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.