Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

Operation Vegetarian- The Conclusion


So, I’m back to meat.

I’m happy to be back on the meat wagon. I missed it. Longed for it at times. Some days I could go through the whole day and not really think about the fact that I wasn’t eating meat. Other days, I got really grumpy at the fact that I couldn’t eat a cheeseburger. I ate many lovely, satisfying meals. But the reasons I didn’t post many recipes are twofold. One, when I did cook vegetarian, I was mostly making it up as I went along. I made fabulous veggie pot pie pasties. But, I don’t know how I would explain the quantities of things. It was rather haphazard. Secondly, most of the things weren’t terribly memorable.

But, I’m glad I did this little experiment. I learned a couple of things.

I’ve learned that I don’t need to eat meat at every meal. Or even close to every meal. I should focus in the future on broadening my scope when planning meals to include more vegetarian meals. In fact, the spinach feta pizzas we ordered were better than many meat pizzas I regularly eat. And black bean quesadillas are just as satisfying as taco meat quesadillas.

You can substitute cheese for meat in many instances.

I’ve also learned that I’m not a vegetarian. It isn’t that I can’t do it, I can. I can eat vegetarian and be happy and healthy. But, and this is a big but, I love food too much. Cutting out meat limits me too much. There are too many wonderful meat filled things out there to savor that the idea of just not having them doesn’t make much sense to me. Life is short. Not eating tasty, wonderful things like bbq doesn’t make sense.

Next lesson. Eat more fish. For this experiment, we didn’t cut out seafood. There were the occasional nights of fish sticks, but I also did a number of really nice baked fish dishes. Never being a big fan of fish, and only recently discovering it, I’ve been a bit intimidated by cooking it. I learned that baking fish is the easiest, tastiest, healthiest thing in the world. A little bit of fresh herbs rubbed on with salt and pepper and sprinkled with some panko on top to make it crispy, creates a lovely, simple, and fast dish.

I learned that I have to eat more regularly as a vegetarian. Veggie pasta doesn’t keep me full as long as a burger. I also experienced just how cranky I can get when I don’t eat, way more often than I do when the meat is coming in. And let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

Finally, Bacon Salt is really cool. I love bacon. Not having the lovely taste of bacon was really sad for me. I remembered buying some bacon salt awhile back, but never really using it. I tried it out during the experiment to wonderful results. Tossing some in with sauteed vegetables or twice baked potatoes gave me just enough of the idea of bacon to make me happy. And, it’s vegan! I would recommend it. http://baconsalt.com/

In conclusion, I wasn’t always consistent. I cheated a time or two. But, I got the gist of being a Vegetarian. I learned some nice lessons, and decided that it was well worthwhile. Forced me to think outside the box for my cooking and ordering. And last night, when I bit into my first bite of lamb curry, it was a heavenly experience. I had missed the consistency of meat in my mouth. The tender, savory, rich flavor of the lamb was so satisfying, like seeing a long lost friend. Being without the meat for so long is making me really appreciate it even more. I look forward to getting reacquainted with my friend, meat. But, I will try to not forget my time spent here in vegetarian land.


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