• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Fat Guy

Vegetarian for a week

178 posts in this topic

I very rarely cook meat or fish unless I have guests as I live on my own and work most nights, always seems hard to buy such small quantities and I can never be bothered to freeze/defrost. Eating veggie is perfect in the summer due to the abundance of produce and the heat generally makes lighter meals more appealing anyway. I really recommend plenty by yotam ottolenghi - it's an amazing book with sone outstanding recipes, Simon Hopkinson also has a great vegetarian book - I forget it's name but it is great for either fully veggie meals or finding unusual accompaniments to your usual meat diet. I am menu tasting still so won't be able to join you this week as my meat/fish intake is significantly higher than usual but I will be following with interest!


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to write a lot about this. I have been vegetarian since I was 14. I am now 50. I do not eat meat or fish. I did not eat eggs till 6 months ago, but that is another story.

The reason that it is hard to write a post is that for me, vegetarian is just food. An entire lifetime of cooking and eating and enjoying. That is a lot of ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for lunch today I prepared some of the remnants of last Wednesday's haul: kale, spinach and garlic scapes, plus a box of supermarket mushrooms in a stir fry. It was terrible. I had about one bite of each component. Even Ellen, my wife, who is very forgiving of culinary experimentation, found it difficult to eat.

IMG_0518.JPG

Can you elaborate on terrible? Were onions and garlic involved or just the scapes? Seasonings? The kale looks like it was left whole - that can be a chewy challenge in a quick cooked prep.

I can not join this week but am interested in the concept. I just did two weeks of mostly vegetarian with a touch of seafood and almost no processed foods. As Soba noted, it is fun to be challenged to think outside the box. Of course summer is an ideal time to dip your toes into this eating style with the plethora of produce.

So what has been cooking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And tomorrow I'm picking up a friend's CSA share.

I'll be interested to see what's in the new CSA share and how you make use of it with your recent shopping trips.

I do eat fairly veggie at times, partly it's just that I don't always feel a big need for meat. I love veggie soups - can eat soup for lunch or dinner almost anytime. Soup with bread and/or a salad is a fave dinner for me.

Do you have soup plans for the week, or is the weather too warm for hot meals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was hoping to do a big production of soups and/or bean dishes, but it has been super hot the past couple of days. If I catch a break this weekend I'll do that, though.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He loves peanut sauce.

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


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/GADO-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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/GADO-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.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jun/28/recipe.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.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Turkish-Zucchini-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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!


Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

IMG_0522.JPG

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).

IMG_20110706_170051.JPG

IMG_20110706_170118.JPG

IMG_20110706_170123.JPG

Here's today's CSA haul:

IMG_0525.JPG


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.chow.com/topics/785029

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/716424

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743253

and, more locally:

Another Suzanne Goin kale recipe (besides the AOC one) that I like is this one:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/12/dinner-tonight-orecchiette-with-braised-kale-and-cauliflower-recipe.html

vegetarian without the anchovy.


Edited by Will (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

-Homer Simpson, “Burns’s Heir”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Chris Hennes
      While not a new cookbook by any means, I haven't really had time to dig into this one until now. We've previously discussed the recipes in Jerusalem: A Cookbook, but not much has been said about Plenty. So, here goes...
       
      Chickpea saute with Greek yogurt (p. 211)
       

       
      This was a great way to kick off my time with this book. The flavors were outstanding, particularly the use of the caraway seeds and lemon juice. I used freshly-cooked Rancho Gordo chickpeas, which of course helps! The recipe was not totally trivial, but considering the flavors developed, if you don't count the time to cook the chickpeas it came together very quickly. I highly recommend this dish.
    • By jamesglu
      I am going to be welcoming a group of Orthodox Jews to my lodge in New Zealand for Christmas and Boxing Day. They are kosher, but are willing to eat fish. What kind of starter do you think we can serve them that will be festive and yet not a violation of their religious observance?
    • By David Ross
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q8zTVlZ19c
       
      Mmmm.  The sweet, spiced aroma of a freshly baked pumpkin pie wafting over the Thanksgiving table.  A large bowl of chilled, sweetened cream is passed around the table, a cool dollop of cream cascading over a slice of “homemade” pumpkin pie.  (In many households, removing a frozen pie from a box and putting it in a hot oven is considered “homemade.”).
       
      Americans can’t seem to get enough pumpkin pie during the Holidays.  Some 50 million pumpkin pies are sold for Thanksgiving dinner and according to astute company marketing executives, 1 million of the pies are sold at Costco. And Mrs. Smith sells a few million of her oven-ready, frozen pumpkin pie.
       
      In August of 2013, we debuted the Summer Squash Cook-Off (http://forums.egullet.org/topic/145452-cook-off-63-summer-squash/)
      where we presented a number of tasty zucchini and patty pan dishes showcasing summer squash. But our squash adventure wasn’t over.  Today we expand our squash lexicon with the debut of eG Cook-Off #71: Winter Squash.
       
      (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index).
       
      Cut into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and crafted into cheesecake for Thanksgiving, pumpkin reigns supreme each Fall.  But pumpkin is just one variety of winter squash--squash that grows throughout the summer and is harvested in fall.  The acorn, butternut, spaghetti, hubbard, kabocha, red kuri, delicata, calabaza and cushaw are but a few of the many winter squash cousins of the pumpkin.
       
      Winter squash is not always the best looking vegetable in the produce section--knobby, gnarled and multi-colored, winter squash has a hard, tough skin.  Peel back the unfashionable skin and sweet, rich squash meat is revealed. 
       
      Winter squash cookery doesn’t end after the last slice of pumpkin pie.  You can stuff it with a forcemeat of duck confit and sautéed mushrooms, purée roasted squash into a creamy soup garnished with lardons or slowly braise squash with peppers and corn in a spicy Caribbean stew. 
       
      Please join us in sharing, learning and savoring winter squash.
    • By worm@work
      Hi,
      I am a newbie both to this board and to the world of mexican cooking. I love tamales but the place where I live distinctly lacks good mexican restaurants. The best tamales I've tasted were made by my mexican friends mom at home and served fresh and they tasted like something that'd be served only in heaven. Am dying to try making them myself but I don't have the slightest idea how to get started. Can someone give me a tried and tested recipe using ingredients that I'm likely to be able to buy in the US? I'd be really really really grateful. Oh and I'm a vegetarian although I do eat eggs from time to time. So I need a vegetarian recipe too . Really looking forward to some help!!!
      Thanks a million,
      worm@work
    • By fabienpe
      Salad of semi-dried tomatoes, three flavours, tomato syrup
      Serves 6 as Appetizer.

      14 ripe tomatoes
      mozzarela
      3 garlic cloves
      2 shallots
      olive oil
      6 small basil leaves
      basil
      25 cl balsamic vinegar

      Semi-dried tomato petals
      - Peel the tomates (dive them few seconds in boiling water and refresh them immediately). Cut them in 4 quarters. Separate the seeds and the inside from the meaty outside. You should have four 'petal' of tomato per tomato. Keep the waster, seeds and inside meat in a ball.
      - Place the 56 petals (you'll only need 54) on an oiled baking tray. Dry gently for 2 to 3 hours around 100°C.
      - With one garlic clove, prepare 6 garlic chips that you can cook gently in oil in the oven at the same time as the tomatoes. The chips should be crispy.
      Tomato sirup
      - Put the left over of the tomatoes (water, seeds, etc.) in a blender. Strain. Add a bit of sugar. Reduce down the liquid in a pot over low heat until slightly sirupy.
      Balsamic glaze
      - Reduce down the balsamic vinegar over low heat (it should not boil) until sirupy.
      Assembling 1/2
      When the tomatoes have dried and cooled down.
      - Finely chop the rest of the garlic.
      - Prepare 6 small shallots rings. Chop the rest of the shallots.
      - Julienne de basil a thin as you can.
      - Cut the mozzarella in in small 18 rectagles (about 3 mm thick) and slightly smaller than a tomato petal.
      - Line up six tomato petals. Cover with julienne of basil. Cover with another tomato petal. Keep in air tight box in a fridge. Do the same with chopped garlic and chopped shallots. Allow to cool down for at least an hour.
      - Keep the other petals (you should have 20) in the fridge.
      Assembling 2/2
      Before serving.
      - Line up 18 petal. Top with a rectangle of mozarella each. Top with the other flavoured petals.
      - Paint the plates with tomato sirup, balsamic vinegar glaze and olive oil.
      - Dispose one flavoured tomato petal pile of each flavour on each plate. So each plate has one with basil, one with shallots and one with garlic. Fleur de sel.Decorate each pile with a smal basil leave, a shallot ring and garlic chip accordingly.
      Keywords: Appetizer, Vegetarian, Easy
      ( RG610 )
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.