I will have been vegetarian for two years as of this summer, and I get asked all the time how it’s going, so I decided to do an update on what I usually eat, some of my favourite recipes, and things I want to try.
I make my own granola (loosely based on this recipe) and it’s my favourite thing. I literally wake up in the morning and work out almost every day because if I do I am rewarded with the best breakfast ever, which is fresh berries (I usually do raspberries and blackberries, but strawberries are good too, and blueberries are also a choice someone else might make) with granola and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. SO GOOD.
If Derek is cooking, he usually makes me an egg, mushroom and onion omelet, cooked dry to the point of being almost burnt. YES.
I always have raw almonds and cuties in rotation for snacks, and I keep cans of sweet peas in my cupboard. 60 seconds in the microwave and they are good to go.
I also love hummus with cucumbers or mini sweet peppers.
I eat a lot of salads for lunch, and I usually add nuts or beans to add protein. I’m a pretty terrible vegetarian actually, I hate Tofu or “fake” meat products and I won’t eat eggplant or sweet potato. Want to have me over for supper? I’m really not picky, it’s just that those things are gross.
Caprese salads are pretty much my jam, and I also eat a ton of soup. I still make this all the time, I almost always have a tupperware of it in my fridge, (sans hamburger) because it’s so delicious and so filling. Derek will eat it all if I’m not paying attention.
Every once in awhile I’ll have a veggie burger, there are quinoa and garlic ones that I like on the BBQ. I’ve tried making my own black bean burgers and it was a fantastic failure every time.
Luckily we live someplace where so we can BBQ all year round, otherwise I might actually starve to death. More often than not I chop up veggies (cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, peppers, brussels sprouts) in a piece of tinfoil with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them on the grill. It’s one of my most favourite things and I never get sick of it.
Cauliflower Alfredo– I’ve made this a couple of times and it’s seriously so good. I like to add sun-dried tomatoes to the blender as well to give it a little extra flavour, or pesto would work great as well.
Lentil tacos- Instead of tacos with hamburger, just cook lentils with taco seasoning. I usually make them with lettuce cup taco shells, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, salsa and greek yogurt. Derek likes them too.
Caprese Portobellos– Sooo good on the BBQ. I soak tomato slices in balsamic, olive oil and salt and pepper, clean and de-gill a portobello mushroom cap, then put the mushrooms and fresh mozzarella into the mushroom caps with a squiggle (it’s a technical cooking term) of balsamic glaze, then BBQ them for about 25 minutes. You have to wait until the mushrooms dry out and deflate a bit, but so worth it.
Pasta Primavera with Feta- No recipe for this, I just roast veggies (tomatoes, carrots, onion, mushrooms, peppers) in the oven with olive oil, and cook quinoa pasta. When it’s done I toss it all together with extra olive oil, salt and pepper and feta. I had this dish for the first time at Kafe in Ubud, Bali, and I went back and ate there almost every day the whole week because of how amazing it was. I do not grow tired of you (with heart eyes).
Roasted Veggies with Feta- The same concept as above, but with no noodles. Only slightly less good.
Things I will try if I’m ever home for more than 5 minutes:
Butternut Squash Linguine– I actually tried to make this once, but I couldn’t find any butternut squash? But this will happen sooner or later.
Also, I bought myself this cookbook in a frenzy of New Year’s self betterment, and I have yet to make anything out of it. I’ve been traveling a LOT but I will get my life organized and get cooking this month. Just in time for it to be too hot to turn on the oven.
I always try to have as many veggies on hand in the house as possible, because it’s SO easy to eat terribly as a vegetarian. Actually the first time I tried it I lived for a week on chocolate, chips and cheese and wondered why I didn’t feel well and concluded that I must need meat to survive.
The only things I miss about eating meat:
Crab cakes: Because yum. If I ever gave up vegetarianism I would probably only eat fish which I never actually ate before, but I would become pescatarian to just eat veggies and crap cakes for every meal.
Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings): If you haven’t had these, stop what you are doing and go find them. Actually the only time I’ve been sad that something is off the menu. I went to Yank Sing in SF for Dim Sum for the first time in a long time, and I remembered that these existed and almost cried. I tried to find out if there is a vegetarian version, but they need actual bones to make them, so that’s probably a no.