Thursday, February 25, 2010
I've been running with this vegetarian experiment for over a week now and things appear to be going well. I can't notice any physical changes - I doubt those would happen that fast. I seem to have the same energy levels. I seem to be sleeping the same. No noticeable weight loss or gain has been observed to this point, so things seem to be going well.
The biggest difference has easily been the culinary creativity. I made a vegetarian baked penne the other night, and despite the fact that pasta al forno is a staple in my Italian-American repertoire, I think that this version was the best. Instead of sausage, I substituted roasted red peppers, capers, Sicilian olives and kept in the mushrooms. I think it was a real hit and the part skim-ricotta and sauce mixture seemed to incorporate the salt and spice of the additional veggies well. Although, the five cheese blend and whole milk mozz baked on top certainly added to the success.
I also made an awesome Thai gyoza soup yesterday with edamame, ginger, shitakes and watercress. I added a bit of Sriracha to the vegetable broth and it really paid off. I always use chicken stock when constructing my soups and I was very fearful that I would taste a serious fall off, but it ended up really nice. I'm starting to incorporate a lot of new ingredients and am really enjoying it.
I did have some weak moments, though. My family suffered a huge loss and I was down in Des Moines for the funeral last weekend. Times of mourning are often times of eating in my family and I found myself surround by a wealth of amazing meatballs, spicy capicolla, dangerous stew meat and piles of Italian beef. It was tough, but I made it through with the help of some awesome antipasti, marinated veggies and mostaccioli. Thank the good Lord for the Latin King!
I'll be back with more updates and tales of my experiment.