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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Did you know I was a vegetarian for a while many years ago?  Since then, I've added meats back to my daily food plan but every now and then, I don't mind going completely vegetarian at meal time.  Truth is, you can get all of the protein your body needs  from some of those vegetables.  Beans and legumes, for instance, are full of protein and will leave you feeling more full and satisfied than that ribeye steak, not to mention the calorie and fat savings.
I think vegetables are some of the most delicious foods around.
I never thought you'd hear me say this but I think vegetables are some of the most delicious foods around.  Oh sure, I want that slice of roast beef or piece of baked chicken every now and then.  But to me, no meal is complete without some hearty vegetables on the side.  Sometimes, people joke around and refer to bacon as "meat candy."  Okay, cute.  But if we're going to do that, I like to think of vegetables as "candy" that's brought to us directly from the earth.   In fact, on some days, why not do like me and go completely vegetarian at one of your meals?
Get creative in the kitchen with those vegetables.  Don't just boil them.  (Oh, that's so 70s!  LOL.)  Instead, get out your roasting pan or Dutch oven and discover the hearty tastiness of oven-roasted vegetables.  A little olive oil, some favorite herbs and/or spices and you can turn an otherwise "boring" vegetable side dish into a delicious entrée all by itself.  How's about mixing some vegetables with your favorite whole-wheat pasta?  Or roast some Brussels sprouts, mix them with walnuts or almonds, a little minced garlic and a favorite fruit to create a delicious and filling salad.  How's about an all-vegetable soup, cooked in vegetable stock instead of water and spiced the way you like it?
Even when you're cooking a meal centered around meat, be sure to include as many vegetables as you can.  Lots of vegetables pair nicely with beef, chicken, pork or even fish.  Just make those vegetables as much a star of the show as you do that beef brisket.  See, I'm not trying to turn you into a total vegetarian.  But as I emphasized all of last year, we Americans aren't eating enough vegetables, or fruits for that matter, as we need.
One New York City chef calls cooking with veggies "vegetable cuisine."
One chef in New York City has adopted a term to emphasize cooking with vegetables only.  She calls it "vegetable cuisine."  And her point is that by cooking with and eating more vegetables, we're not "missing" something.  (Like that meat.)  Vegetable cuisine is all about making vegetarian meals just as delicious and, more often than not, much healthier for you than those meals that center around a meat entrée.  So, are you ready to become at least a "part-time vegetarian?"
Well, part-time, full-time, hey...ALL THE TIME, I want you to make eating those vegetables more a part of your life...everyday!