Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Missing Meat, or Where's the Beef?

If all else fails, play with your food!

When people ask me about my decision to become a vegetarian, they will often remark that they couldn't possibly live without eating meat. In fact, I've been without meat for so long that I sometimes will forget that it's even out there. But I do appreciate the sentiment and how it makes me think about what foods I couldn't - or wouldn't want to - live without. And there are so many! Here are a few of my recent and classic favorites:

Perfect Protein Salad from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. I always use frozen soybeans and have never made it with cottage cheese or tofu. Make a big batch and keep it in the fridge for quick, yummy lunch all week.

Moosewood Muffins are another favorite from the Moosewood folks. Have you not heard of the Moosewood Restaurant? Oh my goodness, I dream of eating there, their cookbooks are so fabulous. I love these muffins because they're simple and versatile. In fact, I just made a couple dozen (with peaches and pecans) to put in the freezer.

My daughter, as a rule, will not eat soup. Except when I make Colorful Corn Chowder. I use about half the corn (or less) than the recipe says to, though, and will sometimes add in some "real" potatoes.

While we haven't historically been big fans of tofu, it's been making a more frequent appearance at our house with Spicy Tofu Bento Bowl from Vegetarian Times magazine and Pastor Ryan's Tikka Masala (which we made with garbanzo beans and tofu instead of the chicken), both of which were instant hits.

And it just wouldn't be a favorites list without Spanakopita, which always reminds me of my mother even though I don't make it like she does; and Cincinnati Chili, which reminds me of my dad and I haven't had in forever because I haven't figured out a way to make it meatless and delicious at the same time. I think it's the only meat dish I really miss.

As for the grocery list, I simply cannot make macaroni and cheese without Beecher's Flagship cheese and Tim's Cascade Jalapeno potato chips (crumbled on top instead of bread crumbs). And there is a gaping hole in our pantry whenever we run out of Dilettante's Bittersweet Ephemere chocolate sauce. Heaven forbid we ever move away from the Pacific Northwest!

How about you?
What are your tried-and-true favorite foods?
Have you deleted something from your diet? How do you live without it?


  1. I want to be there when you make that mac and cheese next time. That sounds so good!

  2. I actually bought that cheese last week at Costco and keep forgetting to ask you for the recipe... :)

  3. We are actually trying to cut out processed foods. Convenience foods. Which we have done pretty well at doing. We don't buy cold cereal, bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, rice/pasta roni, betty crocker stuffs, etc... We make everything from scratch. We also use meat as a side dish. Other people think I am crazy, but our kids have been healthier.

  4. I am so going to make the tofu bento salad--looks amazing! Got some tofu in the frig all ready to put into something. And I love those Tim's jalapeno chips! When my dad was having chemo he couldn't taste anything, so we bought some of those on our way to the quilt retreat and he loved them. Not weight watchers friendly, though, so I don't buy them. Thanks, Rachel.