vegged out


I haven’t mentioned it here but I think it is worth a few words. During the middle of March Daddy-O suggested that we go vegetarian, “just to see”. Mind you I was a vegetarian for several years prior to meeting him and have often thought about migrating back to that sort of diet- I like that it is good for the environment, I don’t think many people realize just how much/many resources raising ‘meat’ takes. But it is hard to switch from a carnivorous diet when you have a meat and potato kinda guy in the house, so it just never happened.

We decided we would finish up all the meat in the freezer (we usually go to Costco and get a pile of chicken breasts, fish, ground turkey etc). We agreed that we weren’t going to eat fish but dairy was still on the list. Good thing because I don’t know if I could given up cheese or my morning latte. We also agreed that if we weren’t home and were guests at someones house that we wouldn’t get wigged out if there was meat being served – Easter ham, for example, was not passed up. once our ‘rules’ were established I started to sift thru all my old vegetarian cookbooks and on line for some new ideas.

It was really interesting how even though I had lived a vegetarian lifestyle for the last year of high school and most of my college years I had a hard time re-training my mind to think of meals without meat in them. How the heck were we going to get our protein? Would we feel ‘full’? were we going to have a carb blow out eating too much pasta and rice and bread?

But now that we are about three weeks into it I am really liking how I feel. I am liking what we have been making. I found quite a few really good recipes over on the Better Homes and Gardens website and have adapted a few of our favorites to meatless. I think once a week or so I will share what we have really liked so far- partly so I have a little reference for the recipes and partly so that you, dear readers, have some new meals to try if you so wish.

The first recipe I will share is one I talked about in the backyard bliss post. After having a request for it from our weekend company I realized that the original recipe from the Orangette website had morphed into my own version, they have a way of doing that don’t they? let me know if you have any questions, and if you change it up a bit let me know what you did- I might just like your version too!

Spicy Cabbage, Vanessa’s version
Adapted from the recipe found on Orangette:

half a head of cabbage slices (so you have ribbons of cabbage) (you can do the whole head if you have more then 2 people eating and want left overs)

2 or 3 tbls oil, veg and sesame (I like the nutty flavor that this brings to the dish)

Sriracha to taste (if you like it spicy dump it on, if not then go easy and add until you are happy with the heat.

low sodium soy sauce- as Molly says, “a glug”

garlic 1 clove (I like to use the grater and grate it in)

ginger- I grate about a garlic clove sized piece into the mix

3 or 4 chopped carrots

Heat the oils in your pan, add in garlic and ginger and stir.
throw in the carrots let them hang in there for a couple of minutes stirring here and there. they take a little longer then the cabbage to get soft.
toss in the cabbage and stir here and there again.
Once the cabbage starts to wilt a bit add the soy sauce and sriracha.
I usually leave the whole mess in the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally and letting the carrots get a bit softer and the cabbage get a little brown/caramelized on the edges.

throw in a bowl and eat.

This is a great side dish or just to have with brown rice. you can add in meat or tofu to the mix too.


PS if you found me via Corner View, welcome- take a look around and say hi why don’tcha?

9 Comments vegged out

  1. Robin May 1, 2009 at 5:42 am

    I was hoping you’d share the Spicy Cabbage recipe.

    I have 2 beautiful heads of cabbage from our CSA box waiting for a recipe in the fridge. Have a great weekend.

  2. Melissa May 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    How wonderful! I love how you set “rules” that seem very attainable and appropriate for your family.

    When I became vegetarian a few years back, I knew I didn’t want to give up sushi and dairy, so I keep it in my diet. With simply giving up all other meats, my body simply felt better (less joint pains, more energy). I found the transition rather easy and found humor in other peoples’ reactions (“How could you give up hamburger??!!??” um, easily.) but I couldn’t understand why other people were so concerned with what I was or was not eating.

    Best of luck. I hope it becomes a positive experience for you. is a good source for recipes. You can type in a single ingredient and find lots of recipes for it.


  3. earthycrunchy May 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    When I was in college, taking a agriculture class, I learned that one pound of beef takes something like 500 gallons of water to produce. Not because cows drink all that. Alfalfa takes a lot of water to grow, feed lots spray millions of water over the fields to keep the dust down. Pretty scary. I am not exactly vegetarian. (I don’t eat beef) I was for a long time.

    I would love to hear more about the recipes you’re trying!

  4. LivingSimply May 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Yum! Will definitely have to put that on the list to try. Thanks for sharing…perhaps when our garden comes in fully, my family will give veg life a try.

  5. caitlin May 1, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I love that picture! Did you take it? My theory is that if I were going to be vegetarian I would have to have a chef. I don’t cook much and I have a feeling if I were left to my own devices that I would be nibbling on crackers in the corner in the fetal position.

    Yes, I realize I sound lazy.

  6. vanessa aka Nessie Noodle May 1, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Caitlin, you are killing me- and don’t fool yourself thinking that I wouldn’t be in the corner right along with you (with a hunk of cheese in hand).

    Melissa, thanks for the link! always on the hunt for more recipes.

    So glad so many of you like this idea for the cabbage, its good-

  7. caitlin May 1, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Okay, so I totally was going to ask if it was taken in Seattle. I took one similar to that. Love Seattle, we went there last year for our anniversary.

  8. Annie May 5, 2009 at 8:55 am

    That recipe sounds really good!

    We eat a mostly plant based diet and usually only butter for dairy. I’m not a big fan of rules- at least ones that don’t allow some flexibility. Being able to not sweat the small stuff when you’re out eating with others is great. I have a lot of tried and true vegetarian recipes on my blog if you’re interested in something new.

  9. Anonymous May 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Hey Vanessa…Z and I are still veg heads….going on 10-11 years now and are raising Mel veggie too! (You were one of my original vegetarian inspirations!) Good job on making the switch!!! Keep sharing those yummy recipes. I will be making your cabbage one real soon…sounds so yummy!


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