Vegetarian?

Cheesy Skillet Polenta and Eggplant Bake

Cheesy Skillet Polenta and Eggplant Bake

So the other day the above photograph showed up as a post from America’s Test Kitchen. The post read something like polenta is a vegetarian option blah blah blah being a vegetarian is no fun because then you have to eat polenta blah blah…

In case it isn’t apparent, I don’t like polenta. It makes this sort of dry hard lumpy mass of grits meets cream of wheat and I don’t like any of those above descriptors. Now, maybe you like polenta. That’s up to you and your taste buds. But I do not and I also do not like people bashing on vegetarianism. Yes, I do love goat curry and satay and yes, I do occasionally enjoy a good burger. But I was a vegetarian until I was 17 and my mom let my dad take me on a trip to Africa instead of attending my high school graduation and my dad was NOT raised a vegetarian and I was told I was old enough to try for myself and make a decision. So I tried lots of things and I decided I was no longer strictly a vegetarian. Still don’t like chicken much, however.

There seems to still be some sort of stigma attached to vegetarian cooking these days that just seems silly. While I eat meat occasionally I almost never (and I mean NEVER) cook meat at home. I’m sure I could if I had to in order to save my family from murderers but that’s about it.

My brain tends to run a mile (or two) a minute so between seeing that post yesterday and now I’ve been thinking a lot about goo resources for vegetarian cooking that makes it both appealing and non-disgusting looking. I’ve seen a lot of craptastic vegetarian food and I would never wish that on any of you.

In some of my musings and milling aboutness on the internet I saw a few cookbooks that I have previewed and which, I feel, seem somewhat promising. The first one is “Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes” by Martha Stewart. Say what you will about the woman but she’s got a decent set of gastroporn in her back pocket and I often approve of it.

Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes

Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes

The biggest problem of eating vegetarian is that too many people try to REPLACE meat with something that isn’t meat and try to pass it off as meat. Stop. Don’t do that. Once you start trying to replace your meat with a “meat-like” mass, you’re doomed.

Check out this burger:

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

“Spicy Black Bean Burgers” from Skinnytaste.com

No meat, no problem.

Being vegetarian or vegan can sometimes come with religious or spiritual backgrounds but for a lot of people it’s a fad or a phase. Like “I’m so cool because I’m a… Vegetarian…” (insert some over the top facial expressions and maybe even a hair flip  in there somewhere). The problem with that is that you take it seriously for a while then you get these cravings and it’s all over. So better not to do that.

Of course their are health benefits to cutting out meat in the average diet. If you want any of these benefits it’s like using that exercise machine. Doing it all in a week then sitting on the sofa the rest of the month isn’t going to help your fat ass get any sexier. Although some people have a sexy fat ass… I think you all are much smarter than the majority of students I have to deal with and can figure out for yourself what you need to do.

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Pin Me Down, Tie Me Up, and Eat Me

For the longest time I was fairly out of the loop on the whole social media scene. Not to say I was illiterate in it, simply that I chose to browse the library databases rather than the ramblings of the people with which I would be forced to acknowledge once I got a Facebook page. Yes, I’m aware you can be selective. But, no, I’m not one to blatantly say “I think you’re stupid, THAT’S why.”

Now that the universe has seen fit to give me more time to spend on such things (probably more than should be allotted to any one person) I’ve been working on my virtual presence. Like one grows their credit rating in order to eventually, one day, buy a house.

With the start of this blog I’ve also started a Pinterest account within which I have been keeping a lot of my online findings. This weekend I have reached over 400 pins and am now sharing it with you, my readership. While I eventually plan to further categorize everything I have tried to categorize the images, recipes, and ideas into manageable sections for anyone looking to find specific recipes or ideas.

I think it would be interesting to do a virtually organized set of themed cookbooks using something like Pinterest. I think it should go in courses starting with Welcome Drinks & Appetizers. Here (using my now burgeoning Pinterest collection) are some ideas for that:

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Sophie Dahl’s Iced Tea

Strawberry Basil Sangria

Asparagus Phyllo Appetizers

Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Rolls

Millefeuille d’Aubergines And Chèvre Frais

You can find me and my boards on Pinterest by following the link below.

http://pinterest.com/ocitl/