Herbivore Loves Carnivore

How a vegetarian and a meat-eater found love in the kitchen. Katy and Will.

What do you get when a carnivore marries an herbivore?  A little creativity and a lot of dirty dishes.

My husband, Will, and I have always enjoyed cooking together, but once I transitioned to a vegetarian (or more technically to a lacto-ovo-pescatarian – meaning, I eat fish, eggs and dairy), our meal times became more interesting.  Will always jokes that I purposely made the transition after we got married.

Although I would consider Will a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of guy, he has welcomed the idea transitioning to a ‘fish and vegetable’ guy a couple times a week.  Many nights we enjoy dishes such as mahi-mahi with vegetables and rice or garlic shrimp tacos with homemade guacamole, but other nights, when Will needs his fill of protein, we get a little creative with our entrees…

Last week, while shopping for our weekly groceries, we stumbled across a kit for a taco bake.  This pre-packaged dinner consists of several round, flour tortillas to be layered with ground beef or turkey, taco sauce, and cheese.  Typically, this would not be something we could eat together, but we decided to give it a try.  My clever husband built a tinfoil barrier to separate two sides of a 9 inch round pan.  We then sliced each tortilla in half.  I layered my side with seasoned black beans, he with ground turkey.  It turned out just right for a lazy cooking night and we were able to enjoy it together.

Although we enjoy experimenting with new dishes, we do have a few tried and true.  One of my favorite ‘revised’ dishes is perfect for cold, February weather.  In the comfort food diet edition of my Taste of Home magazine, I found a recipe for ‘easy chicken potpie.’  Obviously, I don’t eat chicken, but that didn’t stop us from cooking this dish together.

Easy Chicken Potpie

  • ½ can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • ½ can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • ½ cup plus 2/3 cup fat-free milk, divided
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 packages (16 oz each) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1 ½ cups reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix

In one bowl, combine cream of chicken soup and half cream of mushroom soup, ¼ cup milk, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and poultry seasoning.  Stir in one bag of vegetables and all chicken.

In a separate bowl, combine cream of celery soup, ¼ cup milk and remaining cream of mushroom soup, dried thyme, and pepper.  Stir in second bag of vegetables.

Transfer to separate baking dishes, coated with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, stir biscuit mix and remaining milk just until blended.  Drop by 6 rounded tablespoonfuls onto each dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown.

Yields 6 servings.

We always enjoy this dish and it allows us to each get our fill of the food we love.  It is fun for us to take recipes like this one and put our own twist to it.   We used to look at recipes and think ‘we can’t make that,’ now we think HOW can we spice it up to make it work for us?

Katy grew up in the Charlotte area and now resides in Concord with her husband, Will, and their two pups.  Katy and Will both lead busy lives, but they always try to make time to have dinner together several nights a week.  Since she is a vegetarian and he is not, they have found adventure in coming up with new and exciting dishes to create, cook, and enjoy together.

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