Weekends are for (food)lovers- Story of a vegan & a meat lover

“Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?”  ~Author Unknown

“Again with the food?!” you say.  Yes! Let’s be honest, 2 hours of cross training at the Y when Spring is blooming outside doesn’t make for a happy Jaye and won’t make a very delightful post 🙂  So, this week, we start with food, which always makes me happy!

The cous, an old pic from my graduation. She's all grown up now and getting married.

My cousin came down from Chicago for her bachelorette party this weekend. It was a blast and so much fun to see her! Friday morning I texted her to see if she had dinner plans saying I’d love to make her dinner. She texted me back saying that was great but that she was vegan now.  What?  Hmmm. Ok.  I quickly emailed a great friend who was vegan before becoming pregnant to see if she could point me in the right direction. As always, she delivered.

I had my recipe, my grocery list and was ready to go. She even helped me figure out what beer/wine was vegan.  Come on, it was her bachelorette party, first things first.

That night, we ended up walking to Rosepepper because it was nice out and the quesadilla and margaritas were calling my name (They have an awesome vegetarian burrito) but I had all the ingredients so the Boy and I made this Sunday night.

I don’t ever see myself becoming vegan, but as you can read in these two posts, I am trying to pay attention to what I eat and how it’s made.  I agree that the state of the food business is not good and that most americans have no clue what they are eating or what happened to it before it got to the plate. Most people, like my cousin, are vegan to boycott that.  With spring here, I’m going to be going and getting food at the farmer’s market and really watching what type of meat I buy, even if it’s more expensive.  How did we get to the point where organic or something natural is more expensive. It makes me angry. Oh well, I’ll think of it as money spent on my health.

So without further ado, in our first corner, we have the vegan.

Vegan Roasted Veggie Pasta. Photo from Vegetarian Times

Roasted Vegetable Linguine with Torn Fresh Basil
Originally from Vegetarian Times

-2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
-1/2 lb. fresh or frozen asparagus, cut into 11/2-inch piece (I used sweet peas)
-1 small onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
-2 Tbs. olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
-2 cups cherry tomatoes (I halved mine to make them easier to eat)
-1/2 cup white wine
-1/2 13.25-oz. pkg. whole-wheat or white linguine
-1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves

-Preheat oven to 450°F.
-Toss together mushrooms, peas, onion, oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in large roasting pan. -Roast 20 minutes, or until mushrooms and onions begin to brown, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
-Add tomatoes to pan, and roast 7 to 10 minutes more, or until tomatoes shrivel and soften.
-Transfer vegetables to bowl. Add wine to roasting pan, stirring to scrape off any stuck-on bits from bottom of pan.
-Place roasting pan on burner over medium heat, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until wine has evaporated by half; or return roasting pan to oven 5 minutes, and let wine cook off.
-Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Stir reserved cooking water into reduced wine in roasting pan.
-Return pasta to pot. Add wine mixture and vegetables, and toss over medium-low heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
-Stir in torn fresh basil leaves, and serve immediately.

This was really really delicious. Normally when I think of vegan, I think tofu…you can tell how much I know, right. A vegan and a meat lover can sit down at the same table and not only be friends, but have an absolutely delicious meal.  I loved the hint of white wine and honestly, you can never go wrong with roasted veggies and pasta in my book.  I will definitely be making this again, but maybe as a side dish for some grilled chicken 🙂

And in the other corner we have the meat lover.

Photo by the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond

Recipe originally from My Muse

This is the best part…there are only three!
-1 whole beef frisket, trimmed of all fat (5-8 lbs)
-1 bottle (24 oz.)  Ketchup
-1 package onion soup mix

-Place trimmed brisket into a large baking pan.
-Mix ketchup with onion soup mix and add 1 cup of water to thin it out a bit.
-Pour sauce over the meat, cover pan with foil and marinate 12-24 hours in the fridge.
-Place covered pan into a 275-degree oven and walk away for 6-8 hours, depending on how big the brisket is.
-Check tenderness when brisket has been cooking for several hours: stick in two forks and pull in opposite directions.  Meat should come apart easily.
-When meat is done, remove from oven and place on a cutting board.
-Slice against the grain with a SHARP knife and remember, meat falling apart is a good thing.
-Return the sliced meat to the sauce until serving.

Delicious! Photo by Ree Drummond

YUM. I have never made brisket before but I was game for anything with only three ingredients.  This was so nice because you could just leave it all day.  I did it on one of the days I work from home so I could keep an eye on it but that may have been a mistake because the smell of it cooking is simply mouthwatering.  I can’t stress two things enough on this recipe: 1- use a deep baking pan.  I had some sauce that decided to jump out of the pan onto my leg and brand new running shoes. 2- use a SHARP knife.  When tender, the brisket just falls apart and a dull knife (like I have) makes it nearly impossible to cut these pieces.  I had some amazing brisket sandwiches for lunch too!

No, that's not blood. It's the brisket I spilled on my shoes. As if Caesar didn't want to eat my shoes enough...

And for a quick running update:

Sometimes plans have to change. I’m not very good at this especially since it’s something I’ve been training for since December, but I’m coming to grips with it.  The Country Music Marathon was this past Saturday and I wasn’t able to race it which I thought would really be hard. It was, but it was so fun to cheer other runners on and focus on that instead of a time.

Later this week I’ll have a full update on what’s next in terms of running and will link to some amazing runners who completed the CMM and their race updates, not everyone’s are up and I don’t want to miss anyone! Congrats to all of you!


7 thoughts on “Weekends are for (food)lovers- Story of a vegan & a meat lover

  1. Bummer about not being able to run. I hope everything is okay, and I can’t wait to hear about your upcoming plans.

    Back to drooling on my desk with all of those yummy pictures to look at!

  2. That vegan meal looks extra delic! I gotta try that out for sure. And brisket is always welcome on my plate. Good recipes, pal!

    We missed you in the race, but could feel your spirit throughout the miles! Ahaha, no really!

  3. I was so sad to miss you on Saturday!!! I hope that the day of rest was good for your body, and that you’ll be back pounding the pavement super soon.

    And… for the record… I LOVE your food posts. You are an inspiration to me – can’t wait until I try brisket!!

  4. Sorry about the run, but your mind ran, with food thoughts..and I will have this brisket this weekend, and if the kids do not stop over, well i know what i will have for a week….

  5. Sorry you couldn’t do the run!!

    I do have an answer for you on the more expensive thing, particularly with meat. With more mass-produced, less-healthy foods, they can raise and then kill more animals on the same amount of land. Organic, free-range farms can’t raise as many healthy animals humanely, so they have to charge more in order to keep their farms afloat. I never feel bad paying a little extra for Mr. Smith’s meat knowing the animals lived better lives. 🙂

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