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The Flexitarian Files

Posts Tagged ‘meat’

  1. No Tri Tip Samples This Year

    March 21, 2013 by betaman

    The Borrego Springs farmers market is filled with culinary delights. Ya gotta love the Hummus guy’s carnival barker pitch style, even if you don’t care for their many hummus flavors, which are all good! You’ll find huge, juicy grapefruit and delectably odd cherimoya fruit.

    I’m just glad that this time, the local meat rancher man did not have his grill fired up. Had he been carving up the sweet smelling grass fed Tri Tip as he has in past years, my mouth would have been watering even more than it was just by looking at his signage. Wyatt is bummed he missed out too!


  2. Corned tofu does not cut it

    March 17, 2013 by betaman

    Not that I would know… I haven’t actually looked for any Tofurky brand corned beef substitute, not that I would.

    Too bad I decided to become vegetarian just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Especially considering over the past few years I’ve finally got the hang of preparing my own corned beef and cabbage, with carrots and potatoes. As it turns out, it’s really not that hard to boil a big hunk of meat all day and the results are surprisingly scrumptious. I can’t image what would happen to a block of tofu boiled for a few hours!

    What I missed most, however, was a big juicy Rueben on marbled rye – simply not the same with meatless deli slices. Maybe I should just wait for Hogmanay or Loaf Mass Day and celebrate that Scottish sliver of my heritage with some yummy vegetarian haggis!

    Vegetarian Haggis

    Or, just maybe… if I’m still enjoying my flexitarian diet next year, I’ll try this vegan corned beef sandwich recipe.


  3. The Hamburger Dilemma

    March 3, 2013 by betaman

    So many meatballs… sigh. Too bad they weren’t my wheatballs.

    Wimpy Burger RegretThe pile of big meatballs in the leftover spaghetti the other day looked rather appealing, but not enough to make me break my flexitarian promise. I’ve never used a recipe to make wheatballs, instead wingin’ it each time with TVP, some flour, spices and a bit o’ honey – from a jar, not the bar.

    As for all the burgers last night, that was a bit of a challenge. Call it practice for this summer when I’ll be working the grill serving up hundreds of Charbroiled Angus burgers every Friday at the ranch. My veggie burger was just fine thanks, and I’m ready for any ridicule I may get.

    Except for very rare cases (pun intended) what makes a good burger is the quality of he fixins. If I can find good veggie patties back in the mountains, I may just settle for a big toasted bun with fresh lettuce, ripe tomato, sweet onion, and plenty of mayo with a mess o’ beans. Mmmmm… guess I’ll be picking out the bacon!

    Note to Self: Add to Reading List…

    The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet

    Veggie Burgers Every Which Way

    Vegetarian Burgers


  4. The Bacon Test

    February 19, 2013 by betaman

    I haven’t had any major meat cravings, and I’m happy for not indulging myself in the choices available to me in the house where I’m currently staying.

    I am particularly proud of myself for not grabbing for the pile of bacon sitting before me as the wife prepared a cake for the dog party we had scheduled. Nor did I even snag a pinch of the bacon bits when cleaning off the plate once the dogs had finished off the cake.

    Yes, it would have been crisp and salty. And yes, the dogs eat more meat than I do. But, bacon? I mean seriously! It did feel pretty good knowing I had the will power to pass on that.


  5. Respect Thy Food

    February 17, 2013 by betaman

    It’s been quite a few years now since I first realized the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to liquor. The times of consuming mass quantities just for the drunk are long gone. I know now that life is way too short for cheap gin.

    The same is true when it comes to eating meat, though it’s only been a couple years since I first started focusing quality over quantity. I haven’t eaten meat just for meat’s sake in a long time. Movies like Food, Inc. and Baraka helped me become mindful about my meat consumption, but I still enjoyed an organic lamb chop or the occasional local grass fed beef from a farmers market.

    I understand why the wife made me eat the whole shank of lamb I was given one day while working at the ranch last summer. It took me a few days, but to not finish it would be disrespectful to the animal. I respected every last savory bite, believe me.

    Having been vegetarian now for only a week, I’m already developing a new found respect for my food and where it comes from. After watching Dive!: Living off America’s Waste, I am also growing more dumbfounded at how much food Americans throw out every day. Meanwhile those pork chops still lie buried in the fridge, though they are no longer calling my name.

      


  6. A Little Help Helps

    February 11, 2013 by betaman

    As my wife told me, I couldn’t be in a more challenging place to try going vegetarian. But as Yoda once said…

    “There is do or not do, there is no try.”

    I have always liked visiting my wife’s family and enjoyed her mom’s cooking. But eating vegetarian is not easily done in this house, where every meal includes some sort of sweet smelling meat. The challenge, however, is not so much about the abundant choices at hand, but the serious lack of moral support.

    When I mentioned my plan to stop eating meat, the first reaction was one of utter confusion. “I guess you’ll have to cook for yourself then.” Then came the pork chops.

    Shortly before I had my vegetarian epiphany, I had taken a pork chop out of the freezer for dinner. After I decided to give up meat, I offered it up instead of throwing it out. Tonight it was prepared, along with four others – for two people since I was making a Caesar Salad for the wife and myself. “You’re missing out on these pork chops,” was the first discouraging comment. Followed by “So and so gave up on that eating vegetarian…” Sigh.

    Some people just don’t get it, and never will. Luckily, my wife gets it and is offering plenty of encouragement. I didn’t expect anything less, considering she’s been a vegetarian for 20+ years. Watch her now try to go vegan again. Sigh.


  7. The Last Supper

    February 9, 2013 by betaman

    Bok Choy Ink on Paper by Wu ChangshuoIf you are vegetarian, do you recall your last meat meal? Was it memorable, or a mistake?

    I didn’t want my last meat to a mess of nachos I made with some leftover short ribs, refried beans and mounds of cheese that didn’t quite agree with me. I also didn’t want the premium popcorn chicken from Schwans that I had in the freezer to go to waste.

    Knowing it would be the last meat I choose to eat for at least the next 24 weeks, I made myself a scrumptious sweet and sour sauce chicken dish and a huge plate of baby bok choy lightly braised with a dash of soy sauce, sesame oil and loads of garlic.

    Satisfied, and feeling good, I enjoyed my last supper knowing that there are plenty of yummy meals yet to be enjoyed, without the meat.


  8. The Epiphany

    February 8, 2013 by betaman

    We all must make sacrifices.

    People in third world countries sacrifice basic necessities like clean water without even having a choice. Cancer patients sacrifice quality of life for more time with their loved ones. Diabetics will give up an appendage, or sometimes two, for the lifestyle choices they make.

    I have my own personal reasons for giving up something I enjoy so much. Meat.

    fresh organic grass fed lamb chops

    Organic Grass Fed Lamby Chops

    One would think that after living with a vegetarian for 17+ years, this would be easy. But don’t underestimate my love of a tender charbroiled pink chop from a grass fed lamb I knew by name.

    This journey of better health and dietary contentment may not last forever, that is not my goal. But we shall see what happens over the next 25 weeks as a vegetarian.

    These are the chronicles of a meat lover gone veg.