Veg for a week

Well, we survived. We had set ourselves a little challengeto go Sunday thruogh Saturday without eating meat.

It really wasn’t that bad, I don’t think we felt deprived of eating meat or fish. The challenge lay more in figuring out what to cook. We did use fish sauce and oyster sauce, but I gave up on chicken stock, and didn’t make soup. For lunch, we ate the leftovers. We went out to eat twice (Indian food with omnivorous friends), and then brunch (veg omelette and French toast.)
Wanna know what we really ate?

Sunday: Asparagus fritatta (with onion and cheese.) One of my favourite classic spring time dishes: pretty easy to make.

Monday: Tofu with red curry (threw in some red bell peppers, carrots and kabocha squash): we used fish sauce. Also a basic Italian bean salad: soak and boil beans to cook them, then toss with olive oil, vinegar, S&P and chopped parsley.

Tuesday: Stuffed red bell peppers (steamed.) The stuffing was based on a mixture I invented previously for vegetarian dumplings for a coworker: chopped shitake mushroom, vermicelli, five-spice tofu, and red bell pepper that’s been stir fried with soy sauce, S&P, sesame oil, and vinegar, sugar, your basic Chinese flavourings.

Wednesday: I tried to cook Indian food for the first time! I’d checked out a Indian cookbook from the library, and made my own garam masala, putting my mortar and pestle to use. Then I used it for a mushroom and pea dish. At the last moment, I found out that I had no more peas in the freezer, but had some soy beans (edamame), and used that instead. It came out OK: I didn’t cook it long enough for the flavours to deepen. Also stir fried some red chard with garlic.

[Frozen peas are one of the few staples of my freezer: since it’s an integral part of fried rice. . . It’s odd, we use canned corn, but not frozen corn. With peas, we use only the frozen version, not canned, because those are so nasty.]

Thursday: went out to dinner for Indian food.

Friday: I had planned to make palak paneer (Indian spinach and cheese dish), but after two days of Indian food, we just stir fried the spinach with garlic, and broiled a portabello mushroom with garlic (which are standard items in our culinary repertoire anyway)

Saturday: we went to brunch to use up a birthday gift card at Mimi’s Cafe (it’s not worth writing blog about.) Dinner was left over spinach, and cold tofu with peanut sauce and vinegar-soy sauce. It’s a summer dish, but it was beautiful and warm yesterday. (And today) “You know, we could go to In-n-Out at midnight and grab a burger,” said Joe.

If we had to, we could become vegetarian, but it’s just hard to cook some dishes without meat. I don’t think I can cook without oyster sauce, fish sauce or chicken broth. Thank god for garlic. There’s a sect of Chinese Buddhists who don’t eat garlic or onions, I could never become one of them.

We could become pescatarian (or whatever the term is for vegetarians who also eat seafood. Today I heard “vegequarius”.) Actually at home, we don’t eat too much meat, for stir-fries, it’s to add a little flavor. We eat more meat when we go out, like we’d been eating a lot of lamb recently.

If we had continued for a few more days, I would have made macaroni and cheese, and maybe spaghetti with marinara sauce. But after that, it would have been hard to come up with meal ideas.


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