Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eat Your Veggies...and 'fake' meat, too!

Insert standard recipe...bloop, bleep, blop...computing...converting...BEEP! Glorp! Vegetarian recipe achieved.

OK, it can't always be that easy. Converting the everyday family recipe into something vegetarians can enjoy is not always a simple task, but it can lead to a great and healthy meal (even for the meat-eaters in your life). But, unfortunately, it can also lead to some disasters. Knowing which "fake" meat substitute to use in place of what and even knowing which recipes are nearly impossible to convert can be a minefield of kitchen trial and error. I've been through this trial, and created several of what my husband, on a good day, would call errors if he is being his usual generous self. On a bad day, well let's just say "failure of epic proportions" would not always be out of line.

After a successful career as a journalist and newspaper editor, in what my husband recently referred to as my "heyday"...ahem, in the past tense, I began my career as a stay-at-home mom in 2009. I have since been striving to satisfy my non-vegetarian husband and child with meat substitutes and "fake" versions of family favorites. With the addition of my second daughter in July 2010, the cooking critiques are sure to become even more complex over the next year. With a nod to the crockpot lady, Stephanie O'Dea, I have decided to make a similar daily pledge for 2011. For each of the year's 365 days, a different recipe will be attempted. The standard family recipe will be converted to a vegetarian-friendly version. From past experience, some of these conversions will be fantastic surprises, while others will be epic failures. In the meantime, prior to the "official" start of my challenge, I'll be testing recipes, pleading for suggestions and sharing results. Follow along for the adventure.

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