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Monday, March 23, 2009

veggin' out

i was happy to see the teen when we picked her up after school on friday. i know i've said it before, but the weeks that she's with her dad just drag, and i so look forward to those fridays when she comes back and brings new life into the house. i miss her so much when she's gone.

as usual, i dragged her with me to run some errands - just quick stuff like picking up the mail and a grocery run. and as i was telling her that i was planning on making chicken tacos for dinner, she gave me a weird look, stopped pushing the cart, and said "mom, i kind of have to tell you something."

all sorts of crazy shit ran through my mind. a new boyfriend? a bad grade at school? she wants to live with her dad full time? what? but i kept my composure and said "sure, babe, what's up?"

she gave me that look again, and said "i decided i want to be a vegetarian."

phew. i was so relieved that it wasn't anything drastic. not to mention, this is something she's said before, but i never really thought she'd do it. and then i thought back over the course of all thirteen years of her life and it made sense - she's never been much of a meat eater to begin with. even when she was a baby, she turned her nose up at anything that had beef or chicken or turkey in it. but at the same time, she didn't really like a lot of veggies, either. and her love of bacon is almost as legendary as mine. that's what had always stopped her before.

and as i was mulling all of this over in my noggin, she's saying "mom, i'm really sorry, i know it's going to be a pain in the butt to make dinner and stuff for me."

awwwww. she'd just decided to cut out meat from her diet, live a healthier lifestyle, and she was worried about inconveniencing me? i love her so much.

i told her not to worry about it for a second. yeah, it'd be a little challenging, but i was totally up for it, and i told her so. plus, the hub's been known to cut red meat out of his own diet for months at a time - he'd be totally on board with this, i just knew it.

and he was, of course. i wasn't shocked in the least. actually, the biggest lame-ass in all of this is me - i'm a complete carnivore and rarely have a meatless meal. i'm not a huge fan of a large variety of vegetables, but neither is the teen. not to mention, like me, she hates beans - which is a major staple and source of protein for those who choose a vegetarian lifestyle. we're both gonna have to make some adjustments and open our minds (and mouths) a little here.

so now, my big challenge is scouring the interwebz for tasty vegetarian meals that we can all enjoy. i'm hoping to find a nice variety of entrees that aren't always pasta or salad, which is what seems to be the typical dish. like, when you go to a wedding or something, and there's a vegetarian meal available, isn't it always something boring and blah like pasta primavera or spaghetti with marinara sauce? ho-hum.

wish me luck. this is gonna be interesting.


  1. awwe, You have a super nice daughter and deservedly so, you are a super nice mom! You wont have much trouble if you like mexican food. its soo easy to convert almost any mexican dish into a vegeratian one. we do love our meat, dont get me wrong, but there's a ton of stuff you can make vegetarian. i'll let you look up your favorite recipes online, but i suggest cheese enchiladas, potato tacos are delish and you must try chilaquiles! good luck!

  2. All I have is, "Good Luck!"

    Just thought you should know, Nic did the same thing to us at around the same age and it has been a pain the ass ever since! Oh god she makes us hate thanksgiving!

  3. Being Kosher, we pick vegetarian main meals more often than meat, b/c it's cheaper and easier in a pinch. Veggie chili is a great go-to, as well as other recipes with lentils, beans, etc. There are some great cookbooks out there, too!

  4. You are an awesome mom. I would be like, "Yeah, that thing over there? The kitchen? You might want to learn how to use it." I love meat, it would be so tough to give up! Good luck!

  5. I will rack my recipe brain for some animal-free recipes...sans beans (that's going to be a tough one!).

  6. Definitely check out Liz's Cooking Blog (LizzieB from the nest) - she has a great list of recipes, many of which are vegetarian. I'm a pescetarian myself (I eat fish), and the transition was surprisingly easy, even for my meat-eating DH!

  7. I have to come out of lurkdom to say what an awesome and supportive mom you are! I became a vegetarian when I was 18, and my mom was NOT happy about it. She got used to it after a few years, but now that I've decided to go vegan (at the age of 33, I might add), she is again unhappy.

    One resource I use is www.vegweb.com. You can find a ton of recipes on there, and lots of reviews, too. You can also use some meat substitutes to get started. Just don't expect them to taste like meat, cause they don't.

    Good luck and have fun with this new experience!

  8. The pics are hilarious! Good for the teen. I have thought about becoming a vegetarian, too. Kudos to her.

  9. Wow! Good luck to her and you guys if that's what she really wants to do. I had a short period of being a pescatarian and it was really hard. Will she still eat fish at all?

  10. I think my favorite vegetarian meal is meatless tacos. I have them in my blog. Add a little mexican rice and they are awesome!

  11. not on the web, but the Moosewood cookbooks (basically all of them) are great vegetarian cookbooks. they are paperback and pretty cheap at amazon.

  12. for being carnivores, we have more vegetarian meals than i care to admit. from a health standpoint though, i think she is going to have to change her mind about beans though. they are a great source of nutrition and that gets really important for vegetarians, vegans, etc. especially for someone who is still growing.

    i just made black bean enchilada casserole last night and it was fabulous! i'll email you the link. :)

  13. Ditto the Moosewood cookbooks! Say hello to Trader Joes, you new BFF ;) They have some great soy/tofu/fake meats!

  14. I hear the fake meat market is booming and there are lots of options now. My biggest obstacle would've ben tofu, personally. I know everyone says it is flavorless, and that it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with but I disagree. Tastes like crap to me.

  15. Ok the pics had me laughing at my desk. Boca burgers are quite yummy, especially in the Spicy Black Bean and Asian Medley flavors. Good luck!

  16. Yayyy good for the teen!! I ate a shitload of veggie burgers when I was veg, back in the day.

  17. Ahhhh now your later post is making more sense to me :) I love how thoughtful your daughter is. Seriously, in comparison I was such a brat when I was her age.

    But hmm, good luck with the whole veggietarian thing. I'll probably not survive w/o meat.

  18. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your veg recipes. I've been trying to cut back on the red meat, but I don't think I could give it up entirely for very long. Props to the teen!


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