Tarti-what?

So my brother-in-law recently announced that he was vegetarian bound. Not a decision he is taking lightly, but a well thought out journey arriving at destination “no meat”. His announcement really got me thinking.

Since arriving here in France,our eating habits have changed drastically.  I’ll spare you  the details of the breakfast challenge, the bread challenge, and the coffee challenge, and just state straight up, we’ve been eating LOTS of meat since we’ve been here.  I’m honestly not even sure how it happened.  Partly, I think I caved to cultural pressure.  I wanted to fit in.  Partially, I think my vegetarian habits were very California (warm climate)-centric.  Smoothies, salads, acai bowls, and soba noodles no longer held the same allure in freezing winds and pelting rain.  A big plate of Boeuf Bourguinon – – – well, that sounded appetizing!  But the thing is, ideologically I completely and 100% believe in vegetarian eating.  Back home we weren’t 100% there, but we were on the right path; headed in the right direction.  We ate meat occasionally and only as a garnish (yes, for those of you that know me well, it’s the bacon we can’t manage to abandon).

Interestingly enough also, since we’ve been here, we’ve had more “debates” (read parental coaxing / prodding / screaming & kid resisting) about food than ever before.  When I stopped to think about it, I realized those debates always happen over meat main dishes and never over veggies.  Imagine that, a kid that wants to eat her veggies and nothing more!

So here we go again.  Like salmon swimming up stream in this French land of charcuterie, we’re going to attempt to regain a more veggie-centric mode of eating – – – still allowing the occasional meat in as a garnish.

I recently renovated this little dish known as a Tartiflette to be based on carrots rather than potatoes.  It was a success.  And yes, there was a meat garnish here since I had ham left over and couldn’t bear to toss it out – I’m ideologically opposed to waste also {wink}. However, this dish can completely forego the meat and be just as tasty.

Start out by slicing up a good amount of carrots into thin rounds. I believe I used five.

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Sautee up the carrots until they just start to become tender.

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Add a generous amount of sage and continue to sautee for another 2 minutes.

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Spread the carrots into a casserole dish that is oven-safe.  Then pour about a cup of cream over. (I just said it was mainly veggies, I never claimed it was low fat!) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Spread thinly sliced ham over . . . or skip this step altogether if you aren’t feeling the meat garnish.

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Finally, top with raclette cheese.

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Put the whole thing in the oven at about 375 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes until cheese is melted and top is golden brown.

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Enjoy with some sliced baguette and a nice green salad.

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