9pm dinner for one: Vegetarian food FTW

Without really meaning to, I've been leaning towards vegetarian meals in the last couple of days.  It's up for debate whether it is really more healthy because I end up eating more dairy/cheese/eggs, but there's no question that this is just as delicious as anything I've made with meat, and moreover I haven't really felt the absence of meat at all.  Pretty remarkable for someone who really loves her meat.

I just made this rich, crispity-crusty, super flavorful savory bread pudding with mushrooms. I had to improvise a bit because I didn't have 8 eggs, or parmesan.  I did manage to buy some heavy whipping cream (calories be darned) and am so glad I didn't try to use milk or some other such horror.  

Changes I made:

  • Made one quarter of the recipe
  • Used week old bread (it was like sawing a rock apart)
  • Skipped the step of pre-toasting the bread altogether since it was so dried out already, which meant I skipped the fresh thyme too
  • Used a mix of portobello and brown crimini mushrooms
  • Used smoked cheddar instead of Parmesan because that's all I had
  • Skipped the bell peppers; I HATE cooked green bell peppers
  • Probably added way more onion and garlic than was necessary
  • Used a mix of olive oil and butter instead of all-butter
  • Added chrysanthemum leaves (I had some sitting in my fridge for a while, and I got the idea from the savory bread pudding I had once at Bar Tartine which used nettles of all things) as well as some homemade leek confit I had in the fridge
  • Skipped the parsley

All told, I don't think I really missed any of the stuff I skipped because the end result was PHENOMENALLY YUMMY. I had it with a side salad of heirloom tomatoes marinated in balsamic, olive oil, and basil leaves, sitting on a small bed of arugula, topped with pine nuts.

On Saturday I made up a relatively quick, totally veggie sandwich:

  • Toasted pepper bagel from Noah's (my favorite!)
  • Smoked babaghanoush (eggplant dip) from Bi-Rite market (omg sooo good!)
  • Aforementioned leek confit
  • Goat cheese crumbles from TJ's
  • Sliced zucchini sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Aforementioned arugula
  • Hummus

In the end, I think the only missing were tomatoes.  That would have really put it over the edge.

Lastly, for brunch on Sunday I made a creamy scramble with sauteed diced zucchini, portobello mushrooms, shallots, and spinach.  Topped with jalapeno jack cheese.  Yom.  Now I have to worry about what I'm going to eat for lunch tomorrow.

12 responses
I "was" a vegetarian for years but getting my husband to convert is my problem.Love your ideas.
omg i really want to eat all of these things RIGHT NOW
Tee hee well I have some sitting in my fridge...needs to be reheated in the oven though.
How many eggs did you use if you quartered the recipe? My hunch tells me 2 (quartered). Was it moist enough to get the bread pudding texture?
Yup it was 2 eggs and along with the cream it was good, but more bready than custard-y (which I prefer).  I also used a bit more bread than the recipe called for (quartered) so if you went with the recipe it would probably be creamier in texture.
Thanks for the tip about the savoury bread pudding! I went to a foodie flash mob potluck dinner (strange, I know) and I made this. About 50 people were there and I was told over and over again that the dish was one of the best out of everything there! YAY success.
Hey col, that's awesome! I'm so glad it worked out for you. Foodie flash mob potluck dinner??  That sounds awesome! How do I get invited to one of those? :)
It's in Vancouver :) Here's an article about the first ever one they held a couple years ago: http://scoutmagazine.ca/2009/07/31/al-fresco-flash-mob-dinners-make-use-of-ur...
Such a cool idea, col!  Maybe we can start something like this in SF.
I finally made this after reading the recipe you linked and your tweaks. It is really good. It's the best dish I've made in months. I added fresh shitake mushrooms from the farmer's market, red/purple bell peppers and lots of thyme. Skipped the butter but glad I used the whipping cream. I had it for lunch and dinner with tomato and basil salad! Yummy.
very palatable
By Tuscany
Hey Janet, glad you liked it! It's interesting you used purple bell peppers.  I feel like I have to do something of the sort again, and soon.