Four days this week I went meatless. I prepared vegetarian meals. That is right, the four days. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I knew that whatever I made had to taste good. I figured as long as it tasted good, I could eat it and maybe just maybe not miss the meat. I did this because one of my co-workers is vegetarian and it was my turn to make meals for the group. I thought it would be fun to broaden my horizons and culinary expertise to do this. Plus I am certain there are many health benefits gained by doing this. Maybe a week isn’t long enough to reap them, but it is a start.
Today is my last day of preparing meatless meals. so for simplicity I made a spinach salad with canned mandarin oranges (another thing that I like from the can instead of fresh), fresh pineapple, dried cranberries, and almond slivers. I chose a spicy French dressing (very, very similar to Catalina dressing). Why? Because I left the remaining molasses vinaigrette in the refrigerator at the house and I did not have anything to make a dressing with at work. The salad was refreshing. There was none left. This is one of my favorite salads. I make it often with a variety of fruit and usually cheese. I completely forgot the cheese this time. I do not think anyone noticed. I did not until just now.
For dinner I was a bit more adventurous. I chose a creamy pumpkin pasta. I used penne instead of the linguine and apple juice instead of the dry white wine. I added spinach because I thought it needed something green and I hate hate hate English peas , sweet peas or whatever you call them. Always have always will. I have no explanation why. I was told that as a child I would not eat them unless my mother peeled them.
My mother, of course, denies that story saying that you cannot peel a tiny sweet pea. Of course, I don’t care. I used apple juice because children would be eating the dish and while I am sure cooking would remove the alcohol, okay maybe not that sure I decided not to take a chance. And I researched an appropriate substitute for cooking with wine. I used the penne because it is easier to eat than twirling the pasta around a fork (remember children were involved) and I did not want to break the pasta.
For whatever reason, my picture would not upload so here is what the dish would have looked like had I followed the recipe to the letter. You know, if I had not added spinach or used penne. Also mine was not that saucy. That was done on purpose.