Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why are some vegetarians overweight?

Because, just like some omnivores, they're eating the wrong foods!  I learned this the hard way, when my perinatologist who specialized in triplet and even quadruplet(!) pregnancies said I was gaining weight way too fast! 

(Hi, Babydoll!)

At that point I was eating literally every half hour, but I wasn't making my meals count.  For the first time in my life I realized how important it was not only to eat foods that are healthy, but to eat foods that are healthy and keep me full.  That's when I discovered the beauty of fiber.  Which brings me to a recipe that is near and dear to my heart- walnut taco "meat."

I LOVE the stuff.

I love it in tacos, in burritos, in lettuce wraps, I haven't tried it in lasagna but I'm pretty sure I'd love it in that, too.  This is the kind of meal that sets me on the right track for the rest of the day.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

Walnut Taco "Meat"
Yield: 4 servings

4 cups (about 1 lb) walnuts
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (I like 3)
3 tbsp olive oil+ more if desired
1/4 cup taco seasoning
2-3 tsp sriracha (I like this extra spicy so I use 3)
3/4 cup water
Some people find nuts hard to digest.  If this is a problem for you, try soaking them overnight.  This breaks down the enzymes and aids in digestion.

Add oil to large frying pan (preferably with high sides- stirring can get messy.)  When oil is hot, add onion and cook until translucent over medium high heat.  In food processor, pulse walnuts until the size of peppercorns.  (Some of it will turn powdery- not to worry.  Just try not to process it so much that it's all that way.)  Add garlic to onions and let cook for 30 seconds.  Add walnuts and and rest of ingredients, stirring well.  "But the water turned it into a soupy mess!"  What, you never went through an awkward stage?  Trust me on this.  About the olive oil- I make this dish two ways- as written above when I am trying to eat healthy, and with about 1/4 cup extra olive oil when I am craving something that's greasy like the real thing.  It's good both ways.  If you're going for taste over nutrition, now is the time to add your extra oil.  Let cook for about 5 minutes, then reduce to low and cover.  Now you have two choices:  you can let this simmer for 30 minutes and it will be good.  Or, you can let it simmer for over an hour and it will be a-maz-ing. 

Any other ideas on how to enjoy this dish?  I'd love to hear them!


  1. Very good not meat but tasted like meat, also very filling how weird. I am a meat eater but I think if I had to I could live off this stuff.

  2. Haha! Thanks, Anonymous. Welcome to VHV!

  3. Tasted like Chicken gizzards! Which is my favorite part of the Chicken,but not as good as Spotted Owl. Brzshgckxk! That's greetings from Albania.

  4. Thanks, Anonymous. I'm glad you liked it. I will have to look into making a vegetarian version of spotted owl. Brzshgckxk to you!

  5. What a neat idea! I'm going to have to try it out. :)