My friend Karen recently asked me what she could use for a substitute for vanilla cinnamon Coffeemate creamer. She would like to give up the artificial ingredients in the creamer. The best substitute that I can think of is to flavor a half pint of light cream with the amount of vanilla and fresh ground cinnamon (which will be stronger than the already ground stuff). Mix it all together and keep in the fridge until you need it. A half pint is 8 ounces and should remain good for approximately 10 days. The cream really is not that bad for you if you are simply using a small amount for flavor and smoothness. Of course if you are one of those people who take a little coffee with your cream this is not going to work.
Another question was what is a legume and how can she incorporate more meatless meals into the family diet. First the definition of a legume: Legume refers to plants or their fruit of the leguminosae family. The simple answer is lentils, beans, peas and peanuts. There are others such as alfalfa, carob, etc but let’s stick with the first four.
Making meatless meals is very easy, just substitute a bean or lentil for the meat in a recipe and you’re good to go. In one of my previous posts I mentioned our favorite vegetarian shepherd’s pie
which is an excellent and tasty dish for a meatless dinner. We also make taco salad substituting black beans for the meat with taco seasoning, crush tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl and everyone dresses their own salad with diced tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa; it’s a very tasty dinner. Another great choice is a baked potato bar, I prefer to use sweet potatoes, with broccoli, beans, other vegetables and sauces to taste.
Of course if you are looking for new recipes rather than converting recipes you already have there are some great resources on the web. These can be found at:
AllRecipes twenty-for-twenty – a great list of 20 ingredients that combined create 20 dinners
Vegetarian Times – a neat feature here is the ability to use checkboxes to define your search by season, cuisine, meal-type, appliance and more
Recipe Source – formerly the SOAR, this is a list of the vegetarian recipes in the archive
I’m sure there are many others but these are the ones that I like the most.