Trials and Errors in the Vegetarian World


Confessions of a Carnivore

Here’s the thing: I admire vegetarians and their healthy choices. But as much as I admire my friends who can shun meat, I like meat too much. Specifically, cheeseburgers. Little known fact: my cheeseburger obsession got to such a point one year that I needed to give them up for Lent in a desperate attempt to try to break my habit. (It didn’t work.)

And – I’m not going to lie – I’m a very happy carnivore. Like many of my friends who are also children of the 70s, I was raised on a meat-and-potato kind of diet. Roasts and casseroles were standards in our house – with good reason! They’re delicious; they feed large families; and, they’re great meals for SAHMs like me because the prep work is done in advance and they don’t require a lot of oversight while they cook. Plus, there’s something so-darn-comforting about these hearty, meaty meals.

But in my growing want/need to eat more healthfully, I’m on a kick to try to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our dinner rotation. And I have discovered I really love to grill..

Grilled Romaine Hearts, Tofu, Peppers and Portobello

Grilled Romaine Hearts, Tofu, Peppers & Portabello

Grilled Romaine Hearts, Tofu, Peppers & Portabello

There were a lot of different elements to this meal, so I thought I’d break it down here:

Grilled Tofu

Marinating Tofu

Marinating Tofu

Talk about a trial: tofu is very new to my family. A few months ago, I thought I’d give it a try as part of our effort to have more vegetarian meals. So, I used it in a stir-fry and the family loved it. That dish has become a new staple in our house.

But tonight, since it was 90 degrees here, I thought it would be fun to try marinating and grilling the tofu.

In the trial category, I get an A.  In the error category, I think I’d get a B.

For the marinade, I mixed what I could find in my cabinet:

  •  some soy sauce
  • honey
  • minced garlic
  • black pepper
  • toasted sesame oil

I cut the tofu in half lengthwise and put the now 1/2 inch thick tofu into the marinade to sit for an hour.

I was off to a good start and then…. the tofu started breaking apart. And crumbling. So when I put it in the grill pan (which I pre-sprayed with grilling spray), it fell through the holes and burned while the bigger pieces didn’t get that crispy coat I was hoping for.

Marinating Tofu

Marinating Tofu

Tofu remnants on grill

Tofu remnants on grill


The Hubs and 2/3 of the kids liked the tofu and ate it.  I think it was the marinade flavors they liked, because they all liked the taste, but didn’t care for the texture. My friend who is a vegetarian tells me this can be fixed based on the type of tofu you use.  It’s all about the firmness and quality.  I, in all honesty, had bought the tofu that was on sale and is sold in a box. Food for thought.

Grilled Romaine Hearts with Caesar Vinaigrette

IMG_3478 - Version 2

This. Was. So. Good.  If you like caesar salad, you will love this.

I saw the look in my husband’s eyes when I told him I was grilling Romaine hearts. He was less-than-enthused.

But once he tried it, he was hooked and asked for me to make this again over the summer.

As for the kids – they loved it, too!!!

Here’s the recipe I followed — VERY easy.

Grilled Peppers and Portabello

IMG_3480 - Version 2


Toss sliced mini bell peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Grill.

Brush portabellos with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Grill.

Done. Dinner is ready-to-go and we didn’t have a clean plate in site (with the exception of some tofu my younger son just couldn’t bring himself to swallow.)

Then I woke up this morning 2lbs lighter!  Was it the healthier food?  I dunno… but it doesn’t hurt, does it?!  LOL!

Happy eatings!


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