I’ll never become a full-time vegetarian, but I have decided it’s time to stop talking about animal treatment on factory farms and start eating like it.
What started off as a carefree conversation around a vacation dinner table last June has actually turned into a way of life. David and I decided to eat vegetarian two days a week—Mondays and Wednesdays—so we could afford more humanely raised meat the rest of the week. So far we’ve been faithful, but like all worthwhile endeavors, it’s been challenging.
Going vegetarian—part- or full-time—takes some getting used to. Not the eating so much as everything leading up to it. The pantry, refrigerator, and freezer need to be tweaked. You need to think differently in the kitchen. And although you’re still eating many of the same dishes, you need to find new starring entrees to replace the meat, fish, or poultry that used to anchor the plate.
It’s been six months now. If I were a teacher, I’d give me an A for effort, because I’ve definitely managed to eat meatless two days a week for six months. But for creativity I’d give me a C, because on meatless days I haven’t eaten expectantly or joyfully.
On vegetarian days I feel a little like Mr. Tumnus describing pre-Aslan Narnia. “It’s always winter,” he says, “but never Christmas.”
Going vegetarian appeals to a lot of people, so like me they “try it.” But it’s a little like waking up one morning and deciding to quit smoking or go Atkins. You might succeed, but it’s not likely if you don’t make some changes to your basic patterns and habits. My goal in 2010 is to make some systemic changes in how I think, plan and shop for meatless Monday and Wednesdays. I guess I want Aslan to visit my kitchen and make my wan vegetarian days a little more like Christmas.
First of all, this is so delicious! What a fun breakfast to make on a weekend. Second, blogs are nothing if not a place to share recipes. Please post other good vegetarian recipes, we need some inspiration!
Jen E @ mommablogsalot says
We went “pescetarian” a couple months ago but the majority of our diet is vegetarian with seafood a couple days a week. I wasn’t sure how it would pan out for us, satisfaction wise, but I have to be honest, I’m kind of loving it. I think we’re cooking a lot more “real” food since we’re paying attention to what we cook more and making sure we get enough nutrients. I discovered that I love eggplant and pan fried tofu – and that I barely miss red meat or chicken at all.
The hardest part has been keeping the cost down because there are so many recipes I want to try. I need to find more simple less ingredient recipes I think.
Mike V @ DadCooksDinner says
I’ve been struggling with this one as well. I try to cook vegetarian once a week, which comes down to one of two dishes. I either cook pasta with tomato sauce and cheese, or (usually) rice and beans. Luckily, I love rice and beans, and I have a few variations on it:
Curried Lentil Stew
Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Caribbean Black Beans and Rice
Tuscan White Beans, Greens and Rice (or Orzo)
Vegetarian Chili and Cornbread
Beyond that, most vegetarian meals leave me feeling like I’m missing something. I need to delve into Indian cooking, because that’s the one vegetarian based cuisine I’ve eaten where I don’t miss the meat.
I’m a little sad to read this blog post because I enjoy your site so much. I’m a 4th generation rancher in Arizona and can honestly tell you that our purpose is to humanely and respectfully raise our cattle. I can speak from experience as I am familiar with every aspect of beef production that we strive for the safest, healthiest product for consumers. I say this on behalf of all beef producers because I know that is our goal. I’m not saying eat meat every meal, every day or if you want to consume less do so but please don’t accuse our industry of inhumanely raising beef. If you are so inclined to think this please make the decision after a first hand experience. I would gladly take you through the process of raising cattle if you were interested. Thanks!
Anna, thanks for your comment. If I wasn’t clear in my post, let me reiterate that I LOVE meat. I just want to cut back on my consumption so I can afford to buy the kinds of animals you’re raising.
When I can buy pork loin for $1.69 a pound and chickens for 99 cents a pound, I’m pretty sure those animals haven’t lived a very good life.
Ideally I’d like to buy pasture-raised animals from a local farmer. That’s why I’m eating vegetarian two days a week so I can afford the best.
Dana Browne says
My favorite Mexican place around the corner in Brooklyn makes Chilaquiles and I’ve been dying to try making it myself! Thanks so much for posting this Pam and co 🙂
Hey Dana! Long time, no speak. Good to see you here on blog. Hope your Chilaquiles turn out as well as they do in your favorite Mexican place 🙂
Mike V @ DadCooksDinner says
I agree with what Pam said. My goal with eating one vegetarian meal a week is to cut back so I can afford meat that is raised in the right way.
Lisa S. in IL says
My husband hunts. We’re eating elk, antelope, venison, goose and duck. I know it won’t work for everybody, but for some…
Perfect, Lisa. I have a friend who gives me game birds now and again, but he delivers them warm from the field. It’s my job to pluck and gut them. In our boneless, skinless world, I believe it’d be good for us–now and again at least–to butcher what we eat so we appreciate the sacrifice.
Bob M says
Thank you, Thank you! We didn’t start it but, something has to die for something to live! Too many people look at the packaged products in the grocery store and forget it’s been processed (killed) be it animal or plant!
Lisa S. in IL says
I agree w/ Bob M – my job is to credit and celebrate the death by making the food taste FABULOUS. I try.
I am going to Mt Pinos Ski .
Hows the conditions?
Further east ,
I hung out at, like Snow Creek Ski and Hidden Valley Ski Missouri