*I’m not trying to convert you to vegetarianism! I promise! Meat lovers should like this, too!*
It’s easy to eat vegetarian. No, really. It’s super easy! I’m not talking vegan, but vegetarian. Think about it. Cookies are vegetarian. So are Twinkies (not sure if they still make these, or if they just have a stockpile of them from the 70’s, as they never ever go bad!). Cheese pizza is vegetarian, as are potato chips, French fries and Snickers Peanut Butter (yeah, I love those)… Just don’t eat meat. BOOM. Vegetarian. I hope you’re picking up on my facetiousness here.
Now, if you want to be a healthy vegetarian, that’s a little more complicated. OK, maybe not complicated, but it does require a bit more thought and effort. People always say to me, “You must eat so healthily, being a vegetarian!” Not always, sadly. Tonight, I had a frozen cheesy bread for dinner. Ungood. I have been so busy, and for the past 3 weekends in a row I’ve been away from home. So my kitchen is a bit depleted, and my energy level is reflecting that. Big time. We can’t forget the veggies! That’s the root of the word “vegetarian” after all. So what do you do when you’re in a hurry, on the go, or just plain lazy? Well, preparing ahead of time is a pretty good idea and usually works for me. Discipline is also a necessity, which I’ve been lacking as of late.
Maybe you don’t care to be a vegetarian. That’s cool. But maybe you want to add more veggies and whole grains into your life. That’s totally doable. One day a week is all you need to make a few go-to meals that you can freeze and have handy. Of course, it’s always best to eat fresh and avoid frozen (Ayurveda encourages fresh foods and no leftovers), but hey, if your choice is chips and salsa or nothing… wouldn’t it be nice to have a mushroom quiche in the freezer to reheat? And listen, maybe you have time to cook up some fresh veggies (they really don’t take too long, after all), but brown rice takes FOREVERRRR too cook. Guess what? Freeze that stuff, too! Cook a bunch, maybe even the whole bag, of brown rice, measure it out in cup-sized portions and freeze them in baggies. Cooked quinoa freezes well, too. Sauté or grill up some veggies one night, heat up your frozen rice or quinoa for a minute in the microwave and voilà! Dinner! Take a Sunday (or whatever day of the week you have available to you) and cook up some fabulous stuff for freezing. This is perfect for when you’re running out of fresh produce, your bagged salad has gone South (please, no more bagged salad!) or you’re just plain tuckered out. Avoid that processed junk that you know is not good for you. Eat your own frozen mini-meals. Now I need to go make my grocery list, excluding frozen cheesy bread, thank you very much…
Here’s a fantastic recipe for a mushroom quiche that my friend shared with me. The fab thing is, you can put whatever you want into these things, really. (Psssst! Meat lovers! Sausage and bacon are good in here, too!)
- 1 frozen pie crust (or if you make and prefer to make your own, go for it!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (or even better, use a microplane)
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (cremini mushrooms work nicely)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups of cheese, grated (Gruyère is good, but gouda or cheddar might be nice, too) and maybe a little extra if you love cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Follow the package directions for the pie crust, which usually entails poking holes and pre-baking for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan at medium high. Cook shallots, stirring, until translucent but not brown, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms first release their liquid and then liquid evaporates and mushrooms are dark golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic for the last minute or so.
Place pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any spillage. Combine the mushrooms with the cheese and pour into pie crust. Whisk together milk, cream, and eggs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour over mushroom mix. Top with more cheese if you’d like. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it’s set in the middle. Let the pie cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting, or let it cool fully, then cover in foil and freeze.