Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flextarian-ism revisited

Some years ago when we were living in Africa I decided we should go for a more veg than meat diet. I read about it a bit and the new word for folks living more veg than meat was "flextarian". Although I thought it was a great idea, other members of my home were not quite game for the switch and as such it didn't happen. Then we went back to the states for a little over a year and of course it didn't happen there. Have you seen what is available for food in the US?! Let's pull into Arby's while we talk this over, or maybe Taco Bell.

Well I've started thinking it over again and looking at what I'm putting in the cart in comparison to other folks and its kind of got under my skin. Everyone here lives off a diet consisting of Tempeh, tofu, rice, noodles, and vegetables. Throw in fried chicken and you probably have a good look at one a family's diet is in a week's time. This doesn't mean its necessarily healthy eating because most of that stuff is fried with a bit of MSG for fun. I have taken some of these recipes and tried to use less oil and no MSG- much to the dismay of my houseworker who doesn't think it tastes quite right.

I've been cooking a bit more with beans and red rice. Combining them together means lots of fiber, plenty of proteins, and a complex diet that we don't feel hungry in between meals. Some menus from the last few weeks:

  • Tempeh and Green Bean Carrot Hash - this is one my housework is wonderful at
  • Ful & Homemade Pita- I use to go out for breakfast in Africa sometimes and this was a favorite. Made it 2 weeks ago, ate it twice, put the rest in the freezer and its making a comeback this week.
  • Tuna Burgers & Steamed veggies
  • Chickpea Curry, Naan, Steamed Veggies- Indian cooking is one of my favorite things in the world and when I make it at home, if I use chilis or red pepper, its normally only half. Still happy people.
  • Refried Bean and Tortillas- this is a favorite at our house. @ loves to help make tortillas but normally that is just him eating dough.
  • Tortilla Chips and Homemade Salsa- I've been playing with making salsa since the import store stopped carrying it.
  • Blackbean & Veg Enchilada- one we are trying this week
  • Malai Kofta - I make meat kofta all the time. I just found this for a veg version
  • Smothered Pork, Veg and Naan- Jonathan loves this one.
  • Brocolli and Onion Frittata- came from the Moosewood Cookbook I found at the used bookstore.
  • Sloppy Joes on Buns with whatever veg- This is jon's favorite next to meatloaf

For most of these recipes, when I make them at lunch no one is that hungry for dinner so that is where Chips & Salsa, Popcorn, and Noodles come into play. For us, the bean dishes are normally served twice in a week and sometimes we have leftovers still. Last week for dinner we had sweet potatoes. At first Jonathan wasn't getting it but then he found out that he likes sweet potatoes and that maybe they don't need brown sugar and marshmallows to be edible- is that crazy talk or what?

Lemon Recipes to come. I have this lemon tree that I've been picking about 30-40 lemons from every week for about 4 weeks now. I've given them to friends and neighbors. We always have lemonade in the fridge (Jon's mom always had cider, I have lemonade). Lemon Bars are always around for desert. But still what else can you do with this kind of lemon crop? Soon mangoes will be ready and I finally have bananas coming on. I don't know the variety of banana but my houseworker seemed to think they'd be good for frying - go figure.

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