“I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.”
I can’t remember where I read that, I just remember saying it to one of my friends who gives me a hard time about my eating habits because he thinks I don’t get enough protein.
Actually, I’m a vegetarian because I think it’s a healthier way to eat. After nearly five years of no red meat, I still eat a little bit of chicken and fish, but am working on eliminating those too.
I would have eliminated them two years ago, except an allergic reaction to dairy left me with a pretty much vegan diet (but no vegan substitutes for dairy except soy milk) and eggs for nearly eight months.
Even now, eating some dairy again, I still have to be aware of what I’m eating to avoid another allergic reaction (and if you see me on a day when my face is red with some hives under my left eye, it means I’ve become lazy) and I’ve discovered that vegetarians have to be really good cooks if we don’t want to live on pasta and fruit salads for the rest of our lives (which is what got me into trouble in the first place).
One of my friends is a mean vegetarian cook – she even used to regularly update a vegetarian cooking blog. I never got how she cooked that food (food we got to eat a lot of when she had parties at her apartment – sorry Z. I’m not trying to make you miss Calgary!), went to school and held part-time jobs as well, especially because she has a penchant for making crackers, pasta and other things that aren’t usually “make from scratch” foods, completely from scratch.
I don’t mind trial and error though. While my mom still eats meat, she doesn’t mind veggie dishes too. So I took some spanakopita home to her last time I went home because I made too big of a batch and was tired of eating it (it freezes really well, but it needed some tzatziki), and next time, I’ll be taking home yam-leek-feta burgers. Actually, they’re yam-feta burgers because the store was out of leeks, and I’m not crazy about the results (just don’t tell her that). I don’t know if they need more spices or what.
I find it’s easiest to take leftovers for lunch the next day, because you can only eat so many salads and peanut butter and banana sandwiches; if you want to make a veggie lunch it takes a little bit of prep work. So I cook a lot on the weekends, because I have nothing else to do.
This weekend was pea-avocado pesto (minus the pine nuts and with the addition of parmesan cheese), girl guide cookies (I’m not sure I like them dipped in the chocolate coating), and veggie bean burgers. I also made yummy muffinsthis week – not normally a fan of berries in muffins, but so good! I’ve found that some vegan recipes are easier to make than vegetarian recipes (vegetarian recipes call for a lot of spices and weird veggies I don’t like or don’t have); I just ignore the “vegan” butter or other vegan substitutes and use regular butter, or add cheese or whatever (milk products depend, since I drink chocolate soy milk, so in the case of the cookies I used the soy milk, but I might buy a small container of regular milk or use a bit of the half-and-half that I normally use for coffee in other non-chocolate cooking/baking).