One pot, three meals, and reflections on a month of no meat

I love few things more than I do a one-pot meal. Considering that Matt is our designated dishwasher, I think this is a sign of my true and pure selflessness. I just want to make things easier on him.

Even better than a one-pot meal is a one-pot meal that I stretch out over three days. As was the case with this winner:

pasta and mushrooms marsala, Pretty Darn Quick style

pasta and mushrooms marsala, Pretty Darn Quick style

I’m really into this cookbook, in case you haven’t been paying attention. Now, I’ve never actually had a marsala dish of any kind, so I didn’t know what to expect beyond a pretty darn quick meal. And I got a little nervous while reading the recipe, which warns against using “cheap Marsala cooking wine found in most supermarkets,” as what I had in my hand at that moment was cheap Marsala cooking wine found in my supermarket. But I went with it because, hey, it was there. We can’t buy regular wine in the grocery store, so without dragging out my already overly complex weekly shopping trip, I went with cooking wine. And, guess what? It turned out fine.

More than fine, in fact. This meal was amazing and very rich-tasting, without actually being rich. Which means I was able to eat more. Which always scores points with me. I was especially a big fan of their method of cooking the pasta and mushrooms in just enough broth that it all got absorbed and there was no draining involved. This also helped the pasta get humongous, which is how I stretched it out for so many days. It also helped that Matt didn’t eat any of it until tonight.

And now for a lot of musing about meat

This little experiment was harder than I thought and easier than I thought. The easy part, which I’ll cover first, was finding good vegetarian recipes, trying new dishes, and keeping the grocery budget on the low side. The hard part was shifting my lifestyle. Duh, right, but I really thought that this would be easy since we don’t eat much meat to begin with. What I didn’t really consider was that I tend to cook with chicken broth several times a week, that I sometimes like turkey sandwiches for lunch, and that, oh yeah, I really like sushi and other varieties of seafood. And poultry. I do. And so, while meatless January was actually a great experience, and it’s not like I’m waiting for the clock to strike twelve so that I can scarf down a turkey burger, I’m just not sure that I’m ready to completely commit to a vegetarian lifestyle.

I’m kind of torn on the whole thing and I already planned our meals for next week and they are all vegetarian out of habit and blah blah blah, but the truth is that we’re going out to dinner tomorrow night specifically so that I can order the shrimp fajitas I’ve been avoiding this month. Also, there’s apparently a big football game or something, so it’ll be an ideal time to go out on the town.

Am I really still talking about this?

I’ll just leave it at “we’ll see what happens.” And we’ll see what happens.


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