Saturday, November 9, 2013

(I'm Not Granola but) I Am A Reluctant Vegetarian

"You know, for being a vegetarian, you sure don't like to eat vegetables".  

If only I had a dollar for every time I heard that!  But I cannot deny it, I really do not like to eat my veggies, and most people would consider me a vegetarian.  So much so, that my mother in law gave me a box of Vegetarian Times magazines, that I finally had to burn because I'm not that type of vegetarian either.  I'm not an environmentalist and meat is delicious and I am not opposed to eating it.  So why have I've not had a big, fat juicy hamburger in years?

I simply refuse to eat anything that has been through a feed lot, slaughter house or chicken house.  The meat that is processed through such a facility is gross and disgusting, pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and vaccinations.  Ehwwwww yuck.  

I also think that there are many health benefits from being a vegetarian.  Since I became one, I am very seldom ill.  The same is true with Stormy, in her young 31/2 years she has been sick only a few times.  My yearly blood test is always in a good range, no signs of heart disease or diabetes but I do have to supplement vitamin B.  

You also save a lot of money by not purchasing meat.  It easily shaves $100-$200 off our monthly food bill.  So what do we eat?  I've adapted almost all of my recipes to be meatless.  We love Mexican food and use beans in place of meat.  Lentils make a great "meatloaf" and there is a way to prepare tofu to make chicken nuggets that will fool you.  TVP (textured vegetable protein) is a good substitute for hamburger.  It gives the look and texture of hamburger and takes on the flavor of your spices so bring on the sloppy joes.  There is a brand of sausages out there that we love (but are expensive) that I use to make jambalaya and pizza.  Let' just say our pant sizes say we are not a deprived family.

There are plenty of drawbacks as well.  It is very hard to find restaurants to eat in. Alaskan restaurants are not known for their vegetarian options.  My usual order is a side salad with a side of fries - how boring.  If I can, I will search out a Mexican restaurant and get some cheese enchiladas.    Mmmmmm, cheese enchiladas....

I do occasionally eat wild game and wild fish, mostly salmon.  Neither my husband or I hunt or fish, so we are at the mercy of generous friends.  Luckily for us, we have plenty of friends.  

So at best, I am a reluctant vegetarian.  One day, we will have our own livestock that we will take care of and harvest quality, organic meat.  Until then, I'll keep the bean pot boiling.

Lovin' life 

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