3.05.2010

What Do You Mean He Don't Eat No MEAT?

So yeah, the Mr. and I are trying to be what I shall hereafter term "loose vegetarians". We came to this decision mutually a couple of weeks ago, and so far, it's sticking.

Why, you ask? Or maybe you don't ask, but s'long as you're here, you get to find out. See, I lerv animals. But I also am a firm believer in the edible nature of cattle. Like, name me a part of a cow that isn't useful and/or tasty, right? So as long as that cow is pretty well taken care of, and not pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, and killed in a "humane" way, I am OK, morally, with eating his juicy self. Problem- We cannot afford this sort of meat on a regular basis (in case you didn't know, it's crazy-pricey). So we end up with the mistreated, chemical-laden, rather tastless variety most of the time.

But Fitzhusband is a bit of a foodie, and heretofore there was no way he would even consider going meatless. I had kicked around the idea of doing the veg thing for years, but I aint cooking two of every meal, or asking him to. So when he came home the other day and told me of a friend at work who'd been rocking the veg for a few weeks and how interesting it sounded, I eagerly suggested we try it out, and he was down like a clown from Chinatown. With a frown. Colored brown. With Jughead's crown. OK, sorry.

So, lo, there began "Loose Vegetarianism". Rules: Gavin and I generally eat no meat products. We do dairy and eggs, and occasionally seafood. But no chickens or pigs or cows unless it's A: A Special Occasion and/or we B: Can get the Good Stuff (grass-fed la-di-dah meat from the Whole Foods). By not buying craptacular meat, we can afford to get better, largely organic produce and dairy. (*Note: Gwen gets meat in some of her jarred babyfoods, which are organic. The rest of the time she eats what we eat).

The only other rule is that we in no way attempt to "re-create" meat. Like, no gluteny weirdo ersatz meat-crumbles or tofu that's been manipulated to look like bacon or any of that crap. Philosophically, we both feel that no one is fooled by such products, and we would be better off just making vegetables taste so good you never miss the meat at all. Also, these products generally look and taste like something you made in your Play-doh Fun with Food Kitchen:VS

I mean, really people. Tofurkey? You ought to be ashamed.

For the past two weeks I have been re-vamping my normally meaty recipes to go veg, and adding some new ones, with really excellent results. I have done a veg chili (no-brainer, just didn't add the ground turkey which was never something to write home about anyway), a lentil/chard/sweet potato soup (that was out of this frickin world), stuffed peppers, and portabello/roast garlic lasagna. I mean, really, I've been putting more thought into my meals to the point where the taste has actually improved; I haven't missed meat even a little bit. Plus, since we are not rigid about the whole thing, it doesn't seem all onerous and dreadful. If it works out, cool. If not, it sure was interesting.

We did cheat once, though. And if you can believe it, it was to have one of those 50 cent hot dogs at Ikea. I know? Like, how can I be concerned about food additives and eat the equivalent of Chernobyl on a bun? I'll tell you how. With ketchup, mustard, and kraut.

3 comments:

Optimus Primate said...

It bears mentioning that in addition to being ridiculous, Tofurkey also tastes like goat taint.

C. said...

Whoa....G and I made that very same desidge. We had tossed the idea around a few years back as well prompted by episodes like watching a cow frolic, yes frolic, on a grassy hillside unaware of it's fate, and also eating chicken McNuggets while driving behind a very sad and inhumane looking chicken truck. G brought it up and I, like you, was not about to make two kinds of dinners, so I promptly agreed to do it too. With one very important condition: when I feel like I really really really want to eat a burger I in fact will. And then I'll say a prayer.

The Fitzlosopher: said...

Exactly- like yesterday we went out for lunch and Gav really wanted to try the (incredible) corned beef hash at Veselka, so he did. I'm just all about the day-to-day change, not like a new religion or anything.