of all let me preface this article by stating that I am not
a vegetarian. I have always been a meat and potatoes (or rice)
kind of gal. Dining on just a salad was never my style and probably
never will be. That said I know that there are many of our subscribers
who are vegetarians and are always looking for new and delicious
vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
In the past I have always thought that a
pure vegetarian meal was just not substantial enough for me.
However, while researching this article, Ive discovered
that partially that was due to the way I envisioned my plate
or "a plate" of a vegetarian entrée. I always
envisioned a plate of rice, relatively bland pasta and a combination
of mixed vegetables
or a plate of some vegetable mixed
.or God-forbid a tofu burger. After all Im
already giving up the bun please dont make me
give up the beef burger! But what Ive discovered is
that vegetarian dining doesnt have to be that way. It
is truly a matter of shifting ones paradigm and essentially
adopting a new way of eating.
Putting together any meal, especially a
gluten-free meal takes planning and prep work. Much of the
success relies on a true balancing act: creating meals that
not only fit your budget but your time budget and meals that
please all members of the family. Planning vegetarian meals
requires even more consideration and often the re-thinking
of common assumptions. What makes a main dish "main"?
When eating vegetarian, what makes dinner different from lunch
or even breakfast? Successful vegetarian menu planning often
eliminates the need to offer a "main" dish and several
side dishes. Instead a better way to consider vegetarian meals
is to embrace the concept of complimenting component dishes.
Rather than a meal having a single focus, this concept enables
you to have a number of smaller dishes and a complimenting
rice or starchy grain to serve as a background note, if you
will. This does not necessarily mean that you need to cook
more, (to produce multiple smaller dishes) just more wisely.
When making rice, dont just make enough rice for tonights
dinner, make enough for 2 nights. Or when making beans always
make enough for leftovers. Beans can show up in tonights
salad and in tomorrows soup. So prior planning is truly
critical to those on a vegetarian and gluten-free diet.
This month weve not only developed
some new & delicious, gluten-free vegetarian dishes but
wed also like to offer some menu suggestions. Im
not sure that I myself am ready to give up my steak &
potatoes but I truly have gained an appreciation for all things
Happy Vegetarian Eating!!!