Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A New Venture, Long Overdue

In my 30's I became an "idiot vegetarian". 

No, I am not saying vegetarians are idiots;  quite the opposite.   Vegetarianism has it way over non-vegetarianism in terms of nutrition for longterm health and detrimental effects on the planet. 

What I mean by an "idiot vegetarian" is that all I did really was cut out meat and eat too many "bad" carbs instead of  "good" carbs, and not nearly enough beans and legumes or nuts and good fats.  Can you imagine my diet in view of that and the fact that I didn't cook?  Like, at all?  In fact, my doctor told me I was borderline anemic.  (So that's why I would lie on the floor of my classroom during my free period and instantly fall asleep!  I just thought it was teacher-single parent exhaustion.)

I actually did this (idiot) vegetarian stint for several years right after I met some PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) representatives who gave a presentation on their organization's beliefs.  There are many animal abuse/neglect/exploitation issues that PETA works to remedy, but what really impacted me was when the rep said, "If you want to do something that will help the most animals, become a vegetarian."  They explained how factory farming was the area that encompassed the most large-scale abuse worldwide.  (I won't go into the gruesome details here.)  That did it.  Not only was it a healthful way of eating and did not contribute to pollution the way raising animals for consumption does, but it was also humane.

Fast forward from my failed first attempt now that I'm retired and now that I've finally become more interested in cooking.  (Fellow English teachers will appreciate the accidental alliteration beginning that sentence.)  I'm using this winter in Florida to learn some new recipes and skills.  I am again approaching the vegetarianism, or at least ovo-vegetarianism.  But this time, slowly.  And the right way.  I bought two new cookbooks (actually, vegan animal products whatsoever) and am going to try new recipes every week.  The first time I ate tofu in a stirfry years ago, I loved it.  I already eat more salmon and tuna than meat.  And when I do eat meat, it's usually just chicken or turkey, rarely red meat.  I've cut out probably 80% of the cheese I used to eat.  So I'm on my way.  (We're saying nothing about chocolate in this post, which by the way, is vegetarian anyway...)

Here's what I just bought down here to grill marinated tofu, make some sauces to flavor up the tons of veggies I plan to consume, and to make little grilled veggie sandwiches or egg sandwiches.  (Yes, all cast iron.)

The potato masher?  Oh, that's just because at nearly 60, I've never had one.  (I told you I didn't cook!)


Patrick said...

Nasty. I could use a good burger now :)

Barb said...

Ok, I'm bringing a tofu dish for Christmas. (No gifts unless it is eaten.)