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Preview: Meatless Munchies

Meatless Munchies

Updated: 2018-03-02T09:25:54.140-08:00


Banana Splits for Breakfast!


Split a banana, lengthwise, and spread with peanut butter. Drizzle with agave syrup and sprinkle with raisins. NOM.

Vegetable Rotini w/ "Sausage"


I'm going to try and remember to get a picture of this the next time I make it and update here, but we ate it already and pictures of empty bowls aren't nearly as appetizing. :)

This is one of the few vegetarian recipes I've made that the kids really liked, so I don't want to lose it!

1 tube Gimme Lean Sausage
1 large zuchinni
1 large yellow squash
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Lemon pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)
1 box rotini pasta

Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain, toss with olive oil and set aside.  Dice zuchinni, squash, and garlic.

Coat large frying pan with olive oil and fry Gimme Lean Sausage. Add squash mixture and fry until heated through and vegetables are to desired tenderness. Season with lemon pepper to taste.

Toss pasta with squash and sausage mixture and top with parmesan cheese.

The kids loved this and so did I! The Man would have nothing to do with it. More for us! I'm sure you could add any veggies to this, I just happened to have the zuchinni and squash. If I had some cherry tomatoes I would have tossed them in as well.

First Green Smoothie!


Today is my first green smoothie. I used the recipe that Green Mom Zoe shares on her blog which I'll type out here.

This makes 2 smoothies:
2 cups almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 apple
1/2 mango
handful of sprouts
2 cups kale

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth.

It's a very fresh tasting, lightly sweet drink. I made it for the kids and I, but Goober and Munchkin refuse to drink it even though I attempted to tell them it was a Nickelodeon Slime Smoothie. Goober says it tastes like grass - and I can totally understand where he's coming from.

The first sip, I have to admit, did taste like grass. It really does take a few sips to get past it. But I'm now halfway through my smoothie and I'm honestly over the grass taste. Now it just tastes sweet to me.

I'm not sure if there's a better way to convince the other two kids to drink it. Maybe put more fruit in to make it sweeter... Bug thinks it tastes good and is drinking it up, which is wonderful because he's the one I'd like to get on a more vegan diet more than any of them.

Update on the Cornbread!


Veggie Tofu has posted an alternative to the Jiffy cornbread mix so we can have truly yummy truly vegetarian cornbread. WOOT!

From her blog:

Cornbread Mix

4 cup all purpose Flour
4 cup yellow Cornmeal
2 cup instant nonfat Milk Powder or dry Buttermilk Powder
2/3 cup granulated Sugar
4 tablespoons Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Baking Soda

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir with a wire whisk until evenly distributed. Pour into a 10-cup container with a tight fitting lid. Seal container. Label with date and contents. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 10 to 12 weeks. Makes about 10 cups Cornbread Mix.


1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup Water
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1-1/4 cups Cornbread Mix

Preheat oven to 425F (220 C). Grease a 5" x 3" loaf pan. In a bowl beat together egg, water, and oil. Stir in Cornbread Mix until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. makes 1 loaf.


Adding grated cheddar cheese on top before baking is wonderful

1/2 cup of frozen corn to the batter

Thanks! Next time I make chili I'll bring out this recipe. ;)

Just Add Water Pancake Mix


8 cups flour
1.5 cups dry milk (the powdered stuff)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons baking powder

Store in airtight container. Combine 1 cup mix with about 1/2 cup water (more or less depending on how you like your batter) and cook as normal.



Must try that!

Easy Baked Ziti


Obviously this can be made with meat and sometimes I do make it with Italian Sausage. It's very easy to throw together when I don't have a lot of time and tastes great meatless.

1 package ziti
1 jar spaghetti sauce (whatever you like)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
4 or 5 slices provolone
Parmesan cheese to taste

Preheat oven to 350 or 400 (I usually make a loaf of frozen garlic bread with this and I just preheat the oven to whatever the garlic bread calls for)

Cook ziti just and drain
Pour cooked ziti back into pot and pour jar of sauce on top
Stir in mozzarella cheese while pasta is hot
Cover top with provolone

Bake in oven for 5 to 10 minutes (again, however long the garlic bread calls for)

Serve with a green salad

Rachael Ray's Pumpkin Lasagna


I was watching Rachael Ray's show today and she was making this lasagna that isn't at all meatless. Totally has sausage in it. Here's the recipe on her site but I'm going to try to make this meatless when I get a chance.

Boca has that Italian sausage I could try. Ya think?


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 1/2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey, whatever you like), casings removed
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk (eyeball it)
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Few dashes fresh nutmeg
  • 1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Yields: 4-6 servings

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, breaking the meat up as it cooks with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Push the meat to one side of the pan and add the eggplant, onion and garlic. Cook 7-8 minutes, until tender, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the veggies are cooking, place a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into roux, breaking up any clumps. Bring the mixture to a bubble and add the pumpkin puree and nutmeg. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Spread about 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9" casserole dish. Layer three lasagna noodles over the sauce, then top them with about 1 cup of the meat mixture, a cup or so of the sauce and a palmful of cheese. Repeat these layers two times, topping the casserole with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles, sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake the lasagna until the sauce is bubbling and pasta is baked through, about 45 minutes.

During the last ten minutes of baking, remove the aluminum foil to brown the cheese. Once out of the oven, allow the dish to rest a few minutes before serving.

Sweet and White Potato Salad with Mixed Greens


I found this today and thought it looked great to try!

Sweet and White Potato Salad with Mixed Greens
6 or more servings

1 large sweet potato
4 medium white potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold or red-skinned
1/2 cup vinaigrette (homemade or store-bought), or as needed to moisten potatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 ounces (or as desired) mixed baby greens
1 cup (1/2 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
Toasted pumpkin seeds for topping

Microwave the sweet potato for 3 minutes or so, just until done but still nice and firm. Then, microwave the white potatoes, starting with 5 minutes, then adding 1 minute until they, too, are done but still firm. Plunge the sweet potato and white potatoes into a bowl of cold water. If you prefer not to microwave, you can bake all the potatoes ahead of time.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into dice. Combine in a mixing bowl with vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper.

Line a large serving platter with the greens. Mound the potato mixture in the center.

Scatter the tomatoes and avocado around the perimeter of the salad. Top the potato mixture with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Serve at once; pass around additional vinaigrette as desired.

Cornbread - There's Somethin Wrong With That


(Edit: It has been pointed out to me that the Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix contains animal products. I truly apologize for including it in the recipe. It was irresponsible of me to not read the label and just assume there would be no animal fat in corn muffin mix. I'm still learning to read EVERY label. Thanks VeggieTofu for pointing that out!)Today is Chili & Cornbread day.I love chili. Seriously, I could eat chili every day and be a happy camper. One of the things I miss most about eating meat is eating my mom's chili. So when deciding to give up the beef I knew I'd have to learn how to make a rump kickin vegetarian chili. I think I succeeded with this one.Vegetarian Chili1 tablespoon olive oil1/4 to 1/2 chopped white onion3 packets Boca Meatless Ground Burger (= 1 1/2 pounds ground beef) (this stuff is truly wonderful... I use it in everything)1 teaspoon ground pepper1 teaspoon garlic salt2 1/2 cups tomato sauce (or a can of Manwich)1 8 oz jar salsa (as hot as you like)4 or 5 tablespoons Chili seasoning2 15 oz cans chili beans or kidney beans, rinsed & drained1 can corn, drained (I like Del Monte's southwestern corn for this)salt & pepper to tastegrated cheddar and sour cream to top1. Heat oil in large pan and saute onion. 2. Add everything else and reduce heat to low for 1 hour.3. Serve in bowl, topped with grated cheese & a dollop of sour cream.YUM.Everyone ate this up like it was their last meal. As for the cornbread! I like my cornbread moist and sweet. Don't give me any of that dry stuff that sticks in your throat and crumbles off when you pick it up. I don't want to have to add a vat of butter to it to make it edible. I don't know if you've ever had Boston Market's cornbread but that stuff is just what I love. So after several attempts to make my own like theirs, I finally hit upon the right recipe. Someone had suggested this on a forum years ago and I've been making it this way ever since. 1/2 a box of yellow cake mix and one box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix some other actually vegetarian corn bread mix. Follow package directions on each box for the batter. Half the ingredients needed for the cake mix, of course, since you're only using 1/2 the box. Mix the batters together and bake according to the corn muffin mix directions. (If you can find Jiffy Yellow Cake Mix, which I can't seem to anymore, you can use a full box of that to the full box of Corn Muffin Mix... just makes things easier.... not that it could get MUCH easier. leave it on the shelf because it probably has animal fat in it, too!)Sean calls is Corn Cake but I don't care. It's delicious and absolutely PERFECT with the chili. Please comment if you've tried or plan to try any recipes, let me know what you changed and how it tasted! Thanks![...]

My new sweetener



I had a dilemma. A sugar dilemma. We all know sugar is bad. Not just for our bodies but for the fact that most of it is processed through animal bone and that makes me sort of feel icky. (I did learn, though, that Florida Crystals which is the company that provides most of the sugar in my area and I can literally drive a mile to bask in the endless fields of sugar cane they grow does not use animal bone to process their sugar. Yay for them!) So I'm trying to decrease the amount of processed sugar I take in.

Then there was Equal. Aspartame. I've heard so many evils about aspartame I could write a book. In fact, I think people have written books. Oh look, yes they have. So that was out.

Next I looked into Sweet N Low. Saccharin. Cancer causing saccharin. What a deceiving little pink packet! Who coats cancer in baby pink?

Then we have Splenda. Sucralose. My current chemical of choice. Sucralose has been found to cause a shrunken thymus gland and therefore lower immunity and also enlarges the liver. Yipee... next.

There is also Stevia which evidently isn't bad for you but I find the taste to be nose scrunching.

So yesterday while shopping I noticed this Blue Agave Sweetener located next to the honey. I figured, what the heck? It's even vegan! It does have calories but a really low glycemic index (27) so definitely not bad like sugar.

Today I sort of forgot I bought it actually. I had my first cup of coffee the way I always do. Splenda with Fat Free Creamer. Bring on the chemicals! But then I went for a second cup and as I was reaching again for the Splenda I remembered. So I grabbed the new Agave stuff.

I squirted a bit into my cup... probably about 1/2 a tablespoon so only 30 calories. I stirred, I tasted.

It is heaven. I didn't even need the creamer. The syrup took all the bitterness out of the coffee and made a nice smooth sweet beverage. Delicious. I can't wait to try it in other stuff!

Your Daily Propaganda Video


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Thanks Jenny for sending this to me. I'm horrified... rehorrified I guess, for I knew this sort of thing happened. It's one of the reasons I've stopped eating meat.

But to know this meat is shipped to schools?? Extra horrifying.

Here's an interesting article detailing more about the video and the circumstances:

I'm cross posting this at Slacker Mom.

The cow I fell in love with


I do have a great vegetarian chili recipe, sweet cornbread, and some truffles to post soon and I'll get those posts together just as soon as I find my head, promise.

But right now I don't want to write about that. I want to write about Bessie. I don't know if her name really is Bessie... but I had to call her something.

Sunday we went to the South Florida Fair and at one point we ventured into a tent that had many cows. Some were beef cattle, some were dairy cows. We walked by one incredibly large (1342 pounds to be exact) mama cow and her calf and as we passed she began to cry out. It was a consistent mooing and she pulled against her restraint. Her eyes were wide and she looked scared and frustrated. Though she was tied close to her baby, she wasn't close enough to turn her head and lick her calf or really even see him. Everyone just walked on by, ignoring her... but I couldn't just walk by. I wanted to calm her, I wanted to loosen her restraints so she could see her baby or whatever it was that she needed.

My sister said "Don't touch her, Beth!" I just had to. I rubbed her neck and she pressed up against my hand and stopped crying out for a moment... it felt good and calmed her a tiny bit. But she was frustrated and continued to pull against the halter that had her tied up. Such a giant, beautiful glossy black cow... fighting against a small piece of nylon rope tied about her face.

I stayed with her for a while but I couldn't help her. I couldn't remove her halter and let her free, I couldn't lengthen her rope, I couldn't do much other than rub her neck and try to calm her a little.

I'm not sure if she was a beef cow or a milk cow and honestly, I don't think my heart could bear knowing for sure so I didn't attempt to find out. Even if she was a milk cow her little male calf obviously wouldn't be.

So there I was, watching the suffering of this animal and wondering how it is that I still support the industry that ties her to a fence, just inches away from her calf and unable to turn her head to look at him. I don't know if I'm ready to jump the vegan fence. I'm still having a hard time with the vegetarian fence. I guess it's a journey and every day I'm learning more.

A Call to Vegetarians


No recipes today... check back Monday for next weeks appetizer. :)

I'm going to throw this post out there even though I know no one is reading it (yet) in the hopes that I will someday get some comments on it because it's something I'm truly curious about.

How vegetarian are you?

I guess it depends on your reasons for becoming a vegetarian. My reasons are that I don't want to cause pain and suffering. Therefore, I don't want to cause death to animals. I realize that our society has advanced enough that I can eat quite comfortably and healthily without eating meat.

So I don't. But how far should I take it? I was reading today that Burger King's veggie burgers are often cooked in the same oil that the meat is cooked in. Should that make me turn my back on the Burger King veggie burger? I can't see why, honestly. Just because it's cooked in the same oil doesn't mean a cow had to suffer for my veggie burger.

Enlighten me, veggie heads. Let me know how vegetarian you are. I want to know where you draw the line and why.

Let the oodles of comments pour in. :)

Black Bean Burgers & Oven Roasted Potatoes


First the Oven Roasted Potatoes as they need about 1/2 hour to cook. This recipe is straight off the back of the Lipton Onion Soup mix box and is super easy. My family loves it.4 potatoes, any variety you like (I used red)1/4 cup olive oil1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix1. Preheat oven to 4252. Chop potatoes into cubes and put in 9 x 13 inch baking dish3. Pour on Olive Oil4. Add Soup Mix, stir.5. Bake for 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally to keep from stickingTo start I made the Chipotle Mayonnaise. You'll need:1/2 cup mayo1/4 cup Ranch Dressing2 to 3 Chipotle Peppers from a can1. Mix the mayo and the ranch dressing2. Finely chop peppers and add to tasteNow on to the burgers:1 16 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed1/2 bell pepper1/2 red onion1 can of corn kernels (I used fiesta corn)3 cloves garlic1 egg1 tablespoon chili powder1 tablespoon cumin1 teaspoon salt1/4 cup salsa1/2 cup bread crumbsIn food processor chop pepper and onion. Add beans and process more. Mix in corn.In another bowl stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, salt, and salsa.Mix egg mixture and bean mixture together, mix in bread crumbs until it's sticky.Make patties and pan fry with olive oil. These can also be grilled or baked on an oiled cookie sheet.Serve on whole wheat buns.How did we like them? Sean liked the mayo but thought it tasted too mayonnaisey. Hmmmm.... He LOVES these potatoes and always asks for more.Two out of three kids liked the burgers but thought they were messy (in the future I may add a little more bread crumbs) and I loved them. All kids liked the potatoes but I always think they're a little too oily. These burgers also freeze well. Just wrap them in wax paper and them place in a freezer bag. Please comment and let me know what you think, if you've tried the burgers, what you changed, and how you liked them![...]

Greek Salad with Homemade Croutons


Greek Salad with Homemade Croûtons

First you'll want to make the croûtons. You'll need:

A small loaf of French bread (about 4 to 6 slices)
5 or 6 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 cloves of garlic (I used the minced garlic in a jar)

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Cut slices of French bread into cubes


3. Melt butter in microwave or on stove top
4. Add garlic to butter and continue to cook about a minute
5. Coat bread cubes in butter mixture and bake on baking sheet for 15 minutes.


For this salad I made a simple dressing but you could use any Greek Dressing. For mine I used:

1 cup Olive Oil
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup red wine vinegar

Mix everything except vinegar, then pour in vinegar and mix vigorously. Store tightly covered at room temperature.


Now on to the salad!

2 hearts romaine lettuce
Sliced Black Olives
Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Red Onion
Feta Cheese

1. Cut lettuce with a non metal knife. I love this ceramic knife my brother in law gave me for Christmas (thanks Eric!). Metal knives will brown the lettuce and this one keeps it nice and fresh. Not only that, but the proceeds from this knife benefit the Susan G Komen Foundation. Only use the nice green parts, discard the parts where it starts to turn white.


2. Slice the onion how you like it and throw everything in the bowl. Top with feta cheese, croûtons, and dressing. Toss and enjoy!


I loved this salad. Two out of three children loved this salad. All children loved the croûtons. Sean hates vinegar and did not like the salad at all, though he couldn't get past the dressing to let me know if he liked the croûtons. :P

As usual, if you tried the salad, dressing, or croûtons, please comment and let me know if you liked them, what you changed, etc. Let me know what you think!

Check in tomorrow for Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Oven Roasted Potatoes!

Blue Cheese Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms


This week's appetizer is Blue Cheese Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms. Keep reading after I've posted the recipe the way I've made them because Sean had a couple suggestions on how they could be even better, and I think I agree. When I make them again I'll post and let y'all know but for now I'll just post the recipe as I made them. ;)

Blue Cheese Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

About 12 to 15 Large Mushrooms
1 cup Ricotta
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 tablespoons pesto
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Wash mushrooms, remove stems, and hollow out caps. I used a Grapefruit spoon to do this with and it worked beautifully. If you have one, use it, if not a regular spoon should do as well.




3. In mixing bowl, combine ricotta, garlic powder, and pesto. Mix in blue cheese.
4. Stuff each cap generously and arrange on a cookie sheet


5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake 25 to 30 minutes until cheese is bubbling.



How did we like them?

I thought they were great! Sean liked them but suggested I add some bread crumbs to the mixture. I agree, I think the texture would be improved. He also sprinkled lemon juice on top (just a little) and it really added to the taste. Two out of three kids loved these mushrooms, too. The third is only four years old and doesn't like anything resembling a vegetable. :)

Please comment and let me know what you think, if you've tried the recipe, what you changed, and how you liked it.

Check in tomorrow for Greek Salad with Homemade Croutons!

Strawberry Torte


This week I'm posting the dessert recipe first as it should be made first if you were planning on making all of this week's recipes together. It should chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours before serving.Let's get on with it.Strawberry TorteThis recipe was adapted from a recipe found here.Shopping for this torte is something I'll call "An Adventure in Lady Finger Education"... Lady Fingers, as it turns out, are quite tricky. I assumed they were cookies and looked for them first in the cookie aisle of our local Super Target. I found no Lady Fingers. Then I looked in the cookie aisle of Publix and found no lady fingers but I did find a delicious cookie that sort of looked like a Lady Finger. It was an Italian coffee cookie and I think it was called Marguerite. I'd tell you but they're gone. The kids and Sean liked them, too. ;) It was while I was strolling through the bakery department of Publix that I spotted these:It was as though the angels were singing to me! I grabbed three packages (and kept those delicious Italian cookies in my cart) and proceeded to the checkout.When the time came to actually make the torte I noticed the original recipe stated that I need "two twelve ounce package of Lady Fingers"... I had three THREE ounce packages. Did I really need to have eight packages of these Lady Fingers? Oy!So I packaged up two of the munchkins and we headed out to the Winn Dixie that is right up the street from our house. Would they even carry Lady Fingers? I went directly to the bakery. NO LADYFINGERS. Nearby the bakery was an aisle where one can find many Latin style dessert type things and I happened to spot these there:These were totally different! More like a crunchy cookie than a soft and squishy cake! What to do?I grabbed four bags of these and headed home.In the end both cookies are incorporated in the recipe but you manage what you can find. And let me know about your own Adventures with Lady Fingers!For this recipe I used:11 ounce cream cheese, softened3/4 cup sugar2 teaspoons vanilla1/2 teaspoon almond extract1 pint heavy whipping cream1 7 ounce package Lady Finger Cookies (the hard ones)2 3 ounce packages Lady Finger Cakes (the soft squishy ones)1/2 bag of Semi Sweet Morsels1 16 ounce tub of frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, slightly thawed1 tablespoon cornstarchAbout a pint of large fresh strawberriesMint springs for garnish1. Remove frozen strawberries from juice and set aside.2. In a small saucepan bring the cornstarch and the strawberry juice to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and let cool.3. (If you have a metal mixing bowl, put it in the freezer now so it gets cold to hold your whipped cream in. If you don't have one I'm sure you'll still be fine.) Beat whipping cream in mixer until stiff peaks form. I used speed 8 on my KitchenAid... it has to be FAST. Remove from mixer bowl and put in chilled bowl.4. In mixer bowl (don't bother cleaning it out from the whipped cream) whip cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Fold in whipped cream.5. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips6. Dip Lady Finger cookies in dark chocolate and arrange them on a sheet of wax paper to cool slightly. Once they're all dipped (I needed about 35) arrange them dipped side down around the sides of a Springform Pan.7. Use Lady Finger cakes to fill in the bottom of the pan, then top with half the cream cheese mixture. Top with another Lady Finger cake layer, then layer the strained strawberries. Pour strawberry cornstarch mixture on top and then spread on the rest of the cream cheese mixture.8. Arrange fresh strawberries [...]

And in the beginning, there was food...


Hello? Is there anybody out there? It's me, Beth... and I'm starting a blog.Why, you might ask, did I decide to start yet another blog to swim with the millions of blogs floating out there in the sea we call the Internet? It all began with a realization. A realization that has quite changed my life, in fact. It all began with the realization that I don't want to be a meat eater.Perhaps this stems from my Buddhist teachings on causing suffering, perhaps it's just because I think cows have the most beautiful eyes, maybe it's because whenever I think about what animals have to go through to get to our table it makes me cry inside. I've always been the kind of person who didn't want to see what was inside the little baggie inside of the turkey, the kind of person who didn't want to think about where my meat actually came from. I've always been happy it was called "Beef" instead of "Cow" and "Pork" instead of "Pig"... I mean, truly, doesn't that just scream that we as humans don't really want to think about the fact that we're actually eating a creature that lived and breathed and had feelings?When I was young my father would pick on me because I would get squeamish when someone would talk about the cow or the pig or the chicken or whatever. He'd laugh and say "You want to eat the burger but you don't want to think that it's actually a cow that you're eating." And get this, I'd feel stupid for feeling that way.I'd actually feel STUPID that I had empathy for the cow.I've blissfully eaten hamburgers and hot dogs and chickens and more for 30 years. I can't say it's easy to stop. I miss hot dogs. I miss kielbasa. I miss pepperoni pizza. But in the end I've had to decide whether I'm willing to sell out so I can taste a sausage. It's just not something I'm willing to do.Anyhow... if you're reading this chances are I'm preaching to the choir. If you aren't a vegetarian and you're still reading then THANK YOU for continuing to read. I realize that many non-vegetarians feel that vegetarians are all standing up on their high horses looking down upon those that eat a steak now and then and I would like you to know that I truly am not that way.Sometimes I sort of envy you. Yes, you there, eating that cheeseburger... it looks yummy.In fact, my husband Sean, eats plenty of meat and enjoys it. I still feed my children meat. Not all of the time, but if I'm making some for Sean the kids often get it, too. I'm not a veggie Nazi. I think people should truly decide for themselves whether it is right for them.With all that said and me having blathered on for this long, if you've found this blog please look to it as a resource for anyone needing a vegetarian dish for any reason.My plan for the blog is to post a four course meal every week. We'll have an appetizer, a soup or salad, a main course, and a dessert. The fun part is that I'll be trying most of these recipes for the first time. They're all recipes I've found and am tweaking to suit a vegetarian's needs or just plain tweaking to suit my own needs. I'll post my opinion of the finished product, as well as Sean's meat eating opinion, and finally the kids opinions.The menu for Week One will beBlue Cheese Pesto Stuffed MushroomsGreek SaladBlack Bean Burgers and Oven Roasted PotatoesStrawberry TorteI'll be posting the Strawberry Torte recipe first as it needs to be made first if you're making them all for the same dinner, so check my next post for that![...]