when you stray from the norm, you open yourself up to discovering new things

Posted by susan on April 6th, 2011. Filed under: epicurious travel.

Mike and I decided to give up meat for Lent. For a meat and potatoes kind of gal, you’d think this would be difficult, but in reality, it hasn’t been too bad. Mike and I don’t have time to cook elaborate meals on weekdays so we tend to keep it simple anyways. The real trouble comes when we go out to eat.

Lately I’ve been finding myself navigating parts of menus I once never ventured and as a result, I’ve been eating more vegetables. In fact, what has surprised me most about my lack of meat intake is how unfamiliar I am with all of the vegetables out there that can actually make up a good meal. Going out of my way to eat vegetables is what made me realize that I don’t eat vegetables enough on a regular basis.

This past weekend my brother-in-law, Matt (I can say that now), and his wife, Meghan, came up from Tennessee for the weekend and we had a family dinner at my aunt and uncle-in-laws’ newly opened restaurant in Upton, MA – Red Rock Grill and Bar – which has a menu filled with unique takes on comfort food, including lots of great choices that happen to have meat as a main ingredient.

Resisting the temptation, Mike and I ventured out of our comfort zones and tested out a couple of dishes we never would have tried otherwise.

Vegetable Mac & Cheese….

mac and cheese

And Grilled Eggplant & Crispy Polenta….

eggplant dish

I will say that mushrooms and eggplant are a couple of ingredients I will more proactively seek out from now on, even when I am eating meat again.

What new things have you discovered when you changed up your routine?

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