What can I say? I'm devoted to these animals. Snickers has the most incredible, soft, thick fur
Happy Valentine's Day!
Follow along while I chronicle the good, the bad, the really bad, and the humorous of being a single mom who randomly decides: Vegetarian is the new "ME" (well, "us" actually - since I'm the resident chef).
1. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
2. Place large sections of squash on a Foreman Grill, along with whole mushrooms and garlic cloves until tender (4-7 minutes). Remove and cut accordingly.
3. In a large bowl, combine grilled veggies, cooked ravioli, fresh basil and Italian dressing. Toss to coat and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serves 4.Roasted/grilled garlic, fresh basil and good ravioli are the most important ingredients here. The original recipe said to grill the veggies in aluminium foil with the dressing for 20-30 minutes. If you, like me, do not have either the patience or the time for this - a Foreman Grill is your answer. Also, make sure you use a good tomato - very flavorful and ripe (if it doesn't smell like a tomato - it's not a good one!). Any Italian-type dressing will work. My recipe was on the sweet side because of the basil and balsamic vinaigrette I chose to use. Be creative. Also, I served this with Fried Tomatoes - a first for me that left me wanting to watch the movie, lol. I'll post that recipe another time, after I have made it again. Unfortunately, it was only mediorce since the tomato was somewhat bland. I can't emphasis enough the importance of fresh, ripe "smelly" tomatoes. As far as the ravioli, my personal preference is fresh ravioli - the frozen seems so "cold" lol. Also, next time I'm thinking of using a spinach-cheese blend.
So, what would you do if you woke up one fine December, post-Christmas morning and decided that meat just no longer fit into your preferred lifestyle? Exactly...call yourself a vegetarian and start a blog, lol!
When I say this was a random, cold turkey decision, I really mean it. I don't wear Birkenstocks, don't drive a Subaru, I do shave my underarms on a regular basis, absolutely LOVE chocolate and have no plan to give it up, HATE Clif Nutrition Bars (otherwise known as processed cardboard), and wouldn't be caught dead with any Kashi product in my cabinet!
So how, you ask, did I arrive at this decision to "go veggie"? Well, all I can say is my dogs made me do it. This is my Lhasa Apso 'Irish' (on right) and her companion Shih Tzu 'Riley' (on left). These guys are spoiled and their health is one of my top priorities - which resulted in my doing some in-depth research into dog food. Suffice it to say I was completely GROSSED OUT by what I learned and suddenly found myself repulsed by meat. Thats it. No great story, no horrible experience, no convenient epiphany regarding my health, and not yet another New Year's resolution to start "eating right".
This is now my third week of being a veggie. Strangely enough, I don't have the slightest craving for meat of any kind! I had originally thought that I would give up all meats except seafood, but after eating a teaspoon of tuna fish on a baguette slice today - I'm reconsidering. I found I didn't like eating meat.
You may be wondering what 'going veggie' means to me. Well, I'm not following any pre-determined philosophy or strict 'official' rules. These are my personal veggie guidelines:
I have to confess, since changing my personal eating habits, I've had the most varied, interesting and tasty meals ever. It's important to mention here that I'm a single mom with 3 teenage girls living in the house. Fortunately, one of them is also an aspiring veggie and is totally on board with me. However, the other two girls...well this quote says it best, "Mom! Where is the MEAT! Just cuz you're eating healthy doesn't mean we have to!!"... You can see my dilema. To cook, or not to cook...that is the question. Oh yeah, and I'm not exactly Mrs. Cleaver - cooking a lovely meal for my darling daughters each evening while dusting, singing and generally catering to their every need. I'm more of a "make it yourself, you know how to cook!" kind of mom these days (I'm a full time college student again) and sit down meals tend to be limited to holidays and my occasional generous moods. My schedule is, putting it mildly, a little hectic and meals are generally on-the-run.
Stay tuned for interesting facts (did you know Baba Ghanoush is made from eggplant?), great recipies, awful recipes to NEVER try, tips to making life easier, and updates on how this change affects my life.