If there's ever a time when steak seems like a good idea, it's when I have no time. Even then, it's not the meat that appeals to me, but the lack of effort it takes to prepare it. I can't think of a vegetarian equivalent to throwing a slab of beef on the broiler. Even spreading peanut butter on bread seems like a chore in comparison.
It takes more than average ingenuity to come up with an appetizing well-balanced meatless meal that doesn't involve an ordeal of dicing, peeling or paring, which is why I consulted Mollie Katzen's "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest" (Ten Speed Press: 1982) for these simple supper recipes.
SAVORY FRENCH TOAST
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Dash dried basil
2 or 3 slices bread
2 teaspoons butter or non-stick spray
3 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
In pie plate or deep dish, beat together egg, milk, salt and pepper to taste and basil. Soak bread in milk mixture.
Melt butter in skillet or heat skillet lightly coated with non-stick spray. Fry bread on both sides. Sprinkle with cheese and let melt. Serve hot with applesauce. Makes 1 serving.
3 tablespoons butter
6 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup yogurt, or 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Brush pie pan with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Peel eggs, then slice lengthwise and place face-up in pie pan.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in small pan. Add mustard seeds and cook a few minutes, until they pop. Add cumin, turmeric, cayenne, cloves, ginger and season to taste with salt.
Whisk yogurt until smooth, or whisk together yogurt and sour cream. Add spiced butter, then mix well and spoon on top of eggs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and broil until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Note: Serve with cucumber salad, rice or pita bread.