Baking Day

I did some baking today.  Zucchini muffins …

… and date bread.

Yum.  I got the recipe for this completely scrumptious bread from the (now sadly on what seems to be permanent hiatus) podcast “The Knitting Cook.”  I really need to get some cream cheese to have with this.  Perfection.  Faith warns her readers not to fill the pans too full, because they will spill over in the oven and make a big fat mess.  This is true.  Ask me how I know.

I’ve been trying on the weekends to do a bunch of cooking and baking in the preparation for the week.  It can be hard to get all psyched up to cook after a long day of investment banking.  And, much as it pains me to admit it, a beer is not dinner.  Not even if it’s a stout.

Since roughly the beginning of summer, I’ve also significantly changed my diet.  I used to be basically an omnivore and now I’m more of a ovo-lacto-pesco-vegetarian.  I decided to do this largely after reading a pamphlet about the relationship between eating meat and global warming.  It’s a small change that I’m making, and doesn’t contribute a whole lot on its own.  But don’t try telling a knitter that lots of people making a small change can’t make a big difference together.

Also informing my new diet is something I read in a book by the Dalai Lama about contentment with food.  Basically, he wrote that although Buddhist monks practice vegetarianism, mendicants must accept whatever is offered them, even if it’s meat.  In this way, they are practicing contentment with what they have.  I like this idea.  So if I’m at a party, I’ll eat meat if that’s what is offered.  Or, for example, if my dinner date says he really wants to get the sauteed chicken livers but won’t get them if he has to eat them by himself, I’ll be a good sport.  (But only this once with the chicken livers!)  I also read something about the Mediterranean diet, which described it as using meat sparingly for flavor.  That’s another idea I like, mostly because it justifies my refusal to give up bacon.

Got any ideas for easy, make-ahead veggie recipes?  Leave ’em in the comments.  Naturally, anything  incorporating bacon will be warmly received.

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11 Responses to Baking Day

  1. Hi Laura
    Loved your preparation of the cupcakes.

  2. Nancy says:

    oh yum! those look gorgeous.

  3. Heather says:

    What a great approach to food. And I know so many vegetarians for whom bacon is an object of devotion!!

  4. Courtney says:

    I’ve made this lasagna for my vegetarian mother and brother-in-law several times and it’s always good. It’s also very easy and it freezes pretty well.

    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=224863

  5. laura b says:

    That’s how our family eats now too. We’ve been mostly eating a vegetarian diet for three or four years now. I think you’ll be amazed at how you feel. I didn’t realize there was such a difference until we had a houseguest for a month and I tried to cook a meat dish every day or two to accommodate his preferences. It was horrible for me! I felt so heavy and lethargic!

    I wish I could think of some good dishes that you can cook ahead of time. Since I’m doing the at home thing now, I don’t do a lot of that myself. I do highly recommend the Moosewood cookbooks. Lots of hearty soups and such that could be frozen.

  6. duni says:

    i love bacon, too! it was the end of my vegetarianism. ah well. i do like to cook from “the vegetarian slow-cooker’s guide” (or whatever it’s called- some form of those words). goo, easy, slow cooker recepies. haven’t had a bad one yet. good luck!

  7. You totally crack me up! (I don’t like bacon, but I understand the devotion.) That date bread looks incredible. It actually made my mouth water. (But zucchini muffins? Come on…isn’t that like brussels sprout ice cream?) I loathe cooking, so I can’t offer you any recipes. Dinner here is whatever I can bring myself to prepare that has a bare minimum of fat, calories, and flavor (which my fitness freak of a husband will eat), and that my kids won’t spit out. If you’ve noticed that these two goals appear mutually-exclusive, you are correct, and can probably deduce at least part of the reason for my cooking hatred.

    I was a vegetarian for years, but that was before family.

  8. Mrs MJW says:

    Hey…..I’m supposed to be on a diet. Those look so yummy!

  9. Kara says:

    Any chance those zucchini muffins are gluten-free? And if so, can you mail me some?

  10. Meg says:

    Ah…a kindred spirit…another lacto-ovo-baco-vegetarian! I love it.

    I will tell ya, Williams-Sonoma has a cookbook called “easy vegetarian” that is great. You’ll find breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks. It wasn’t very expensive…$19.95. I highly recommend it.

  11. rajkonya says:

    Hi Laura: I love reading your blog (used to also visit Affiknitty!).
    Here’s what we do in our house: Cook 2 cups brown rice and store in the fridge. Evenings, cut up handy veggies (must have chopped onion/ginger/garlic), and add, asparagus, carrots, zucchini, green beans, peas, whatevers handy. Use 1 Tbsp olive oil. Make pan-tossed fried rice – because of the minimal amount of oil, you really have to toss the veggies a bit, so that they have the nice sauteed taste, mix in the rice (about 3-4 big ladlesful, depending on how hungry you are!), and dinner’s ready. Can pair with store-bought salad. Can add a chopped up omlette. can add sauteed/left-over shrimp or chicken or other non-veg items.

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