Move over meat

One of the dilemmas I think a lot of people have with the concept of vegetarianism, is a fear of getting bored with meat avoidance. I've always thought, "how does a person eat only veggies? What they hell do they eat? Boring."

A few days ago, I was driving around, and noticing a lot of restaurants and fast food joints. And I started thinking about all the things I had always previously eaten at those locations. Everything involved meat. I saw a Del Taco, and thought, "Shit. No more tacos." I saw a subway and thought, "Shit. No more $5 foot long broth injected chicken-breast-that-contains-rib-meat sandwiches." I saw a couple of Chinese buffets and thought, "Shit. No more Chinese buffets."

Granted, I had been eating very little meat, comparatively speaking, for the last several months. But I had been eating mostly the same things. Lots of chipotle black bean burgers, salmon burgers, boca burgers, and hummus. I had been dabbling in some cooking, mostly curries and stir fry's. Then, with salmon eliminated, I was pretty much just down to the black beans.

In a society where most menu items in most restaurants contain meat of some sort, we get pretty used to a lot of variety. I mean, go to Chili's and try eating something meatless, besides a salad, or a deep fried cheese stick. Or chips and queso. Not that Chili's is, by any means, a bastion of good food. But go anywhere, and unless you want to eat a salad, meatless choices are slim. Even ethnic foods which are probably traditionally meatless, have been americanized and meated. Let's face it, we are a carnivorous nation. We eat more of it than any other country, and probably more than many countries put together.

But it doesn't have to be that way. It is perfectly possible to eat well (and by well, I mean delicious, satisfying meals) and avoid meat. Does anything really compare to medium rare filet wrapped in bacon? Well, I guess not. But there are plenty of other things that are delicious in their own right, although completely different. For example, tonight I made goat cheese stuffed tomatoes. I would say I enjoyed that concoction every bit as much as I have ever enjoyed a filet. But in a different way. Equally delicious, but different.

So, at the risk of being cliche, I have decided to start a cooking blog. Today, I bought a big, thick, blue oven mit. As I stood in my kitchen with that thing on my had, looking at it bathed in the unfortunately harsh glow of my fluorescent kitchen lighting, I knew it was time to start a new blog. If it goes largely unread, I don't care. If it helps just 1 or 2 people enjoy vegetarianism a little bit more, that is good enough for me. Either way, if I want to maintain a meatless lifestyle, I have to keep it interesting. And even if you still eat meat, but are just looking to eat things that are more healthy, this might be a good place for you to look, as most things will probably be relatively good for you. If you would like to go there, click HERE.

I promise this blog isn't going to turn into an anti-meat soap box. I promise.


Lyns said...

I'm not giving up meat, but I'd love to read your food blog! I'm always looking for good ways to cook veggies and whatnot.

Chris Almond said...

Nowadays there are so many fake meats which taste so similar to the real thing, being a vegetarian is hardly even a sacrifice for meat lovers. At first fake meats might seem an inadequate imitation to the real thing, but after awhile real meat will become physically repulsive.
Some fake meats are so good I even preferred them to the real thing before I was a vegetarian such as Morning Star chicken patties.
Lightlife ground sausage, the type that comes in a tube is better than real sausage.
MorningStar bacon probably won't taste as good as the real thing for a bacon lover such as yourself, but it is pretty damn close.
The only brand I don't recommend is Yves. But even that has a few good products.
Utah isn't the best place for eating out as a vegetarian, but there are some great places in salt lake. 'Blue Plate Diner' for one.
Have you been to Rice King in Provo? They have a full vegetarian menu upon request. You can get any of their dishes made with vegetarian chicken and vegetarian beef which tastes very similar to what it is imitating. For someone like myself who has gone so long without eating meat, it sometimes almost tastes too real.
Also, at taco bell you can order anything on their menu with beans instead of meat.
One of my favorite vege meat products.

Chris Almond said...

I just want to emphasis again how good Rice King's vegetarian menu is.

Joliene said...

You're super right about veggie options at a lot of restaurants. Even over here on the left coast, it's hard. A lot of the time, the salad is the only option. Poo poo. The next time you're in my hood, we will veggie it up. There are some pretty freaking awesome options around here.

Anonymous said...

you might like this website:

she posts an occasional recipe, but I eventually broke down and just bought the book.

julieb said...


read your blog about giving up meat, and it totally made sense. I have always been a minimal meat eater, and have contemplated giving it up entirly, for the very reasons you said in your blog post (which was great by the way). are you giving up fish/seafood too? why? just curious, i havnt done any research on it, is the seafood industry just as bad?

just wondering, and way to go on your food blog, im excited.

and im officially obsessed with sword of truth. have you read "saga of the 7 suns"? if not, put it on your list, i think you will LOVE it!


Jillith said...

welcome to my world of feeling like I can only eat out at mexican and thai food places. I'm going to steal your vegi recipes. Thanks