Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Reluctant Vegetarian, Part Two

Today was the ultimate test of my newly adapted lifestyle: hamburger night... My roommates had requested it due to the rare occasion of me taking them grocery shopping yesterday and as the residential chef in our apartment, I agreed because I told them if they request it, I'll make it. Let me be perfectly honest, I was kind of dreading this because I know that I don't have a very strong will and like I said, I love meat. But I am here to tell you, my fellow foodies, that I came out on top, resisting the call of juicy red meat. WOOT!

Actually, it really wasn't all that hard once I started making the hamburgers. It wasn't because I tricked myself into thinking they would taste bad (I knew they'd taste delicious) and it wasn't because I was picturing some dewy-eye cow in a green pasture. No, I was able to reject the meat simply because it looked gross when I was cooking it. Each time I pressed down to flatten the patties, thick grease would ooze into the pan until I had to scoop it out. Yuck. I could just feel my arteries clogging when I thought about eating them. Surprisingly enough, the thing I caved on was my potato avoidance (supposedly those are bad for Type A). Those french fries looked so good, though, and my food wasn't ready yet, so I had a few. Oh well, Rome wasn't built in a day. Thankfully, my food didn't take long to make and it was really tasty. I've also discovered a new food: quinoa. The little grain reminds me of couscous; it was definitely a nice break from rice.
Black-eyed peas with leeks and quinoa. Yummy. It was light, quick, and best of all, filling. The cilantro in the dish was a good compliment and the leeks gave it a good bite. Who knew vegetarian stuff could be so good?

Black-eyed peas with leeks

2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (I used canned)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a cast-iron skillet, heat oil over low heat. Add leeks and garlic, turning well to coat with oil. Add water, cover, and braise leek until soft (or desired softness, mine still had a bit of crunch). When the leeks are done, add the beans and heat thoroughly. Toss gently with the cilantro and salt. Serve hot with rice or quinoa for dinner or cold/ room temperature with olive oil and lemon juice dressing for lunch. Serves 4.

Since I'm new to this whole vegetarian thing, recipes would be nice. Yes, I understand I'm not really a vegetarian, but I'm still clueless. Now it's time for the other part of cooking: cleaning... Until next time, eat well!

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