First night – which I’m not counting for obvious reasons as you’ll see – we had homemade vegetable fried rice and I replicated the Applebee’s spinach and shrimp salad with – here it is – warm bacon vinaigrette. We eeeaaased into the vegetarian thing!
It was yummy! If you’ve ever had this salad at Applebee’s you know how wonderful it is. You have to have sesame seed oil for fried rice – it MAKES the fried rice (that and the soy sauce anyways). And a little egg scrambled in too. And green onions. I should just put the whole damn recipe here.
Cook some brown rice however you like to cook it (I microwave it).
Saute some chopped onions in some oil – I used olive oil, but you should use peanut oil, but olive oil worked just fine. Drop an egg or two in and scramble that up. Throw in the cooked rice and fry it up. Actually throw in some frozen peas and carrots too at this point. That’s good. And I don’t even like frozen peas and carrots. When you can tell it’s done (I don’t have a good tip for that. I guess when the veggies are no longer frozen), throw in some chopped up green onions (ya know the chivey looking things? Scallions.) and some soy sauce, and finally a dash or two of sesame seed oil and WA LA! Fried rice!
The salad –
For the dressing, I used Olde Cape Cod Toasted Sesame, Soy, and Ginger salad dressing and marinade. You put some in a pan, add a couple teaspoons of brown sugar and some crumbled bacon, and warm it up. (Oh, yeah, you might want to cook some bacon first.) ***Warning: This is not a vegetarian recipe!
When the dressing is warmed up, throw in the fresh spinach and stir it up just enough to get it all covered in dressing and a little wilty. Dish out the spinach onto plates or just arrange it fancily on a fancy serving platter, and top with sliced tomatoes or whatever tomatoes you like (perhaps you like cherry or grape tomatoes? Hmm?) and sliced red onion, chopped green onion, and almond slivers (or messy chopped bits and crumbs of almonds, which I used), and top with some grilled shrimp (grill your shrimp with the same dressing/marinade – yummy!)
REAL First night – I made pesto mashed potatoes and grilled summer squash, and salad. The pesto recipe calls for walnuts (protein!) that you stick in the blender with minced garlic, olive oil, basil (well I used Knorr pesto mix – probably 10x better with some fresh basil) and fresh grated parmesan cheese (not that stuff in the green shaker can). Boil some potatoes (with the skin left on is best), and mash them up with the pesto. The summer squash was brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with basil, slathered with minced garlic, and covered with parmesan cheese, and then grilled on the grill. Extremely yummilicious!
Second night – (Note: We have not been having meat for breakfast or lunch either, but our breakfasts and lunches just aren’t that exciting to write about.) – We had some concoction I made in the crockpot the day before with shredded cabbage, pinto beans, diced canned italian tomatoes, small can of tomato sauce, dillweed, and minimal allspice. ( I wasn’t too sure I should put much of that in.) We had that over brown rice. Wasn’t too bad. Tasted better on the 3rd day when I had it for lunch.
Third night – I made meatless lasagna – scratch that – Ron made it. It was made with whole wheat rotini, Italian diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, a mixture of cottage cheese, spinach, basil, minced garlic, fennel seed (for that sausagey flavor without the belly) and I’m not sure what else he put in it, but he mixed this all in a pan, sprinkled moz and parm cheese on top, and baked it. Very good.
Fourth night – Tonight we had mushroom casserole and green beans with almonds. Another hit! (Well, not so much with Jamie, but Sarah gobbled it up and so did we!) Slice mushrooms (2 lbs), saute them in olive oil or butter (if you dare! You really should use butter, really.) while you boil a package of whole wheat egg noodles. Then you non-stick spray or oil a baking dish and put in 1/3 of the noodles, then 1/3 of the swiss cheese (forgot to mention – shredd a block of swiss cheese), then 1/3 of the sauted mushrooms, then layer again, then again, and dot with a few dots of butter/margarine/whatever. Then bake 350 25 minutes, and Wa La! (And yes, I know that’s not how you spell “Ouie-lah!” I’m just being goofy.)
Oh, and right after you put this in the oven, take the pan you sauted the mushrooms in (should be some yummy mushroomy juice left over) and throw in some fresh green beans, stir them for a bit, cover the pan and let them steam, saute, simmer for awhile (the green beans will take as long to fully cook as the casserole is in the oven) (Actually, as I was doing this I was thinking I should have boiled the green beans first. You might want to do that.), stir every so often so they don’t burn, and when they’re close to done, scrape them off to one side and throw a little extra butter in the now empty part of the pan and throw in some chopped up or slivered almonds. Saute those for a couple of minutes. Squirt with some lemon juice and then mix it all up with the green beans. Cover them back up and turn the heat off and just let them steam for 5 or 10 minutes while you click into my blog for some quick waiting-for-dinner-to-cook reading!