Eating Meat Has Been Fun But...

You may remember the national uproar when I announced in February that, after 20+ years of being a vegetarian and being almost vegan for 3 years, I had started eating meat. While there's no denying I've enjoyed exercising my canine teeth, I believe I'm ready to return to my roots and a plant-based diet. 

Why go back? For the same reasons I decided to start eating meat again. My diet just isn't working for me. I feel like I'm betraying my values every time I sit down to a plate of chicken. I do believe we can get all the nutrients we need from plants. And, honestly, meat has stopped tasting good to me.

Read More

Spicy Fig & Artichoke Salad

Oh, snap. Do I have a recipe for you! Spicy Fig & Artichoke Salad. I know. Figs, right? Leave your doubts at the door. This salad is soooo good. I made it for dinner tonight and while I enjoyed it as an entree, it would make a snappy "impress your guests with your culinary genius" side salad. Another benefit? It's super-easy to make. Cut up everything ahead of time and just pop it in the skillet every 2 minutes. I make notes on keeper recipes and this one earned a "YUM! Serve to guests or take to parties" note. The full recipe can be found here at Vegetarian Times. 


p.s. I used a combo of watercress and mixed greens, but you could just use the mixed greens if you prefer. I also used maple syrup in place of brown rice syrup. (check me out, giving recipe advice. Woot! Woot!)

I Have Offended the Kitchen Gods

The kitchen is not my friend. Not this week, anyway. I'm batting... well, I don't follow baseball and have no idea what a bad batting average is, but I know this: mine ain't good. 

Sunday afternoon: I make oatmeal-raisin cookies, the healthy version from my E2 cookbook. Only I don't have pastry flour so I use regular flour and the recipe calls for "rolled oats" and I'm not really sure what those are  but how different can they be from what's in the Quaker Instant Oats cylinder in our pantry? The recipe calls for an an Ener-G egg replacer and I use a different brand but so what. The result are cookies that taste unbaked and a lot of them. I insist on eating two of them anyway with a cup of hot tea because that's why I made the damn cookies in the first place, but I'm not fooling anyone. They're gross. 

Sunday night: I don't know what made me think an onion and carrot quiche would hit the spot. I think I was just excited that I had all the ingredients on hand. It wasn't bad, but any main dish recipe based on "3 large onions" is going to have repercussions.

Monday night: I never make dessert, but I feel the need to redeem myself after the oatmeal-raisin cookie debacle. I make a Blueberry mousse that ends up looking (and tasting) like a pureed Barney the Dinosaur. 

I've got a new recipe for Pad Thai scheduled for tonight that involves rice noodles. I'm scared.

I obviously need to appease the cooking gods. To that end, I'm going to light some candles around a spatula, sprinkle dried herbs around the kitchen, and offer up some extra-firm tofu. See if that helps.

Here's a recent New Yorker humor column that COMPLETELY captures my kitchen personality in just the first two opening paragraphs: "The Cursing Mommy Cooks Italian."

Vegetarian Menu for the Week

When I mention to new acquaintances that I'm a vegetarian I usually hear, "Oh, that's nice," followed by a pause and then, "So what do you eat?" Others (you know who you are) accuse me of torturing and starving my poor meat-loving husband. In an attempt to defend myself, I offer below our meals for this coming week, as a sample of what vegetarian living (YUM-O!) looks like. 

SATURDAY: Enchiladas Verdes, homemade Mexican Rice

SUNDAY: Spicy (soy) Sausage, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Cumin-Cayenne Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

MONDAY: Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna and Salad

TUESDAYHearty Grain Soup with Beans & Greens, crusty French Bread

WEDNESDAY: Leftovers

THURSDAY: Sloppy Lentils over Rice or on Toasted Rolls

FRIDAY: Butternut Squash and Walnut Bow-Tie Pasta, Salad 

And, just to show I have a heart, today I made Blair a big-batch of turkey-chili (his choice - I would have used beef) and spicy Mexican cornbread topped with cheese for him to take for lunch the first part of the week.

I was in my kitchen today for almost 4 hours and I am DONE. But c'mon... admit it. The food sounds tasty. And 80% of it is vegan. (The enchiladas and red pepper lasagna are bringing me down. Both call for types of cheese for which I have yet to find a vegan substitute.)

If you're interested in some easy and good vegetarian recipes (and hey guess what - you don't actually have to be a vegetarian to make them!) check out the Engine2 Diet book. Everything I've made in there so far has been tasty. is also a great resource.

Bon appetit!