Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I am pretty lucky, as far as cooking goes, that Steve and Emma will eat literally anything and Noah and Allie will eat most things. Even if something doesn't turn out very well, I know that Steve and Emma will still eat it, even if they are ("they" meaning Steve) making fun of it the whole time. In particular, I can think of a certain lentil casserole from a few years back that is still brought up around here from time to time. Still, even with his non-pickiness, Steve has always preferred to have meat at a meal rather than not.
Spicy African Peanut Stew served over Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Back on August 13th, Steve and I were having a discussion about how people in America eat so much more meat than anywhere else in the world, and Steve commented that maybe we could stop eating meat for six months, just to see what it's like. Because of his fondness for meat, I totally scoffed at him and said there was no way he would do it. I'm pretty sure that my skepticism encouraged him to do it even more, just to prove that he could. We were going to Waldo Pizza the next afternoon with my family, so we decided we'd still go and have our beloved Roasted Corn and Bacon Pizza there, but after that, no more. We did want to leave the option of fish in our diet, so for the next six months, Steve and I planned to become pescetarians.

On our first meat-free day, we went to Blanc Burgers for lunch. I ordered the lentil burger because it's delicious and I order it regularly, but I was still in doubt that Steve would actually stick with it. I never thought I'd see the day when Steve would order a lentil burger, but he did, and now we are roughly seven weeks into it and neither one of us has had a bite of meat.
Broiled Tofu with Mmm Sauce and Veggies

So far, I really don't think it's hard at all and Steve says he is not missing meat, either. I've cooked lots of new things, most of which have really been delicious. I already had several vegetarian cookbooks, but I ordered this one for new ideas, and it's awesome. Really, really awesome. There are a number of things I've made from that book that the kids have asked to bring to school for lunch the next day, which is always a good sign. I wonder if they're the only kids at their school eating tempeh tacos for lunch!

We like to eat out quite a bit, and at first we thought that might be tricky, but it's really not at all. Of course, there are always fish options at restaurants, but most places we go have other delicious meat-free options as well. We've been eating Thai food a lot, because you can basically choose from the entire menu and just order tofu as the protein instead of meat or chicken, but that is certainly not a problem because we all love Thai food. We have been invited to a couple picnics/parties where we had to eat before we went, knowing the only options there were going to be hamburgers and hot dogs. Also, some friends invited us over for dinner one night, along with a couple other families, and we worried about feeling awkward if they served meat and we didn't eat any. They knew about our no-meat thing, and sweetly ended up calling us beforehand to make sure it would work for us if they made pasta with shrimp and scallops. Absolutely no issue - perfect!
Tempeh Tacos with Yogi Gracamole (from the Peas book but not online anywhere)

My grandma and my parents (and apparently some of their friends and co-workers!) are wondering what we could possibly be eating, so I've posted some pictures of recent meals to ease their minds. Contrary to what some people think, vegetarians do have other options besides macaroni and cheese and cheese pizza! It's usually getting pretty dark these days by the time we eat, so these pictures are not great, but you can at least get the idea.


Grandma Bert said...

Dear Sarah,
I am so impressed!!Those meals look wonderful and I'm sure I would like them if someone prepared them for me. I'm sure Steve couldn't do it if he did not have such an imaginative wife to cook for him.

Mom said...

Sarah, I love the gorgeous and delicious-looking pictures! I agree with everything Grandma said!

amy h said...

I was thinking of putting up something like this, too, as we've been eating a lot more vegetarian items and have had people asking what on earth we're eating, too! Thanks for the recipe links. It is kind of like learning to cook again for me...

Laura said...

Fascinating to hear about this journey. No meat for 6 months and you make it look so good! I recently had a delicious vegan meal at Fud ( and thought I could eat that way all the time as they made it so delicious.

Abby said...

I did sort of burst out laughing when I read that you went to Blanc Burgers for your first meatless day. (Ha...sorry.) Good for you guys! Everything looks so deliciously yummy! I'm jealous that you have non-picky kids!

Jessica said...

Cool, Sarah! And here I am buying Hamburger Helper for Bryan to make for dinners when I am working....blech!! You all will have to try Fo Thai when we open!! It's a bit pricier but the food is amazing and there's a ton of seafood option on the menu! Kudos to you!