites, Meatless Sloppy Joes. I have this awesome, EASY, recipe that I use and it seriously only takes 10 minutes to put together. SO easy and SO freakin good! I gave a bit of this one time to my old roommate’s mother (traditional southerners…never tried soy before!) and she DIDN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! Later, she even pulled me aside and asked for the recipe!!! Amazing, huh? Well, if this recipe can convert even the most die-hard southern cook, then you surely need to try it.Β  I made a salad on the side with baby spinach, red pepper, carrot and cucumber (annie’s dressing), half a whole wheat bagel and some grapes!

This afternoon I went to the gym and did about 30-35 minutes of strength training. Afterwards, I snacked on one of my Quaker all natural granola bars I bought a couple weeks ago. I wouldn’t buy these again…they were a little too sweet for my liking…but since I have an entire box I should make an effort to eat some of them!

I’m not sure what I’ll bring to work tonight for a snack..options are Chocolate + Nut trail mix, graham crackers, or my vegan chocolate sandwich cookies (Late July brand and REALLY good!!!). I’m going to clean up dinner now then decide and go! Have a wonderful night πŸ™‚


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  • Brianne
    February 11, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Sloppy Joes! That is too funny we both made them. Have a good night at work!

  • Jess
    February 11, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    I just had to say that I made the olive oil cake. It is so yummy!!!! I love getting new recipe ideas from sites like this one.

  • hk
    February 11, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    looks delish, can’t wait to try πŸ™‚

  • VeggieGirl
    February 11, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    your dinner looks spectacular; and such a fun mix of different bright colors!! love it!! enjoy work, and the rest of your Monday evening :0)

  • Rae
    February 11, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Do you have the recipe for these sloppy joes posted? I would LOVE to try them, I am also thinking about becoming a vegetarian. I feel so much better when I eat plant foods! Thanks for the yummy idea!

  • Rae
    February 11, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    oh just kidding, I just found it. So sorry about that!

  • Eliza
    February 11, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    where do you get your b vitamins while being a vegetarian ?? or are they fortified in your meals?

  • linds
    February 11, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    B vitamins: folic acid (root word foliage) in spinach and other leafy greens, B1 thiamine can be found in brown, unpolished rice, B3 niacin can be gotten through complete proteins like soy and having a balanced diet.. I forget where B6 and B12 come in.. lol I just had my Chemistry of Food midterm this Friday (I got an A too, woo) so good to see I still remember what I studied πŸ™‚

  • VeggieGirl
    February 12, 2008 at 12:03 am

    hempmilk contains 25% DV of vitamin B12, which is superb; and then there’s always fortified whole-grains and other nutritious foods. I’m a vegan, and have no nutritional deficiencies to speak of (nor am I anywhere near being deficient in any vitamins/minerals/nutrients – I get regular bloodwork done, to check on my stats).

  • SjSRunner
    February 12, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Hi – So this may be a dumb questions, but how do you make the meatless sloppy joes? do you use tofu? they look great! thanks!

  • Evie
    February 12, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Delicious Meal, Jenna! I think I shall make some sloppy joes in the near future! I know I’m a little late, Jenna, but kudos to you for going vegetarian again!! πŸ™‚ I support whatever decision you make, and this one I’m super proud of you!

    I am really interested in becoming a vegan, but I find it so hard to do that right now.. it seems being vegan is quite expensive and I’m in college right now (2nd year nursing student!) so I’m limited to what they serve on campus, which is really not vegan-friendly…

    I just wanted to ask, what does your typical day of eating consist of?
    Where do you get vegan ingredients and how do you afford it (is there somewhere special you go)?


  • Anonymous
    February 12, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Hey Jenna,

    I’m a newcomer to your blog and I LOVE it! I look forward to reading it every day! It is so refreshing to see your outlook on life and what a healthy relationship you have with food! I hope you’re able to make some healthy recipes for pastires for all of us!

    I have a couple of questions. I was wondering about multi vitamins. There are soo many different brands out there! Do you take a multivitamin? Do you recommend taking them, or any one in particular?

    I was also wondering if you learned anything about food and environmental allergies with your nutrition/wellness training? I’ve had horrible allergies my entire life and I’ve tried just about every prescription I can think of and I’ve even tried allergy shots. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how much nutrition is related to everything about health. So I guess my question is do you know anything about it? I usually dont buy organic foods b/c they’re so expensive, but lately i’ve been thinking maybe the pesticides, etc. could have some effect.

    I feel like I’ve rambled on forever…lol! I’d really appreciate any insight you could give me! Keep up the great work on your blog!

  • Kristin Point
    February 12, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Do you like buffalo chicken wings? because if you do i had these awesome boca meatless hot and spicy buffalo chicken style wings. they were on sale a whole foods a few weeks ago and i figured id try them out and theyre awesome!they are spicy though haha. i put crumbled blue cheese on mine…so good!

    I’m new to the vegetarian thing, i’m trying it out.

  • VeggieGirl
    February 12, 2008 at 1:31 am


    I’d be happy to email you a sample meal-plan of mine – let me know :0) As for where I buy ingredients – I shop at Whole Foods, and I also purchase “harder to find” ingredients on the following websites:





    let me know if this helps/you have other questions! :0)

  • jenn
    February 12, 2008 at 1:58 am

    congrats on the A linds!! That sounds like an interesting class.

    Eliza, I was a vegetarian from ages 8-22, and went on a few vegan ‘kicks’ during that time. I had to start eating animal products (yogurt, lf cheese, even fish, poultry) last fall, however, due to circumstances out of my control. It was pretty traumatic at first, but I now consider myself a “flexitarian” and I will sometimes have 1/2 a turkey sandwich for lunch or something if my choices are limited and I need something quick! Well I never really worried about vitamins because I ate a fortified breakfast cereal and the multi I take has 200% the DV for B12. I went to the doctor last week tho because I have just been feeling crappy in general for a while now, and apparently, I have a vitamin B12 deficiency. I thought he had to be wrong, esp because I have been incorporating some animal products into my diet for over a year now, but he said that deficiencies take a while to develop and that although dietary deficiencies are rare, vegetarians– and vegans in particular– are at an increased risk because most plant sources of b vitamins are unreliable. Long story short– I have been taking 2500mcg sublingual B12 for like 5 days now and feel a billion times better! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole
    February 12, 2008 at 2:12 am

    hi jenna or anyone who’d like to answer:

    is there a major difference between ground and whole flax seed? i can’t imagine there would be any nutritional difference, but do y’all choose one or the other based on a flavor/texture preference?


  • amy
    February 12, 2008 at 2:15 am

    I love veggie soppy joes. Dis you use the Bocca ? I like that kind the best, but Morningstar is not bad either. I actually had sloppy joes tonight too, but with real meat.

  • jenn
    February 12, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Veggiegirl (& other vegans),
    What are your thoughts on sugar?? That is the main reason I was not able to maintain a vegan diet, because I got a lot of flack from ‘hardcore’ vegans because I would sometimes ‘cheat’ and eat something containing refined sugar.
    And it was so frustrating for me to have to read the labels of EVERYTHING to look for covert animal-derived ingredients… and call companies to ask what exactly “natural flavorings” meant arghh… how do you all handle that?? I know there’s that ‘certified vegan’ label but there are so many things that seem vegan but don’t carry that label (conventional grocery store stuff!) and I just ALL companies were required to list animal products clearly along with the allergens…
    Anyway, I would love to go vegetarian/vegan again… but I can’t handle the pressure of having to do it perfectly!

  • jenn
    February 12, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Nicole, you won’t get any of the benefits from whole flaxseeds unless you grind them yourself with a coffee grinder or something… otherwise, they just pass thru the body intact.
    It’s supposed to be better to grind them yourself because otherwise, the fats in them can oxidize, but I don’t have a coffee grinder and I’m lazy… so I get it pre-ground– Bob’s Red Mill organic golden flaxseed meal from Whole Foods. I keep some in a small plastic container in the fridge, and the rest in the original package in another plastic bag in the freezer and it’s kept really well.

  • Heather(II)
    February 12, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Oh my goodness. Just to add to the praise of the olive oil cake it is soooooo good, but for some reason, it was easy to eat a small amount!

    Make it!

  • VeggieGirl
    February 12, 2008 at 2:24 am

    It’s easier nowadays, knowing which brands of sugar are vegan – you can either look for the “vegan symbol” (a “V”) and/or look for a brand that is labeled as “kosher” (since kosher/pareve sugar is not filtered through animal-bone char).

    With so many food allergy occurrences (and types) nowadays, so many more products are becoming “accidentally vegan”; so don’t fret!! :0)

  • VeggieGirl
    February 12, 2008 at 2:26 am


    This may sound strange, but did my comment, answering your questions, appear in this comment box? I see it, but it says that it’s “waiting moderation,” so I wasn’t sure if it was visible in the comment box…

  • Nicole
    February 12, 2008 at 2:27 am

    ah good to know, thank you jenn!!

  • Evie
    February 12, 2008 at 2:30 am


    I hear you on the feeling the pressure to do everything “perfectly”.
    I’m not a vegan myself, but I’ve been wanting to become one for a while but haven’t because
    1. I’m a poor college student and I have no money and vegan stuff tends to be on the pricey side (not to mention only available in cerain stores that I don’t go to often).
    2. The definition of vegan is a “strict vegetarian” and honestly, I hate the word strict.. Why can’t I eat what I want to eat not because of what others think or say, you know?

    I’m a vegetarian (I don’t eat meat, poultry, fish, etc) but do eat some dairy and some eggs because sometimes it’s just plain hard to avoid them sometimes..

    So I say, eat what YOU feel is right and what YOU want.. don’t stop eating honey because most vegans don’t.. do it because you really want to… Why should eating turn into something so complicated as fretting over every little thing that you think might not fit into the idea of someone’s definition of vegetarian/vegan? There are no “rules”.. they’re more like guidelines, anyway, hehe.. Be your own person and do what’s right for you.. that is my opinion, anyway. πŸ™‚

  • kay
    February 12, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Jenna, this is a completely weird question… but had to ask! I hear (stereotype, I know…) that European women including French women prefer to be more natural and do not shave(!!), is this somewhat true??

    VeggieGirl and others:

    What are the most common reasons that people become vegans?

  • VeggieGirl
    February 12, 2008 at 2:38 am


    The most common reasons that people become vegans are health, ethics, and environment.

  • Evie
    February 12, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Well, I know I want to become vegan for health reasons… I’m a strong believer in “you are what you eat”… if you eat delicious nutritious food, you’re body’ll reap the benefits. If you eat crap, well.. you get the picture.

    A vegan diet has so many health benefits, and as a future nurse, I feel that I must be an example to others and be a good role model in terms of health (physically, mentally, and spiritually). I think it would be ironic to be seeking health advice from someone who is not so healthy… Currently, I’m a lacto ovo vegetarian and I’ve never felt or been healthier in my life.
    Not only is this lifestyle great for my health, but it also doesn’t hurt that it helps the environment to some extent (I’m by no means a “tree hugger”, but you got to care for the environment.. we live in it!).

    I want to be a healthy, vibrant and energetic person all throughout my life, and I know that being active and partaking in a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle will help be accomplish that.

  • Heather(II)
    February 12, 2008 at 2:57 am

    I thought you all might be interested in reading this article about what Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, eats in a five day period.


  • RB
    February 12, 2008 at 3:07 am

    Hi All–
    Can anyone recommend their favorite cookbook of all time, or anything new? I’m looking into saving $$$$ and I’m a pretty good cook but haven’t down it a while, so any suggestions would be great?

  • LT
    February 12, 2008 at 3:16 am

    I’m sure no one cares, but i made the most DELICIOUS meal tonight…and it just so happened to be vegetarian! It’s so quick and easy, I just felt the need to share….

    -Sautee onions & garlic w/ a pinch of crushed red pepper
    -Add sliced mushrooms…get some nice golden brown color on them
    -Add a bunch of baby spinach and wilt
    -Then add a packet of Boca ground “meat” (or whatever you like)
    -Add 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (i make a big batch that i keep in the fridge for the whole week)
    -Stir in a spoonful (or 1/4 cup) ricotta cheese (i added some plain yogurt too)
    -Finish with a light shaving of Parmigiano Reggiano

    It came out sooo creamy, delicious, and comforting…I hope y’all try it!!

  • jenn
    February 12, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Evie, thanks… I like your opinion. I think that’s why I like what I’m doing now. I feel like it gives me a lot more flexibility. I prefer not to eat meat, and probably wouldn’t choose to if I had another option, but I am not going to worry about whether I will be able to find something suitable for dinner at a friend’s wedding reception, for example. I like that as a flex, I can choose to eat something non-vegetarian if I want to, but I don’t ever have to… whereas if I professed myself to be a vegetarian, I wouldn’t have that choice, ya know? I also can relate to being a poor college student on a budget, and do agree that ‘conventional’ products are much more affordable than certified vegetarian or vegan. So since plain old 2% shredded cheese is much more affordable than soy shreds (and since I MUCH prefer the taste and texture anyway), I am going to buy the dairy version.

    Also, a vegan or vegetarian diet is not necessarily healthier than an omnivorous diet… I was definitely a ‘junk-food vegetarian’. I was just a little kiddle when I first gave up eating animal products so I didn’t know anything about nutrition (and my parents thought it was just a phase I’d eventually grow out of)… sooo I pretty much just lived off of vegan oreos (I LOVE THOSE JENNA!!!!) and dry breakfast cereal and fake foods, and never bothered to educate myself about getting all the essential amino acids and vitamins and what not, even when I was old enough to know better. I always had a problem getting enough protein in my diet, and it’s been so much easier (because animal products have a lot more protein for the same caloric buck!) since I’ve started using more animal products, and my emphasis has shifted from what is “pure” as in vegan –> what is “whole” as in the least processed.

    Anyway, I think the bottom line with ANY kind of diet is that it really all depends on the choices you make. So cheers to your ‘Be your own person and do what’s right for you..’ and to the KERF refrain, “To each their own”! πŸ™‚

  • VeggieGirl
    February 12, 2008 at 3:38 am


    Well said! To each their own. I completely agree – there are plenty of unhealthy individuals out there, both omnivore and herbivore – it’s all about making a commitment to good health – sounds like you’re on the right track/have the right idea :0)

  • Katie
    February 12, 2008 at 4:09 am

    I just ordered some late July cookies online! I’m pretty excited to try them now. I got one chocolate and one green tea vanilla. Have you tried the green tea?

  • Evie
    February 12, 2008 at 5:19 am

    hey VeggieGirl.. if you don’t mind, I’d love for you to send me a sample menu! That’d be great, thanks!

    My email address is nurse.evelyn@yahoo.com

    Thanks again!

  • Ashley H
    February 12, 2008 at 6:26 am

    hi I normally have really good self control but tonight I fell off the bandwagon. I had my normal dessert of a cookie with coffee and then someone brought me a cupcake and I ate it and then it was my roommates birthday so they brought me ice cream and I had some of that!! I would normally feel fine and just move on but I splurged this weekend too! I just need some support right now and advice. Please help!

  • melissa
    February 12, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Good Morning –

    Quick question for everyone: does anyone know the nutrition information for the Annie’s Ginger dressing that Jenna uses? I can find information on the product, but not on the actual calorie, fat, sodium count. It looks so tasty!


  • jenna
    February 12, 2008 at 12:30 pm


    I LOVE those! I also love the Morningstar farms “buffalo chk wings” SO good! I actually think they taste better than the real thing! I hope this website is of good encouragement to your new vegetarian lifestyle! πŸ™‚

  • jenna
    February 12, 2008 at 12:33 pm


    Most of the french women I met DID shave their legs……But I did go to quite a few yoga classes with women that didnt. I guess its just a personal choice!!! Most do though, nowadays. Some Italians and women from the South of France choose not to though!