After years of dealing with well-meaning relatives and restaurants with no veggie-friendly options but salad and gigantic Portobello mushrooms, Rebecca is excited to share her hard-won recipes, nutrition tips and restaurant dining advice with both fellow herbivorous and omnivorous Central PAers alike.
Instead of discussing one restaurant or recipe today, I've got a few vegetarian-related things on my mind.
The first is yeast - nutritional yeast. Depending on what you eat most often, it can sometimes be difficult for vegetarians to get enough of some of the B vitamins. I first came across nutritional yeast when a vegetarian friend of mine went vegan and started cutting dairy from her diet. While it certainly does not taste exactly like cheese, it does add a nice rich flavor (particularly to hot foods, I think) to foods on which you'd normally add cheese, like pasta or soup. There are lots of brands of course, but around here the one that I've had the easiest time finding is Red Star yeast flakes. So far I've consistently found it at Stauffer's. If anyone else knows of a place in Lancaster County to find it please feel free to post a comment. The yeast itself provides protein and most B vitamins, but not B12 - Red Star's version is fortified with B12 so you get that too.
My second thought today is pizza crust. I've posted before about the Pillsbury pizza crust recipe that I like to use. One way to change it up now and then if you make a lot of pizza (like I do) is to substitute in a few tablespoons to a quarter cup of a different flour for regular white flour. I've tried whole wheat, corn meal, chick pea meal, and flaxseed meal. In the picture shown here I substituted in a quarter cup of flaxseed and cornmeals mixed, which gave it a more crunchy and nutty flavor.
Thirdly, okra. This is a vegetable I was really unfamiliar with until joining Prescott's Patch last year. A friend of mine found a great recipe for it on allrecipes.com that is aptly titled "unslimy okra." If you're unfamiliar with okra, as I was, you'll be shocked at the amount of slime inside when you first chop them open. On the sliminess scale, okra produces something akin to marine invertebrate slime. But, the breadcrumbs and the baking in this recipe really eliminate the slime and let the flavor and pleasant chewiness of the okra come out. It's also really simple to make, so I highly recommend it as a summer sidedish.