I spent much of my adult life on one diet or another. In fact, most people I know have spent much of their lives on one diet or another. So, it’s only human nature to ask or be asked, “What do you eat?” Since adopting a plant-based diet, I’m asked that question even more frequently. Not being one to think fast, I usually respond by saying that I eat vegetables, legumes, grains, fruits and nuts. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? And sometimes I feel as if the other person feels sorry for me, like I’m missing out on something. And it hit me today as I was doing some food prep for the week ahead — there are so many recipes I’d like to try or develop on my own and I just don’t have enough time for all of them. I never felt this excited about cooking, partly because everything I make is wholesome and healthy. I approach plant-based cooking as another type of cuisine, one that is kinder to animals and our planet. I wish I could invite you into my kitchen so you can see what I’m talking about. For now, I’ll simply give you a glimpse of what goes on.
So yesterday, we got carried away at this Amish farm stand. Plum tomatoes, corn on the cob, baby eggplants, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, peaches, blackberries and canteloupe. I may have forgotten something, but you get the idea. After that, we stopped at Sher-Rockees Mushroom Outlet to pick up just a few portobello mushrooms. Well, since they were having a special, we bought a huge box of portobellos for $5.00. WOW! Who could resist that bargain? When we got home and starting unpacking our bags I thought to myself, “Holy cow! What was I thinking? I have a lot of work ahead of me.” So here’s what I’ve made . . . so far. I started out the day making corn muffins and folding in some fresh corn kernels. Then I made roasted plum tomatoes, which I’ll probably just toss with some pasta during the week. I grilled and marinated the baby eggplants, zucchini and mushrooms and roasted the red peppers. We had this for lunch with some vegan cheeses and Italian bread. The leftover mushrooms and red peppers are slated for sandwiches during the week. Since I soaked some chick peas yesterday, I made Moroccan Chick Pea Stew, which had nothing to do with the farm stand purchases. We’re having corn chowder for dinner tonight so I’ll use up the corn and more peppers, carrots and onions. I still have plenty of portobellos, so I’ll be trying two stuffed mushroom recipes later in the week; one stuffed with quinoa and one with a mushroom/panko stuffing. And I still have chickpeas for Thai Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers. Well, I guess my plate is full. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.
Tips for grilling vegetables: Slice small eggplants and zucchini lengthwise, leaving the stem intact. Leave portobellos whole, then slice after grilling. No need to brush with oil. Simply coat grill with non-stick spray. Drizzle grilled vegetables with balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and dried herbs. Grill red peppers until the skin is charred, then place in paper bag and let the steam loosen the skins before peeling away.