vegetarian awesomeness

Now that we’re into our second year of eating meatless, I have collected some amazing recipes and learned how completely adaptable a balanced diet can be. And it’s awesome.

My list of ‘what do you miss’ has changed, and honestly, with the occasional treat of veggie ‘sausage’ patties and lentil balls, it’s not really something I want anymore. I don’t miss meat. Period.

My thinking of what makes a meal has changed. The meat/protein + two sides = full mentality took a long time to overcome, but it’s freeing.

It used to be ‘well, what can we eat?’ and now I ask, ‘what do I want to eat?’

Where do I get my protein? From just about all the foods I eat, thank you very much. Whole grains. Beans. Lentils. Kale. Brussel sprouts. Potatoes. Cheese. Yogurt. A little bit here adds up to all we need.

Christmas was an enlightening experience. I’ve shied away from cooking for my family because of the meat/no-meat conundrum–mostly, how do I feed three picky eaters who don’t like anything but meat and bread? I told them what I planned to make and invited them to bring something they knew they could eat. And that was that. I will not apologize for the food I make. A meat eater can eat everything on my table–if they choose to turn their nose up at roasted vegetables and lentil-stuffing balls, that is their choice and it is not my problem.

Oh, did I promise you recipes? Check ’em out:

Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry Pear Sauce
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash with Cranberries
Ancho Lentil Tacos
Chana Masala
Matar Paneer
Taco Seasoning Mix

And here’s a special squash bake of my own, inspired by my love of squash and tacos:

Taco Squash Bake

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, juice reserved
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning mix
  • 1 lime
  • cilantro

Oil bottom of roasting pan. Preheat oven to 400.

Mix lime juice, reserved tomato juice, canola oil, and taco seasoning mix in small bowl. Set aside.

Layer black beans, chopped onions, diced tomatoes and corn if using into pan evenly. Sprinkle on mushrooms and squash and jostle pan until level.

Pour seasoning sauce slowly over mushrooms and squash, coating as much as possible. Cover and bake until squash is tender, 40 min – 1 hr.

Broil 15 minutes to brown top if desired.

 Serve with rice or tortillas (optional), garnish with fresh cilantro.

Happy Holidays and Happy Eating!

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