So I vowed to do a mini-cleanse this week by going vegetarian. 7 days of no meat. When I hit the grocery store Friday night, my resolve was only strengthened as I nearly threw up again just at the smell of the meat counter. I filled up my cart with as much fruit and vegetables as I could, without any specific meal plans in mind. The plan was simply to cook and serve a whole lot of vegetables this week.
Day one was great. I resurrected an old favourite: Black bean tortilla casserole. Black beans and onions and tomatoes and corn all simmered up together, than layered in a casserole dish with cheese and soft tortilla shells, baked in the oven. So yummy, and a huge hit all around. Even Caleb, who regularly refuses to eat dinner, eventually tasted it and then gobbled it all up.
Last night was a little more experimental. In my tried and true cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens) I pulled out a recipe with broccoli, one with eggplant, and then a corn cakes one as well. The broccoli was crusted with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and baked in the oven. The Eggplant Parmegiana involved frying up the eggplant slices and then smothering them with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and baking it in the oven. The corn cakes were sort of like corn bread patties. I'm really not a huge fan of the texture of eggplant, so I think I'll give up on that vegetable. But the broccoli was good and the corn cakes tasty, especially as they were made with fresh cilantro from my garden!
I have no idea what tonight will hold, but I'm inspired to flip through my cookbooks and search online to find some real tasty ideas. We're all feeling much better already with the start of this meat cleanse! Of course, there is no chance of leaving meat off completely. James is too much of a Scot to forgo his meat and potatoes, and I think chicken is one of the most versatile food out there. I am hoping that this venture will at least give me some more ideas to eat meat more sparingly around here in the future.