Don’t mind me, just laughing at the vegetarian joke that is my post’s title. Hehehehe.
Hello gal pals and men friends! I hope you’re all ready to stuff your faces full of yummy food on Thursday – I sure am! Mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, scalloped corn, homemade Swedish rye bread with too much butter – oh yeah, that’s all I can think about right now. Looking back at that list, you probably realized that I left out the “star” of Thanksgiving, the turkey. Well I did that on purpose. If you remember a few weeks back I wrote about the time I wanted to do ‘Sober October’. Well if you remember correctly, you’ll know that I epically and miserably failed. But what you don’t know, is that I set a second goal for myself that month – I became a full-on vegetarian.
That’s right, I said “Bye, bye meats!” and never looked back (Never, as in, almost two months). Nevertheless, I have gone two months meat-free!
Most of the time when people find out I’ve made the decision to go vegetarian, I get looked at like I’m crazy. “Why would you give up meat?” “Where are you going to get your protein if you don’t eat meat?” “Wait, what do you even eat?” Many people are genuinely confused and concerned as to why I made my decision to go meatless, but for me it was for simple. I’ll explain WHY I did it and HOW I do it for those that have the same concern…
- Moral reasons
- I hate knowing how animals are treated in processing plants – from the beginning stages to the end. It is incredibly inhumane and I don’t want to give my money to corporations who allow this to happen. I could go on and on about how the process works and how it’s disturbing and heartbreaking, but I really want to keep this post as light-hearted as possible.
- I also hate knowing how crappy these corporations treat their employees.
- Health reasons
- It scares me to think about all the unnatural injections animals receive – the antibiotics, hormones, GMOS, etc….
- Most meat really is not that healthy for you – our bodies weren’t meant to digest animals, let alone as often as we do.
- Meat is definitely not the“best” protein source, nor does it give you the most. Everyone assumes that meat and protein are exclusive to one another, and that is false. Which leads me to the how….
- Just like any other big ‘life decision’ you should do some research; Figure out what will give you the nutrients you need (iron, protein, carbs, calcium, etc.). Make sure you are fully prepared to buy, prep, cook and eat the things that will keep your nutrients at the levels they should be.
- Did you know that broccoli has more protein than beef? Did you know that beans and dark greens have more iron than meat? For real, look it up!
- Make it you’re doing it for the right reasons and that you believe in those reasons..because trust me, if you’re not serious about it, you’re going to eat that pepperoni pizza and not look back.
- If you have friends that are vegetarian’s, ask them for help! Two of my best friends are vegetarians and I can’t tell you how many times they’ve helped me through this switch.
- Speaking of one of my awesome, vegetarian friends – check out the best blogger ever, Morgan Timm, and her post on becoming a vegetarian: CLICK ME! (To be honest, you might as well stop reading my blog and go read hers – she’s a pro)
Just because it was easy for me to become a vegetarian, does not mean it is easy, or even feasible, for everyone.
I know people that do not consider a meal, a meal, unless it contains a huge slice of steak or chicken on the plate. If you’re someone that perceives meals like that, making the switch to becoming a vegetarian may not work for you. And that’s okay. If there’s one thing I know and understand, it’s that everyone has to do what works for them. Anyway, for me, it was incredibly easy. I honestly never craved meat – well, wait a minute, that’s a lie. I actually craved cheeseburgers, tacos and chili ALL THE TIME. But I have found alternatives to those things, and I’ve perfected them to the point that I don’t even miss the meat version.
See below for my favorite meatless “meat” meals
Check out this easy recipe for fresh, spicy, homemade black bean burgers.
[NO] Carne Tacos
Unfortunately I have not found a substitute that is relatively close to steak tacos, but the things I put inside a tortilla really pack a punch of flavor…The nice thing about this recipe, you really can put any and all vegetables in here and it will be amazing. You can also play with the spices and make tacos from around the world – Thai tacos, mediterranean tacos, etc. Anyway, this is what I use for my basic tacos now:
- Peppers, onions, zucchini, corn, black beans, guacamole (A LOT), and spicy salsa! It’s so easy, and it is so satifying. You have to trust me on this.
[Veggie] Chili Recipe
(This recipe is so legit that even meat-eating men have claimed that this is better than regular chili – Suck on that, beef chili!) (Also, I’m not giving you measurements because I always ‘eyeball’ when I cook. Keeps it interesting, right?)
- Sweet Potato
- Red Lentils
- Banana Peppers
- Peppers (green, yellow, red, orange – none, all, or whatever color you want to use)
- Dark Kidney Beans
(You can use a store-bought chili spice mix, or you can make your own. Below are the ingredients I use, and once again, it’s all ‘eyeballed’)
- Chili Powder (You’ll want most of the spice mix to be this ingredient….for obvious reasons)
- Garlic Salt/Powder
- Onion Powder
- Red Pepper Flakes/Hot sauce (if you like it spicy ;))
- Salt and pepper
Put it in a crock pot and VOILA, the magic begins!!
Well, that was quite the tangent – but I hope my detour proved to you that it is incredibly easy [and TASTY] to ditch the meat.
Anyway, back to the beginning of my post – Thanksgiving. As I’m sitting here thinking about Thursday’s holiday, I’m realizing that even the side dishes will either be made inside the turkey, with the turkey drippings, or quite literally, just be the turkey itself. How can I avoid the meat?! To be honest, I won’t avoid it tomorrow. No, no. I won’t eat meat, but unlike most vegetarians, I’m going to enjoy the turkey gravy and the stuffing that was made inside the turkey. Although this may be cheating, this is what works for me. Like I said before, do what works for you – if that’s veganism, vegetarian, being a carnivore, juicing, etc. – YOU DO YOU!
To the turkey lovers and turkey haters – Happy Thanksgiving from the Welcome Woman!