Monday, February 02, 2009

Vegetarianism - Day One (Kinda)

Quick explanation -- I eat way too much red meat and pork. Once upon a time, I had stopped, but when I moved back in with my mommy after college, she refused to remember my no red meat/pork rules; plus her boyfriend made THE most delicious rib tips ever, so I failed. Well here it is, years later, and I pop bacon cheeseburgers like tic tacs. The other day, I stepped on the scale and realized that I weigh more than I ever have in my life; additionally, I can comfortably fit into less than 20% of my clothes, so I figured a quick detour into vegetarianism would help. Two weeks of tasty (?) recipes, plenty of water, and back breaking Pilates, join me on my quest to ... FIT BACK INTO MY GEAR!!!!! What's in it for you? Well, recipes, of course, and the potential to share in my triumph or watch me fail miserably.

Okay, so I had tuna for lunch, but I made it on Sunday as a farewell-to-flesh meal and was too full to eat it, so I polished it off today. However, breakfast and dinner were both vegetarian as hell.

I had the most fabulous pasta at Enoteca Roma once, pear ravioli with walnut cream sauce and Gorgonzola cheese. Since then, I've been trying to replicate that taste at home. Tonight, I tried whole wheat spaghetti with walnut cream sauce and pears. (I find spaghetti and like pastas are pretty much the only palatable whole wheat varieties; the other ones are too big and interfere with the sauces.) Anyway, my experiment paid off. It was definitely good, but certainly not low-fat, just low-meat.

cooked whole wheat spaghetti (enough for two portions)
handful of walnuts (toasted and chopped)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1-2 cups milk or half and half ( I used both and didn't measure, just add until the consistency of the sauce suits your taste)
white wine
1 bosc pear (cored and cubed, you can use any sweet variety)
Nutmeg (again, I didn't measure, maybe 1/2 tsp)
garlic salt
This is pretty easy. Toast the walnuts either in a pan or in the oven and chop. I use a mini food chopper. Set aside.

Saute the pears over medium heat in one tablespoon of butter until they're slightly brown and add as much white wine as you like to taste. Let the alcohol cook off some and set the pears aside.

Make a Béchamel sauce by slowly melting the remaining butter and adding the flour to form a smooth paste. Make sure the lumps are gone. Add milk and stir until you reach your desired consistency and add your seasonings. Once the sauce is seasoned well, stir in the walnuts, pears and spaghetti.

Bon Appétit

(From now on, I'll try to take pictures of my meals before I gobble them down.)

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