Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Still on the Fence about Seafood

So when I first declared no more meat, I was pretty set on eating seafood...but since seafood really doesn't play a big role in my diet normally, I haven't been presented with the choice. I think it makes me feel more comfortable knowing that I could always opt for the seafood choice when out at a restaurant (shhh! don't tell Justin, because in the past every time I have ordered any seafood other than crab cakes, I always end up making him trade dinners with me because I don't like it!). I suppose I don't need to make a solid choice at the moment, but it's something to consider.

I discovered a mini-challenge of sorts yesterday during the kids' lunch time...the side dish was mashed potatoes with gravy. I know that I'm a mashed potatoes and gravy kind of lady, no hiding it. So I'm setting out to find a good veggie gravy substitute (and a cuter name, because let's face it...veggie gravy doesn't sound so wonderful).

On the food note, Potbelly has a lovely new set of salads, one being the Uptown. They even knock off some money if you order it without chicken! It's a pretty simple mix of apples, grapes, dried cranberries, red onion, bleu cheese, and candied walnuts (YUM!). I also really like their non-fat vinaigrette on pretty much anything. The other salads have hard boiled egg in them, which, if you know me, is a big NO in my book. Sure, I could order it sans egg, but I don't even like the thought of it, so I'll stick with the Uptown.

Hope everyone has had a great week so far!!! Only 2 more days until the weekend!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Breakfast, Lunch, and Leftovers

So breakfast has always been an issue for me, even pre-vegetarian days. I don't like eggs, so I've had to be creative with breakfast foods. Of course we had nothing breakfasty at home, so I had 2 pieces of string cheese, and some whole wheat pretzels (Snyder's makes some really good ones!). I was actually quite satisfied for the morning.

There is this cool vegan take out place that opened up down the street from the school I work at, so I was going to check it out for lunch today, but of course, they are closed on Mondays. So at this point, I have to add another product in here...Annie Chun's Noodle Express. I found it in the Asian section of Whole Foods and it is pretty tasty!!! It only takes a minute in the microwave, so that's a nice perk too. I have had a hard time finding quick noodly type things like ramen that don't contain "dried, ground chicken" (umm ew), so I was excited to find this product! Sure, it's loaded with sodium and isn't the healthiest thing to eat, but when you need something quick and semi-inexpensive, it will do the trick!

The soup from last night produced A TON of leftovers (maybe it was the 6 enormous sweet potatoes I used...), so that should make for a quick dinner, which is good because Monday's spinning class isn't until 7pm, and who wants to be cooking after 8??? not me!!!

Hope everyone had a great Monday, and I encourage you to start incorporating a "meat free Monday" theme to your dinners!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet and Savory

Busy day of cooking!!! In order to keep vegetarian food from being boring, you have to spice it up and mix flavors!!! Who would have thought to put apples into a soup??? Moosewood did!!! Tonight, I made a sweet potato and apple soup. It also had some onion and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (watch out for this, it is HOT!). Sticking to the savory and sweet theme, I also made sauteed some kale (my new favorite veggie...give it a try!) with garlic and dried cranberries. This was pretty fabulous. Justin gave both dishes 2 thumbs up, and I loved both as well. We also had some sourdough bread that I picked up at Whole Foods (on sale, woot woot!).

Butternut Squash Cookies

This recipe came from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health cookbook that Aunt Peg sent me...I was super curious to see how squashy they would be, but to my delight, not squashy at all! They came out delicious (even though I forgot to take the last pan out of the oven, they still resisted burning!). They didn't spread out at all, but I think they look kind of cute as nuggets!

Dinner Time with Horton and Morris

Horton and Morris (aka Papi and MoMo) both came from a local shelter. Poor Horton's previous owner passed away, and Morris was a street cat (we assume this because of his amazing garbage picking skills). Horton is the dark fellow, Morris is the "patterned" gentleman.

No More Meat

A little over a month ago, I decided to give up meat...for good. Now this isn't a new thing for me. When I was 6, I declared at Thanksgiving dinner that I couldn't eat the turkey because "he had a family!" After living on mac and cheese for 6 months, I finally gave in to a chicken nugget from McDonalds. Since then, I've tried to limit my meat consumption to only free range, but I tended to bend the rule a lot, and then would feel incredibly guilty. After putting a lot of thought into it, I finally decided that I needed to give it up for good. I thought about my cats, Horton and Morris, and my dogs that I grew up with, and then thought about cows, chickens, and all other animals. Would I ever eat a cat or dog??? of course not. So who am I to judge which animals are "pet worthy" and which animals are simply brought to life to kill and eat? So that, generally, is why I have decided to go vegetarian! I'll be posting new recipes as I try them, my husband's opinion of the recipe, and any struggles I encounter along the way! I will also be adding in stupid things Horton and Morris do, because, well, it's funny. I'll be referencing Aunt Peg quite often...she is my biggest vegetarian supporter, as she has been vegetarian since before it was an "in thing" to do! So here we go!