Friday, March 12, 2010

Bad, Worse, and I Can't Believe That's Dinner

The past couple of weeks as an official vegetarian have gone surprisingly well, but not without a couple of hiccups. I ordered French Onion Soup at Panera Bread and was half way through the bowl before I realized that it was most likely made with beef broth. I also couldn't resist sharing a shrimp tempura maki roll at Ginger Pad (our favorite restaurant in the area.) Brett has also modified his status to "at-home vegetarian" because they cater lunches at his workplace quite often and because all the best things on restaurant menus contain meat.

I have tried a few "vegetarian" recipes out of vegetarian cookbooks that I either own or checked out at the library and I've got to say, "YUCK, YUCK, YUCK!"

First we have Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew. It didn't help that the sweet potatoes were a little crunchy, or that the jar of Pace was not appealing to me. The best part of this was the cornbread that went on top. We attempted to eat leftovers and failed miserably.

Then we tried Potato Medley which was so bad that I either deleted the pictures or was too horrified to even take pictures. Potatoes were cooked in oil with some green pepper, broccoli, and peas. It was under-seasoned so I kept adding salt and it was still under-seasoned. I just gave up and decided that it was not good. The leftovers are still in the fridge a week later. I think they will be headed for the trash now.

Most terrible of all (although Brett would probably vote for the Potato Medley) was the black bean burgers. As I was making this the words, "What have I done?" kept crossing through my mind. I pulsed some black beans in my mini food processor and then mixed that with some bread crumbs and green chiles. To say that it didn't look very appetizing would be an understatement.

It was nearly impossible to form this pile of ... goo into patties because it was so moist and sticky, but I managed and then coated them in cornmeal.

They went into a non-stick pan and actually did begin to resemble burgers.

Except I didn't have any buns.

Brett threw his on sliced bread and actually ate two! I got one down and made it about halfway through the second one before I had to stop. The leftovers immediately went in the trash, and you KNOW how much it pains me to throw food away.

Better luck next time!


janet said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog!
I was reading yours and see that you also did a post on Michael Pollan:) I remember years ago looking for vegetarian recipes, and there wasn't much to choose from, so I feel your pain. It's not fun to spend time and money cooking and then have the food be yucky.

mangocheeks said...

I've come via Janets blog and applaud you for trying the vegetarian recipes you have so far.

When I first started cooking vegetarian food from cookbooks, not many suited my palette, but with time it got better and I became more confident and competent cook so that I could move away from the original recipe and adapt them to suit my taste buds.

Making Veggie burgers are the perhaps one of the main stumbling blocks for new vegetarians, as there are not many decent recipes about, but when you find one, and you will (honest) it really is worth it.

I look forward to reading more about your vegetarian ventures. By the way, I really like you header.