I am a vegetarian.
My Mister is anything but.
So much so, that when we were first married, Mister Carnivore would get very sad and feel deprived when I did not include 3 meats per meal. Poor baby, right? So what's a young married couple to do?
We compromised. I began serving meat, and he did not complain if there was only one dead animal per meal.
However, fast forward through 10 years of marriage and compromise, and watch the Mister's cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure levels rise. Watch him watch Food, Inc. with the Mrs. And watch him read Michael Pollan's books.
Now, the Mister is readily open and willing to try more and more vegetarian foods. He still eats meat, and loves it, but now it's in smaller portions, less often and of a better quality from a farm that we personally know and trust.
Of course, I can't help myself. Everytime the Mister compliments or requests a vegetarian meal, I pump my fist, laugh evilly and say, "Vegetarian Brainwashing: 80% complete. Mwahhahahaha."
I'm sure he'd find it adorable if he could just get past his own gagging reflex.
Yesterday I had a very enjoyable time hanging out with a (vegetarian) friend, and we got to talking about whether or not we have switched our families over to a vegetarian lifestyle. She fully has. I am about 70% there, although I can't really say that my goal is to have my kids 100% veggie.
Everyone has their own personal reasons for going vegetarian, or not, and everyone has their own feelings on kids and vegetarianism.
I do feel, whether we choose to feed our kids meat or not, eating a large number of healthy, vegetarian meals each week is good for them for a multitude of reasons.
I also notice that when I feed my kids meat-based meals, it's hard to get them to eat a huge portion of veggies. It's like the meat kind of paralyzes their taste buds, and they seem to balk at everything else.
That doesn't seem to be the norm when I feed a vegetarian meal. I think those meals kind of reawaken the senses, and so kids may balk at first, until their little taste buds wake up and realize, wow! flavor is good!
Instead of introducing my kids to a bunch of new meals, I found good veggie substitutes for meals they love.
Brown rice and lentil tacos are a great example. Once they realized that they were eating lentils--and loved them--they kind of got over their squirmishes about beans/lentils.
The beauty of this meal is that it's high in protein, high in fiber, tastes good, costs little, makes a ton and can be cooked in a crockpot.
Brown Rice and Lentil Tacos
(Serves 8 w/leftovers)
1.5 cups brown rice
1.5 cups lentils (red, green, yellow--doesn't matter)
8 cups water
2 taco seasoning packets --or--
if you don't like taco seasoning packets, use your own seasoned blend.
Either cook in crockpot on high for a good 6 hours or on the stovetop, bring to a boil in a soup kettle, and let simmer until soft. Scoop it up and serve it on tortillas, salads or with chips.
Another thing that I make nearly every day is a guaca-salsa blend.
- 1 avocado
- 1 tomato
- hunk of red onion
- green onions (if you have them, want them)
- 2 cloves garlic
- half a hot pepper (spice it up appropriately)
- juice squeezed from half a lime
- sea salt
Chop it up in your food processor. Make it as chunky or as pureed as you wish. Or add/subtract items. You get the picture--whatever floats your boat. We eat this healthy concoction of eggs, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, with chips, without chips, and if I'm really hungry, with a spoon.
Now that this is complete, I can go back and report to the Worldwide Domination Vegetarian Task Force that I have successfully completed my blogging task.
May the (veggie) force be with you.