#Reverse Meatless Monday Recap Aug. 20-26th

Last week was rough. Not by the way of not eating meat–I’ve got this now. It was hectic and busy, and I couldn’t seem to fit in time to work out. Or eat healthy. But these weeks seem to pop up from time to time, and you just have to be extra good the next week. Which is where I find myself now.
I didn’t get many pictures of my meatless dinners last week because I ate out almost every night.
Monday night I made orrechiette with another batch of golden tomato sauce I made last week from the 101 Cookbooks recipe. Except I threw some other fresh veggies into the sauce like summer squash, sweet pepper and kale to make it a “primavera.” It was amazing.
I put the veggies in the skillet to soften for a few minutes before the tomatoes. This sauce is so delicious and easy it’s ridiculous. And it was so pretty in the skillet.
Tuesday Jeremy came home from being gone for two weeks for work (yay!) so we went out for wings and beer. (Booo!) But that’s okay because it was our one day a week with meat. Wednesday, my brother invited us to go out to eat with him and we went to a local Mexican restaurant. I am a vegetarian fajitas conoisseur–even before I started this project. The vegetarian fajitas that this particular place fell flat. I think they used frozen vegetables. Gross! Jeremy had a vegetarian burrito that he said was very good.
Thursday we had leftover orreichette. I also made some kale chips for the first time. They were pretty good, but I still like my kale wilted with some white wine and bacon grease best.
Friday we went out to eat with some good friends from out of town who were in Charleston on business. We went to another local joint, The Anchor. This place is a Charleston institution. It’s a bit of a dive, but the food is amazing. Jeremy and I shared a veggie supreme pizza, and it was awesome! We had never tried it before. The crust was thin and crispy, and along with the pile of diced veggies and cheese was a spice and parmesean blend sprinkled on top of the pizza, with oregano, basil and grated parm. It was the thing that set this pizza appart from an average veggie pizza.
Saturday we went to a cookout at Jeremy’s parent’s house for his aunt’s 60th birthday. I had caprese, watermelon, tortilla chips and baba gahnoush, macaroni salad, and of course, cake and ice cream.

It’s always so nice to hang out with family that we don’t get to see nearly often enough. In keeping with the Reverse Meatless Monday, I made the caprese and baba gahnoush. I chalked the caprese up as a success since there wasn’t any left. I was happy that I could contribute something relatively healthy that everyone enjoyed.

The baba gahnoush was a different story. It was just okay. This is the second time I have attempted making it, and I think I’m just going to write this dish off and just enjoy it at the local restaurant that serves it. Last Christmas, we got Jeremy’s dad and electric smoker. I’ve been dying to try baba gahnoush again since then, now that I can smoke the eggplant. It was better this time. The last time when I grilled the eggplant, it was just too bitter. The smoker toned down the bitterness of the eggplant, but it tasted like it was missing something and the consistency just wasn’t quite right. The problem is that I smoked a butt-load of eggplant, thinking I would freeze it so we could enjoy it a few more times. Maybe I need to go have the baba gahnoush at the restaurant again in the name of research, so I can figure out how to fix mine.
Sunday, I made a Food Babe inspired dinner–quinoa masala patties and thai coconut rice lettuce wraps. It was so delcious. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that blog. So many good ideas, and she is very thorough and thoughtful with her nutrition information and advice. I’ve been trying to keep in mind that we need to have some protein from other sources, and quinoa is pretty much a perfect source of protein. It’s the only non-animal source of protein that is considered “complete,” meaning it has all of the essential amino acids. It’s also a great source of fiber–something that anyone eating a Western diet needs more of. Jeremy and I love quinoa, since we “discovered” it a couple years ago, and we really should eat more of it since some consider it a superfood.

I made raita, Indian yogurt sauce, to put on the patties because I thought they needed something saucy or gooey. I happen to have plain yogurt, and way too many cucumbers, the two main ingredients in raita. It was perfect on top of the patties, and I also added some alfalfa sprouts. I just grew some in a jar, so I have been trying to figure out ways to use them. It turns out they are also a pretty good source of protein, because of the seed, and with the greek yogurt in the raita, this already protein-rich patty was elevated to protein powerhouse. I love the thai coconut rice recipe from the Food Babe’s blog, and this time, I tried it with basmati rice instead of brown rice. It does much better with brown rice, however. The basmati is a little too delicate I think for the long simmer the recipe calls for. And that’s one of the things I love about the recipe, you just throw all the ingredients in a pot and simmer it for about 40 minutes. But the rice was still delicious. Best part about this dinner was that I have leftover for lunch a couple days this week.

I’m down to my last week of Reverse Meatless Monday, and I’ve learned a lot already. I am also jonesin for a big, thick, juicy steak, which I’ll treat myself to next week. My mouth is beginning to water…


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