Juicy steaks and breaded chicken strips are among my favorite foods. Yet, I enjoy a nice vegetarian meal every now and then.
My love for meat is rather new. When I was younger, my parents made me sit at the kitchen table every night until I finished all the meat on my plate. I absolutely hated it. My mother even bought a vegetarian cookbook when I was in second grade because I went vegetarian for a couple of months.
I ate more meat as I got older, especially when I became a high school athlete. I ran track, cross-country and cheered. When I got to college, I decided to become a vegetarian. It lasted over a year and helped me appreciate meat. Odd to say, I know, but it is true.
I swore off all meats after I watched videos released by PETA and read countless Go Veg brochures. Instead of steak and chicken, black bean burgers and sliced tofurkey sandwiches became my staple meals. I was content, but not completely happy.
About three years ago, I began incorporating meat back into my diet. I started small with seafood and continued to chicken and beef, but my time as a vegetarian helped me understand what it was about meat that I was against.
I enjoyed the steaks, but I was not fond of the additives given to the animals. I was also repulsed by the way some companies treated their animals. It was too much for me to think about.
Instead, I became more mindful of what meat I bought. I want the meat I consume to be organic, free-range and nutritional. If I ever question the meat, I usually don’t buy it.
As I mentioned, I do enjoy a good vegetarian meal every now and then and I wanted to share my recipe with you. As some of you may recall, I shared a recipe for shiitake fried ricelast semester and that I grew my very own shiitake mushrooms. They have bloomed again and I am glad to share another mushroom recipe with you today.
COUSCOUS TOPPED SHIITAKE MUSHROOM CAPS
Total time: 40 minutes
Shiitake mushrooms, washed and cut and discard stems
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of vinegar (I use rice vinegar. It is sweeter than white vinegar.)
1/2 cup of couscous
Salt and pepper, for taste
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Prepare couscous as directed on packaging.
- While couscous cooks, line a baking pan with foil and place mushroom caps upside down. Cover with soy sauce, vinegar, cayenne pepper and ground ginger and let it sit.
- Top mushroom with cooked couscous and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove and enjoy.
*For a complete meal, pair withshiitake fried rice.