Have you ever made a decision that you know would affect the people around you? You know deep down that it’s the best thing for you, but the reactions you get from people are mixed. I was apprehensive about telling you, because I was afraid of back-sliding. New Years resolutions typically fade in practice after a few weeks, but I feel more comfortable telling you now, because this change has made my soul happier, my body happier, and I feel it’s the path that is meant for me right now.
On new years day, I became a vegetarian.
I debated telling you because I was afraid that you’d leave. I was afraid I couldn’t sustain this lifestyle. I was afraid that that beautiful, grass fed, organic beef cheeseburger would call to me in my dreams, and that I wouldn’t be able to resist it’s delicious promise. But on the other side of things, this is a new era in my life, and as friends often do, I wanted to share my excitement with you! I want to share just as I always have, creating recipes that make me happy, and I hope they make you happy too.
It’s no secret that I love(d) meat. Burgers were on the top of that list. Buffalo wings, chile verde, pulled BBQ short rib sandwiches, tacos, brisket were all on there too, but something in my brain just clicked recently.
On January 1st, 2016, I decided that I was going to give vegetarianism a try (is that evenn a word?), allowing myself some fish every now and then to help myself transition. I wanted to feel better, I wanted to to eat even more vegetables, I wanted to be regular, I wanted to save lives, and I wanted to help this planet. It was one particular day in 2015, that I made chicken legs for dinner. They had a delicious maple/mustard/IPA sauce, but eating the meat off the bone this time really made me think of the life of the animal, and I got queasy. This was a living, breathing, cute little chicken! How could I justify taking it’s life to sustain mine, when especially now there are so many different food options available to me? Factory farming also really rubs me the wrong way, which was always my reasoning for getting my chicken from the farmers market. I wanted to know that the chickens were treated well, were free-range, could eat grass, and peck at bugs, and not be in a big claustrophobic, dirty room. That’s no way to live.
I decided that I would no longer turn a blind eye to all these things which genuinely made my heart sad. I didn’t tell anybody that this was my resolution, but the day after a sweet New Years party, the hubbs and I went out to get breakfast. I just blurted out, “I’m going to be a vegetarian.” I got a delightful rosemary waffle breakfast sandwich, which the establishment happily subbed out the ham for avocado. Just like that, it happened.
I didn’t expect a couple things. First, the hubbs said he was on board with the whole thing. Not just the “being supportive” kind of on board, but all these things bothered him too, and he took (and is still taking) the plunge with me. I did not expect for one second that he would become a vegetarian too, but am I ever glad he did. I didn’t ask him if he wanted to do this with me, he just jumped at the chance, with feet first. I love that guy!
Our official “rule” is that we can eat a little fish, and anything that was in our house prior to the decision is still allowed. For instance, I still have the turkey carcass in my freezer from Thanksgiving with plans to make a gorgeous stock. When we get to the point of running out of that, then we will re-evaluate.
The other thing I didn’t expect was it to affect any of my relationships, but it has, albeit not to the point of breaking any of them. I read this article on how going vegan really affected one person’s relationship with her family, and I was terrified! We had our Christmas vacation to Vegas planned with my family, and all of a sudden, the “What to make for dinner” question got a little uncomfortable. It was easily handled with spaghetti!
It’s no secret that I love my plant based dishes too, though. A big southwest salad with corn, black beans, red peppers, onions, crunchy, fried tortilla strips, and a smooth buffalo ranch dressing really gets my salivary glands going. I love buffalo cauliflower as much as buffalo wings. Give me quinoa or give me death! I love a good poached egg with hollandaise, and it’s hard for me to resist veggie pizza!
I don’t like boring food either. Simple? Yes. Easy to make? Yes. Difficult to make? Sometimes. Boring? No way, Jose. I don’t want my decision to go vegetarian (technically pescatarian) to affect our relationship. I’m talkin’ about you and me, man! If you’re a meat-eater, come here for your meatless monday recipes! Things will go on normally as they always have, just sans meat. No biggie!
I love you, and care about you, and care about this planet, that’s all. I just wanna have some good, clean, veggie fun!
Here’s to new beginnings! If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. I’m new to this journey, so I’m sure I’m going to be learning right along with you!
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Diced Onion
- 4 Cups Sliced Carrots
- 4 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 Cups Diced Potato
- 2 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Freshly Grated Turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Raw Pepitas
- Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in the onion, and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to high, and add the garlic and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the carrots are slightly caramelized.
- Add in the potato, vegetable stock, turmeric, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil, cooking until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Fish out the 4 bay leaves, then carefully ladle the soup contents into a blender. Cover the blender with a towel, to protect yourself from hot splashes, and blend for 30 – 60 seconds until smooth.
- Transfer to four bowls, and top with pepitas!