I’m Turning Vegetarian

Well ok, I’m not. That title is just a sensational attention grabbing headline. But, this week’s dinners are going to be pretty much exclusively vegetarian. The only meat products we bought at the market today were 2 snapper and some bacon (for breakfast.) We are also trying to step away from our regular carbohydrates of pasta and mashed potato and experiment with a few other “fillers.” There’s going to be beans, lentils, quinoa and perhaps some barley. I’m going to try and avoid rice as well, but I think that’s probably unlikely due to the likelihood of atleast a couple of curries.

Why you ask? Well I think our cooking revolves too much around pasta and stewy casseroles. I love them, but it’s pretty unimaginative and uncreative so placing some restrictions on the menu should help us think outside the box.

Anyway, what recipes do you suggest?

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45 Responses to “I’m Turning Vegetarian”

  1. Lesley commented:

    Hi there
    I love it now that you are on FB with MAH. I’ve been getting into Polenta – mash and cooked fingers. And using oats in my baking – love the texture. I always have lots of organic beans on hand. Archer loves them (!) so they go in everything. I’d love to do a Brazilian Black Bean stewy thing but haven’t looked for the beans at health food shop yet.
    Hi to Andrea and bye!

  2. Jameses commented:

    A vegetarian couscous with roast pumpkin, sweet potato and garlic (with rosemary), cherry tomatoes, basil, baby spinach, butter mushrooms, onions and fetta.

    Mmmmmm…

  3. Tresna commented:

    This sounds like a great way to expand your cooking (and eating) repertoire! Barley is excellent for soups, salads and even makes a very good “risotto” with an abundance of mushrooms and some good cheese. Home made baked beans are also a winner and I actually created a recipe a few weeks back especially for you guys after your comments about wanting to cook beans at home. I’ll get a copy of it to you right away.
    How about making home-made tortillas and then making some spiced beans to stuff inside? Also, don’t just stick to dried beans. Fresh Borlotti beans, for example, are delicious and still give you that healthy carb/protein balance to your meals.

  4. Ruth commented:

    As a long-time vego, I can probably be of some assistance. I’ll second the tortilla/Mexican call.

    Cook the beans (and lentils too, if you want a good balance of aminos, but you probably don’t care) with tomato, capsicum (char both in the oven/grill for a bit first for a nice smokey flavour), and whatever else (carrot, zucchini, celery, mushrooms, etc), shite-loads of garlic, herbs (coriander, continental parsley) and spices (paprika, black pepper, etc), plus chilli or tabasco for some kick, and you’ve got the base for a good range of things: tacos, burritos, nachos, enchiladas, etc. Or over rice/cous cous/quinoa. Works well with something creamy – melted cheese or sour cream if you’re feeling junky, plain yoghurt and/or avocado for something a bit healthier. Also great on toast for breakfast. Or in a jaffle, if you’re feeling lazy.

    Stir fries are also pretty easy/good vego fare. If you don’t like tofu (unfathomable, but I’ve heard some don’t), use heaps of mushroom to bulk it out.

    Speaking of mushrooms, BBQ/grilled/roasted big flat or portobellos are pretty awesome. You can make burger patties with them, too (or make them out of the beans, lentils and rice).

    And if you’re trying to replace potatoes, pumpkin or sweet potatoes make for far more exciting dishes, anyway – chips, roasted, mashed, soups, etc.

  5. Michael commented:

    Thanks a heap for the assistance Ruth. Sounds like I should probably learn how to make the tortilla’s that’ll be helpful with meat as well.

    I LOVE quinoa so that will probably be on the cards and Tresna sent me a pretty awesome looking baked beans recipe. Most definitely give it a whip.

  6. Ruth commented:

    Well, depends how cheap and picky you are. You can obviously buy tortillas (or just wraps) from the supermarket. If you want something nicer, Casa Iberica on Smith St sells proper homemade corn tortillas.

    I’ve been putting quinoa in my porridge lately — REALLY good. Also, if you dig quinoa, check out amaranth grain — it’s similar, but a bit smaller, with more of a nutty flavour.

  7. Lisa @ bakebikeblog commented:

    oooh the possibilities are endless! I am in love with chickpeas at the moment…think endless amounts of hummus, falafel etc

  8. Emily commented:

    Wonderful idea!

    We have done quite a few recipes with alternative grains that may help you with your vegetarian efforts. Apparently the key to vegetarian meals is combining different grains and proteins to maximise the body’s absorption of all the good stuff.

    Some suggestions – a delicious quinoa and chickpea salad http://itpleasesus.com/2010/03/22/simple-chickpea-and-quinoa-salad/) or quinoa porridge for breakfast (http://itpleasesus.com/2010/02/10/reader-request-quinoa-porridge/).

    Lentil and buckwheat salad (http://itpleasesus.com/2010/01/06/lentils-buckwheat/) or tofu and buckwheat noodles (http://itpleasesus.com/2010/03/11/tofu-buckwheat-noodles/)

    If you go to our recipes section, there is a ‘vegetarian meals’ section with quite a few more suggestions too. Look forward to hearing how it goes!

  9. Drinkflirtparty commented:

    It’s winter….time for soup, hot and hearty to fill your belly, with no carbs required!!

    My faves are vegetable and pumpkin, but have just now attempted my first vegetarian tom yum and think the spicy flavor is definitely going to give me a hot kick as the weather gets colder!

    Mmmm thinking about this makes me hungry, think I may serve up a bowl now! xx

  10. Michael commented:

    Thanks for all the comments guys. It’s been a couple of weeks now and we’ve had some successes and fails. I’ve made some really great bean fajitas, also Tresna sent me her baked beans recipe that hit the spot nicely. I also made a quinoa and beetroot salad which I spoilt with some shitty reconstituted lemon juice that I wish I had never seen, let alone tasted. Couscous is great and we’ve made a couple of tabouleh style salads.

    I’ve got a couple of different type of lentils and haven’t quite figured out what I want to do with them. I’m thinking something curry-like but haven’t really been hit by the inspiration stick yet.

    We’ve also been working our way through the fish shop. Bought some kingfish fillets the other day that actually blew my mind. Tomorrow it’s ocean trout which I’m definitely looking forward to.