Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Veggie Me!

I have several friends who are vegetarians; hopefully some of you are reading this right now. All of them happen to be very healthy happy people, not that my carnivorous friends aren’t a happy bunch, but it’s a generalization I’m comfortable making. So, in the constant pursuit of a happy healthy me I took a look at my regular diet and tried to figure out where I could cut out the meat. Little did I know what a big task I was setting myself up for…

This post will have to be a running entry, as I’m still in the process of “vegging out” my diet but I have found a few good resources during my research. At first, I didn’t realize how often I ordered, or added meat to my daily lunches and dinners. It’s an easy fix to add more protein and flavor to a lot of my recipes. But, with meat comes fat, calories and that really stuffed feeling that makes you want to lie down and not move for the next 24 hours. So, how can I add more veggies into my weekly meals without feeling half full from a flavorless meal once I walk away from the table?

So far, I’ve been researching and creating summertime veggie recipes from several stellar cookbooks. Already, I’ve replaced my favorite sandwich (Roast Beef) with an amazing veggie sandwich (Moroccan Carrot and Goat Cheese with Green Olive Tapenade – recipe below). I've also found several new ways around turning to chicken, my old best friend, to provide flavor in my salads, pastas and sandwiches. And, I’ve ultimately narrowed down my “meat intake” to several times a week instead of a couple times a day.

Ok, so I’m not going to stop going to my favorite meaty restaurants like This Little Piggy for the city’s most delectable roast beef sandwich, or Porchetta for the most amazing roasted pork known to man or even the Spotted Pig for a blue cheese burger from heaven, but I am going to pay attention to how much meat I eat each week, and how the aftermath of these meals affect my body.

Do you have any veggie recipes that tickle your flavor buds and make you feel like a million bucks? Please send them along!

Moroccan Carrot and Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Green Olive Tapenade
Gourmet | August 2002
Yield: Makes 6 sandwiches
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 1/2 hours

For carrots
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 lb medium carrots (8)

For tapenade
1 1/4 cups green olives (6 to 7 oz) such as Cerignola or picholine, pitted
3 tablespoons drained bottled capers, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 flat anchovy fillet, chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

For sandwiches
12 slices good-quality pumpernickel sandwich bread
6 oz soft mild goat cheese (3/4 cup) at room temperature

Special equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer

Prepare carrots:
Whisk together sugar, lemon juice, spices, salt, and oil in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved.
Halve carrots crosswise on a long diagonal, then, starting from diagonal ends, cut into 1/16-inch-thick slices using slicer. Cook carrots in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 45 seconds. Drain well in a colander and immediately toss with dressing. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then marinate, covered and chilled, at least 4 hours.

Make tapenade and assemble sandwiches:
Pulse olives with capers, parsley, anchovy, zest, lemon juice, and pepper in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then scrape down side of bowl with a rubber spatula. Pulsing motor, add oil in a slow stream and continue to pulse until mixture is finely chopped (do not pulse to a paste).
Spread tapenade on 6 slices of bread and goat cheese on remaining 6 slices, then make sandwiches with carrots.

Cooks' notes:
·Carrots can marinate up to 2 days.
· Tapenade can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered.


Anonymous said...

Sounds great...Would be better with Merguez.

Lost in Harlem said...

Ohhhhhh- What's Merguez? I'm intrigued

Kate said...

oh that sounds so good! I find i can go vegetarian pretty easily during breakfast and lunch & it usually forces me to get something with more vegetables, aka more nutrition. I generally like the vegetarian option on lunch menus, too because it usually includes one of my 2 favorite things: hummus or avocado :)