Meatless Monday: Two Months Later
Since I started participating in Meatless Monday just over two months ago, I have tried many, many meatless recipes. In fact, I would say that at least 50% of the recipes I’ve made in the past couple months have been vegetarian. For the most part, I have loved everything. I wasn’t crazy about the tofu, but I’m not giving up. I did, however, discover my love of mushrooms. Chicken-less strips weren’t a hit, but I’ve managed to convert Ryan to a bean-skeptic instead of a bean-hater. You win some, you lose some, right?
Well, these Parmesan Spinach Cakes were a loss. I wanted to love them. I’ve grown to enjoy spinach, and these are chock-full of cheese which can only make things better. It seemed like an easy side to pull together, and it was. Unfortunately, they just didn’t live up to expectations. When I first took them out of the oven, they were… not quite set. So I popped them back in for a bit longer. Even once the wateriness subsided, they were still mushy and wet. One bite and the rest hit the trash can. Luckily I had only made a small batch.
There have been a few other misses along the way as well. While it may seem an odd theme for a blog post to write about several recipes that didn’t work out, I want to pass them along in case they might appeal to you since I know we don’t all have the same tastes. The pictures accompanying the recipe for Parmesan Baked Artichokes convinced me that I just HAD to give the dish a try. I enjoy artichokes in other forms, particularly spinach-artichoke dip, so I thought it was worth a try. Sad to say, I wasn’t a big fan of artichokes on their own. It seemed to be missing something even though it did smell like heaven. If you’re an artichoke fan, it’s worth checking out.
Then there was the Cauliflower Cheese Pie with Grated Potato Crust. Just let that ruminate a minute. Now go look at the pictures. Seems like it would be fantastic, right? It was a little bland. Honestly, if it hadn’t been so much work, I would make it again. It took a few more steps than I usually like to spend on dinner unless the results are amazing, but I am sure with some tweaking it could be stellar.
This was the same problem I had with Cheesy Sweet Potato Crisps. I should have known better because despite my location, I am not a fan of sweet potatoes. I have tried. Really. I’ve tried them roasted in a maple glaze, as fries, baked, etc. I just don’t like sweet potatoes. I thought maybe this time would be different because they seemed to be prepared in a more savory way, but no. I’m pretty sure I’m giving up on sweet potatoes now. They are just too, dare I say, sweet.
I don’t want to end on a sour note though, so there is another recipe I’ve tried lately that turned out well, I just didn’t happen to get a picture of it. It’s a spin on traditional macaroni and cheese where you use spaghetti squash in place of the pasta. It was my first time trying spaghetti squash, and while we were not immediately won over by the texture (it’s a little crunchy so don’t expect a true pasta replacement), the flavor was spot on. It’s actually really cool how much like spaghetti it looks! Now that I know what to expect, I’m sure I’ll like it even more. Check it out: Spaghetti Squash and Cheese.
Hopefully, even if you don’t make any of these exact recipes, you’ll be inspired by something you saw here. Going meatless for just one day a week can be a really great way to cut back on your grocery budget while also pushing yourself to try something new. Also, after reviewing this list of recipe disappointments, I’m planning on rescinding my previous statement that cheese makes everything better and enrolling myself in a 12 step program for cheese addicts. Apparently a picture of some cheese-laden dish is all it takes to convince me to make try it!