Monday, January 15, 2007

Day 15

What I ate today. . .
Half an asiago cheese bagel, brewed tea, blackberry yogurt, half a short white peppermint mocha, grande chai with whipped cream, half a pan of my veggie frittata (recipe below), slice of wheat toast, helping of the Moroccan spaghetti with a side of scalloped zucchini and a slice of garlic bread, frozen piece of cheesecake with a little strawberry sauce.

Today I actually MADE a lunch, which is better than I’ve been in a long while. I used 2 cups of leftover steamed broccoli, half a tomato, 1/4 cup of feta, 1/4 cup spaghetti and 1/4 of a yellow onion, cooked in 1/2 T butter, to make a frittata. When everything was warm, I poured 1/2 c of eggbeaters over it and put the whole pan in the oven for 10 minutes at 450. It turned out good, all puffy and golden, and was yummy with dry toast. This is the type of breakfast I like best when I work out, a warm egg something with veggies and usually some form of protein.

Also, when I dropped off stuff at the library today, I noticed a new pamphlet called “Compassionate Living: A Colorado Guide to Vegetarianism.” It was in the freebie section, and I brought one home. I am disappointed to report that it centers somewhat graphically and with detailed copy on the slaughter of different types of animals for food. While I am absolutely for the humane treatment of all creatures, I do feel that animals can be bred as food. Nature has definitely shown that this is how things work. It’s my choice to live a vegetarian lifestyle, and for me at least, it has little to do with the treatment of animals. I abhor being shown pictures of how poorly animals are treated. If given a choice, I would definitely pay more for meat from animals grown on small farms, particularly organic, where their quality of life is better. But the idea is the same, they are raised for food. I don’t want the poor farmers to be required to make friends with each animal they’re planning to slaughter. I’m sure they appreciate some distance too.

So the best thing about this particular pamphlet is the list in the back of vegetarian-friendly Colorado restaurants. I’ve never seen them together like this, and I’m pleased about how many there actually are. That most of the food is based on Indian, Asian and Mexican cuisines —no traditional “American” options here — is no surprise. There’s also an interesting friend tofu recipe that might pass here at home, I’ll let you know.

Once again, it proves my point that people feel you can’t just stop at being vegetarian. I’m not trying to criticize a meat-eating culture or deter anyone from eating as they wish. But vegetarian eating is called the “compassionate” diet throughout this piece of literature, as with others I’ve seen, and entails not only what you consume but what you wear, use as products and buy in general. Turning into a vegetarian, for me, isn’t about changing everything I do. I didn’t sign up for a commune here, folks. One step at a time would be the best way to convince people of a need for change. If not eating meat improves my overall well-being and health, I may consider giving up eggs and cheese and milk. It’s a far cry from tossing out my leather belts, but it’s a small step. I’d appreciate more time before I’m forced to wear a cruelty-free t-shirt.

For dinner, I tested the Moroccan spaghetti recipe out on George. He rated it a 5, even though he didn’t like the cinnamon flavor. What was funny to me is that he hates chickpeas, but he ate all of them in this. He really loved the scalloped zucchini, which was an adaptation of a recipe (below), eating three helpings of it. I guess we got a few vegetables in there today!

Scalloped Zucchini — The Lazy Way Serves 6
4 small zucchini, washed and thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 c. cream
2 T butter
2 T flour
1/2 c. panko or unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 c. grated romano cheese
1/2 tsp rosemary or oregano, whichever you prefer

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss sliced zucchini and onion with salt and pepper. Microwave the butter in a small bowl until completely melted, then mix in the flour right in the bowl. Warm the cream in another bowl and combine with the butter/flour mixture (a lazy person’s version of a roux). Pour the entire cream mix over the zucchini and stir to coat. Put zucchini into a sprayed 8” x 8” square baking dish. Mix the panko with the romano and herbs, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the zucchini. Bake 30 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly.

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