Thursday, June 9, 2011

But what do you eat?

Invariably, once I tell someone about my dietary choice to not eat meat and many other animal products, the second thing asked is, "But what do you eat!?" (First is the necessary "I could never do that!" Which, by the way, you could.) To me, this question is as ridiculous as suggesting that I don't breathe or sleep. Why, I eat food - and lots of it. In fact, the longer I have been a vegetarian, the more open I became to trying delicious new foods that I never would have imagined eating before.

So with that said, I would like to introduce just a simple example of what I eat and what I look for in a meal. So no recipe today, because like any "regular" cook, it's often faster to use ingredients on hand and your own imagination rather than search for something suitable that already exists.

Without further ado, yesterday's lunch:

Indian Green Lentils and Onions on a bed of Spinach

This was simple to prepare, if not very quick. I simmered half a cup of organic green lentils for forty minutes or so, caramelizing half of a medium onion at the same time. When tender, I added some garam masala seasoning and combined the lentils and onions over a handful of spinach. Some sprinkled cubes of a local cheddar cheese on top finished the dish.

Would you believe this meal has over 20 grams of protein? That's roughly equivalent to the amount in a hamburger, yet rich in fiber and vegetable nutrients, and without the amount of saturated fats and cholesterol. Consider replacing just one meal a week to one focused solely on plant foods. Meatless Mondays, anyone? :)

Common criticism says that it's impossible to get enough protein on a vegetarian diet - this simply isn't true. By incorporating a source of protein into every meal, just as you likely did on any standard American diet, it is nearly impossible to suffer from a deficiency in protein. And your choices are endless! Seek out whole foods as much as possible; tempeh, edamame, lentils (there are at least brown, red, green, and French varieties!), nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans of all sorts add variety to everyday meals. Paired with vegetables and fruits, these foods form the backbone of my diet.

On a separate note, I am particularly excited for dinner tomorrow - I'll give you a sneak peek: *Yukon Gold potatoes, onions, and tempeh crumbles on an olive oil-infused rosemary spelt-whole-wheat crust.* How's that for a long name? Heads up for pictures, and a recipe, soon!


Let's mix it up today:

Jerome's sister, Got Milk?

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