Belated Birthday Dinner for Liz

Last night my friends Liz and Susan came over for dinner to catch up and celebrate Liz's birthday last week. We were also celebrating the bounty of the big garden (see blog post about the big garden here). It's the first time we've gotten together since I started eating a plant-based diet. I know from talking to friends and family that they worry about getting together for meals with me now because they can't think of anything to make.

So, I'm determined to prove to them that I am not denying myself the satisfaction of preparing and eating delicious meals. Point, in case, last night I made the following meals for me and the girls. We started with Creamy Gazpacho and then had Summer Squash Tacos with Avocado Chimichurri and Avocado Lime Slaw. Sounds delicious, right? I'm happy to say that the meal really was delicious and my meat-eating friends couldn't have agreed more!

You can find the recipe for the Creamy Gazpacho here. I've made this a few times now using Roma tomatoes, Armenian cucumbers, and red peppers from the garden. I have a high-speed blender and it whips up this tasty soup into a smooth, creamy delicious treat in no time.

Our main course was the summer squash tacos. The recipe can be found here. The tacos were tasty and the inclusion of black beans makes them hardy. The recipe calls for black-eyed peas but I had black beans on hand so I substituted them. I will definitely be making these again and I'll try them with the black-eyed peas next time. The avocado chimichurri was smooth and very fresh tasting. A nice addition to the taco filling. I didn't use the radishes that were called for in this recipe. I didn't have any at home and am not a big enough radish fan to make a special trip to the grocery store for them.

On the side, we had avocado lime slaw from 'A Nutritionist Eats' blog (here's the recipe). A word of warning, both the tacos and the slaw have copious amounts of cilantro in them so if you aren't a fan you may want to substitute another herb.

All in all, everyone really enjoyed the meal and I loved catching up with my girlfriends and utilizing so much produce that we grow ourselves was the frosting on the cake!

Social Media: A History - Infographic

I've been a fan of social media for a while now and have used it personally for years. My new job, however, has me using it in the professional setting too. So, I've been talking to friends who work with social media and reading tons of articles, blogs, etc. to make sure that I stay on top of things.

I stumbled across this infographic today and thought it was interesting. Can you pin where you entered the fray?

The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers

As some of you know I decided to change my diet to plant-based one four weeks ago. Improving my health was my motivating factor. I'd gained twenty pounds over the last year and want to get off the blood pressure medication that I started a year before that.

In typical Diane fashion I dived headlong into this new venture reading anything and everything I can. I've learned a lot in the last few weeks. One thing that surprised me was the environmental impact of industrial agriculture or in other words, raising animals to eat. If you have a few minutes, watch this video. There isn't any disgusting images of slaughter houses or anything just some eye-opening information.

I'll dedicate another post to have the first month of eating has gone for me. Here's a hint: good!