Friday, May 1, 2009

Vegetable Dreams

I believe more firmly than ever in fresh raw milk, freshly ground whole grains of cereal, and vegetables grown in organically cultured soil. If I must eat meats, I want them carved of beasts nurtured on the plants from that same kind of soil.
-MFK Fisher

Yesterday I returned from my big grocery/catering shopping day and found, to my great delight, a package from Amazon on my front porch! I hastily opened it wondering what wonderful surprise was this, and found that it was the gift won on the Eco Women website! A book, by Sophie Uliano, entitled "Gorgeously Green." It is a book I have looked at many times before but hadn't bought due to one thing or the other. I have wanted it for so long now! Thank you, Eco Women!

If you haven't had the chance to check them out yet, do so now. They are a committed group of ecowarriors who provide consistently sound and practical advice, well researched and vital information, and motivation and inspiration to make positive changes consistent with a global environmental mindset. Read them, know them, enjoy them: (I apologize--my link setting in not working properly.)

The Earth Day pledge I recently made was to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my weekly bill of fare. It was the motivation I needed to get myself into gear.

The stars were also aligned in my favor for after I made the pledge, my husband, a pretty stalwart meat eater, left for a job that will last a month, perhaps even two. So it is the perfect time for me to start eating vegetarian and testing recipes that will lure him to the other side.

So far, two of my favorites (maybe not my Old Man's though--still have to test working-man-worthy vegetarian) have been a curried cauliflower soup and roasted vegetable salad. They are delicious alone as light meals, or paired for a more substantial menu.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Saute reasonable amounts of onions and garlic and in a small amount of oil while steaming a whole head of cauliflower. Add curry, perhaps a tablespoon, to taste with the now translucent onion mixture. Once fragrant, add four cups of stock. For thicker soup, add less.

Meanwhile, with a food processor, puree the now steamed cauliflower adding a can of "lite" coconut milk as you go, creating a creamy cauliflower puree. You may also add fresh ginger to the puree which will provide the soup with an extra kick or, for a milder flavor, add the ginger to the onion and garlic mixture at the beginning.

Add the cauliflower, coconut, and ginger puree to the simmering stock, mix well to combine and adjust seasonings as desired. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Slice eggplant, portabella mushrooms, red onions, and tomato halves (or whatever combination of vegetables you like--fennel would be good here too) and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Lightly brush tops with more oil, season with salt and coarsely cracked pepper. Bake at 350 for about a half an hour, until cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile, combine balsamic vinegar and olive oil with salt and coarsely ground pepper whisking to combine. If you are a garlic lover like I am, you may also add a clove or two of chopped garlic to the dressing. Add mixed greens. Toss and plate greens, topping them with the still warm roasted vegetable. Top with liberal helpings of blue cheese and enjoy!


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I adore roasted vegetable anything.

Life As I Know It said...

mmmm...the cauliflower soup sounds yummy. I've been on a fish/veggie diet since last summer and don't miss meat at all.