Monday, June 23, 2008

Meat as a Treat, not an Entitlement

Back in the day, Frances Moore Lappe's classic Diet for a Small Planet preached the Gospel of vegetable protein being nearly sufficient for most people. A generation later, there are billions of more people on the planet, 2/3 of Americans are overweight, and global warming is the issue of our time. So her message is as timely as ever.
This summer I plan to go vegetarian. My intent is to eat fish once a week. It's pleasant in the summer, with so much fruit and vegetable abundance, but still, it's not simple to eat a simpler diet. Eating out is a challenge, and I find that if I'm hungry when I'm traveling, finding a healthy, relatively low-fat snack is next to impossible. It also seems to me that the more upscale the restaurant, the fewer the vegetarian choices; clearly meat is still seen as the definition of luxury. But I do see a huge difference than a generation ago, when we all relied on Mousewood for vegetarian cuisine. Lots of chains offer vegie burgers, and a typical supermarket now offers a huge variety of "meat substitutes".
One question in our house is finding nomenclature for these foods. "Vegie meat ball" just doesn't do it.
What's your favorite quick vegetarian dinner?


Caroline said...

Best vegetarian meal EVER: caramelized tofu recipe on the 101 Cookbooks blog --

I've made it with several variations (for example, I prefer spinach and kale to brussel sprouts), and it's excellent every time.

Easy, healthy, delicious.

rebmoti said...

Ah, now you have entered an area where I have some expertise! We have a large selection of quick veggie recipes - most of which revolve around rice or noodles, which is all our young'uns will eat. Here are 2: 1- rice, tuna and veggies cooked together - season with soy sauce. (Jews consider fish a vegetable - substitute tempeh or tofu if you're strict). Noodles, tofu, peanut butter, mung beans if you have 'em, season with teriyaki sauce - green salad on the side.

Sandy507 said...

I found this recipe for a portobello mushroom burger and have been hooked ever since:

It's great paired with a bean salad.

Anonymous said...

I am a vegetarian. I love making a bean stew with carrots, peas, onions and a selection of beans in a gravy. I also like making my own pizzas using a wholemeal base to make them more filling and wholesome. I also make my own pasta sauces using roasted vegetables and sun dried tomato paste.

رابعہ said...

Hi! This is Rabia from Kiva. Congrats on deciding to go vegetarian! I went vegetarian a little over a year ago and went vegan in January. I have TONS of recipes to share. What kind of food do you like in general?

Anonymous said...

I had great success on vacation when I prepared "Deconstructed Sushi". Basically, you make a huge bowl of brown rice, saute some tofu in little strips and lots of sesame seeds, cut up some carrots and avocado(or whatever you like in sushi-- I recommend avocado) and dress with soy sauce with a little lemon juice or orange juice and some brown sugar.
People seemed to really enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful topic! There are sooo many fantastic vegetarian food blogs out there. My #1 favorite vegetarian food blog is Susan from Her recipes are amazing. Her site lists over 368 of her favorite blogs which includes non-vegetarian and vegetarian blogs. I've posted about 50 recipes that I've tried on my own blog,

I have a feeling you're new problem is going to be breaking yourself away from reading all of the wonderful food blogs out there.