Foodie Friday: Megan Young
Megan Young is a Sydney-based photographer and home cook with a blog full of the most beautiful vegetarian recipes you ever did see. Before you click over to Veggies & Me and spend hours drooling over her amazing healthy creations, let me properly introduce you.
Meet Megan …
What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?
It has been a gradual process for me. I grew up in a very healthy family surrounded by nature and home cooked food. In recent years, after taking a course in nutrition, I have taken my healthy eating habits to the next level.
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your diet?
I am a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat since I was a child and have never been tempted. I eat a diet as full of whole food as possible.
If you were trying to convert someone to your dietary philosophy, what would you make for them?
I think the secret to great vegetarian food is fresh high quality vegetables mixed with tasty herbs and spices. I like to share a wholesome salad when visiting friends. These are always really popular and hopefully inspire people to think outside the box when it comes to vegetables and vegetarian dining.
How do you stay healthy while travelling?
Eating a whole food, vegetarian diet is really easy when travelling to many countries. Fresh fruits and vegetables are especially easy to find during summer holidays. I love Mediterranean, Asian, Lebanese and Mexican food. With cuisine from these countries there are always healthy, vegetarian options available.
Protein shakes (like Sun Warrior, sprouted rice protein) are another of my secret weapons when on the road. I recently pulled out my protein shaker during a winery tour in the Hunter Valley.
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy?
Protein shakes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas and fruit make great snacks. A salad is really simple to throw together. I often use some left over quinoa or roast veggies, salad leaves, cheese and herbs. Dressings can be as simple as lemon juice, raw honey and extra virgin olive oil.
Juices or smoothies: Which do you prefer? What’s your favourite combination?
I am a big fan of the breakfast smoothie. My current recipe is 200ml of plant milk (oat, soy or almond), ½ frozen banana, blue berries, spinach, barley grass powder, flax oil, ground seed mix, maca powder and rice protein powder.
What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you are always having to clear up for people?
I guess the most common question that vegetarians and vegan’s get asked is where do you get your protein from?
There are also questions about my levels of vitamins and minerals. This question seems so silly to me as people living on a fast food diet are usually not treated with the same level of concern.
If you could prepare a meal for anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you make?
I love cooking for my husband, friends and family. I never get sick of seeing a loved one’s face light up at the first tasty mouthful or going back for a second helping. I like to make new creations from what ever is in season and looks tasty and nutritious.
What does being a Wellness Warrior mean to you?
It means always learning and staying tuned into what my body likes and does not like. Through my blog I hope to inspire people to try something new, cook from scratch, buy local and in season, share meals with loved ones, take control of their own health and eat less meat.
A Recipe From Megan:
Nut and Lentil Loaf
What you’ll need:
1 ½ cups red lentils
3 cups boiling water
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 bay leaves
½ cup cashew nuts
½ cup walnuts
1 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions chopped
1 ½ cups diced mushrooms
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried sage
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 slice stale rye bread, crumbed
2 eggs, lightly beaten (chia seeds made into a gel are a great vegan replacement)
What to do:
Rinse the lentils thoroughly in a colander under running cold water. Put in a medium-sized saucepan with the boiling water, stock cubes and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pot. Make sure you remove the bay leaves at the end of cooking.
Meanwhile, in a heavy frying pan, dry-roast the nuts over a medium heat for five minutes.
Then chop the nuts and put in a large mixing bowl.
Take the same pan, add the olive oil and sauté the chopped spring onions over a medium heat for three to five minutes.
Add the chopped mushrooms, crushed garlic and dried herbs and stir for a further three to five minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.
Add the mixture from the frying pan to the mixing bowl along with the sunflower seeds, breadcrumbs, beaten eggs and lentil mix.
Combine all of the ingredients well with a wooden spoon, then spoon the mixture into a greased loaf pan which is lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake in a moderate oven (180 Deg°C/356 Deg°F) for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before running a knife around the edges and turning the loaf out on to a serving platter.
Slice with care using a serrated bread knife. Serve warm.
Connect with Megan on …
Positive affirmation for the day: I am in tune with how my body feels and what it needs.
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