I'm doing some deep cleaning and found some old magazine recipes. I like to eat vegetarian meals as much as I can until I really crave meat. A pecan loaf with brown rice, veggies and eggs appealed to me and I gave it a try. It was very bland. I realized immediately that we cook with so much less salt and more spices now than ever before. I had cut the salt, but when I added hot sauce and more sage, onion and garlic on the plate, it came alive. Its a high potassium dish and was very satisfying.
Then I thought I'd try bean patties. I boiled red beans the day before with a ham bone, meaning it isn't exactly meat free, but certainly cuts down the animal kill thing by using meat sparingly for flavoring.
The recipe called for something called Savorex, that I couldn't identify. (I resist having to buy things at a health food store.) By the time I read the recipe a couple of times, which consisted of onions sauteed in oil, 2 cups of bean puree, an egg, tomato juice and then flour to thicken it all with sage being the main seasoning. I realized its simply easier and more convenient to saute the onions, mix them with the mashed and seasoned beans without going the extra step and frying them into patties. Seasoned meaning a no salt, sage, black pepper, cummin, garlic, and Rotel. (The Rotel has enough salt.) Then I topped the beans with raw sliced carrots and celery and surrounded it with spring lettuces sprinkled sparingly with lemon chili olive oil.
There is one more recipe in this magazine for stew using gluten. I learned how to extract gluten from flour in the hippy seventies and don't want to go there. If they had gluten at my local grocer, I'd buy it. So, I'll substitute cous cous or quinoa. My daughter always accuses me of substituting when I cook so the recipe never resembles what I start out to make. She is right. I'm ever substituting, but my main thought on vegetarian cooking is that it can be great stuff, its healthy to eat less meat and I practically vomit when I read how animals destined for food are treated. My favorite vegetarian restaurant is the Sonora Community Hospital Cafeteria. They always have wonderful vegetarian meals but no cook book. If I had their recipes, I'd never go back to meat.
It is still my ambition, and Jim's, to avoid beef, and pork, all together, and my ambition to eat more vegetarian meals. If you have great vegetarian recipes, share them with me.