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Vegetarian for a week

Vegetarian

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177 replies to this topic

#31 FauxPas

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:07 AM

What about some cold bean salads? Chickpeas, 3-bean variations, etc.

#32 SobaAddict70

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:10 AM

Do you like cold soups? That could be a solution.

One thing I like to do with kale (besides caldo verde) is to stew it long and slow with garlic, chiles and a little bit of lemon or vinegar. Ordinarily I would add some kind of pork fat (i.e., bacon, salt pork, kielbasa) as well but since this is a vegetarian week, you can skip that step. :raz:

Incidentally, the garlic/chile/lemon treatment is a good way to cook greens of all kinds.

Another idea is:

Potato and greens "hash" -- peel and steam potatoes until tender; steam or boil greens such as spinach, beet greens, lamb's quarters, chard; chop coarsely. Fry garlic in olive oil, then add potatoes and greens, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add some tomatoes if you like. Serve at once.

#33 FauxPas

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:17 AM

I'm starting to crave gazpacho - I'm definitely going to make some of that soon.

#34 Fat Guy

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:30 AM

I'll be interested to see what's in the new CSA share

According to the newsletter it will consist of:

peas
collard greens
Chinese cabbage
kohlrabi
basil
red spring onions
summer squash/zucchini
lettuce
broccoli

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#35 FauxPas

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:43 AM

Does your son like peanut sauce? You could use up some of that with a Gado-Gado variation.

#36 Fat Guy

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:45 AM

He loves peanut sauce.

I have no idea how to make peanut sauce or what gado-gado is!

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#37 FauxPas

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:48 AM

It's an Indonesian veggie dish, sometimes layered with spinach and rice (but could be lettuce or whatever for a base), then a mix of cooked or raw veggies, maybe boiled egg and tofu, topped with peanut sauce. You can make a hotter version of the peanut sauce for adults if your son doesn't like it too spicy.

There are lots of recipes for it around, here's one at Epicurious:

http://www.epicuriou...DO-GADO-1231963

But it's one of those free-wheeling kind of dishes. Start with the general concept and then use whatever you have on hand. :laugh:

Edited by FauxPas, 06 July 2011 - 11:53 AM.


#38 Will

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:11 PM

One thing I like to do with kale (besides caldo verde) is to stew it long and slow with garlic, chiles and a little bit of lemon or vinegar. Ordinarily I would add some kind of pork fat (i.e., bacon, salt pork, kielbasa) as well but since this is a vegetarian week, you can skip that step. :raz:

A bit of a cheat, but a little liquid smoke will impart a subtle smoky taste that might help scratch that itch (for people who really like their greens that way).

#39 Will

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:13 PM

Another great Indonesian dish that features peanut sauce, and can be made vegetarian, is ketoprak, though the rice cake for it might be a bit hard to find or make. Kecap Manis (a sweet, thick, soy sauce based thing) is indispensable for Indonesian cooking, even though it's another bottle of stuff to keep around. It works well in stir-fries and other dishes too.


Edited by Will, 06 July 2011 - 12:15 PM.


#40 Lisa Shock

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 01:45 PM

Some of your produce would make a nice selection of tempura vegetables, even the leafy ones work -they just become crispy. To make a complete meal I usually make a clear broth soup, rice (the Imperial kind you'd make sushi with), and a cucumber salad. Fruit or sorbet is a good dessert with this meal. If you fear you aren't getting enough protein, you can: tempura some baked/seasoned tofu, serve cold tofu with toppings like fresh ginger/scallions/etc., or add tofu cubes to the soup.

#41 Snadra

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:36 PM

It's an Indonesian veggie dish, sometimes layered with spinach and rice (but could be lettuce or whatever for a base), then a mix of cooked or raw veggies, maybe boiled egg and tofu, topped with peanut sauce. You can make a hotter version of the peanut sauce for adults if your son doesn't like it too spicy.

There are lots of recipes for it around, here's one at Epicurious:

http://www.epicuriou...DO-GADO-1231963

But it's one of those free-wheeling kind of dishes. Start with the general concept and then use whatever you have on hand. :laugh:


Gado Gado is fantastic!! We always order it when we see it on the menu. I've made the one from Yotam Ottolenghi's Guardian column a few times, but I skip the turmeric water and don't cook the cabbage. It is more involved than the one FauxPas found, but it might satisfy your need to make something a bit complicated and it really is addictive.

http://www.guardian....pe.foodanddrink

These Turkish zucchini pancakes are brilliant if you're eating eggs and dairy. I skip the walnuts and feta, and we eat these as a main dish with a tomato or garlic and yoghurt sauce and some salad.

http://www.epicuriou...i-Pancakes-1208

Also, fried rice (try a nasi goreng style if you end up getting some kecap manis) is great served in a bowl with some Asian-inspired salad made with the napa cabbage from your CSA box. And i think sliced cucumber is traditional with Nasi Goreng. Lately we've been making one seasoned with garlic and black pepper with lots of fresh spinach wilted into it. Maybe you could try something similar with the greens you're getting.

While you're buying kecap manis, keep an eye out for fried shallots as well. They add a great fried onion flavour to all kinds of things and they keep really well. In winter we use them to top perogies.

#42 teagal

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:02 PM

I'll join you! I know all the ethical/land/health issues about meat and agree that less/no meat is better. I especially want the health benefits. Will be interesting to see if a few pounds are lost too. Have been eating less meat lately anyway and always wanted to try and see if I could do without it for a period of time besides a meal or two. So, here's to a great week!
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#43 Fat Guy

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 04:14 PM

Breakfast today was a repeat of yesterday: yogurt and cereal.

For lunch I made grilled-cheese sandwiches for the family, on nine-grain bread. Possibly the best perk of teaching at the International Culinary Center/French Culinary Institute is the incredible access I have to bread from the baking program. My freezer, which is quite large by the standards of New York City apartments, is full of an embarrassing variety of the stuff.

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Dinner was Middle Eastern, a cuisine that lends itself readily to vegetarianism. My favorite local place is called Hummus Place. We had hummus with favas, falafel, and shakshouka haloumi (eggs, tomatoes, peppers and haloumi cheese).

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Here's today's CSA haul:

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#44 AAQuesada

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

The Kale look pretty raw, no wonder it didnt taste good, but with a bit of a ruff chop, white wine, veg stock you have the beginings of a great meal. Maybe add some chick peas or white beans top with a fried egg and some harissa and you have a great meal..

#45 Fat Guy

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:02 PM

The photo is of the dish being cooked. The kale was cooked through when done. It just tasted lousy. I'd probably chop it if I did it again, though, which I doubt I will.

I've only ever had one memorable kale dish, which was a Caesar-type salad made with Tuscan kale at the restaurant Il Buco here in New York City. But I'm thinking Tuscan kale is just a lot better-tasting than the stuff from our friend's CSA. I can't imagine anything being done to this stuff to make it taste good, short of preparations that completely mask its flavor and texture (e.g., hidden ingredient in a smoothie).

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#46 Katie Meadow

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:03 PM

Tuscan and the ubiquitous curly kale I prefer to use in soups; you can throw in the raw leaves and they cook in 20 minutes or less. Tuscan--and I assume that's the same as Cavolo Nero or Black Kale--is more delicate, so doesn't need quite so much time, I don't think. The only kale I like for a braise or quick saute is baby Russian kale, but it isn't easy to come by.

For lunch we had sandwiches and slaw. A cabbage in the fridge had seen better days, but a spicy dressing hides a multitude of sins. The slaw was unusual, but very good. I used about 50/50 mayo and Fage, and added a big dollop of left-over chile salsa, plus some minced dill pickle and celery seeds. It sounds a bit weird, but it was addictive. My sandwich was cheese and pickle, once again. Okay, enough pickles already.

I'm having a gin and tonic now with some TJ's blistered peanuts. Dinner will be simple: a quinoa and corn melange, with roasted green chiles. The corn is from yesterday's market, just sauteed with onions in butter, then mixed with the cooked quinoa, with chile and cilantro folded in. On the side we are having Greek salads with none of the fixings; in other words just cukes and tomatoes, olive oil, squeeze of lemon, since we have no olives or feta.

#47 djyee100

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:13 PM

The photo is of the dish being cooked. The kale was cooked through when done. It just tasted lousy. I'd probably chop it if I did it again, though, which I doubt I will.


To mellow out kale, try blanching it first. Kale can be tough and bitter, and not take well to sauteing without some extra prep. With that in mind, try blanching then braising the collard greens in your CSA order. Collards are another tough, strong-tasting green. Braise the collards with some oil and garlic, maybe a little onion too, and serve it with a dash of hot sauce.

The Chinese cabbage and fresh red onions can go into a vinaigrette cole slaw. Or even better, a Thai-style cabbage salad with hot peppers, cilantro, and peanuts.

Edited by djyee100, 06 July 2011 - 07:14 PM.


#48 Will

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:38 PM

To mellow out kale, try blanching it first. Kale can be tough and bitter, and not take well to sauteing without some extra prep. With that in mind, try blanching then braising the collard greens in your CSA order.

I often do the same - blanch / parboil greens in salted water. But one quick and dirty shortcut is to microwave them for a few minutes (or until almost tender) in a glass bowl loosely covered with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Then just toss them with oil and some garlic / lemon / breadcrumbs / whatever. Works pretty well for any dark leafy green.

I don't think that Lacinato / Tuscan kale vs. the standard leafy kind is the main difference in terms of tenderness, but depending on the season and depending on when the kale is picked, there tends to be a lot of variation in how tender kale is. But unless you like your kale really tough, it can require a decent amount of cooking.

If some links to "that other food forum" are permitted, I think there are some good ideas for kale in these three threads:

http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/785029
http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/716424
http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/743253
and, more locally:
http://forums.egulle...le-should-i-do/

Another Suzanne Goin kale recipe (besides the AOC one) that I like is this one:
http://www.seriousea...wer-recipe.html
vegetarian without the anchovy.

Edited by Will, 06 July 2011 - 07:44 PM.


#49 AAQuesada

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:12 PM

You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.
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#50 Mjx

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:35 PM

The photo is of the dish being cooked. The kale was cooked through when done. It just tasted lousy. I'd probably chop it if I did it again, though, which I doubt I will.

I've only ever had one memorable kale dish, which was a Caesar-type salad made with Tuscan kale at the restaurant Il Buco here in New York City. But I'm thinking Tuscan kale is just a lot better-tasting than the stuff from our friend's CSA. I can't imagine anything being done to this stuff to make it taste good, short of preparations that completely mask its flavor and texture (e.g., hidden ingredient in a smoothie).


It's sort of an acquired taste, too... for me, it has the nostalgia factor going for it. Cavolo nero is excellent in a traditional Tuscan soup that also includes borlotti (I've had in other soups and stew, and really liked in those, too). It takes a good age to cook, however, and is not something I'd recommend trying, if my sister's reports of the temperatures there are to be trusted. As far as I can remember, cavolo nero is regarded as a winter vegetable, anyway.

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#51 Jenni

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 01:01 AM

Stupid question, but you did use salt in the kale dish? I know that sounds really daft, but I've noticed that many people, when they try to cook in a new way sometimes forget to do routine things like add salt!

#52 AnythingButPlainChocolate

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 02:47 AM

I tend to use kale as a savoy cabbage substitute. Very good thinly shredded and used in a summer soup like a minestrone.
Sian

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#53 Yajna Patni

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:22 AM

Shakshouka is a favorite of mine and is easy to make at home.
Also, what jenni says is something I have noticed also. Sometimes when people try to cook with out meat, they try to make it very healthy, and leave out salt etc. And the resulting blandness gets blamed on the lack of meat.
Kale is not my favorite vegetable, but when I cook it I tend to put it in a vegetable stew kind of thing, tomatoes, white beans, and kale, onions garlic herbs etc, and just let it cook for a good while till the kale is actually almost melty.

#54 Fat Guy

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:47 AM

For that dish I used both salt and soy sauce. I think it had enough saltiness. It just wasn't good!

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#55 Katie Meadow

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 08:32 AM

Cut and run. Maybe it was just a lousy recipe. Wouldn't be the first one.

#56 Fat Guy

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 01:24 PM

So far today has not been an interesting day. I had the usual cereal and yogurt combination for breakfast, and a toasted bagel with Swiss cheese for lunch. I have to go to a meeting tonight where the food is likely to be pizza. I may make salads for the family tonight too.

I hope to do some actual cooking tomorrow.

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#57 Fat Guy

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 06:18 PM

I did wind up making salads this afternoon. My son PJ prefers his deconstructed, so he got a vegetable plate. He and Ellen both got tofu in theirs. I didn't -- I had pizza at my meeting so certainly didn't need additional protein.

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#58 Katie Meadow

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 07:05 PM

This was one of those disorganized days in which I can't really figure out how to make lunch and dinner, so we have linner. Linner happens usually somewhere between 3 and 4. We might have a late cocktail hour and/or a snack or dessert later, it's rarely planned.

Today there was a snack around 1pm: smoothies, made from peaches, sorbet, a little bit of vanilla ice cream, and milk. Excellent, and very peachy.

I've been craving rice pudding, so I made some of that.

Linner was one of my stand-by summer salads: french fingerlings, snap peas and radishes with a creamy mustardy curry dressing, served warm. It was accompanied by a very simple avocado salad, with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and some fine shreds of red baby onion. Also there were crackers and my new favorite cheese, something labeled Pecorino Classico, and which makes lovely thin curls and can also be used as a grating cheese. Surprisingly unsalty.

The rice pudding is chilling, so I am guessing there will a late-night snack. And since my husband recently went on a business trip to Louisville and came back with a new-found fascination with bourbon, a shot of that may be called for as well. I'm still on a Bulleit rye kick, but now Bulleit bourbon is challenging it to a duel. Not at dawn, in case you were wondering.

#59 ambra

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 01:12 AM

I tend to think that going Vegan for a week will be a much more difficult task. :)

#60 nikkib

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 07:45 AM

Had the morning off work so headed out for lunch - i forget what this was called on the menu but basically it was a flat bread base with caponata at one end, spinach and pinenuts in the middle and a red onion and herb mix at the other end.

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Off to Beirut for the weekend and craving hindbe (dandelion in oil) served with caramelised onion on top, think this weekend will end up being veggie for me as ive had prawns in some way, shape or form every day this week pretty much and am prawned out...
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man





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