Monday, March 5, 2012

1 week meat / sweet free

So if you missed earlier posts, I announced I was giving up all meat and all sweets for lent. A large part of why I always give up something kind of hard for lent is because it FORCES me to try new things and be creative with cooking.  I got a lot of positive feedback / support, as well as a lot of questions wondering what the heck I would eat considering it was a last minute decision on my part and trying to whip together other protein sources and not over do it on the carbs can be challenging.

Everyday my breakfast is Shakeology
Lunch is generally a salad from our salad bar at work
and dinner is where the experimentation happens.

Lucky for me is that  I generally cook for 1, so more often then not I do the same meal at least 2 nights in a row.
Already had posted this: barley  & couscous mixture + sauteed brussel sprouts / carrots/ cabbage 

BBQ tofu, kale, jalapenos, basil, milk mozzarella pizza we made the other night HERE. This was my first time EVER eating tofu... for future I think it will have to be cut up into smaller pieces so the spongy texture doesn't bother me as much 

Saturday night we went out to a Vegetarian restaurant in East Nashville....

I have never actually been to a vegetarian restaurant, so it was a new experience. I ended up getting the "beans and greens"- garlicky kale, pinto beans on top of a bed of quinoa and garlic aioli to finish it off. I started to mix everything together before I realized I need to photograph this delight. The picture DOES NOT do it justice, but this was absolutely AMAZING! I'm ashamed to admit this, but I could have eaten a whole other plate of it. YUM

Yesterday morning I was craving brunch, so went to one of my favorite breakfast places, Pucketts Grocery (its a restaurant). One thing I love about them is that the breakfast is a buffett (i secretly LOVE buffets)

Because its Sunday and technically when it comes to lent you can cheat on sundays.... I caved and had some bacon. I know, I know... I couldn't help myself. It was so delicious, and the fact that I could drizzle maple syrup over it makes my mouth water right now just thinking about it. My first (and only) cheat for lent. Last year I did dairy every sunday, but aside from that little hiccup, I don't miss meat. 

Later in the day I went to Marshall's and stocked up on some good cooking finds- you can find some great treasures at relatively cheap prices  (sorry no photos)
Walnut oil, Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, and an interesting 'basil, garlic, pink grapefruit infused olive oil'
I decided to recreate Friday night's sauteed kale with diced up jalapenos, however I did a twist and sauteed it in walnut oil (gives it a nutty flavor) vs. grapeseed oil, as well as I added some chopped up garlic

Then I finally found some spaghetti squash at the store and decided to break into new territory again and whip up something (i've eaten it many times before, but never when it was prepared by yours truly)

Step 1- cut spaghetti squash in half length wise
Step 2- remove all seeds and 'stringy guts'
Step 3- brush with olive oil (I went with the 'basil garlic pink grapefruit' infused olive oil), pepper, and a little brown sugar
Step 4- cook in oven face down for 45 min at 400 degrees
Step 5- let cool for 10 min
Step 6- take a fork and go to town scraping up all the 'strings'
Step 7- your squash half should be flimsy and string free

I was surprised by how much 1 spaghetti squash actually produces (enough for 3 meals for 1 person). The oil I chose was a good call because the grapefruit accentuated the sweetness of the squash- I just added a little crushed red pepper for some bit and dinner was served

Yum! I did the same thing this evening, but since I did an 8 miler and knew I'd be ravenous I added 2 scrambled eggs as well.

So thats my first week meat free--- minus the bacon weakness... shhh.

What are some non soy options protein options that ya'll do instead of meat?!?! (seriously, I'd love to know) 


  1. Tasty meals! If you're doing dairy then Greek yogurt is pretty great for protein - I eat at least a serving every day in some form.

  2. I will never quit eating meat. I love it too much. And I very publicly love buffets. I will just eat and eat and eat and eat...

    I never knew you cooked. Impressive!

  3. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. Your post last week gave me the push I needed to try what I've just been considering for months, a vegetarian diet. Just blogged about it today. My favorite sources of non-meat protein? Quinoa, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and black beans. I'm counting on you to figure the whole "enough protein" on a vegetarian diet for both of us :)

  4. Beans and Greek yogurt are my go to for non-meat protein. Those meals look delicious. Way to stick to it.

  5. I've been cutting way back on meat lately too. Not really on purpose, just trying to be more creative. I love beans and quinoa. I loved that tofu pizza you made. I do enjoy tofu, especially soaked in something spicy - yum!

    I find that the less often I eat meat, the more I really love it when I do and am pickier about when I do eat it.

  6. OH MY GOSH I love Pucketts! I "cheat" and eat there everytime I am in Nashville! Love it! All that din din looked great! I only cook for 1 also, so I definitely eat the same meal more than once per week. Single girl probs.

  7. Those meals all look soo good! I've never cooked with spaghetti squash but I really want to try it!

  8. YUM! i love all the meals you have been experimenting with. I secretly love buffets too :) and tofu!!! haha!

  9. are you eating fish? or no? i eat fish, tofu (which i haven’t had in forever-if you like chili runners world had a great veggie chili a while back that i will try and find for you), and greek yogurt. and eggs. :)

  10. i really need to try this puckett's buffet. breakfast/brunch/bacon are my passion!

  11. you are doing the vegan challenge with us more or less!!! I posted today about a bunch of great lentil tacos!

  12. I'm doing the vegan challenge with Amanda, and also gave up sweets for Lent-- looks like you're off to a great start with your challenge! I LOVE beans and greens... yummmm.

  13. I'm a new follower. Good luck with your challenge! I could give up meat, but sweets, I think I'd die! Best of luck!