The Lazy Vegetarian ~ A Day of Meals

Just so we’re clear, I’m not kidding about being lazy when it comes to cooking.

I am usually cooking only for myself, and I don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up for a meal that I’m probably going to eat on the couch in my pajamas while I watch tv.  I actually love to cook for other people, but when I’m cooking for just myself, I want to do something quick and easy.

Nevertheless, I still have to feed myself, and I want what I eat to be tasty and at least somewhat good for me.  Okay, this first recipe probably doesn’t qualify as good for me, but it is so delicious, I just don’t care.

Breakfast: Herbed Baked Eggs

The recipe for this dish originated with Food Network’s Ina Garten. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the blog where I found it: Chrissy Teigen’s fabulous food blog, So Delushious!

You guys.

This is the best egg dish you will ever eat.  I mean it is really amazing.  I intended to take a picture of it the first time I made it but it smelled so good and tasted so delicious that I ate every last bite before I remembered what the camera was for.

 

Piping Hot Herbed Baked Eggs

Ingredients
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
6 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toasted French bread or brioche, for serving

Directions
Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won’t be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks (it’s very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking).

Place 2 individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked (rotate the baking sheet once if they aren’t cooking evenly).

The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.

I used sourdough bread toasted in the toaster oven as my egg-to-mouth delivery vehicle.  Unbelievable.  You will not regret making this for yourself.  DO IT.

(Note about the photo: That is not a giant casserole dish.  It is a mini Le Creuset stoneware dish.  Do not use a regular-sized pan for three eggs or they will not turn out very well.)

Lunch: Vegetarian BLT

One of the hardest things for me to give up when I went vegetarian was a BLT.  It is probably my favorite sandwich of all time.  There is just something so perfect about a BLT, and I missed them a lot after I gave up eating meat.

Until, that is, I discovered Smart Bacon®!  Does Smart Bacon taste exactly like bacon?  No.  It does not.  It is, however, a very good substitute and it makes a darn fine BLT.  Here is my foolproof method for the perfect vegetarian BLT:

 

Smart Bacon BLT Sandwich

Ingredients
2-3 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 slices Smart Bacon
2 slices of your favorite sandwich bread
2 tablespoons mayo or Vegenaise
tomato, sliced
iceberg lettuce, shredded

Directions
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Once oil is heated, add six slices of Smart Bacon.  Cook according to package directions (I like my bacon super crispy, so I cook it for about two minutes on each side).

Meanwhile, toast a couple of slices of your favorite sandwich-making bread.  I always go with sourdough from the bakery.  Mmmmmmmmmmm, sourdough.

Spread toasted bread liberally with mayo or Vegenaise, then layer the crispy Smart Bacon over your bottom slice.  Top with sliced tomato (I prefer Roma tomatoes for a BLT — I find that one Roma tomato makes the perfect amount of slices for one sandwich) and crisp iceberg lettuce. Voilà! Enjoy!

Dinner: Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

Once again, I cannot take credit for this recipe because I got it from Chrissy Teigen, who got it from The Pioneer Woman (http://thepioneerwoman.com/).  I will tell you what, though: I made this for dinner tonight and it marked the first time I have ever voluntarily prepared, let alone consumed, Brussels sprouts.

My dad loves Brussels sprouts and so my mom would occasionally make them for dinner when I was a kid.  Sadly, the only way she ever thought to prepare them was, as she did with every other vegetable we ate, by buying them frozen and then boiling the life (and the taste!) out of them in water.  I still shudder to think of it.

Roasting vegetables is the way to go.  Oh my gosh, I love me some crispy, browned, caramelized roasted veggies!  I figured that was probably the only way I’d ever like Brussels sprouts, so I decided to give this recipe a try.

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

Ingredients
3 pounds Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Trim/clean Brussels sprouts. Cut them in half, if desired, or leave them whole.

Arrange on two baking sheets and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper and roast at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown.

Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and reduce until very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the roasted sprouts, then sprinkle on dried cranberries. Toss and serve immediately.

I’m not going to say it was my favorite thing ever, but I’ll be darned if it wasn’t pretty good.  The balsamic reduction added a nice little kick; and the dried cranberries gave it another level of flavor, as well.

If you’re squeamish about Brussels sprouts, this recipe might change your mind.  If you already love them, you’ll probably really love them like this!

This is meant to be a side dish, but for me it was an entire meal (I halved the recipe and still have a ton left over).

There you go — an entire day’s worth of quick, easy, and delicious vegetarian recipes! Bon appétit!

Catherine Cook, Lazy Vegetarian and Contributor Extraordinaire

Catherine is an Austin, Texas-based compulsive shopper, beauty product addict, animal lover, and vegetarian.

Her current interests include cardigans, dark chocolate with sea salt, the television series Fringe, and trying out new and interesting vegetarian recipes.

You can find her elsewhere on the web at dangerouslyLUXE or on Twitter at @catvoncat.

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    You had me at garlic and rosemary….
    I can’t wait to try those herbed eggs!

  2. You will love them! Tastiest breakfast EVER.

  3. Jennifer says:

    They were INSANELY delish! And I can’t wait to make them again.
    It’s the combination of butter and cream and herbs. Mmmmmm….

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed them! I need to make them again soon. I keep forgetting to grab all of the ingredients when I do my grocery shopping.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Mr Wonderful also gave the Smart Bacon “two thumbs up.” GREAT recipes and recommendations, Catherine. Thank you!

  6. Herbed baked eggs is more of a crustless quiche with fluff. Incredibly delicious and the aroma lures everyone to the table long before it’s ready. Protein rich, it’s perfect for the carb conscious.

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