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Archive for the ‘Vegetarianism’ Category

and so, the other day, I met this person who in the normal course of bar-room conversation said, “I’m anti-vegetarianism. I believe everyone should eat meat.”

[stunned silence, even from the other carnivores present]

someone said, “Why would you be anti-vegetarianism?”

says she: “I grew up on a farm.”

[like that’s an excuse. and of course, further proof of my pet theory, standpoint. but I let her keep on talking.]

he: “so, you think EVERYONE should eat meat, even if they don’t believe in eating meat, or want to eat meat, or like eating meat?”

she: “well… yeah.”

[maybe she’s starting to realize that she’s backed herself into a tight and strange  corner.]

me: “I’m vegetarian.”

her: gulp.

me: “So why should my personal decision not to eat meat, according to my personal moral code be overridden by your opinion? I should really be, like, forced to eat meat against my will?”

her: “well, I’m just tired of vegetarians being all morally superior and forcing their opinions on the rest of us.”

me, twitching and nearly jumping into her mouth: “ummmm, this from the woman who just said she thinks everyone should eat meat? isn’t that a little bit inconsistent? And how does my personal decision not to eat meat have any impact on you whatsoever? I’m not the one sitting around saying that everyone should or shouldn’t do anything.”

[at least not at that particular moment in time, but that’s another discussion.]

me: “so how do you justify slaughtering animals unnecessarily for food when it’s perfectly possible and healthy to not do so?”

she: “well, we already produce all this livestock, and if we don’t kill them then the world will be overridden with animals.”

me: “that’s a pathetic excuse for a reason. if we didn’t over-produce livestock, there wouldn’t be an abundance of animals in the first place. If we reduce the demand, the supply will also reduce. in response”

she: “Well, a lot of people make their living farming animals, so I think that justifies it.”

me: “I don’t think economic reasons are any justification for unnecessary mass slaughtering of millions of animals a year, not to mention raising them under inhumane conditions a lot of the time. I think people should be more aware of where their food comes from in general, and maybe then they wouldn’t be so wasteful of agricultural and environmental resources.”

she: “well in Europe, they’re way ahead of us in terms of tagging their meat and animal products so you can find out exactly where it came from and what kind of conditions they have on their farm.”

me: “good for europe. It still means millions of animals being killed unnecessarily. I don’t believe in causing any living thing unnecessary harm or suffering when it’s possible to live in a more harm-free manner.”

she: “I do.”

me: “well why would you want to deny other people the opportunity to live more humanely and make less impact on the planet and on other living beings? Just because you have a moral code that allows for unnecessary suffering so you can line your pocketbook and your stomach doesn’t mean everyone should have to live by that code.”

[okay, now the moral superiority is starting to come through just a little bit. although all was said with relative calm.]

she: no answer.

me: nothing more to say to such an obvious idiot. 🙂

I turn away, wondering if I can really endure this person for another 3 years.

so, why is it that people are so uncomfortable with vegetarians? why is my mother always trying to get me to eat meat? why are the servers in restaurants always trying to get me to add meat to my order? why do people feel so threatened by my personal moral code? I mean, at this point I really can’t think of a justification for eating meat, raising livestock for slaughter, etc. along with many many other things like oh say having affairs with married people and having children as accessories and mistreating people who ring through your groceries and spending $3000 on a handbag. but, ya know, that’s just me. do I hold dear the hope that more people will view the world the same way that I do, and that maybe jsut maybe I could find one or two or ten more to spend my life hanging out with, and by a slim chance of a hope that our government might actually be down with some of my ideas about how the world should be managed? absolutely. Just like all those conservative right wing christian fundy nutbars wish everyone would wait for jesus and stop having gay sex and killing babies for fun and start to bomb the brownies with them.

I’ll continue to hold out hope. we’ll see what happens. give peace a chance!

fascist pigs.

🙂

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It’s International Vegetarian Day! Hard to believe that I became a vegetarian only a few short months ago. It seems like something I’ve been doing all my life. It is no more difficult to make myself a meal than it was before. I don’t miss meat, hardly. (Every now and then, I do drive by a KFC and feel a twang of sadness for the 11 herbs and spices.) I don’t miss it, because I have found great alternatives. TVP – textured vegetable protein, made from soy, is a great example. I’ve also found a host of vegetarian soy and wheat-based products that mimic the texture and consistency of meat almost perfectly – and without the nasty animal fat!

It’s not hard at all to make sure I’m getting enough protein. I am not much of a breakfast person, so I usually have a smoothie in the morning. Here’s my usual:

Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk
  • 1/3 pkg of silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp of flax seed oil
  • 2 tbsp fibre
  • 1 cup or so of fruit – I usually buy frozen berries or a fruit salad mix

Blend in a blender until very smooth and enjoy!

So as you can see, I’m getting protein right off the bat in the mornings. Good, right?

Then, for lunch of supper, I have more protein, in the form of legumes, or tofu, or sometimes seafood. (Yep, I’m still eating seafood, occasionally. Maybe one day I’ll give that up too. Baby steps.)  So it’s good. I feel great, I don’t get bored, and it’s not any harder than cooking with anything else – in fact, it’s a bit faster to prepare meals, because meat takes so long to cook.

So, here’s another recipe, I made this one last night. Delicious! I love Mexican food, love it love it. Mind you, this one, I made up.

Mexican-ish Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 large bell peppers (green or red, whatever you want)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tomatos
  • 2 cups of beans (I used black beans, but feel free to experiment)
  • 1 pkg of ground meat alternative (I suppose if you are a carnivore, you could substitute real ground meat here, but I’m not advocating that, especially not on International Vegetarian Day!)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • cilantro
  • black pepper – use the stuff you have to grind yourself
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese – use a mix, like cheddar and monteray jack and mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Clean all your veggies. No brainer, I know.
  2. Chop up the onion and fry it up a bit in a large skillet with some olive oil at medium heat. Don’t sautee the onion until it’s totally clear before you add other ingredients – they will be overdone if you do.
  3. Chop up the jalapeno pepper into tiny little itty bitty pieces, and add it to the onion. Please handle jalapenos carefully – they can burn your hands, like happened to me last night. Wear gloves if you can, it really makes a difference. Wash your hands thoroughly – as well as the cutting board – before moving on.
  4. Chop up tomatos and press garlic. Add to the onion-jalapeno mix.
  5. Add beans and meat alternative. You will probably need to add a bit more olive oil at this point.
  6. Add chili powder and cumin and salt, to taste.
  7. Add cilantro, however much you want, but a fair amount or you won’t be able to taste it through the other spices.
  8. Add about a 1/2 cup of water and reduce heat. Simmer until the spices and water have formed something of a sauce.
  9. While everything else is simmering, cut the tops off your bell peppers – make them into lids, not just straight across. Use a small paring knife to cut downward into the top of the pepper as it stands upright – not a large knife cutting into the pepper on its side on the cutting board. Pull on the stem, and the core with all the seeds will come out. Cut off the core and clean out any remaining seeds. Clean out any remaining bits of the core form the inside, you know how it grows down the sides.
  10. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  11. Once the stuffing mixture is ready,take a spoon and stuff your peppers. Leave about 1/2 an inch at the top for the cheese! Replace the cute little bell pepper lids, place the peppers on a cookie sheet, and bake for about 25-30 minutes. They should be softened but still sturdy.
  12. Once they are finished, they will be juicy inside. Poke the bottom with a fork to drain the fluid out so it’s not messy on the plate.
  13. Serve (a side dish of rice would be nice, or maybe a salad) and enjoy!

I hope you like ’em! If you try them out, let me know what you think!

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so, many of you know that i love to cook. and bake too. since becoming vegetarian, I’ve been doing a lot more cooking so I can ensure I get all the nutrients I’m supposed to have each day. I love cookbooks for inspiration, but mostly, I make things up. I thought I’d start sharing some of my “recipes” – which term I use very loosely as I rarely measure anything! This is what I made for supper today:

Roasted Red Pepper and Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried red lentils
  • 2 leeks
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 pkg of silken tofu
  • 4 red bell peppers
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • about a cup of vegetable stock
  • a couple dollops of sour cream (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper (use the stuff you have to grind yourself, it’s so much better)
  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • NB: you’ll need a good blender. a hand blender will do the trick.

Instructions:

  1. Place red peppers on a cookie sheet and place them under the broiler until the skins turn black. Rotate frequently – the whole skin should be black all the way around. This takes about 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse lentils well and drain. They’re usually quite small, so use a small strainer. 2 cups of lentils requires 6 cups of water to cook. Use a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook till they are mushy, about 15-20 minutes. Don’t worry about how it looks. Drain when they’re done and set aside.
  3. While the red peppers are broiling, chop leeks into small pieces. Only use the white part, not the green. Sautee in a bit of EVOO over medium-low heat until translucent. Don’t burn them! Remove from heat and mix with the lentils.
  4. Now your peppers should be done. Take them out and set the oven to 425 F. Let the peppers cool for a few minutes and drain off any liquid. Take a damp paper towel and remove the blackened skins. If that doesn’t work use the back of a spoon. Next, cut them open from stem to bottom and remove the stem and seeds. Cut the peppers into fairly large pieces, lay them in a single layer on the cookie sheet, drizzle with EVOO and place them in the oven to roast for about 15-20 minutes. Check on them to make sure the edges don’t burn, but they don’t need to be turned.
  5. Blend together lentils, leeks, vegetable stock, garlic, and tofu until completely smooth. place this mixture in your large saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Add spices to taste – easy on the cayenne, you just want to use a little bit to create some warmth in the soup.
  6. When the peppers are finished roasting, blend them in the blender and add this to the soup mixture. If the soup doesn’t look creamy enough for your liking, add a couple dollops of sour cream. cook the whole soup mixture for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
  7. Enjoy!

try out this yummy soup! roasted red peppers are among my very most favourite things. they take a little while to make, but it’s worth it. This soup has lots of protein, no dairy (unless you use the sour cream), hardly any fat (just in the EVOO, but that’s good fat, right!?) and lots of fibre. Plus, you’ve got at least a couple servings of vegetables in there, with the leeks and the peppers and the vegetable stock.

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Veg PastaI have finally made the decision to become vegetarian. I have been flirting around with the idea for several years, since my teens, but I have always thought that becoming vegetarian would be something that would make my life more difficult, that it would be complicated. I have gone through phases of not eating certain things, red meat being a major one, but I have always ended up back in the realm of the carnivore. (more…)

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so, I made some yummy soup today. I love soup in the winter! I also love to experiment in the kitchen, and disasters are getting much less frequent. This recipe worked really well, so I wrote it down and thought I’d share. I know, two recipes in a week… but hey, at least I’m willing to share them! one of my friends’ mother-in-law won’t share her chocolate chip cookie recipe – but she’ll make you batter. Ridiculous, I say!Here you go – it’s so easy and fast. Even my kitty liked it!

Curried Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

This soup has it all – lots of beta-carotene, a little sweetness, and a bit of spice!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-5 sweet potatoes
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 small onion
  • 1-2 garlic buds
  • 1 TBSP ginger root
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of applesauce
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 TSP generic curry powder
  • Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and boil until soft.
  2. Cut the squash in half, and boil in a separate pot until flesh is soft. (This step can be done in the microwave: in a microwave-safe bowl, place about 1 cup of water and the squash. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for approximately 5 minutes.)
  3. Chop onion into tiny bits. With about ½ TBSP of cooking oil, sauté on medium-low heat until soft and transparent – do not brown. Stir in pressed garlic when onions are halfway finished.
  4. When squash is finished cooking, scrape the flesh from the peel, and place one can of coconut milk, half the applesauce and the flesh into a blender. Puree until smooth. Place in a large saucepan.
  5. When sweet potatoes are finished cooking, place them in a bowl and mash slightly. Transfer to the blender with the other can of coconut milk and the rest of the applesauce. Puree until smooth. Place in the saucepan with the squash mixture.
  6. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, adding honey, salt, pepper and curry powder. Using garlic press, squeeze the juice of the ginger into the mixture. Place the rest of the ginger in the mixture for extra flavour.
  7. Cook until mixture is smooth and well-blended.
  8. ENJOY!

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