Monday, January 5, 2009

Meatless Monday: Dairy Salvation

You may have noticed that I've missed a few Meatless Monday postings in a row now. What can I say? Life intervenes. In this case, 'life' was preparing and traveling for a graduation, a baby shower, and several holiday celebrations in three different states. Very enjoyable, but it did require lots of shopping (and shipping) far in advance of the holiday and pulling work I would have done during vacation into the weeks that preceded it so I wouldn't miss any deadlines, and that left little time for writing blog entries ahead of time which I could have scheduled to post while I was gone. Technically, I could have done it, but it would have required stretching myself thinner than I like, which would have defeated the whole purpose of my becoming a freelancer in the first place. . . . Sooo, long story short, I haven't forgotten about Meatless Mondays and you'll be seeing more of them in 2009, starting with this one:


During all the working, traveling, and holiday planning, my husband Matt and I came upon a food dilemma:

When you're about to go on vacation, what do you do with all the dairy products in the refrigerator that will go bad while you're gone (short of just throwing it all out)?

He came up with a couple of great solutions:

Homemade Ice Cream
I bought Matt an ice cream maker back when we lived in Pasadena for either his birthday or Christmas one year. It's what Matt's cooking idol Alton Brown would refer to as a dreaded "unitasker" and we don't use it all that often, but I would argue that it was still one of the best kitchen appliance purchases we've ever made. While we packed for our trip, the milk we would never finish before we left churned away in this puppy. When it was done, we popped it in the freezer. Then, later that month, we returned to delicious ice cream! Some of our favorite ice cream recipes have come from a book by the masters themselves - Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.

And ice cream can be just as fun to make as it is to eat. For Christmas, I got two of my cousin's boys an ice cream maker in the shape of a ball. Kicking it around churns the ice cream!

Jilted Eggs

There are so many recipes online for easy egg dishes, but this is one of our all-time favorites. There are very few ingredients and they're all pretty basic, so you'll most likely have them all in your refrigerator. The prep and procedures are quick and no-fuss too. Once you throw the ingredients together, you can just pop it in the oven and set at timer, which is perfect for when you've got a lot of other things to do (like put vacation holds on your newspaper and mail). It's also easy to reduce or increase the number of servings.

Alternatives: The recipe notes that you can use individual custard dishes in lieu of a casserole dish. We've found using a tin for large muffins works really well too. And, if you don't have English muffins, regular bread also works just fine.

Got any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts

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