“The downfall of some vegetarian diets is a tendency to rely on white rice or pasta as the focus of the meal. After all, pasta and rice dishes can be quick, tasty, and economical. While it’s true that a little pasta or rice in moderation is harmless for most people, sometimes you can find yourself eating more refined carbs than anything else and ultimately putting on extra pounds — a telltale signal that it’s time to reevaluate what you’re eating.” — Robin Robertson, Carb Conscious Vegetarian
This, in the proverbial nutshell, describes my approach to being vegetarian for two decades. Rice and (gluten-free) pasta are the mainstays of my go-to meals, and the former has definitely increased since going gluten-free several years ago.
Now, as I’ve mentioned in some very recent posts, I need to focus on reducing my carbs and lowering my cholesterol. My triglyceride levels are in a super-high range and combined with the cholesterol numbers, I’m pretty sure statins are in my future. Needless to say, I’m not pleased about any of this. The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be many cookbooks that are gluten-free AND vegetarian AND low-carb AND low cholesterol. I feel like I need to create my own repertoire of recipes. Expect to hear more about all this in future posts.
So, I’m trying to embrace this and using the need for new recipes as justification for borrowing piles of cookbooks at a time from our library, which has a very extensive cookbook collection spanning every possible cuisine, device, food group, diet and lifestyle, etc. We’re very fortunate in that regard.
Carb Conscious Vegetarian by Robin Robertson seems to be a good place to start. It’s from 2005, and a bit on the basic side with no photographs, but these 150 recipes “contain no refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, sugar, or pasta.” Recipes using soy (including vegetarian crumbles and burgers, tofu, and tempeh) are included. Robertson describes this as a “moderately low-carb/all good carb” cookbook and includes an extensive list of food items and the carb counts for specific amounts. She also includes an explanation of the glycemic index, including the number for certain foods. Most of the recipes are either already gluten-free or easily modified to be GF.
Recipes I’m interested in trying (none of these have any cholesterol) include:
Guacamame (9 g. carbs) – avocado with the addition of edamame
Summer Vegetable Bisque (14 g. carbs) – the creaminess of the bisque is accomplished by pureeing the vegetables and stock
Bountiful “Big Bowl” Chili (28 g. carbs)
Victory Garden Stew (23 g. carbs)
Tabbouleh-Style Quinoa Salad (28 g. carbs)
Sloppy Josephines (18 g. carbs) – a variation on Sloppy Joes, with a note that it tastes better the next day. This sounds like it would be good to make ahead and eat for an early dinner, particularly when we are going someplace where we are unsure of the vegetarian food options.
Rich Man’s Pesto (2 g. carbs)
Wintertime Spinach Pesto (2 g. carbs)
Creamy Cucumber-Dijon Dressing (2 g. carbs)
White Wine Vinegar and Fresh Herb Marinade – for grilled vegetables (2 g. carbs)
Spinach-Mushroom “Frittata” – egg free (10 g. carbs)
Carb Conscious Vegetarian: 150 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle
This is post #71 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.