Sear, Simmer & Stir

Life, style & food in the District

My Official Announcement (Torture? Death? Purgatory? Worse?)… It’s bad

I believe I’ve informed (all five of) you before that my husband–as much as I love him so–is quite the carnivore. And even though he has moved past his McDonald’s stage and into his “let’s purchase meat that is more humanely raised” stage (aka: let’s eat Chipotle), he is still very much a carnivore.

So you can imagine my surprise the other night when my carnivorous husband suggested that we go vegetarian for Lent. (I do need to prep this by saying that for the past few months we have adapted a more vegetarian lifestyle – strictly from a budgetary/environmental standpoint… If you want more of an explanation read The Omnivore’s Dilemma… and then all of the numbers–or lack there of–in my checking account.)

I immediately leaped for joy and screamed, “Yes! We are going to do this!”

However, I have been mulling it over and just realized that his challenge does not, in fact, challenge me in the slightest. I could easily adapt a vegetarian lifestyle for 40 days.

Those of you, with whom I frequent happy hour, are probably rolling your eyes and counting the number of Buffalo wings I just devoured – Shh! But to be quite honest, outside of red meat (and bar food) I have no interest in cooking or eating meat. Truth be told, I ate tofu for breakfast this morning and pasta with kale sauce for dinner last night. And yes, I consumed about 1,000 mini hotdogs the night of the Super Bowl, but I could say goodbye to those suckers in a heartbeat! So Kent’s proposed challenge made me realize that I need a challenge, as well.

Recently, I have tried very hard to be creative with food and to discover/come up with/cook recipes alternative to what we normally eat (whether these are vegetarian or meat-based meals). I have thrived on this creativity – it has encouraged me to read more cookbooks, engage in a variety of online blogs, keep up with food science news… and, unfortunately for you all, write about food.

So I realized that there is no better creative and culinary challenge than to adapt a vegan lifestyle for 40 days. (Sigh… I say this as I eat cheese and drink red wine….)

I know there is a healthy way to go about this (read: lots of veggies, fruits, egg-free whole grains, beans and tofu) and an unhealthy way (beer, French fries, those vegan cookies from Whole Foods that melt in my mouth), but I am determined to go about this the right way. This is not a mission to “eat healthy” (I prefer to eat balanced) – It is more a mission to challenge my cooking and eating skills to go beyond the staples I rely on so frequently (bread, butter, cheese and eggs) and to help me be more creative in feeding myself and nurturing my body.

Before I get all philosophical with food, I am going to sign off. Haters don’t hate. (This includes you, mom… and all of my beautiful and Italian aunts – meatballs are NOT vegan.) Off to research vegan food blogs… Lord knows I am going to need something that tastes like a damn good burger…


3 comments on “My Official Announcement (Torture? Death? Purgatory? Worse?)… It’s bad

  1. AP
    February 8, 2012

    vegan, schmegan…..

  2. arlusk
    February 8, 2012

    It’s tough, believe me. I went pescetarean about two years ago after reading a book by Jonathan Safran Foer called Eating Animals. My advice is watch out for the meat substitutes–they have a lot of sodium. Focus on beans, better pastas and more fruit and veggies. And figure out really quickly a couple of snack foods you can have on hand like nuts, because when you’re hungry you’ll dive into the potato chips instead.

  3. Rachel Nania
    February 8, 2012

    Thanks so much for the advice, Ashley! I am definitely going to do some planning/researching prior to Lent because I really don’t want to default to potato chips…. Carrying snacks is going to be a must!

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2012 by in Vegan and tagged .

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