Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eggplant, Eggs, Asian-veggies & canned Apricots

So last night I met a friend that I haven't seen in a really long time and we decided to go to a favorite restaurant in St. Paul, MN called Black Sea. It's the cutest little ma' and pa' shop with cheap Turkish food and excellent service and atmosphere! If you've never been there, you need to RUN, not walk, there!!!

With my new vegetarian lifestyle comes the need for trying new things. I've had eggplant maybe once before and just remember not liking it. But, since discovering that I never really "tasted" my food, I knew I should probably give it another try. My friend convinced me that fried eggplant is delicious, so I thought I'd try it. (Plus, paying $2.50 for a small order was not that much, if I ended up not liking it). To my surprise, it was delicious! It reminded me of squash, but with a sweeter taste. And I have no idea what kind of sauce they used, but it was soooo good!!! Anyway, the point of the story is: after truly TASTING eggplant, I actually like it. It's opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me... eggplant parmigiana, eggplant lasagna, etc! Oh P.S. I didn't care for the skin of the eggplant... too tough for my liking.

Poll: What Vegetarian cookbooks would you recommend (especially if they're kid-friendly)? I went to Barnes and Noble last night and my head was spinning with all the cookbooks!

So, this morning I made scrambled egg whites for my daughter and me. I'm a little weird-ed out by eggs since becoming Vegetarian. Some Vegetarians cut out all dairy and I think I've mentioned that I haven't. I don't drink cow's milk anymore, cause it just doesn't make sense to me to drink milk a) as an adult b) of another mammal and c) laced with hormones and chemicals. However, I love cheese and eggs. Or at least I did. I started researching what exactly an egg is. Gross. Look it up sometime. For those of you who thought it was sick that Tom Cruise wanted to eat the placenta that his daughter lived in while in utero... well, eggs are something like that. So, as I was eating my scrambled egg whites this morning, all I could think of was what this egg really was, or was supposed to be anyway. And mixed with the texture, well, it gagged me and I couldn't finish it.

Truth be told, Vegetarians don't necessarily eat better than meat-eaters. There are plenty of processed, not-good-for-you "treats" out there that a Vegetarian could fixate on. So, while I was making lunch, all I could think of was, "I could totally eat those donuts for lunch and no one would know. I mean I don't even LIKE these veggies." History: I forgot, quite often, to TASTE my food. Food was my drug. I was used to having a "numbing-effect" associated with putting food into my mouth. But today, I made the better decision... I decided to forgo the donuts calling my name in the pantry and silence them with the veggies instead. What a pleasant surprise! It's amazing the things you discover when you actually start enjoying your food again. I bought a bag of Archer Farms Asian-blend veggies from Target a long time ago, which had been sitting in my freezer for awhile. I decided to steam them in the bag them already come in, according to the package directions. They came out vibrant and absolutely delicious! There were mini corn-on-the-cobs, sugar snap peas, red peppers, water chestnuts and edamame. I knew I liked water chestnuts and edamame, but I never liked sugar snap peas or red peppers. But, today, they were amazing! The sugar snap peas had excellent flavor - the "picked fresh from the garden" type and had a satisfying crunch to them. The red peppers were sweet and tasted like they were fresh off the grill! Another surprising discovery... I didn't care for the baby corn-on-the-cob. I thought I would. I've liked them in the past, but I didn't.

Lastly, since it's hard to find apricots this time of the season, I bought the canned kind. Ewe. There's not much to say, other than they were pure mush and grossness. Never Again.

So, there you have it! Discovering what foods you like and don't like is fun!!!

Fried Eggplant (minus skin), Steamed Red Peppers, Steamed Sugar Snap Peas = +1
Scrambled Egg Whites, Steamed Baby Corn-on-the-Cob = 0