Category Archives: Vegetarian

Why I Can’t Eat Beans (right now)

During the winter season, I ran across a fantastic 3-bean vegetarian chili recipe.  I made it a few times over the course of a month and my husband and I both enjoyed it tremendously.  After telling my friend (who is the kitchen manager at Bluestem Bistro) about the recipe, she recommended I substitute in Great Northern beans for a change of pace.  To my delight, my granny brought by some wholesale foods a few days after that, that she wanted to give to us and in the box was a package of Great Northern beans.

I decided to substitute the Great Northern beans for the chickpeas in my recipe.  As I let the chili simmer, I thought, “I’m so glad Jenny suggested this.  I’m always up for trying new things.”  But after I sat down with my bowl and took the first bite, I regretted it.  You see, the other two beans in the recipe were black beans and kidney beans, already cooked.  The Great Northern beans I had were dried.  Dried, I say!!  What an amateur mistake I made!  As I chewed and chewed the white beans in the chili amidst the deliciousness that was the rest of it, I couldn’t believe my error.

Admittedly, I tried to salvage the huge pot that I had made by picking out all the white beans, but it was too late in my mind.  I couldn’t stomach the rest of it, even after a few days and a reheated bowl.  Since that time, I flinch at eating beans because I have this idea in my mind that I will bite into them and they will be chewy and undercooked.  So there you have it, my friends.  My confession of the day.  Hopefully I will slowly be able to add beans to my diet again.


Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Food, Vegetarian


Featured Recipe: Eggs Florentine Casserole

I seem to have this weird quirk that makes me never want to follow a recipe exactly.  I don’t care for measuring ingredients or being strict about what exactly I put into a meal.  Maybe that’s why my attempts at baking have failed.  In the case of this recipe adapted from the recipe featured on The Pioneer Woman’s blog, it was a matter of changing the casserole into a vegetarian one.  The hubby and I really enjoyed this one, as it included literally our favorite foods and it was quite easy to make.

Ingredients needed:

3-4 potatoes

5-6 ounces of fresh spinach leaves

2-3 cups of cheese (I used a cheddar jack mix)

12 large eggs

vegetable oil

1.  Wash, peel and slice the potatoes.  I kept my slices pretty large, but you can do hashbrown style, if you wish.  Fry the potatoes until crispy and arrange them in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish, as such.

2.  Whisk together eggs, spinach and cheese mixture.  It will look so pretty.

3.  Pour egg/spinach/cheese mixture on top of the fried potatoes and try to keep the mixture even across the dish.

4. Bake the casserole at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If you wish, you can remove the casserole after 15 minutes, sprinkle some more cheese on top, and put it back in for another 5-10.  Either way, it is delicious.

5.  Enjoy!

For those carnivores in the room, feel free to refer to the original recipe referred to above to know how to add sausage or other breakfast-type meats.  I won’t be a hater if you want to add a little more flavor.  To each their own, I say, to each their own.


Posted by on March 17, 2011 in Featured recipe, Vegetarian


Easy-Peasy Recipe: Veggie Pot Pie

I am finding it harder and harder to qualify recipes as ‘easy-peasy’ in the flexitarian lifestyle, as well as in the ‘eating non-processed foods’ lifestyle, and admittedly, this recipe is a bit processed, but nonetheless filled with veggies.

Ingredients needed:

2 (15 oz) cans of mixed vegetables (feel free to substitute fresh, chopped veggies!)

1 (10.75 oz) can of cream soup (I used mushroom, but celery, potato, etc. would work)

1 package of 2 pre-made pie crusts

Thyme, salt and black pepper.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Roll out one pie crust and fit it into the bottom of a pie pan.

3. Mix together veggies and cream soup and spices.

4. Dish filling on top of the bottom pie crust.

5. Roll out second pie crust and place it nice and neat on top of the filling.

6. Crimp the edges of the pie crust together in order to seal it.  Fork ventilation holes into the top pie crust.

7. Bake for 40 minutes and enjoy.


Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Easy-Peasy Recipe, Vegetarian


Featured Cookbook: One-Dish Vegetarian Meals

One-Dish Vegetarian Meals

by Robin Robertson

Published November 2007 by Harvard Common Press

Any cookbook that claims to include “150 easy, wholesome, and delicious [recipes]” is definitely worth checking out.  In my opinion, One-Dish Vegetarian Meals is one to keep around.  The book begins with a few pages of advice on the vegetarian kitchen, including cooking times for different rices, beans and grains.  Some readers might feel this is redundant, but others might find it extremely useful (especially for beginning cooks like myself).

The recipes themselves are organized into the following categories: Soups and Stews; Main-Dish Salads; Baked Dishes; Saucy Pastas; Stir-Fries and Sautes; Stovetop Simmers; Hearty Chilis; Super-Speedy Meals.  Each recipe has a short introduction in which the author states why you should consider the recipe or tips for modifying the recipe or enjoying it to the fullest.  There are simply a ton of recipes and the book seems to fall fairly even on the veggie-based to starch-based recipe ratio, which I find very important when planning my meals for the week, making sure to take in enough carbohydrates but not making them the basis for every meal.  One aspect to make note of is that the author uses pesto as an ingredient quite a bit, which could be a positive or negative depending on the cook.

The recipe I chose to try from this cookbook was “Bell Peppers Stuffed with Rice, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.”  We really enjoyed the recipe and it was quite easy to make.

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Rice, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 large green, red or yellow bell peppers

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

1 large bunch of spinach, washed, trimmed, and coarsely chopped

3 to 4 cups cooked long-grain white or brown rice

Garlic, parsley, salt and black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice off the top of the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes.  Plunge the peppers into a pot of boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened.  Remove the peppers from the water and set aside, cut side down, to drain. Chop the tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the spinach, garlic, and tomatoes and cook until the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the rice, parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and place upright in a baking dish.  Add a few tablespoons of water to the baking dish, cover, and bake until the filling is hot and the peppers are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Featured Cookbook, Vegetarian


Our Vegetarian Journey

Before I start sharing my experiences, recipes and general foodie information, I want to offer some explanation.  As stated previously, my husband and I have been working on the vegetarian lifestyle for about a year now.  We started with cutting out beef because we found out about all the grains that cattle unnaturally eat, grains that could be used to feed humans that are starving.  Cattle can live off grass, I promise.  This was a very hard decision considering that we live in cattle-raising central.  We actually have a few family friends that raise cattle for a living, but have grass-fed cattle farms, and if we decide to start eating beef again, we would most definitely purchase from them.

After a few months of avoiding beef, we decided to cut out all red meats, leaving chicken, turkey and fish, which we very much enjoy.  But it was only after watching Food, Inc. that we decided to try the full plunge into vegetarianism.  If you have ever viewed this documentary, you will know exactly why.  It turns out that chicken farms are among the worst in the meat industry, injecting numerous growth hormones to shorten the animal’s lifespan, and keeping the animals in a disgusting environment during their lives and during their slaughter and processing.  The greed and corruption of the meat industry is utterly appalling.  Please keep in mind that I am making many blanket statements that are not meant to be blanket statements.  I realize that this is not the case with some contributors to the meat industry, but we have made the choice to be better safe than sorry.

After about a month of cutting out meat altogether, we realized what a difficult change this was going to be and, unfortunately, went back on our word.  I have to say that committing to vegetarianism is extremely hard.  Not only did we face internal difficulties, but we also had many people in our lives not understand the decision that we had made and not be very supportive.  Understandably so, as we live in the heart of America, where it seems to be tough to wrap our minds around the fact that there are things in the world that are corrupt.  In the end, we decided to claim the term “flexitarian,” a person who enjoys a mostly meatless diet, but occasionally does indulge in meat.  For instance, my uncle so generously provided us with some deer meat, deer that he killed in season and processed himself.  Also, as mentioned before, there are many grass-fed cattle farms that we would be more than happy to purchase from, if we so choose.

I don’t doubt that some of you will skip over this post, thinking in your head, “Just get to the recipes already!”  But I wanted to make sure and cover some bases before I dive into my adventures in cooking and trying out a mostly meat-free diet.  Please feel free to comment, positively or negatively, about our journey to this point.  I welcome criticism and encouragement, and I want you as my readers to be along for the ride with me.


Posted by on February 20, 2011 in Married Life, Vegetarian