Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vegetarian for Carnivores: An Introduction

Writers write. I have heard that over and over and over again. I'm a writer. I've always been a writer. That's not what I am, it's who I am. I don't know if it came from one of my parents or both since they are both writers. I have no problem with being a writer, or that writers write, or that writing has been in my blood and oozing from my fingertips since birth, probably. I have accepted those things and I enjoy writing immensely.

The problem is that writing takes time. I stay home with my 22-month-old daughter while my 4-year-old son attends daycare and my husband works full-time. Between laundry, potty training, grocery shopping, bank runs, park runs, doctor appointments, skinned knees, cooking dinners and cleaning up after said dinners when would that writing take place?

The answer is: it doesn't. So I decided that I had to somehow make some time for a new writing project. I decided I wanted to start a blog. Although the intro seems to have little to do with what I will be writing about here, my family life is at the heart of things.

I'm a vegetarian. My husband and children are not. When I started dating my husband it seemed almost impossible for us to eat a meal together. He would want steak or hotdogs or chicken fried something-or-other which are all off limits for me. I would want black beans and rice and mushroom and spinach enchiladas which just made him grimace. So just before we got married I decided that I would sacrifice my diet to make things easier in our newly combined household.

At first things were, well, disgusting. I hated eating meat. I had to pretend that it was tofu. But eventually I got used to it and after a few years I loved the prospect of a rare, bloody steak. I started cooking a lot after our kids were born and my recipes revolved around meat. Meatloaf, pot roast, spaghetti with meat sauce, sausage and rice, chicken casserole. My husband was happy with the endless parade of home cooked meals and I was happy to serve them.

About two years ago, though, I found myself feeling sick of beef and chicken. I started to miss my veggies like I was homesick but I knew that my husband would have no interest in black beans and brussel sprouts and neither would our children. So I started to experiment in the kitchen.

What I discovered was a seemingly endless array of possibilities. I found several products at my local grocery store combined with a little time and a lot of imagination were a sure mixture for some very interresting and fantastic vegetarian meals that even my carnivores love!

What I would like to share, here, are some of the recipes, product reviews, tips and tricks to pleasing carnivores with vegetables.

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