I’m a vegetarian.
I’m a born and raised Texan so the very thought of giving up meat never crossed my mind. Bacon wrapped anything, a filet with bleu cheese crumbles, fried chicken,..the list goes on. These were a few of my favorite foods. I’m the definition of health, I know. Almost two years ago, my husband decided he was going to stop eating meat. I don’t know if he planned for it be long-term or not, but he does the grocery shopping. So, here I am. Saving the cows. I was a little concerned at first. I don’t eat mushrooms. Sorry, not sorry. I also hate tomatoes, except the little sweet ones. This wouldn’t be an issue if half the restaurants’ vegetarian options didn’t include a mushroom-based meal covered in tomatoes/some form of marinara sauce. I’ll just have this salad drowned in extra cheese and ranch, thanks.
Don’t get me wrong, if I see a life-changing steak while scanning a restaurant creeping on other people’s dinner, I’m ordering it and I’ll enjoy every single bite. This recently happened in Charleston. I highly recommend the filet at Anson if only for the goat cheese smashed (yes, smashed) potatoes on the side. In all reality, I have had meat 8 times in about 2 years. My husband accidentally ate chicken in tortilla roll-ups one night though, so is he REALLY even a vegetarian? I rest my case.
When we visit big cities we get super pumped. There are certain cities that just gravitate towards vegetarians, or is it the other way around? Who knows. I do happy dances when I find a menu that has the OPTION to add meat instead of having to build a meal asking the waitress to take this, this, and that off. Did I already tell you I’m the pickiest eater I know?
My staples include black beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, pasta, and most recently, Beyond Meat burgers. If you’re new to being a vegetarian or thinking about becoming one and/or trying Meatless Mondays, there are SO MANY delicious options. It’s so easy to turn your usual meals that contain meat into a meatless dish. We have found that many times, they are even better! I’ll be sharing more of my favorite go to menu items in the coming weeks.
Things I learned about being a vegetarian:
1. Not all gummy bears are vegetarian. Total devastation. But I still buy bags of Haribo for post long run snacks. I have come to terms with it.
2. A lot of people will have an opinion on your choice to be an *insert anything you do or do not eat way of life*. I don’t like that you like mushrooms, so there!
3. Some people will assume you still eat fish and you will spend time explaining the difference between a pescatarian and a vegetarian. Then they will ask if you still eat sushi. You’ve done your best. Find new friends at this point.
4. You will accidentally eat something cooked in chicken broth. First of all, why are you cooking rice in chicken broth? Water is just fine. Calm down with your sorcery and fancy chef skills.
5. You will start to debate if you should just take the next step and be vegan. Then you realize 97% of all the meals you eat
include are in fact, just cheese. But, you use vegan makeup so you’re off to a good start! For now.