As I began my 28 days come what May project this past Spring, I thumbed through all my recipes ripped from Cooking Light magazines. I picked out the ones that had some appeal and then filled in my grocery list with their ingredients. There was ground chicken and farro, baby bok choy and chayote squash. And I began to cook my way down this path.

These were not recipes that I would necessarily cook for my kids but just the kind of low calorie, lots of vegetables, and avoid white flour recipes I thought I needed to be exploring. And I came to some conclusions and a few opinions in doing so.

I love to eat and experiment with different types of food. But I find it slightly irritating when a recipe tries so hard to be something familiar using alternative ingredients. As if you’re “getting away” with something. I find that, as I’m eating this dish, like vegan macaroni and cheese with rice elbow macaroni, that I just wish I was eating the “real thing”.

Fake it dishes using alternative ingredients freak me out.

I’m good with something that’s good on its own and different than anything I’ve had. Like my friend’s Curried Mushroom Quinoa with Tahini sauce. Delicious and completely unique.

And don’t get me wrong, I can go for vegetarian dishes if they hold flavorful favor with my tongue. Roasted vegetable napoleons, panzanella salad, and minestrone soup are all options I can be all about without any meat in sight. But I’m not going to readily pursue meatless meatballs. Because I’m a traditionalist and that’s an insult to a meatball.

I’m all about trying something out. That’s a rule at our house, you have to try it. But if it doesn’t ring my bells, I’m done. Yesterday I pulled the recipes out from under the magnet on the side of the fridge and said adios to them and threw them right away.

When I found the obscure chayote squash in my fridge, I thought, what was I doing with this? And then I remembered, I had just lost interest in that one recipe. Perhaps there’s something else I can do with it that I’m in the mood to try. And now I have a recipe for a vinegar slaw with julienned chayote squash. Now what sort of tacos am I making to go with this? Definitely not tofu tacos!


If you have any thoughts, please drop a word below in the comments. Or you can…

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