So week one of lent has passed and guess what? This vegetarian thing isn't half bad! Once I mourned the loss of Manchu's nummy fried chicken, and remembered NOT to taste test J's meat (oh habit, how you suck so bad) to see if it was cooked to sire's specifications, eating hasn't been too hard!
Granted, I'm not fully veg since I still eat fish and eggs. I'm thankful for allowing myself these two leanbacks as I'm not well versed in how to eat properly without including meat, nutritional substitutions etc. The first few days were iffy, and I found myself feeling faint many times (impaired glucose tolerance is a tricky thing to manage on the best of days). But I'm getting there, and I'm slowly finding replacements.
So what I learned this week: Beans ROCK.
I always enjoyed brown beans on toast (my British side coming through), but I can now safely say I heart chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans as well! Below I've added two recipes I got from my friend, Erin. They're wicked good, and I'll be making them both again.
As for the "giving up" side of things, I'm really not feeling I'm doing without a whole lot. While it has been a little bit of a challenge to balance my diet, I don't find myself CRAVING meat or being sad because I can't have it. Maybe this will stick afterall... Who knows?And maybe I should give up chocolate next year... Or the internet... Okay I kinda scared myself with that, I don't think I could live without the internet ;)
S isn't as put out as he thought he'd be either. I still make chicken and beef for him and J, and he knows I'm not trying to convert him, so he's let down his guard a little - I even caught him eating a few meat-free meals all by himself *gasp*!
Anyhoo - now for the good stuff! Recipes!! Below are the 2 I made, and here's a link to Erin's page. She has a whole lot of other meal ideas that I'll be trying soon!
3 BEAN VEGETARIAN CHILI
*K's notes: This stuff is amazing, but can be a little spicy for those with a sensitive palette. Just add a little less spice than is suggested if you think you might have trouble, and you should be fine. I forgot to get corn (duh) so I used an extra sweet potato as a replacement, and it turned out great! It added an extra sweetness to the chili that I found very nice! One batch was enough for a bunch of lunches which I separated and froze. I'll let you know how they re-heat (although I recall Erin saying that they re-heat just fine). I also used olive oil instead of safflower oil since I had olive oil on hand.*
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato soup
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp paprika
2 ? tsp ground cumin
1 ? tsp cayenne pepper
1 ? tsp oregano
2 ? tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 medium yam, peeled and cubed
2 cups frozen corn niblets
~ Over medium heat, sauté onions in oil until clear and set aside
~ In a 6 quart crock-pot combine tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato soup, and all spices. Stir to combine
~ Add in onions, beans, yam and corn
~ Cook for 3- 4 hrs or until bubbling.
CHICKPEA SQUASH AND POTATO PATTIES
*K's notes: These are wicked-good. The recipe made 6 nice sized patties, none of which I froze because I ate them too fast! I de-veganed mine, though, by adding a fistful of cheese to the mix and I found it added a pinch of tasty gooeyness (yes, a technical term). I did find that the prep took a long time. Even though it was worth it in the end, I think I'll opt to use my food processor for shredding and mashing as opposed to doing it all manually next time. I didn't get the chick peas mashed enough, and the yam and squash shreds could have been smaller. (Next time will likely be tonight: I really enjoyed these!)*
. 1 1/2 cups mashed chickpeas (16 oz can)
. 1 cup of squash grated (I used acorn but you can use any variety: banana, butternut, pumpkin spaghetti)
. 1 cup potato grated yam (or sweet potato)
. 2 tbsp fresh diced green onion
. 2 tbsp fresh diced parsley
. 1/2 tbsp dried dill
. 1/2 tsp cumin
. ? tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot or less if you don't)
. 1/2 tsp salt
. 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
. Safflower oil for frying
~ Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
~ Add flour and use clean hands to work mixture together. Don't over work it or it will not keep together.
~ Form patties in a size of your liking and fry in medium heat pan until browned on each side.