Friday, March 18, 2011

The Veg-aversary Meal

As a vegetarian, I get asked about my diet all the time.

Some people ask specific questions, while others just ask “What the heck do you eat?”

When I wrote my last post about anniversaries, I started thinking how cooking a nice meal together would be a fun way to celebrate an anniversary. Not for ME, mind you, I cook plenty on regular ole days. And, while I love cooking, on a special night I want to worry about how I look and what outfit I’m going to be wearing, not stressing over whether what I’m preparing will turn out to be edible. But, I know some (crazy) people like to prepare a special treat for their loved one on their anniversaries, so, I decided to come up with a little vegetarian anniversary menu with you guys.

Anniversary Menu for Veggie Lovers
Starter: Nuts-n-Berries Salad
Main Course: Lovin’ Loaf
Sides: Purple Passion Potatoes
Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

I totally dropped the ball with a cheesey name for the last menu item, sorry pals.

With the idea that many people choose steak as the main course for a special meal, I decided I needed something meaty as the centerpiece of my veggie celebration of lurrve.

Enter lentil loaf.

I know. It sounds gross, but so does snogging, and I assume you’ve engaged in some of that if you’re celebrating an anniversary. So, let’s keep an open mind.

Lentils are packed with protein, vitamin B, and fiber and I promise this strange sounding concoction is incredible delicious and satisfying.

I recommend this recipe:

In my mind, a traditional steak dinner comes with potatoes. With my lentil loaf, I’d serve up some delicious mashed potatoes.

Here’s my recommendation:

I love these because they aren’t filled with the heavy creams that mashed potatoes often are. Because let’s be honest, after serving your partner this delish meal, you expect to be serviced, too, am I right? And nothing takes away from a little post-dinner lovin’, like a big sloshy belly.

I also think a simple green salad, to be served alongside or before the main course would really help balance out the meal.

Try chopping up the following on a big cutting board: spinach + cranberries + slivered almonds + goat cheese. Dump in a bowl and then top with a simple dressing. You can make your own dressing by whisking up three pantry staples: 2T olive oil + 1T red wine vingegar + 1t Dijon mustard. You can add salt, sugar, or other spices to taste.

And last but not least, you need a decadent, chocolate-y dessert.

Try this chocolate mousse for a simple, healthy alternative to the traditional heavy chocolate mousse:

The secret ingredient? Silken tofu. I know, lentils AND tofu, I’m asking a lot of you guys, but try it! Even my dad, who eats meat with every meal and constantly asks me what kind of “tree bark” I’m eating for dinner, loved this dessert!

All of these items are vegetarian, and the whole meal can easily be made vegan by omitting the goat cheese in the salad and using vegan chocolate chips in the mousse.

Even if you will never give up meat completely, I encourage you to try experimenting with vegetarian and vegan meals. Plant based meals are great for your energy levels, the planet, and your waistline!

Now tell me:

Partnered up peeps, who's the better cook, you or your partner? Single ladies (and gents), what's your go-to meal to impress a new love interest? It's okay if it's the Indian restaurant down the street and not a homecooked delicacy ;)

Would you rather eat out or cook together to celebrate an anniversary (or other important holiday?)

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  1. Well, I'm single and when I am making dinner for someone I'm interested in, I have a couple things that I are my go-to dishes. Usually it's filet mignon or spicy pork tenderloin, with mashed potatoes, veggies and something yummy I baked earlier in the day (possibly apple caramel pie or cupcakes).

  2. Chrisy- I think it's really nice to have a go-to meal when you're cooking for someone new. You know how it's going to turn out so you don't have to stress about it too much.

  3. My fav thing to do is eat. So the belly comes with the territory. And I am cool with that, most guys have said in one way or another that a little pot belly is sexy on a girl - it means she enjoyed her meal. Suggesting she enjoys life. I have a few go to meals, but each meal depends on the person.
    And what brings the romance on? Wine! Or frilly drinks, even the biggest macho man likes mango. And if he doesn't great more for me, now excuse me I am going to have seconds of dinner and another desert. Because he may stay or go, but I do love a double chocolate cream tart!

    PS the loaf sounds fantastic. But diet mashed tatter? No! I demand butter and gravy and cream. Or sour cream and chives. Life is too yummy to not enjoy every bite as much as you can.

  4. Monique- Mm....double chocolate cream tart! I had the most perfect chocolate scone yesterday...

    And-haha to the potatoes. I hear you, I love taters with sour cream, butter, etc., but I think life is too short not to try new things! You might be surprised how much you like this more refreshing take on an old fave.

  5. These sound delish - I may have to try them!!

    Right now - I don't really have a go-to meal as I'm experimenting with a lot of new recipes lately. But I do handle some chicken and pasta like a pro!

    As for who's the better cook - I say we're probably both equal but I may edge him out since I have the time to cook and research recipes.

    I'd rather cook together to celebrate - but there's nothing wrong with grabbing a little dinner together out to celebrate :)

  6. Kelli- It took me awhile to have a go-to meal when I first became vegetarian because it was so outside the realm of what I was used to. But experimenting in the kitchen turned out to be a great thing and opened me up to lots of fun new recipes. Happy experimenting!