Friday, August 27, 2010

Vegetarian Dinner

You may recall that I’m not a big lover of veggies.  Getting veggies from the CSA every week has been “stretching” me!!  I’ve eaten beets, kohlrabi, zucchini, and yellow squash.  OK, I do eat yellow squash pretty often, but the others were new for me.  And I like meat!  But, I branched out today.

Tonight’s dinner was completely vegetarian, although it did include eggs and cheese.  I made Spinach Pie with CSA onions and spinach from the grocery store and Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with the spaghetti squash from the CSA.  And, of course, much of the cheese was made locally (although I can’t vouch for the gruyere).

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I’m trying out various things for the Spinach Pie to make it less bland.  This time, I made a homemade butter pie crust and added the lattices to the top which really helped make it more “fancy”.  I used about 3/4 the amount of spinach that I normally use and then added more Cheddar cheese as well as adding a fair amount (1/2 – 3/4 cup) of Gruyere.  The flavor was definitely more robust, but I think it still needs more of the stronger cheeses.

The Spaghetti Squash pancakes were mostly my own creation.  I cooked the spaghetti squash in the oven (after cutting it in half) in a small amount of water.  After it cooled down, I removed the seeds (much easier after it’s cooked, I learned tonight) and then pulled the “spaghetti” part of the squash out of the shell and put it in a bowl.  I added Parmesan cheese (not sure how much, but it should have been more!) and about 1/2 cup of flour, a generous amount of dried basil, and some salt.  It looked a little dry, so I added 2 eggs and then needed to add another 1/4 cup (or so) of flour.  I pan-fried them in a little olive oil.  Overall, I’m pretty happy with them.  Next time, they need more Parmesan cheese and more salt and, perhaps, more flour.  I’ll play around with it and see how it goes.

The family was very satisfied with it.  Of course, Rosie Girl and PWM liked it, but they were also willing to give me some helpful suggestions.  One of the kids’ friends was over and she seemed to enjoy the meal.  Wild Man, though, had leftover pizza.  I hope he’ll try the pancakes next time.  He’s already tried the Spinach Pie and I think it will take some work to convince him that it’s different enough from previous for him to try it again.  Ah, well, the boy eats cucumbers and carrots like they’re going out of style.  I won’t stress about it.

One thing that has been harder for us to eat is beets.  I did roast some the first time and then mixed the beet slices with some oil, vinegar, and spices, put the slices on French bread, sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese, and broiled it.  PWM was the only one who really liked it, although Rosie Girl and I ate some.  Wild Man did taste it, but didn’t really care for it.  I have discovered, though, that I can add some pureed beets to my brownie batter and then we can’t even taste it.  It’s kind of cheating, but at least we ate the beets – LOL!

So, what kind of vegetarian meals do you like?  Do you enjoy your time in the kitchen?  This was definitely not a quick and easy meal, but I was in a cooking mood and really enjoyed it!


Anonymous said...

Does your family like fresh garlic? Mine loves it and it makes a great accent in spinach pie.

Your lattice crust is GORGEOUS, btw!

Catherine said...

That sounds great! I did put a little garlic in this time, but I can see how more garlic might help accent the rest of the flavors.


Kimberly said...

I make a spinach and feta cheese pizza that's really good and super easy to make! I can email ya the recipe if you're interested. I can't say that E eats it but C likes it. :) Maybe if spinach is in "pizza" form, Wild Man will eat it. /:>) I also make black bean and goat cheese quesadillas. It's my "go-to" when I forget to thaw out meat. Again, super easy to make, good and healthy food. I haven't tried cooking my butternut squash yet but I think I'm going to tonight. Maybe I'll grow spaghetti squash next year!!!!