Tuesday is Vegetarian Night
My husband and I are omnivores and we eat pretty much any type of meat and vegetable. We both grew up in the Midwest where our family meals consisted of a meat, starch and vegetable with a tall glass of 2% milk on the side. As I have learned to be more creative in the kitchen, I have worked on breaking these rules by incorporating more veggies wherever I can. Some may call this an attempt to be flexitarian but I can’t put a label on it especially with such a strong love for pork, especially bacon.
Every Tuesday night my husband plays basketball with a group of his college buddies. This is my time to experiment in the kitchen with a medley of seasonal vegetables. Sure, he welcomes the “no meat” meal every now and then but I crave it a bit more and would love to work on perfecting these meals.
For those that love to play in the kitchen here are my tips for creating some creative veggie-centric dishes:
- A salad is not the only vegetarian meal. I cannot subside on lettuce and veggies alone, especially for dinner. Make the meal more substantial by incorporating a variety of beans, like cannellini or garbanzo beans, or potatoes.
- One-pot wonders are a great way to pull all the veggies from the farmers market into one dish.
- Start with sautéing garlic and/or onion in butter (I also like the combo of butter and oil) then begin layering your different flavors.
- Zucchini, squash and some beans are good additions at this stage. Luckily, it is tomato season so I would chop up some and add next.
- To add some moisture, add some vegetable or chicken stock (I guess this would break the true vegetarian rule but I don’t like too many rules in my kitchen).
- Let the pot simmer then top with fresh herbs, kosher salt and your favorite cheese. Give it a little kick with some crush red pepper, too.
- Too hot to sit over the stove? Try a cold soup like a gazpacho or sweet corn soup and some crusty bread. Cold soups are great for leftovers.
To add to your collection of recipes, Camille Kingsolver, daughter of Barbara the author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, offers some great vegetarian recipes in the book and an interesting perspective on a period of her life as a vegetarian. You can also find these recipes online at www.AnimalVegetableMiracle.com
I would love to hear more ideas on how you incorporate all vegetarian meals into your diet. Any good recipes using seasonal and local produce?