January 18, 2011

Veggie Lust

I grew up with corn and potatoes. The only greens in my diet were cucumbers and iceberg lettuce. Let me tell you, I've come a long way from my youth. My favorite veggies today are Brussels sprouts, asparagus and broccolini. I'm also a lover of eggplant (a fruit, I know, but I treat it like a veggie). Aside from raw celery, there are few vegetables I don't enjoy.

I suppose that made last week's meatless meals an easy success. Going vegetarian for a week was far easier and far more enjoyable than I ever imagined. The week of detoxing proved to be a success too. I lost 6 lbs and Frank lost 14 lbs. That's right, 20 lbs combined! It's a great start and it's very motivating to boot. We realize losses this week won't be as substantial (water weight and all that) but we're looking forward to maintaining steady losses.

This week has more of a low-carb focus, we have chicken on the menu a few times. I improvised on light version of buffalo chicken wraps the other night and it was a disaster. The Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce was terrible. Rotisserie chicken and lettuce turned to mush when mixed with the sauce and placing it in a soft wrap made it an ultimate failure. We tossed it, and opted for tuna. I also made Flat Out Pizzas with turkey pepperoni. They weren't nearly as satisfying as I remember them. This week is shaping up to be a bust. If it ends as such. I'm going back to meatless.

With veggies no defrosting is necessary. The produce is fresh and ready to go. Even when using frozen products there is no need to defrost. I love this. I hate defrosting meats. Hate it.

As I was shredding the rotisserie chicken I bought, I was reminded how disgusting chicken is. When I buy it raw, I buy in bulk from Sam's club. When I get it home, I start the tedious job of making it edible by removing the fat, blood clots, weird film and other nasty bits. I've tried buying the trimmed breasts at Smith's and other grocers, but I pay a ton more and it's not trimmed to my liking. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. So, I do. I leave behind a grotesque pile of yuck. It's disgusting, it really is, but better to see that pile of yuck rather than consuming it. Just the thought sickens me.

When I was slicing or chopping vegetables for meals last week. I enjoyed the experience. Each brightly colored veggie looked enticing. There was no disgust. I didn't need to run around the kitchen like a mad woman sanitizing every surface either. It was quite nice.

Last week's menu had the following:

Greek Salad
Eggplant Spaghetti
Ginger Veggie Stir Fry
Veggie Stew
Baked Spinach Ziti
Veggie Fajitas or Vegitas as Frank has coined them.
Eggplant & Red Pepper Sandwiches

Only the veggie stew was a flop, I used my beloved Spicy Chicken Stew recipe omitting the chicken and doubling the vegetables. Lunches were salads and leftovers, and breakfast were my usual variety of yogurt and triscuits (I have an addiction). Frank had salads at work, and Cheerios for breakfast.

I never really used red pepper before. My goal each week is to introduce a new ingredient each week. Just to expand our horizons a bit. The Red Pepper was great in the stir fry and the fajitas. My favorite use was broiled with the eggplant for those sandwiches. It was so fresh and delicious.

I could go for one now. However, for tonight's dinner I'm giving lettuce wraps a go, with ground chicken. This will be my first time using ground chicken. Hopefully, it'll be a success. I'm not sure I can take another failure this week. I don't mind trying new things, but it's beyond frustrating when recipes or creations are disasterous. I won't waste calories on bad food, so it's such a waste of time and effort. I find it very discouraging. Wish me luck.


Unknown said...

My wife is a vegetarian. I am a meat lover. I do all of the cooking. Mark Bittman obviously has the great cookbook, "How to Cook Everything", but he also has one that has been indispensable for me... "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian".

Kellee said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll check that cookbook out.