Two New Projects for 2008

Introducing the two new projects for 2008.

Vegetarian Dinners Project (VDP)“, a decision to eat at least two vegetarian dinners per week. This decision was made for three reasons:

1- It is more environmentally friendly to eat more non-meat dishes. Since we are trying to be more ‘green’ this year (switched to non-polluting electric provider, using more environmentally friendly cleaning supplies in the house,…), a diet with more non-meat choices fits right in.
2- It is healthier to incorporate more vegetables, grains, fruits and legumes in our meals and cut back on meats and fats. Who knows, we might even lose a few pounds.
3- It is damn cheaper to eat more meals with no meat! Since I try to avoid mass produced meats as much as I can, it can get pretty pricey buying the ‘Humanely Raised, Grass Fed, Organic, Antibiotic Free, Free Range…’ critters. With two or three meals a week that contain no beef, poultry, pork or fish the food cost is significantly reduced. Lets call it a more quality but less quantity kind of thing

To motivate me even more I have decided to chronicle this project right here. I also created different categories for the meals we will be enjoying. These are:

  • Grains
  • Green Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Root Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Bread and Pies
  • Pasta and Noodles
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Tofu
  • Mushrooms

I will be using several references to get ideas or recipes from. My primary go-to books will be:
Mediterranean Grains and Greens” by Paula Wolfert
The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean” by Paula Wolfert
Mediterranean Vegetables” by Clifford Wright
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman
The New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking” by Claudia Roden

A couple more disclaimers, I’ll never ever use any fabricated crap to substitute for meat. You know what I mean, stuff like Tofurkey and Veggie Dogs. It’s just wrong, I’ll be having the real thing instead for dinner on those nights. For the purposes of this project, fish sauce counts as vegetarian. I cannot make decent southeast Asian food without it, so it does not count.

Another project I’d like to work on this year is the “Happy in the Kitchen Project (HKP)“. Here I am planning to cook as many recipes as I can from Michel Richard’s fantastic book “Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of cooking, The Art of Eating“. The recipes are unique, a little experimental, beautiful and the few I’ve tried so far are delicious. I’ve had the book for almost a year, but never seem to get around to cooking from it much. Once again, I am hoping posting about the meals would be a good motivator to keep on cooking.

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