Vegetarian fast food

I decided to try psychologically subversive techniques on my daughter. She is notoriously bad at eating. She’s busy all the time and rarely stops to eat and when she does it’s rarely healthy.

I have ranted and raved about her eating all to no avail. So I took out the effort issue. We’ll see if it helps get her to eat.

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This is my version of vegetarian fast food. I made up some salads and stuck them in portioned containers. Hopefully she’ll eat it…

Turkey or not turkey?

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I wanted a turkey dinner but not the effort. So I got one of the Jenny-O Turkey roasts. I’ve always liked the turkey roasts. They only take a couple of hours and poof you’ve got a lovely turkey and gravy dinner. Just add potatoes.
But…
Then there’s the vegetarian daughter… What to feed her?
How about a Quorn Tutk’y Roast?
ingredients (I still don’t know what exactly the fake turkey is made out of even though I’ve read the ingredients repeatedly.)

Well… I made them. I enjoyed the Hell out if mine and my daughter was so excited she ate two helpings. She said she wanted to “eat this for dinner every night”. Umm…yeah. I don’t really think so but I’m glad she’s happy.

Here’s the thing though, weirdly enough they almost taste the same. Kinda freaks me out. If it’s not made of turkey then why does it taste like turkey. I mean I know that is the point but it’s weird!
I’m glad that there are meat replacement products that can give vegetarians a similar meal experience to carnivores. I know it makes my daughter uncomfortable sometimes when she has to be singled out to have a different meal. The thing that worries me is whether or not I’m helping or harming her by serving strange concoctions that are meatless meat.
Shoot me if you wanna but all I can think of is “Soylent Green is people!”
Just saying…

Mexican lasagna vegetarian alternative

Ok so you all know about my menu issues right? In an effort to accommodate my vegetarian I have had to adapt a lot of recipes. Well, one of my very favorite dishes Mexican Lasagna had to be integrated into the vegetarian diet. You have to understand this is an awesome simple meal that my daughter’s friends all ask for the recipe. I LOVE THIS THING!

Okay, so I had to make it in two versions. The regular and the vegetarian. I will explain both.

First I use cheap ingredients, what can I say we are on a budget. So ground beef and cans of pinto beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, and corn. Some spring onions,taco seasoning with water, tortillas, cream cheese, and some shredded cheese.20140719-141734-51454343.jpg

Chop up your spring onions. Then brown the ground beef. Drain the beans and tomatoes.

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In another pan saute the spring onions just for a bit, until they are smelling good then dump the tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans and some corn. Cook it over medium heat for a bit until it’s bubbling. Keep stirring it. When the beef is browned, add taco seasoning to it ( about a 1/4 cup of loose seasoning or one package mix) and water enough to make it mix in well. You can following the directions on the package for regular taco meat.

Then add about a 1/4 cup of taco seasoning to the bean mixture and stir it in. This shouldn’t need any water. Let all this cook for a bit while you prepare the tortillas.

Spread the cream cheese on the tortilla like frosting, cover the whole surface. Then roll it up jelly roll style. Just start at one end and roll with the cream cheese in the middle. You’ll want enough tortilla rolls to make one layer across the pan.

Once you are done with this. Mix some of the bean mixture into the taco meat. Then pour some of the mixture into the bottom of a pan. As you can see I did one pan with vegetarian(Left) and one with meat(Right).

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Then layer the shredded cheese over the top. Once there is a good covering of cheese layer the tortillas across the pan.

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Then another layer of meat or veggie mix. Try to spread if evenly across the tortillas.

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Then of course a final layer of cheese.

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Throw it in the oven on about 350 until the cheese melts and if you like the crunchy consistency to the cheese on top then after the cheese melts then just turn the oven to broil and wait a few minutes. At this point keep an eye on it. It can burn fast under the broiler.

Leah said that she really liked the meatless version. So thought I would share. I think that next time I will make them in loaf pans. Normally I make one pan this size for 4 of us and with two pans this size and only 3 of us eating, it lasted way too long. We were eating leftover lasagna for days. Or maybe I’ll freeze the extra, who knows?

 

Best dad and husband ever!

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So my husband hasn’t been home in a while. Been gone for 6 weeks for work. He’s home for a visit and it’s wonderful. The kids are loving it. He even went out and BBQ’d some vegetarian burgers just for my daughter because she is vegetarian and wouldn’t eat the pulled pork sandwiches that we were having. I always try to make her something vegetarian if we are having meat but I’ve never gone through all the trouble to fire up the barbecue just for two tiny burgers.
I love my husband.

Vegetarian Lasagna with pesto white sauce

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I made this for my daughter, who is now a vegetarian, and my son loved it too. WEIRD!

Make your lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. While those are boiling make your filling.

Ingredients:

Lasagna noodles

Chopped asparagus

Chopped spring onions

Chopped peppers (I used the little sweet ones that are red and yellow and orange)

Chopped fresh broccoli and cauliflower

Basil

Oregano

Rosemary

Cream of Mushroom soup

Milk

Pesto

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Filling:

Saute in very little olive oil the onions, peppers and the asparagus.

add some basil, oregano, and rosemary for flavor (I didn’t measure)

When they are starting to get a little soft add the broccoli and the cauliflower. Cook just a little then add Cream of Mushroom soup. Mix in some milk to make it into a decent sauce. Then add a good tablespoon of Pesto.

Layer the noodles with the filling and layers of cheese then bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted. I turn it to broil just a the end to get the cheese crispy on top.

Enjoy!

 

 

Waffles are my friends!

A few days ago I was ranting about menu conflicts in my house.
I wanted to say a little more in that subject. There are some magic meals that everyone eats and I can actually relax and enjoy a meal.
Waffles! Waffles are my friends!
Every single person in the family loves waffles. Even my son who seems to be a run-by-the-table eater will sit and scarf down several waffles with no argument. And you can make them in so many flavors! Like gingerbread or chocolate chip, or blueberry, or apple, or really anything you can think of and then you can add fruit sauces or berry syrups! AHH! YEAH WAFFLES! You saved my sanity!
It truly is the little victories that keep us going.

Seriously, how hard can dinner be?

I know that most of you are thinking right now…what she can’t cook? Of course I can cook! I kick ass cooking or baking, just ask any of my daughters friends. No, I’m complaining about menu planning.

I have in my house, a vegetarian, a carnivore, a very picky autistic kid, and me who will take what she can get. Do you have any idea how hard it is to plan meals on a tight budget when no one will eat the same things! I usually end up making way more food than I need to because I’m trying to make sure that everyone is getting the nutritional intake that they need for their respective lifestyles. My husband sticks to meaty kind of meals because his job is very demanding physically and he needs it. My daughter is a teenager that is active in sports and a vegetarian…hello you need more calories than lettuce gives!! Then there is my son who is just a non stop cracker and milk fiend.How do I make sure they stay healthy?

I grew up with meat, potatoes, vegetable and if you were still hungry there was bread and jelly. Now I’m cooking¬†vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Italian, etc, etc,,, You name it I’m trying to cook it. I love the different types of food but liking doesn’t make it all fit. Unfortunately some diets cancel out others. Like a lot of the vegetarian meat substitutes are made from gluten. Well that doesn’t work with a gluten free diet. Then there is the Indian food which is very vegetarian and yummy but it is very spicy and that is not good for me. My body doesn’t really like spicy. I like the taste just not the effect.

I’m getting to the point where I feel like a restaurant every night. And the cost! Holy Crap-a-moley some of this stuff is insanely expensive. I live in rural Montana! This is not the land of variety shopping especially for the specialized diets!

I don’t even want to cook any more. I’m losing my enthusiasm for new recipes and experimenting. Can someone just magically whack my family with a dinner wand and everyone will eat what I make?!?!?! PLEASE!