Vegetarian What?

26 01 2010

I’ve been getting a lot of “even though your blog is all about meat and I don’t eat meat, I’ve been sending the link to my friends who do” comments lately… it’s not ALL about meat! So here it is. No meat. I didn’t eat a single piece of meat all day today. I’m cutting back. I don’t even eat as much as it seems like from the pictures… most of these meals last me days. But I’ve decided, after reading Food Matters, by Mark Bittman, that I’m gonna cut back a bit. Not out, just back. I don’t really want to cut anything out completely… I am a huge believer in moderation. Most of my meat-centricity on here is because it’s fun to talk about. But it’s far from the only thing I cook or eat… I have a salad with just about every meal I eat and always have some vegetables around my meat… I don’t like it to get lonely….

My philosophy on food is that the healthiest way to eat is to diversify yo bonds. Eat everything. It’s part of the reason I love Korean food so much – in just about every meal you get cooked, raw, pickled, spicy, mild, vegetables, fish, meat, broth, rice… in one meal! So a lot of the time I try to work that kind of diversity into the things I eat…

Tonight it was meat-free because I had a chance to swing by the Berkeley Bowl and couldn’t help myself with the produce. I came out with a pile of awesome fruits, vegetables and bulk grains and I decided to put some to use for my feeding.

Chanterelle mushrooms, garlic, carrot, zucchini, radicchio, kale and red quinoa. Quinoa is an amazing thing. I owe my knowledge of its existence to Andrea. Apparently it’s a “pseudocereal”. It’s like a grain, but not quite a grain… And, among other things you’d expect to find in something you treat like a grain – it’s full of protein. Which makes it pretty useful if you’re into cutting meat proteins out of your diet. The coolest thing about it though by far… is that it tastes damn good. It has a great texture – somewhere between rice and cous cous, which makes it really fun to eat. Oh yeah and it’s amazingly simple to cook. You can’t fuck it up. It’s like cooking rice except you have a zero percent chance of failure.

It also comes in a few different colors, which makes it pretty fun to use too. White, red and black, that I’ve seen. The best shot I have of it is a closeup of my half-finished plate… you can see how it sprouts little tails when it’s cooked that help the grains cling together kinda like rice.

Super simple meal. Dry sauteed the chanterelles to take out some water and then sauteed the garlic in olive oil then the carrots, then zucchini, mushrooms back in, chopped kale and radicchio just for a bit. The radicchio adds a nice bitterness and the kale adds a nice crunch and some bright color. Sometimes when I make a dish like this I’ll leave the kale raw and just chop it up and mix it in at the end.

Like I said before – baby I like it raaaaw (but not all raw). I like to have a mix of cooked and raw, but this time I just cooked everything. I got my raw non-meats in the form of pickled cauliflower that I made last week – I’ve been pickling my leftover veggies left and right so they don’t go bad when I can’t finish them all in time. It saves waste and gives me another easy flavor boost that I don’t have to do anything for but take it out of the jar. Just had that on the side.

 

The beauty of this is that you can basically use anything. I used:

1 cup red quinoa + 2 cups of water with a little bit of spicy garlicky salt in it (more on that later): boil water, pour in quinoa, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes

2 big chanterelle mushrooms, chopped
1 small white zucchini, diced
1 carrot, diced
3 cloves of garlic
a few leaves of radicchio, chopped
a few big leaves of kale, chopped
salt + pepper
a nice splash of balsamic vinegar at the end for some good, sweet acid

Shaved some Old Amsterdam aged gouda on top.

I’m not gonna lie – it would have been better with bacon. But anything would and it was fine without it.

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5 responses

26 01 2010
rebecca

thank you bill. annoying vegetarian comment retracted.

26 01 2010
Morta Di Fame

Looks good. Always good to give flesh a break.

26 01 2010
dominique

now all you have to do is cook it for her.

26 01 2010
dominique

c beck, that is.

3 03 2010
Rose

We have a huge number of friends requesting vegan/vegetarian dishes… While we eat a wide variety of foods, it makes me realize that a lot of people aren’t aware of the huge volume of veg food blogs out there. It is fun, however, to break things up and throw in some vegetarian dishes every now & then.

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