An experiment in meatlessness

vegetables
Picture by karimian.

I’ve decided that I’m going to try an experiment in going without meat for the next two weeks. I say “without meat” rather than “vegetarian” because there are shades of grey in the world of vegetarianism, and I fully intend to cook with animal products such as eggs, milk, cheese, and butter. Just no beef, pork, fish, chicken, shrimp, etc.

The reason for this is simple. We’ve been working on eating less meat on average for the past couple of years, but we still eat more than we should. To eat less, we need to expand our repertoire of recipes for meatless mains. We have the cookbooks, we just need to use them and try more new things.

Two weeks gives me a chance to try around 10-15 new recipes. More if I get inspired and energetic, but probably not because I’ve got a cold and “inspired” is just about the last thing I feel right now. I’ll probably start with some sort of vegetarian stew or chili and go from there. If I remember, I’ll take pictures and blog it all.

If there are particular meatless recipes you think I should try, leave a comment!

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4 thoughts on “An experiment in meatlessness

  1. I’m a big fan of quinoa for risotto. Simmer with veg and lentils in veg broth. Also eggplant parmigiana, grilled before baking rather than fried.

  2. Simple chick pea things are good: chana masala say (spiced with cumin, cilantro, turmeric or general “curry powder”), or even just a can of chick peas with olive oil, garlic, onion and tomato — quick preparation, just fry it a little and serve.

    Black bean anything: black bean soup (spice with black pepper and cilantro), black bean salad with peppers and cucumber (spice with salt, cumin and hot sauce), mashed and fried black bean with onion (spice with chili powder).

    Lentil soup, lentils and rice, lentil stew (spice with berbere), etc.

    Mirza ghasemi is a delightful Persian dish — an eggplant, tomato, egg and tomato thing — though a bit of a trick for seasoning, like much Persian stuff.

    Trick with all legumes is to wash them extensively, and discard the wash-water (or soak-water if you go from dry beans). This will remove the indigestible sugars that produce the gas.

    Vegetable foods can be made extremely flavourful, but the ways they are prepared for “accompaniment” roles rather than “primary dish” roles tend to under-use seasonings, oils, spices, etc. Be sure to play with the flavours to make things rich and tasty! No need to be an ascetic.

    See if you have Moroccan, Lebanese, Egyptian, Ethiopian, Persian or Sri Lankan restaurants around, go there and ask for vegetarian recommendations 🙂

  3. I highly recommend Didi Emmons Vegetarian Planet. It’s one of the best cookbooks I own for both how many recipes are good and how many are cook-again.

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