Monday, November 26, 2007

I became a vegetarian and celebrated with beef lasagne

I've been wanting to try going pesco-vegetarian for a long time now. Not because any of the environmental, ethical or health reasons are totally convincing to me, but basically just because I don't enjoy meat as much as I do non-meat dishes, so I don't see why I should continue to eat meat when it is also (a) more expensive and (b) at least slightly controversial environmentally and ethically. (I don't feel the same way about seafood, so I'm not about to give that up any time soon.)

My main hurdle is that Geekman is the biggest carnivore of all carnivores. I honestly have no idea how other people manage in a relationship with one vego and one meat-lover. We hardly ever eat out, and cooking two separate meals each night is not feasible. But when we sat down and talked about it, we actually managed to come up with a plan that just might work. So we are going to try it for a month.

Lunches and breakfasts:
These are easy, since we eat separately already anyway. Lunch in particular is where I'll make an effort to incorporate the foods I should probably be eating if I'm going to avoid meat, but that Geekman doesn't like (tofu, whole grains, lentils).

Dinners:
A few times a week we'll cook something which we can add meat to his half of without any extra trouble, e.g. pasta or rice with sauce, stirfry with the meat cooked separately, salads, pizza etc. A couple of times we'll have something which has an easy vegetarian equivalent that can be cooked alongside the meat component: sausages for Geekman, vege sausages for me; hamburgers for Geekman; vegeburger for me. Once a week we'll have fish, which I'm happy to keep eating, providing we find out which fish species are not being overfished and only eat those. And once a week we'll still eat meat.

So that's how I ended up celebrating my conversion to (semi/pseudo-)vegetarianism with a beef lasagne. In case you were wondering.

12 Comments:

sjlord@stanford.edu said...

vegetarians are hot!

ok, i also have to say that a weird thing happened while i was writing this comment: the CAPTCHA (squiggly letters to test if i'm a human) is "SFBBQ." that's a strange set of letters for me, a san-francisco vegetarian, to receive. ;)

sjlord@stanford.edu said...

and the next CAPTCHA is "NHVEG." does this somehow read the post to know what to give as letters??

sjlord@stanford.edu said...

nope. now it's "CSDDI." just two strange coincidences...

Weekend_Viking said...

Actually, I'd say seafood is less sustainable and ethically more dodgy than occasional farmed meat eating - oceanic fish stocks have been in nosedive for years because of completely unregulated fishing, to the point that entire species are disappearing every couple of years, and about the only seafood I have decided it's ethical to eat is squid and Stalin's crabs (Pacific ghost crabs introduced to Arctic and North Sea by the soviets, that are a major ecological disaster, and so need to be et up fast), followed maybe by farmed salmon, but not much.

Badaunt said...

I am not a vegetarian and don't really want to become one, but I don't eat nearly as much meat here as I did in NZ. It's usually only two or three times a week, and then it's Asian style - you know, where the meat is not the whole point of the meal.

I eat more fish, though.

Have you read "The Omnivore's Dilemma"? Excellent book, although rather U.S.-centric (it has to be really, since it was written by an American). I read it because I'd heard that it really makes you think about where your food comes from.

It had that effect on me, too, but mainly the book left me feeling fascinated by mushrooms. I was ALREADY worried about where my food comes from.

StyleyGeek said...

Yes, but WV, see the bits of the post that say (a) my decision isn't really about ethics or environment and (b) we're planning to avoid overfished species.

According to the info I've been able to find, Hoki, Barramundi, Bream, Yellowfin Tuna, Flathead, Mackerel, Mullet, Ling, Snapper are all not too badly off.

Anyway, I'm not planning to eat MORE fish than I currently do - we already eat it about once I week. One step at a time, okay? :)

Addy N. said...

I have been a vegetarian for almost 16 years and married a non-veggie 8 years ago. It works out pretty well for us, because my husband doesn't have to eat meat all the time. He grew up (outside of the US) not being able to afford meat most of the time, so he's accustomed to eating dishes without it. He'll eat it when we go out and occasionally cook it for himself at home, but otherwise he eats what I cook. He has expanded his food horizons since we met- he'll eat tofu, seitan, now. The biggest thing is that he truly respects that I am a vegetarian and doesn't find it silly- that would make the situation impossible, I think. Good luck with your switch!

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

You could easily make veggie chili with meat on the side... When I make it, I use a variety of canned veggies, including tomatoes and chili beans. Then I season it like I do meat chili and let it cook for a while...

USJogger said...

Well, what a strange coincidence. I've also been flirting with vegetarianism for a while, and recently decided to take the plunge. The thing that pushed me over the edge was a borderline high cholesterol reading.

I'm still eating dairy and eggs, and the occasional fish, but haven't touched meat in a couple of weeks.

The Little Joggers are not vegetarians at all, and Mrs. J can take it or leave it. So we've had lots of the sort of half-and-half meals that you described.

USJogger

Badaunt said...

Oh, and just have to add: the writer of "Omnivore's Dilemma" has an article up on the New York Times website. Very interesting it is, too.

paideia said...

I am a non-veggie married to a veggie...... lunch-meat (sliced turkey or roast beef or whatnot) has been one of my solutions of late for easy meat, but then, I'm the kind of omnivore who doesn't really like meat that much, but needs a high protein diet and just finds it easier. We also just frequently _do_ cook different things for dinner,but we're talking pretty lowbrow cooking (pastas and salads and such).

A small indoor grill makes it very easy for the non-veggie to quickly toss up some meat.

StyleyGeek said...

Geekman already has ham or beef sandwiches for lunch most days. He prefers his meat to come two (or better: three) times daily :)

The indoor grill is a good suggestion, though, thanks!