I’m not a vegetarian but my husband is. Rather, he is now.
This has been causing some issues.
Now, I’m not the kind of guy who needs to wolf down some cow every day to reach culinary satisfaction. But as the main cook in the house, it has thrown a little cramp into my style. While I didn’t often do big meat-centric dishes like giant steaks served rare alongside a small salad that barely acknowledges the existence of vegetable matter in the human diet -- damn, my mouth just watered -- a lot of my basic repertoire includes meat, and that repertoire is now useless.
Stir-fry of rice noodles with ground chicken, scallions, peanuts and super-spicy sambal? Not any more. Penne pasta with salsa amatriciana? Nope, pancetta is no longer allowed.
Pancetta, people. Pancetta! What is my world coming to?
So, my cooking these days has focused on two things.
First, learning to cook more purely vegetarian meals beyond marinara sauce. Luckily, I picked up Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, so my horizons now include a bulgur chili, which is far, far better than it first sounds to the ears of a meat eater. I’ve also experimented on my own with simmering cactus with black beans -- thank you Goya aisle at Giant! -- for rice and bean burritos at home. And I’m really starting to love my capers-and-black-olives pasta sauce. So far, so good.
Second, I’m making sure Cavin at least eats some occasional seafood because I just believe it’s healthier that way. Yes, yes, I know the standard vegetarian riposte is, “What did the fish ever do to you?” Well, as far as I’m concerned the fish was pissing and shitting in the ocean I swim in, so the little s.o.b. had it comin’. So there.
On another still-food-related topic, I’ve been totally remiss in noting that I have not one, not two, but three friends now dedicated to the art of food blogging.
First off, my friend David has been documenting his own experience as a vegetarian at Just Vegging Out (he just got back from my home state, Kentucky, where meat eating is just about mandatory, yet he survived). He also posted my strawberry and spinach salad recipe, which is flattering, and he has a lot of veggie approaches I need to be checking out for myself.
Then there’s Jenny’s new NomNomNom, a food blog by a foodie who doesn’t cook. Funny, Jenny used to be a vegetarian back when she lived with me but now she’s all about the bacon. Mmmmm, bacon. Jen’s a witty and urbane voice you’ll find, um, tasty. Like bacon!
Finally, check out The Passion Fruits, one fruit of which, Joe, is all about getting fresh (I totally want to make a “getting fresh” joke here, but I’m going to fight off the urge). Joe and his co-fruit Luke have a more refined approach to food than, say, I do -- and that’s a good thing. And I know for a fact Joe’s food is excellent, so I’m happy to listen to what he has to say.
Especially if he tells me to eat more meat.