Tuesday, August 7, 2012

She's a vegetarian (Mary Moon, Mary Moon)

Starting on Monday, July 9th, I dedicated 30 days to living the meatless lifestyle.  Because of this change, I know there were a few more Wilburs running free.  

One of my hopes/goals of my herbivorous diet for a month was to discover more entrees using vegetables as the star.  I've always been a huge veggie lover, but have limited them to strictly side dishes.  Also, it seems that many websites I looked at limited 'non-meat' entrees to pasta dishes which are heavy carbs.  I discovered new and fun ways to prepare my greens and have shared the best recipes below.

Biggest challenge:  Dining out!  It is so easy to make fun, filling, flavorful meals at home, but dining out makes it very limited.  I ate a lot of veggie burgers, ordered side dishes as my main meal, salads without protein (not filling at all) and pasta dishes.  This does not help you lose weight if anyone is considering a vegetarian diet for weight loss purposes.  I feel like I have been carbing up which was the opposite of my plan!

Because I love a little food porn, here are some of my favorite recipes and some photos to make you nice and hungry and ready to binge eat without the guilt.

Veggie Sandwich:
This sandwich is very filling and delicious!  I layer tomato, avocado, red onion, cheese and sprouts on honey wheat bread.  I made a horseradish herb mayo that I spread a thin layer of on one side and the other side was stone ground mustard.  The small hint it adds to the sandwich is the perfect final touch.  To make the horseradish herb mayo, simply mix mayo with horseradish and your favorite herbs - I used fresh chives and dill.

Bang Bang Cauliflower -   RECIPE HERE 
Here is how mine turned out:
So Yummy!

Portobello Mushroom Burger:
We had a ton of left overs from 4th of July so while Logan ate regular burgers, I made my own portobello mushroom burgers that were amazing.  Here is what I topped it with:  herb mayo (same one I used on my sandwiches), sliced avocado, melted mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, sauteed spinach and tomato. 
I served them with zucchini fries with an onion dip on the side. RECIPE HERE

Go to snack/appetizer:
Caprice Salad:  Juicy tomato stacked with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese then drizzled with balsamic.  Yummo!

Go To Pasta Dish:  I chopped up and sauteed spinach, mushrooms, scallions, garlic, fresh basil and zucchini then tossed in a red sauce. All the veggies gave it the texture of a meat sauce that I love.  The first time it was served over pasta.  I also served it over spaghetti squash for less carbs and topped it with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  I was able to get 4 meals out of the sauce.  

Cheesy Brussels Casserole.  RECIPE HERE.
I used fat free cheddar cheese and brown rice to keep this dish as healthy as possible.  Turned out very tasty and filling.  It says it is enough for 2 portions, but I was able to get 4 out of it with no problem.  I just added more Brussels and kidney beans, but left the other portions the same.

 The most amazing Eggplant Parm recipe ever.  RECIPE HERE.  Fried Eggplant wrapped around a basil, ricotta and Parmesan mixture topped with a red sauce and mozzarella cheese then baked.  Served with a side of spaghetti squash.  I will be making this again and again.

This meal was very indulgent.  Avocado Fries with a basil and ricotta aioli dipping sauce served on the side of my 'grown-up' grilled cheese.  The grilled cheese consisted of a sun-dried tomato spread, goat cheese, roasted peppers and sauteed spinach with shallots.  Oh My was it amazing!  Avocado Fries RECIPE HERE

Oven-Fried Okra
Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Baked Tomatoes topped with sauteed spinach,
mozzarella cheese and a balsamic drizzle

Peppers stuffed with Chickpeas and Couscous

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