Saturday, January 9, 2010

About Vegetarian Skinny

I am not yet a vegetarian. I am famous for my Christmas standing rib roast and big-as-your-head meatballs. Fortunately for me, I am also a big fan of vegetables, because recent events have nudged me toward exploring something new. Would life be significantly different if I gave up meat?

It started like this: In the past couple of years, I have met lots of new people who are vegetarians. I did not meet them all at once or in one place. It just happened that an increasing number of people in different parts of my life did not eat meat. As I became more aware of meatlessness as a possibility, I began seeing inviting vegetarian menu options all over the place. Also, almost without exception, my vegetarian friends seemed healthy and fit both mentally and physically. I know there are many factors that play into this, but this is a food blog, not a sociology paper. I call this state of being “vegetarian skinny”, and I decided to try it for myself.
Secondly, I am a cook. So I was intrigued by the challenge of creating a meatless menu that my husband would enjoy and could also be suited to entertaining. (Please note, my husband is a pleasure to feed. He gamely tries every experiment I have ever asked him to eat.) Ironically, I was looking for a braised short ribs recipe in “Gourmet” magazine, when I got totally creeped out by a “Beefscapes” advertisement. It made me feel the same way 6th grade Biology class did when I learned what eggs really were. I could not eat eggs for ages after that. I actually wrote to the Beef Council about it, but they seemed to think that everyone else liked the ads. Then a vegetarian friend loaned me a copy of the fabulous Moosewood Cookbook and I’ve been on a roll ever since. 

Finally, I just read In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan. This is a thought-provoking read about what has happened to our “food” and the quality of the Western diet. At one time my work was connected to the food industry, so I can attest to much of what he is saying.

VegetarianSkinny is not meant to try to convert anyone, but rather to find satisfying meatless options for everyone. So, as a means to creating new possibilities and perhaps seeing some health benefits, I will be working on putting together a series of tantalizing vegetarian recipes that are comprised of readily available and easily recognizable ingredients.

See you soon!

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