Now I know I am probably going hear a resounding "I told you so" from several of you who teased me when I first started dating Steven that I too would become a vegetarian. At the time, I was vehemently against the idea and instantly denied that giving up meat was even an option.
Well about two and a half years later I suppose I now get to eat my words, as I am currently 95% vegetarian. The other 5% being for any situations where not eating meat isn't an option/might offend someone (like in Europe).
Now I don't have any scientific or emotional reasons for becoming mostly vegetarian. Since moving in with Steven (who is vegetarian pretty much all the time) it just became an easy option. I found out that I really liked a lot of the meat substitutes, and in general I just feel better when not eating meat.
One positive about making the vegetarian switch is that I can still enjoy a lot of the meals I loved when I ate meat on a regular basis. So, for anyone out there thinking of switching to a low-meat diet (or is feeling particularly daring), I'm going to try to start sharing some yummy vegetarian recipes when I make them.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite dishes was an Italian Sausage Bake that my mom used to make. For awhile, it was a dish that I missed since it was quick & easy to make and tasted great. That is, until I discovered Trader Joe's Italian Sausage-less Sausage.
Now, I'll admit that a lot of veggie sausages taste gross, but this is definitely an exception. It's never going to taste like actual Italian Sausage, granted, but it does have a very nice flavor and texture to it. I highly recommend them!
As I mentioned before, this recipe is really easy to make. All you need is:
(1) Pack of Trader Joe's Italian Sausage-less Sausage
(8) Small red potatoes
(3) Bell peppers (any color)
(3) Cloves of garlic
Preheat the oven to 375 and chop up your ingredients. I usually cut the potatoes into eighths, the peppers and onion in long slivers, and dice the garlic. Then, toss all of the veggies into a 5 Qt oblong baking dish (I prefer Pyrex), add enough olive oil so that the potatoes won't bake to the bottom and stick in in the oven. After about 30 minutes, when the potatoes are about halfway cooked, add the sausage-less sausage on top of the veggies (if using real sausage add it in the beginning with the vegetables). This keeps the sausage-less sausage from drying out, and still allows it time to soak up the flavors of the vegetables.
After about another 20 minutes, flip the sausages over an allow them to brown on the opposite side. Dinner is served when the potatoes are cooked all the way through (I find that this time can vary). Last night I paired it with a delicious salad and glass of Merlot... yummy!
Expect more recipes soon, dear Blogland! Steven and I are on a mission to stop being lazy by visiting the grocery store on a regular basis and making more meals at home. It'll be nice to save some green by not eating out all the time.