Monday, March 4, 2013

Oh Hi....

     Where did the last month get to? Oh yeah, Girl Scout cookie sales... taking care of Mom... work... daughter... life in general. I also hit a bit of a funk I suppose. I had measurements with my trainer a few days after my last post and while not bad... they weren't what I was hoping for either. Lost a few pounds, down another percent body fat, but didn't lose any inches.... not a single one. Ouch. All that work and very little to show for it. But! I did keep up with the vegetarian diet. And with the picture taking.

We call it "Button Soup"

This was a happy sort of accident. My mom bought me a vegetarian slow cooker recipe book and I was aiming to make a French Alpine Cheese, Tomato and Onion Soup. But... I was cooking for not only my daughter and myself but my parents as well and my dad can be a picky eater. So I blended the tomatoes instead of chopping them. And it just snowballed from there. I added Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo, some mushrooms, italian seasoning, and a few odds and ends left over in my fridge. Soon it was nothing like what I had planned to make for dinner, but it was really pretty good. The soy chorizo added a bit too much of a kick for my daughter and mom, but Dad and I enjoyed it well enough. I later heard that maybe it would be good served over rice, but by then it was all gone.

     A few nights(?) later I was cooking for just us three girls, and started playing around with Phyllo dough. If you've never worked with it before, just carefully follow the instructions about keeping it covered and what not. This stuff can dry out seriously fast. To fill my phyllo cups, I made something similar to Trader Joe's guilt free spinach and kale dip and added the chicken-less strips. The dip was pretty good cold, I could have eaten it like that anytime. Once hot though... still darn tasty, but the texture wasn't exactly as I would have hoped. Still, we ate all the cups from that night and reheated the filling a few nights later as part of our quest to kill off some leftovers.

     The following week I tried my hand at making curry for the first time. I searched and search for a recipe that I thought would work for three distinct personalities. I like spicy, no one else does though so I was outvoted for a milder curry. I also went for lentils over tofu just to avoid another tofu disaster for my daughter. This dish was made simple with the addition of pre-chopped vegetables. Just sautee, season, add lentils, add coconut milk, cook down until you're ready to eat, and toss the naan into the oven in a foil packet to make it over the top awesome. The texture of the lentils was distracting at first, but over time I began to appreciate them more. The leftovers from this dish were amazing, even fresh from the fridge cold. I had a few days worth to provide me with lunch at work for a change. My coworkers were a bit jealous.
     Other than that it's been vegetarian tacos, meat-less chicken stir fry (don't tell my daughter though, she thinks it was real chicken!), waffles one night, spinach cheese pie, vegetarian sushi with my mom on Wednesdays... stuff like that.

     It's been a far more time consuming adventure than I thought it would be. Some nights take 2 hours to starting dinner to serving time. Most take about 1 though. This sort of cooking has also made so many more dishes to be washed! My time in the kitchen has easily doubled, maybe tripled. That sort of work can keep me away from the computer at times, so I apologize to those that have missed my stories into vegetarian cook, I'm working on getting caught up. But hey, check back again soon and I can tell you about the third vegetarian meal I made my my father. 

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