Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chik'N Parmigiana

I love to cook. I don't do it so much anymore because, well I just don't have as much time. But honestly I would rather have a real meal anyday instead of frozen burritos or frozen pizza no matter what my trash man tells you. Now that spring is upon us I think I am going to make a vow to start cooking more. I love this time of year because you can get more fresh fruits and vegetables and being a vegetarian this is paramount to my meal planning.

A lot of people ask us questions such as "What do you eat?" or "Do you get enough protein, iron, ..." Well, first off we just don't eat meat. So that means we eat everything else and that includes milk, eggs, cheese etc. Secondly, the world is much more vegetarian friendly than it used to be. There are plenty of sources of protein and iron and B vitamins in our diet. Sure we have to be a little more careful to make sure these things are included in our meals even if they are in the form of supplements but we don't mind and neither should other people. In some ways we are probably more conscience of our diets than we would otherwise be because of our beliefs.

But going back to that first question. What do we eat. We eat lots of veggies and cheese and bread (my favorite thing in the entire food pyramid) and yes, a lot of junk. But we also eat a fair amount of meat substitutes (but not too many because I am slightly worried about the amount of soy {infertility} and because I don't want to be dependent on these 'fake' substitutes) because they allow us to include many more entree-like selections to our meals.

For example, I love Eggplant Parmigiani but it is hard to make at home. I have tried and it takes a lot of time and the outcome has only been so so to date. So the other night I used Chik Patties from Morningstar Farms to make a Chik'n Parmigiani meal. Ward and I were pleased with how quickly the meal could be thrown together and how decent it tasted. Now I have been a vegetarian since I was 14 and have NEVER had real chicken parmigiani so I have no idea how 'close' mine tasted to the real thing. But I don't really care. I am just happy to have something else quick and tasty to make for dinner when Joy calls to ask me what I am fixing her son for dinner (yes, folks, my m-i-l really does this).

I have also found recipes online for zucchini cakes that are supposed to taste like crab cakes and Fake Tuna Salad. Again, I have never eaten the real thing (or don't recall ever eating these things) in my carnivore days and I don't know if I will even attempt these fake versions. I just like the fact that there are all of these recipes out there reaffirming my beleif that raising my children vegetarian will not be a problem, for our family anyways.


p.s. These recipes also give me something else to offer my bean hating, lasagna bored friends.

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