Wednesday, November 6, 2013

When you are a vegetarian and don't like veggies...

One of the times I surprised myself the most was last year, when I woke up one day and suddenly decided I didn't want to eat meat anymore. You have to know that I loved meat. Loved. It. One of my best friends is a vegetarian and I always thought she was a little nuts. You also have to know that I am quite the fuzzy eater. I have to *shamefully* admit that I don't like vegetables too much. I know that they are good for me, I know I have to include them in my diet yada yada yada, but I just can't stand the taste of the damn things.

So, anyway, I was there and suddenly, for literally no reason whatsoever, I wanted to become a vegetarian. The "you have completely lost your mind" looks didn't take long to come. But I was determined, and damnit, if there is something I love more than meat is to go through with a project. Therefore, I was faced with the dilemma: what do you eat when you are a "vegetarian" and don't like veggies?

I had to make use of all my creativity (or better said, my research abilities) in order to find meatless meals that I would actually enjoy eating. That is how I managed to remain completely meatless for six full months, much to everyone's surprise. And it was actually really nice, but then when we moved countries it became too difficult to maintain, and little by little I went back to meat. I definitely would consider going meatless for a longer period, but it will probably happen next year after the wedding.
Here are some of the meals that I loved eating during those six months:

1. Goat Cheese and Wild Mushroon Ravioli: One of the very few vegetables I actually love and could eat everyday are mushrooms. And combined with cheese and pasta? yes please!

2. Mushroom Risotto: Yep, mushrooms pretty much appeared in every single meal for those six months, in several variations.

3. Pesto Pizza with Tomato and Goat Cheese: The combination of pesto, cheese and tomato in a pizza is seriously to die for. I still usually prefer not to have any meat in my pizzas (four cheese pizza is a current favorite!).

4. Spinach and Feta Omelette: I am not a big fan of spinach, but had to eat it on occasion so I wouldn't have to eat something worse like beetroot to keep my iron levels up. I learned that spinach in an omelette or lasagna is actually pretty tasty!

5. Spinach Pesto Fusilli: Yes, more pasta. But this is another case where the spinach is very enjoyable, as it is used in the pesto so you are getting all the benefits without having to actually it.

6. Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Croutons: Soup also became a staple in my house, since I have always loved soup. And I am kind of addicted to grains (beans, lentils and chickpeas) so they also became a major source of survival for me.

7. Baked Chickpea and Brown Rice Patties: If I'm going to be completely honest, I never made these. I found a little vegetarian restaurant where they sold them, and just got them from there. But they were great nonetheless, and allowed me to have something to bring to a barbecue!

I know it is pretty embarrassing that a 25-year-old is such a fuzzy eater (I Thank all heavens my 3-year-old is quite the veggie eater), but Pinterest and Google made sure that my vegetable intake increased dramatically (if anything, for their mouth-watering pictures!).

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