Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shameless Plug

My sister The Looney Writer has been writing a book as a serial on her blog. She'd love to have some more people read it and provide feedback. So, I'll refer you to her place and invite you to take a peek. There are 12 chapters now (don't let "chapter" scare you - they're all pretty short. I'm a lazy reader, and even I have time for this.) Let her know what you think!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Potty training makes me want to pout. That's all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spare the meat

Many of you know that in recent years, our family has made it a priority to eat meat sparingly. To us, this has meant that we have meat meals less often, and when we do, we use less meat in them. While we make no claims of being any variety of vegetarian or models of healthy living, we have really enjoyed the less-weighed-down feeling of eating less meat. (I like killing fewer animals, too.)

When I discuss this with friends, many of them ask how we have balanced, filling family meals that do not include meat. Again, I make no claims of being a health expert or dietitian, but our family has been satisfied with our diet, so I thought I'd share this week's dinner menu as an example:

Potato and chickpea curry with naan
Butternut squash soup, rolls, salad and asparagus
Eggplant parmigiana with garlic bread
Clam chowder
Baked tilapia, artichokes, garlic bread, and patatas bravas

1 features meat (paella)
1 has cheese (eggplant parmigiana)
2 have seafood (clam chowder and tilapia)
2 have meat flavoring (squash soup: chicken bouillon; clam chowder: bacon grease in which to saute onions)

For me, the secret to meatless meal planning has been to emphasize what you CAN eat, rather than what you can't. We don't substitute tofu or soy or anything like that. We figure out what non-meat foods we like - vegetables, grains, legumes - and build meals that revolve around those things. One reason meat is so popular is because it has strong, delicious flavor. There are other foods that also have strong, delicious flavors, so when we make those the focal part of the meal, we honestly don't feel like we're missing anything (because we aren't).