Yes, you read that correctly. No, I'm not kidding.
Shocked? Shocked that the girl that touted the sexually delicious aspects of pork belly a month ago is now turning her back on meat? I suppose it is a bit shocking.
Fear not, this is only temporary. My appetite for meat (pun intended) will return in March.
So, why am I doing this, you're probably wondering. Well, there's one, pretty generic reason: Because I Can. I clearly have no moral or ethical oppositions to meat-eating. I talk about Pork like I'm married to it (is that possible, by the way? Note to self: look up this on Google). For all intents and purposes, I'm perfectly happy with my carnivorous ways. The second, less specific, but more important reason is: Because I Want to Challenge Myself.
I imagine there will be some hurdles. For one, I can't have pork (is there such a thing as Pork Withdrawal?). I can't use chicken stock, etc. I have to make sure I'm not using anything that has been stabilized with gelatin, or fried in an animal fat. And, I'm sure I'll run into snags with finding replacement foods, etc. The good thing is, I'm not a picky eater. I will try anything at least once. Those two facts being established, there are a few foods I'm not a fan of, in general: eggplant, tofu, soy "meats", soy milk, soy cheese (I suppose soy products in general), cucumbers (you will in fact NEVER see me cook with these. Ever.). Mostly, these are textural aversions; I just don't like the way these foods FEEL. I have anticipated the absence of tofu and soy products from my vegetarian menu, and have already developed a ration of legume and grain-based recipes, using lentils, beans, and quinoa to hopefully supplement some of the nutrition I will be lacking from things like meat, or soy products: i.e., proteins, minerals, etc. I am allowing myself eggs and dairy (I'm sorry. I may be able to live without pork but I will never be able to live without runny eggs or gooey cheese), but no seafood.
|My large pile of fruits and veggies that will make up my lunches for the week--guacamole (accompanied by tortilla chips) and lots of fresh citrus. Mr. Greek Yogurt will also be found in my lunchbox, for some protein.|
Being a vegetarian will challenge my cooking in a way I've never experienced before, and will challenge me to be much more aware: aware of where my food is coming from, how it's prepared, what is IN it; aware of my body, what it needs, how to fill the voids. I'm certain there will be cravings. There already are. Case in point: I have a cold, and all I want is a nice hot mug of chicken noodle soup. No. Can. Do. What is the chicken noodle soup equivalent for veg heads?!? I have lots of questions, but I figure the answers will reveal themselves along the road. I'm really excited! My goal is to cook something new every 2-4 days, and share those recipes as they are completed. If I'm careful about planning around work, extra-curriculars and my 10-miler training schedule, I think I can pull it off. This absolutely requires more deliberate planning than I have ever remotely thought I was capable of (in addition to a tofu aversion, I also have a planning aversion.), so we shall see how quickly this moves into total chaos and I'm left eating nothing but raw veggies and Pasta-Roni out of sheer necessity.
Here's to my little experiment...who knows? Maybe I'll never again look lustily at a piece of pork. Perhaps I will lose my taste for Bacon completely. This could change my life as a foodie for all of eternity! Mwahahahahaha! (...I hope not.)