Monday, January 31, 2011

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Round about last Easter, my husband decided he wanted to be a vegetarian. This from a guy who previously obsessed over cooking the perfect steak and finding the best BBQ spot. I was hoping this phase would pass quickly but, here we are in January and he still eats vegetarian. He has loosened up a little. Mainly he doesn't want other meat-eating men to make fun of him, so he'll eat meat in large manly gatherings. I think it's just an excuse for him to enjoy a big, juicy steak though.
Last night I attempted to make the vegetarian version of a meal I used to make with meat...enchiladas. It turned out pretty well. I started by defrosting vegetarian ground meat aka the stuff they sweep off the floor at the mushroom farm. I cooked it in a pot with 3/4 cup of water and a packet of Ortega Taco Seasoning which I'm not sure is 100% vegetarian, but what hubby doesn't know won't hurt him. I put a scoop of the "meat" on a flour tortilla with some cheddar cheese and refried beans. The beans were actually vegetarian cuz it said it on the can. You would think all beans are vegetarian, but apparently not. Actually I think they usually make refried beans with lard or something gross like that. Anyway, I rolled up the tortillas and put them in a casserole dish that had a little salsa on the bottom to keep they from sticking. I used Great Value medium salsa cuz that's the way we roll in our house, but it you are a real gourmet and prefer something better, you can use that. It would probably actually be good with a brand that had chunks of black bean and corn in it, if such a salsa exists.
After I tranferred all of the enchiladas to the dish I topped it with more salsa, some more refried beans and a little of the remaining meat. Lastly I topped it with cheddar cheese.
I cooked the enchiladas at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
These enchiladas were extremely eatable. There were a few instances where you could taste the spongey "meat" but I could actually eat these and enjoy them. I will definitely make these again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Memories

I love snow. I grew up in Pittsburgh and it was just the most awesome thing ever when we had a snow day. Snow forts, sledding, ice skating...
I have so many memories of my time in the snow. Flying down the hill at my neighbor's house. Going airborne at the base and eventually crashing into the creek that wound around the base of the hill. Shoveling for hours from my cousin's house to the horse barn so she could feed her Arabian horse named Star. My first time skiing where I was pretty sure I was going to die as I went careening totally out of control down the slope, praying I didn't take out some poor soul that happened to get in my way. Even trudging through the snow at Penn State made for a a good memory. College students running around like kids, throwing snowballs and making snow angels despite knowing that, at 7:00 am the next morning, they would have to make their way a half a mile across campus to make it to their first class.
After college, the real world called. Snow meant scraping off your car, driving on treacherous roads to get to work. It was just a nuisance. Then I had I have an excuse to play in the snow again. It still ruins plans, but I get to enjoy snow days again. Building forts for the kids, throwing snowballs, pulling them in the sled. I try to make good snow memories for my kids, otherwise why would I spend an hour digging a tunnel through a block of ice? I hope they appreciate the snowmen, igloos, and the pots of chicken noodle soup.