Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Do We Eat Now??

I mentioned our plan to go veg to the moms in The Middle Child's Girl Scout troop at our last meeting. One of the moms responded the way I have in the past when someone told me they were vegetarian- what the heck do you feed your family, and what about protein? Yep, been there, had (have) those questions, and I'm trying to work out the answers myself. One thing I'm doing is combing through vegetarian and vegan cookbooks to find recipes we might enjoy. One author in particular is a favorite, Robin Robertson, and I have four of her cookbooks. We've used recipes of hers in the past and liked them a lot so she's my "go to" at this point. After drifting about menu planning, spending a lot of time doing my Radical Reading instead of looking for what we can eat now, I focused and found some potential recipes in a couple of her cookbooks. The next step is to WRITE THEM DOWN and put the items we don't have on hand on a shopping list so we can actually make said recipes. I can't just write them on any old scrap of paper, either; I've made an official document titled "The Food We Eat". (Actually, to distinguish it from the old "The Food We Eat" list that included meat, it's "The Food We Eat Now That We Are Vegetarian".) I typed it up in sections- what DH makes, what I make, what The Middle Child makes, Take Out, Delivery, and a section with a table I can fill in with new recipes we try and where to find them. (I HATE it when I lose a recipe, and I've done that several times in the past!) It's all very organized and a big help when I sit down to make up my weekly menu plan. I've really had a hard time NOT having that list up to date with vegetarian recipes, but now that I've plugged in the few new recipes we know we like, and I have space to add more recipes as we try them, I feel much better about the situation. This is an overwhelmingly HUGE change in our eating habits and it's easy to let it get away from me so I have to break it down into manageable steps.

Here's how it looks now:

The Food We Eat Now That We Are Vegetarians

DH’s Meals:
~ Lentil Tacos
~ Salads with Protein (egg, tofu, beans, nuts)
~ Veggie and Tempeh Stir fry
~ Veggie Deli Sandwiches
~ Vegetarian Chili (still have to find a recipe)
~ Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce (still have to find a recipe)
~ Black Bean Patties (Apocalypse Chow p. 120) with Rice, Applesauce, and Carrot Salad
~ Veggie Burgers, Waldorf Salad, Fries (that's IF we like the veggie burgers we bought to try)
~ White Bean Cassoulet (Vegan Planet p. 290)
~ Orecchiette with Roasted Broccoli and Walnuts

My Meals:
~ Jamaican Black Bean and Vegetable Soup (Minutemeals Vegetarian page 40)
~ Bean-a-Roni (My own recipe modified from Beef-a-Roni by subbing a can or two of rinsed and drained beans for the beef)
~ Rotini with Tomatoes and White Beans with breadsticks
~ Pasta e Fagioli (New Vegetarian Cuisine p 82) The Middle Child loves this b/c of the mushrooms
~ Mediterranean Bean Ragout (Vegan Planet p. 291)
~ Bagel Egg Sandwiches

Meals We Both Cook:
~ Refried Bean Quesadillas

Meals We Cook Together:
~ Winter Crumble (The Little Book of Vegetarian Recipes p 28) for Earth Day; time consuming
~ Creamy Ziti Vegetable Bake (New Vegetarian Cuisine p 85) DH knife work; I assemble

Meals The Middle Child Cooks:
~ Pasta and bean soup (Minutemeals Vegetarian p 42)

Take Out:
(several local eateries)

Pizza Fusion

New Recipes We’ve Tried and Like

(This is a chart that won't copy here; it has one column titled "Recipe Name" and one column titled "Where to Find It")

New Recipes We Are Trying This Week:
(I actually put this in my menu planner which is handwritten every week and not part of my "What We Eat" list. I USE my "What We Eat" list and cookbooks to help fill out the menu planner.)
~ Potato and Onion Pierogi with Broccoli and Walnuts (Quick Fix Vegetarian page 111)
~ Fusilli and Summer Vegetables with Basil-Cannellini Sauce (Quick Fix Vegetarian page 120)

So this is how I'm figuring out the WHAT about our new way of eating. As for the protein question, that's really not as big a deal as I thought it would be. I'm finding throughout my reading that we are not exactly in any danger of protein deficiencies if we eat a well balanced diet, even if that diet is vegetarian. There's protein in just about everything and we don't need as much as we are led to believe. I like cookbooks that give nutrition info and I tend to choose recipes with a higher protein content, at least for now during our "transition phase", but on the days when we've been totally meatless it's been OK, even if I don't give protein a second thought. (Robin Robertson's cookbooks don't give nutrition information, my ONLY complaint about them, but the recipes use good, wholesome ingredients so I'm not going to worry about it.) That's where things stand for now; we're taking it one step at a time and figuring out things as we go. It's kind of like "sink or swim". We've made the commitment, now we have to live it.

PS: Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh, you know the Potato and Onion Pierogi with Broccoli and Walnuts recipe we were going to try from Robin Robertson's Quick Fix Vegetarian cookbook? We just ate it for dinner and all I have to say is YUM! It's on our "keeper" list for sure. Her recipes just do NOT disappoint!


Mark said...

>The next step is to WRITE THEM DOWN and put the items we don't have on hand on a shopping list so we can actually make said recipes.

DH hasn't bought you a smart phone yet? You should be able to just snap a picture of the recipes you want. Then, there are apps you can get that will convert them to text and email them to you.

Lots of beans in your diet... I'm guessing your household is a bit gassier these days!

Kim said...

Oooh, a smart phone can do that? I need a new phone desperately.

As for the gas situation, it's not too bad since we ate a lot of beans before. I like beans and added them to a lot of our meals even before "The Change". But you can talk to DH for his opinion about that...

Kevin said...

Dude, if you keep spreading lies about phones, I'm going to make you do level 1 tech support for her.

As for the gassiness, it's actually decreasing and what's left is less smelly. I highly recommend a low fat vegetable diet for a week if you are having odor "issues".