Category Archives: Nutrition

Meatless Monday: Another (Tentative) Success.

I’m going to make this quick. There’s a very small chance that I might get to run yet this morning, and I’m going to see if I can make that happen.

Last night, I did Meatless Monday; per my previous post, we had moved Meatless Sunday to accommodate a busy weekend. This recipe for vegetable lasagna came to me through the usual channel – an email from a teacher at Dickinson State who I’ve neither met nor taken a class from. DSU staff tend to email things to everyone, which is part blessing and part curse. But the recipe was remarkably incomplete in that it didn’t say what the oven temperature should be, or how to precisely layer the thing.

There are a few things I did differently from the instructions:

  • I only made a half batch because it’s just Karisa and me;
  • I substituted dry basil (1 tsp. per Tbsp. fresh basil) because Cashwise didn’t have any fresh basil available;
  • I accidentally doubled the amount of oil and basil in the red sauce because I was following the instructions for the full batch, but as far as I can tell that turned out just fine; and
  • I had to broil the thing in order to brown the cheese on top after it was done baking.

After I was done, I did the world a favor and rewrote the entire recipe to reflect the baking temperature and what I think might be the precise layering of the lasagna. If you try this and have any changes to recommend, feel free to do so in the comments.

What’s the result? Deliciousness! The vegetables were cooked through, but the broccoli was nice and firm and the squash and zucchini were not mushy; to me, that’s a win. I enjoyed half of the lasagna, but Karisa only ate one piece (a quarter.) That was partly because she doesn’t eat as much as I do, but also partly because it turns out she might not have a taste for wilted spinach. We had this result when I made the spinach pie, too, so I might avoid so much spinach in the future.

At any rate, I consider this a success as a vegetarian dish. The picture looks like it was taken in the seventies and put on the menu board of a fast food restaurant; I wasn’t having any luck with that! The modified recipe follows that.

Vegetable Lasagna

This week’s Meatless Sunday . . .

. . . is moving to Monday because of Labor Day. Yesterday I ran 27 km and walked the last 2.5 km home. Then Karisa and I went to go grocery shopping, except we had to start out at Target so that I could stop my female in-laws from asking me what I want for my birthday; I got one of those scanner guns and started adding stuff to my Target wish list. Karisa got in on the fun and worked on hers, too. By the time we were done with that it was after six in the afternoon, and Karisa had gotten a handbasket with everything we needed and we still would have to have gone to Cashwise and then started prepping . . . oh, it was just too late.

So we had to postpone the grocery shopping until today, which is fine because there’s no work, school, or post today and so that means that the laundry and yard work I put off will get done today instead. I might work on a set of cardstock cover journals; I haven’t gotten around to listing the last one I made, but I should because I figure either school or the holidays would be a great time for something like that to sell.

And then there’s homework . . . oh, homework! I tell you, sometimes life doesn’t change very much from day to day, does it?

At any rate, look forward to Meatless Sunday being Meatless Monday this week, and then going back to Sunday next week. In other words, I’ll post that review and recipe tonight.

See you then!

The new column on the block: Meatless Sunday

Here’s a new concept we began putting into practice last week: “meatless Sundays.” We wanted to do meatless Mondays, but unfortunately I have school that night and that means there’s a lot less time for food prep than we would have on a normal night. Sunday was the logical replacement. Last week was spinach pie and cheesy biscuits, but there was a little short circuit with the biscuits, which didn’t come out exactly right because we used gluten-free Bisquick™ instead of the normal kind. The buiscuits tasted good anyway, but we decided to go with the normal stuff next time, since I appear not to be gluten-sensitive. The spinach pie, which I thought was fantabulous – if not just a tad flavorless – was not Karisa’s favorite. We’re learning as we go!

Tonight’s fare was something more savory and more universally acceptable: quinoa-stuffed peppers. Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) is a weird type of grain called a “pseudocereal.” That means it’s not a grain technically, because it’s not a type of grass. Whatever, right? But it’s really a seed that’s related to bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica.

Um . . . I mean, beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

Weird, right? We got it for $3.99/lb in the bulk hopper at Cashwise, and we only used a cup of it for the recipe, which I’ll share with you at the end of the article. So, you cook it like rice, and it puffs like rice. The hulls fall off and curl into these little white things that look somewhat suspicious . . . but that’s okay, it’s part of the food. The Incas considered quinoa to be the mother of all grains and more important than corn; vegetarians have picked up on this because it turns out that quinoa sports a high protein content (12-18%), and it’s a complete protein, which is hard to find in any protein source that isn’t made in a lab (for those who don’t know, a complete protein contains all the amino acids that our bodies can’t make for itself.)

One other complete protein that I’m aware of is hemp. (crickets)

I’m getting this information from Wikipedia right now. That’s right, I’m a cheater; nobody’s grading me on my blog, hello?? I might try some quinoa for breakfast later this week, with some honey and flash-frozen fruit. I think that would be really tasty and a good breakfast to run on.

At any rate, Karisa rated this herself as a “4.5, possibly 5” out of 5. That’s pretty darn good, and I got the go-ahead to make it again in the future. Knowing Karisa (she of the wandering palate) it will be a while before I can make it again, but now I know it’s possible to make a meal without meat to satisfy the carnivores in both of us. Here’s a picture of the finished result:

And it tastes even better than it looks! I put a spoonful of salsa on top of a couple of mine, and that was good too. I had baked the leftover filling (the recipe calls for medium green peppers, but just get big ones if you do it,) in a pyrex dish with cheddar cheese on top, and then we put that over Xochitl brand tortilla chips and salsa to make a side dish. Yum!

Here’s a link to download the recipe:
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers