My husband has recently decided to be a vegetarian. And I sort of follow suit because I don’t want to bother making two or three meals every night. Right now I find that if I go two or three days without eating meat I start feeling weak and nauseated (more so than usual). I also found that when I don’t eat meat I don’t gain weight, which I need to be doing right now. I don’t need a lot of meat to fix the problem, a turkey sandwich will usually do the trick, but I have to have meat. Perhaps I will give it a more concerted effort when I am not trying to grow a person in my belly. For now I cook vegetarian meals at home and when we go out to eat, or sometimes when I’m at work I eat meat. (The kids don’t really like to eat meat anyway, except for the occasional chicken nugget.) So I’m eating some meat, but not very much.
So why go vegetarian? Here are a few bonuses about the lifestyle:
- It dramatically lowers your cholesterol and calorie intake.
- Cutting out the meat significantly reduces your grocery bill.
- Vegetarian protein sources are cheaper to store and last significantly longer in your food storage than canned or dried meat.
- Meat is unfortunately “fortified” with steroids, antibiotics and growth hormones. None of which I recommend taking without a prescription.
- It forces you to pay attention to think about what you are eating. While you are looking at the ingredients, it’s more likely that you may be thinking ‘Is this good for me?’
- Vegetarians live longer and don’t get sick as often.
- Going vegetarian leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Here’s the my vegetarian experiment of the week:
Crock Pot Pepper Pasta
Food Storage Ingredients:
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1/8 cup olive oil
2 cans (6 oz) tomato paste
2 Tablespoons jarred, pre-chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 lb pasta, prepared according to directions
3 bell peppers, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
6 Tablespoons shredded Parmesean
1. Mix everything except pasta and cheese together in crock pot. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours. 2. When sauce is almost done prepare pasta. 3. Season sauce to taste. Serve with Parmesean.
This stuff made my house smell wonderful. I served it over whole wheat pasta with green apples and french bread (in the interest of providing something I could guarantee my kids would eat.) I thought the sauce was a little thinner than I liked, so next time I may drain one of the cans of tomatoes. My husband loved it the way it was and used his french bread to soak it up.
Now I am well aware that giving up meat is a huge life-style change. I obviously can not say that I have managed to do it. But if you can reduce the amount of meat that you’re eating, think of the benefits. You will save money and improve your health, (which also saves you money). It has taken a little work and experimentation, but I have found myself trying and loving many foods that I never would have thought of trying before.
Vegetarian cooking has also given me a boost of confidence in my culinary skills. Where my husband works they go out to eat/order in pretty frequently, and usually he’s more interested in my leftovers than what is available at local restaurants. Haha! So this week I am inviting anyone out there to share their favorite vegetarian recipes. And if it includes rice, pasta, oats, potatoes, wheat or beans, all the better!