Friday, January 15, 2010

Veggier and Veggier

I have been learning to cook with more veggies, less meat. At first, it was hard, because I had to rethink so many things... I expected every meal to have a meat main dish and then a vegetable or two as sides. But with finances being what they are, and with health issues that came up in the family, I started doing things differently, and I learned that I do feel better when I eat less meat.

I learned that you don't HAVE to have one main dish as the star of the meal. You can have a bunch of different vegetable dishes, with some bread. A meal like this is nutritious and fills people up. It may look like all "side dishes", but it makes a good meal.

Also I learned that eating three different colors of plant foods (veggies, fruits, and grains) will give your body everything it needs to build a good quality protein. So I don't have to include a meat or meat substitute with every meal.

And I have learned about alternate sources of protein. I'm learning about tofu, which has very little flavor of its own and tastes like whatever you put with it. There are a ton of recipes for tofu online. I really like tofu with a curry sauce, but since I am the only curry fan in the house, I don't fix tofu that way very often. Sometimes I fry it up or brown it in the oven. Husband is not fond of tofu, so I limit my experimentation with it. I do like it, though. The other night I wanted something easy. I bought a can of Chinese Vegetables. Then I heated oil in the big black frying pan and browned some tofu with a little S&P, and some seasoning sauce (Bragg Liquid Amino). Added a few chopped veggies - whatever I had in the house: a little cauliflower, little broccoli, some green onion. And when those were cooked, I added the can of drained Chinese veggies. We served that over brown rice. It turned out very yummy. Well, most of us thought so, anyway.

I have learned about tvp, which works well in a lot of recipes where you might otherwise use ground meat, like in spaggetti sauce. Or you can use it along with ground beef to stretch the meat in things like sloppy joes.

But most of my meatless foods are just veggie dishes, with no "meat substitutes". We love home made soups, for example. Tomato soup is delicious, or bean, potato or lentil soup. Lentil soup is fast, delicious, and fills you up.


  1. Yum.....we exchange brown lentils for beef when making tacos (love it!)~ and have a great nacho recipe using orange lentils, sweet potato, red pepper, carrot, corn, tomatoes, chili sauce and red've got me hungry, now! ~~<3 J.

  2. J - I would sure like to see your recipes! -k.


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