Monday, December 13, 2010

pescatarian? flexitarian? some-other-tarian?

recently I have found that I'm just not that interested in eating meat most of the time. I mean, don't get me wrong, I was super excited to have that amazing steak nicole cooked up for us last night, and I totally ate the "meat candy" (aka bacon-wrapped chicken on a toothpick) at tom's wedding on saturday. and you know I loooooove me some sushi.

but given the choice, or when planning meals, I find that I often lean towards pasta or vegetables over something else. for a while now I've been having brown rice and steamed veggies for lunch every day--for the health benefit, for the ease of prep and because it's a yummy no-brainer. (ps: any suggestions on how to steam veggies at work without using the microwave? I was fine when it was squash season, but now that it's broccoli time I've read I'll lose a ton of the nutrients by putting it in the microwave.)

I don't think I'm ready, willing or interesting in going "whole hog" vegetarian. (nice choice of words, eh?) I mean, I do like some meats and I also don't want to have to feel like my food choices place a burden on someone else. (not that anyone would actually mind, I'd just feel a little awkward) And of course, since I try very hard to eat local meats, and organic ones when possible, I feel like I'm still making pro-environmental choices. Plus, since I generally cook for two, cutting down my meat consumption means cutting down Matt's too, so in theory, it's kind of like one of use went vegetarian anyway. :)

At the same time, though, I don't know how much more meat I can cut out. When we cook meals, I'd say 2/3-3/4 of them are meatless. And those that have meat are often, say, a single breast of chicken in the whole dish, and that dish might make 4-6 servings. Last week, I took one of those dishes (my chicken tortilla soup) and just omitted the chicken.

From a what-I-eat standpoint, I was quite pleased. I just didn't feel like eating chicken! From an environmental standpoint, I don't know that for this particular meal it really made that much of an impact omitting my single breast local, organic chicken. If it had been Big-Corporation-Beef, maybe. But as I often remind people, every little bit helps.

So, for now, we will be "flexitarians." As a matter of fact, I think we've been flexitarians for quite some time now, ever since we realized we could halve our servings of meat (e.g., share a piece of salmon or chicken) and eat more veggies, and still be full. It's less expensive, generally, per meal, and it's better for us and the earth, too. Win, win, win.

With that in mind--does anyone have any really good vegetarian recipes? We eat butternut squash pasta, broccoli and cheese with shells, veggie quesadillas, breakfast-for-dinner and all sorts of pastas regularly. I'd love to expand that list!


Anonymous said...

I really think flexitarian is just another word for picky. Flexitarian carries no more moral, ethical, or political clout than omnivore. If you want some moral, ethical, or political clout to accompany your dietary decisions, just say you are a locavore and leave it at that.

Furthermore, I'm a bit concerned by your post as it suggests to me that you might not be getting sufficient nutrients. You really cannot be a healthy vegetarian by simply replacing meat with dairy. It is an honest mistake. But, it is really not how healthy vegetarians eat.

Legumes are your friend and you really should be consuming them in one form or another everyday that you don't eat meat.

The vegetarian times website has a great feature that allows you to search for recipes based upon your ingredients. You should give it a try.

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