Learning to be a chef as a vegetarian

I love to cook…  seriously.  Nothing brings me joy like creating something so delicious that your taste buds are watering before the first bite.  I enjoy feeding others and hearing the pounding of my flat mates feet coming upstairs to ask “What smells so good?”   But my old staples were not so healthy for the heart…  my two signature dishes are Penne ala Vodka Sauce and Beef Stroganoff.   Both could send my friends into a scurry to get to my house quicker than you can blink.  But both are loaded with really unhealthy stuff…  creams, bacon, starchy white pastas.  So I find myself perusing the internet looking for healthy, vegetarian dishes that fit into my new life style and are just as enjoyable for my meat eating friends as they are for me.

I did make this Warm & Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa for a birthday brunch on Sunday and though it was filling, I personally thought it was still a bit bland in the taste department.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/warm-and-nutty-cinnamon-quinoa-recipe.html

I have begun to enjoy substituting portobello mushrooms for meat in my dinners, but I haven’t invested in a new grill, so I have to find ways to cook them besides grilling.  Yesterday I googled recipes including portobellos and came up with a great stuffed portobello recipe.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Stuffed-Portobello-Mushrooms-363381

These were so delicious and filling!  And using my home ingredients, they were only 303 calories for both of them! 40 carbs/10 fat/20 protein!  (See I am getting plenty of protein in my veggies!!)

I have been exploring some very helpful and interesting sites for vegetarians and just healthy eaters in general.  A few I like are:

http://www.101cookbooks.com/

http://www.thekindlife.com/  (Actress Alicia Silverstone’s site)

http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/

http://theculturedcook.com/  (Local Michigan Health Food Blogger)

I have two more new discoveries I am dying to make this week.  The first is a warm beet salad:

http://www.lafujimama.com/2009/11/warm-beet-salad/

and the second is a tofu walnut burger:

http://mycozykitchen.blogspot.com/2010/02/tofu-walnut-burgers.html

I want to send a big thank you to my friends Karen, Susan and Angela who have been forwarding me some delicious vegetarian recipes.  KEEP EM COMIN!

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