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Let’s talk food.

April 23, 2009

I’m sure we all remember my post in February lamenting my complete inability to become a vegetarian. Well, what a difference two months can make! (Do I sound like an infomercial? I do, don’t I?)

I have eaten no meat since 3.3.09 and I haven’t consumed any animal product at all since 4.9.09 (that’s 9.4.09 for all none of you Brits reading this).

Please excuse the cheese (HAHA) to follow, but basically, I realized that all I needed to do was commit. There is a mindset that we are conditioned to have. And I mean nothing against anyone who is happy in this mindset, BUT for someone (aka me) who is NOT happy with that mindset, to break out of it requires switching your brain off. Or wait, not that. The brain must remain switched on. But it must be switched from the setting it’s always been on to the setting you want it to be on.

I think that’s why I had so much trouble. By saying I’d only leave meat out of my diet x days a week, I was allowing my mind to remain in meat mode. So for six or even five days a week, my mind was focused on chicken, beef, fish, whatevs. Then, I’d get to the day where I wanted to remove meat, and it was a new obstacle all over again. Even though I had faced that exact obstacle only one week before! It was a shock to the system time and time again. I was never actually becoming accustomed to vegetarianism.

So what I needed to do was change the system. No longer was the norm to be, “meat, meat, meat,” but “live by what you believe.”

And I was free.

(I hope I don’t seem too much a poseur by talking as if I broke free from these shackles of mine a lifetime ago and I have proven myself over the years, for I know 7 weeks is nothing compared to 28 years, but still, I feel like I’m here to stay.)

ANYWAY, the point is that once my mind realized meat was NEVER an option, it was so much easier to relish in all that remained. So instead of my original goal of 3 days a week meat-free in March, I just said, from here on out, all days will be meat-free. And they have been.

I realized of course that one day, I’d need to commit to veganism. Because it makes no sense to be vegetarian for animal rights and then not be vegan. The dairy and egg industries are as ghastly as the meat industry. So I started reading up on them. Thinking I needed to start my research now so that one day, far off in the future, I’d become vegan. For isn’t that how most people convert? Years and years as vegetarian, then finally making the jump.

Well. It didn’t take much research for me to realize I was DONE. How much did I really need to see to know that I had to give up milk and eggs? So…five weeks after swearing off meat, I swore off the rest.

And here we are.

And it’s time for dinner.

So now that I’ve made the switch and turned off meat mode, where do we go from here?

Easy!

Spaghetti Bolognese for starters.

NOW, I apologize for my mediocre photography skills. Food photos are haaaard. And my powers of observation, namely of stray noodles, are weak. Until after the food is eaten and I’m looking at the picture and thinking, wow, how did I miss that while taking the actual photo? Regardless, I did miss it, and the food is gone, and the only proof we have that it existed at all is this:
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I kind of sort of followed this recipe, but I didn’t have any wine, so I went with vegetable broth instead. Which means I’m super excited to try it again, once I’m armed with wine. (Which is technically now, but I’m DRINKING the bottle I have now – seriously, now, I’m on my third glass – so I refuse to cook with it.) The only changes I made were to add in a can of baked beans (it’s almost automatic that baked beans are vegetarian here in the UK, and though that is not the standard in the US, there are vegetarian options), and then an extra can of diced tomatoes to temper the baked beans flavor. And I threw in a spoonful of ground flaxseed under that nutritional yeast, which didn’t affect the flavor, but does help us fight cancer and keep our colons cleans and our hearts healthy and…oh, stave off diabetes. Or some variation on that.

But I’m not done yet! Last night’s dinner was even more fun. My goal was to make Spicy Eggplant with Bulgur Pilaf, but MAN, my life defines best laid plans o’ mice an’ men. (Or rather, best laid schemes.) And anyway, it’s not a mystery why my schemes went awry. I don’t actually put as much energy in executing as I do in planning. “You may say I’m a dreamer.” And well, I am. So that leaves no one to blame but myself.

When my eggplant went bad.

Not to worry though. I had zucchini.

So, may I present to you last night’s dinner:
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We have the bulgur pilaf. In addition to the lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, and peas that the recipe called for, I added craisins. That was to make up for my refusal to put as much salt as I should’ve. (In the future, I will add the salt. It matters.)

Then we have the zucchini. My favorite part of the dish. I added more mustard than the recipe called for, and the second I did so, I cursed myself. The smell was INTENSE. Mustard took over the kitchen and every olfactory nerve in my body. But by the time the zucchini was ready, the flavors had all melded together beautifully. Mustard = good.

As for the radish and cucumber slices, well, I can’t tell you the last time I had radishes in my kitchen, and I can tell you the last time I had cucumber and it was actually yesterday, but I ate the last of it in my wrap for lunch, and I DO NOT REGRET IT.

So I made do with asparagus. Seasoned with Tony Chachere’s, which I had my mom bring me from home when she visited earlier this month, and oh, how nice it was to have a taste of home.

Do you know how hard it was not to put “(literal)” before the word “taste” in the last paragraph? Do you?

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One comment

  1. More food blogging!!!



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