Eating Well Vegetarian Project

I have a lot of cookbooks. I read a lot of food blogs. I look at a lot of recipe websites. (I make myself sound like I have no life.) With so many recipes to choose from, I always get really overwhelmed and end up not making any of the recipes and eating refried beans for dinner instead. Recently, I was looking at one of my favorite recipe websites, eatingwell.com and found a slideshow of 25 quick vegetarian recipes.

And so the idea was born to make them all. They’re all vegetarian (or mostly vegetarian, some do contain meat products like chicken broth but can be easily modified), they’re all from Eating Well, so they’re healthy and they’re all quick. Not only will I have a small number of recipes to choose from, but I will learn to make different things and get out of my Mexican food/Stir-Fry/Grain salad rut, although those types of meals are in there too.

Since I don’t cook every day, I think it’s safe to say that my project will take about two months. I started yesterday with the Toasted Pita and Bean salad which I made for lunch.

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For the most part, I followed the recipe and only made a few slight changes. I used canned pinto beans, 1 tbsp of ground cumin instead of 2 tbsp of cumin seeds, 2 tbsp of mint instead of 3 and 2 tbsp of oil instead of 3. I really liked this. It’s sort of typical of something that I’d usually make (although I’d probably add couscous or quinoa) which is probably why I liked it. However, if you have leftovers, as I did, the bread gets soggy and not in a good way.

Tonight was recipe number two - Vietnamese Tofu Lettuce Wraps. I used soba noodles instead of rice noodles but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. This recipe actually isn’t vegetarian because it uses fish sauce. They do suggest soy as an alternative though.

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This wasn’t so great. It wasn’t bad, per se, but it wasn’t really good either. Like several of the reviews on the website said, the sauce was way too watery. I wouldn’t make it again. Even so, it was fun to have something different for dinner, although I was hungry afterward and ate a muffin.

So that’s my cooking project. I’m looking forward to making the additional 23 recipes.

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15 Responses to Eating Well Vegetarian Project

  1. I love this project. I think you’re going to inspire me. :)

  2. What a fun way to possibly add some new meals to your cooking routine :)

  3. I need to take on this project for the approximately 1 million recipes I have bookmarked. Can’t wait to see what your favorites are!

  4. What a fun idea. I love Eating Well. Thanks for being our taste tester!

  5. I am so bad at making new things…I get on these kicks where I will make new stuff for about a week and then I always revert back to my old stand bys.

  6. I need to do something like this – I feel overwhelmed by the amount of recipes I look at every day and then usually end up making something simple for dinner (hence my lack of blogging lately!). My dad gave me a subscription for Eating Well for xmas and the first one came yesterday – tons of good recipes in there!

  7. Sounds like a great project! I need to do something similar but I get lazy with cooking too. Mainly because I wait till I’m hungry then I’m too hungry to wait an hour+ while trying to cook a gourmet meal.

  8. I love this idea!! I, once again, need to branch out into what I make for dinner and generally, for meals. I end up sticking to the same stuff I always make! Maybe I’ll try something slightly different for the stir fry I am making tonight ;-)

  9. Well look at you Ms. Julie/Julia! Love this idea so much!! I might have to steal this and do a similar thing. I’ve been a huge meatless kick lately and would love to continue. My carnivore husband swears he’s going to start cooking his own dinners if I nix meat, but he happily gobbles up all of the meatless dishes I make!

  10. Sorry the tofu wasn’t great. It looks pretty though!

  11. Sounds like a fun (and tasty) project! I’m making a concerted effort to cook more recipes out of the cookbooks I’m reviewing for a new series on my blog and I’ve found it really fun. It’s like there’s a purpose even beyond good eating to those meals – it’s for the blog. :)

  12. Thanks for sharing that link! I just pinned it. Oh, man…I’ve been sucked in. But it really is so easy for keeping up with recipes I want to try. Thanks for the reviews. I’m eyeing the tofu scramble one for next week. :)

  13. How fun!! Jesse & I are trying to do more vegetarian meals, so I look forward to your review of these. We’ll probably try several of them out as well.

  14. Good luck! I’ve wantd to do something similar since Julie/Julia but I know I can’t commit during my work year…maybe this summer?

  15. I am totally guilty of eating refried beans for dinner. They are just so dang delicious! :)

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