Friday, February 27, 2009

Going (Temporarily) Meatless

I didn't have a bento yesterday because I wanted to eat lunch out (for reasons that will become clear shortly), and I don't have a bento today because I'm going to the gym.  So instead, I'll direct your attention over here, where the recipe for the soy glazed salmon and soba salad that I've been eating has been posted. 

Also included oh-so-casually in that post is the announcement that from February 28th (tomorrow) until April 9th (about 5 weeks from now), I am going meatless. 

I stress here that I am not doing this for Lent.  Lent is February 25th through April 12th.  The time frame is similar but not the same, so please don't tell me that I have gotten the dates wrong.  (Yes, a few people have told me this already and I figured I'd just pre-empt.) 

While this clearly will affect both of my food sites, it will clearly affect this one much more directly and immediately (I post on Feisty Foodie with a week to two week delay).  It will become immediately evident how well (or not) I'm doing at this whole meatless thing.  Plus it'll plump up my 'vegetarian' label nicely, a much neglected tag as you can see the very first result under there, for some strange reason, is a bento that contains one vegetarian tier, sure, but the other tier is all meat!  Hmph! 

Here is the full text of what's over at FF for those too lazy to click over:

"The story here is that, if you haven't already heard, I'm going mostly-meatless for most-of-Lent.  I'm not religious and the two aren't very related at all, just the time frames overlap (Lent is February 25th through April 12th; I'll be going meatless from February 28th [that's tomorrow] through April 9th), so it seems like a lot of people are assuming the two are related.  They really aren't. 

It's just a challenge I'm posing to myself.  As anyone who eats with me or reads my food blog or talks about food with me, I am a huge meat eater.  I eat meat.  It's part of who I am, and I simply don't feel full if I don't have meat in my meal.  I like to have a meat, a veg and a starch in most meals, although I've been able to curb the starch portion sharply in recent years for a number of reasons... but meat has always been there for me.

On the other hand, I did grow up eating a lot of vegetables - I love vegetables cooked properly, or not cooked at all - but have fallen very far from that area in my life.  When I first moved away from my mother, I found I had a lot of trouble keeping fresh vegetables.  When I moved again, I had a bit of better luck (long story involving why I had trouble with that at the other place), but living with a veggie-phobe or veggie-hater really strained my desire to buy and keep fresh vegetables.  And now, living by myself, I'm half and half - it can be hard to eat all of any given vegetable before it goes bad, but I'm trying because I really do love eating fresh veggies, and I think I'm doing alright. 

To encourage the latter and curb the former, I'm going to go completely meatless (NOT to be confused with vegetarian!) for this time period.  I will allow myself to eat fish, but meat - chicken, beef, pork, duck, etc. - is not allowed.  Dishes made with animal products and/or fats are allowable as well, just no bits of animal parts.  It's not vegetarianism by any means.  I expect my restaurant-dining to drop down to near-nil. 

And so, to that end, I'm easing myself into things this week, with a very healthy, delicious and vegetarian side dish, along with a nice piece of fish.  (I've also slacked on eating fish since I moved away from my mother, but am working to fix that, clearly.)"

Wish me luck!  This is going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done.  While I can show an enormous amount of self-control, that generally applies to things I fully believe to be for my own betterment.  This will surely teach me a few things about myself... we'll see.

And on that note, I have not eaten chicken at all this week.  Sunday until now, I have been mostly meatless (eating lots of salmon, as you can see), eating only little bits of pork in a big batch of watercress soup I made on Sunday, and yesterday, I had a big burger stuffed with bacon (to go out with a bang you see!), sweetbreads for dinner, and tonight, I will surely eat something monstrously beefy just because I can.  Tomorrow, we begin.

Have a great weekend and happy bento, everyone!!!


  1. Good luck indeed. I'm going red-meatless this month (mainly, or so I hope, eesh). I'm scared enough about that, so especially admire your going completely meatless. I'm going to be watching this closely. Not to see how well you do but to get bento ideas!

  2. You can do it! I was a vegetarian for years and it was not hard to do at all. To be very honest - I have never felt healthier and happier (not as moody) as when I wasn't eating meat. You might be surprised at how well you like it! Good luck! :)


  3. argh... good luck. I need meat.

  4. This will be interesting. I think it's a good idea to 'go without' something for awhile and see what happens. if nothing else, you come to appreciate that thing in a new way.

  5. I actually just finished up 30 days of vegan eating, which was challenging, but I made it with only a few cheats. My bento actually helped a lot, since it made it easier for me to pack non-traditional vegan lunches. (Amanda from the swap)

  6. I was meatless for a while and red-meat-less for a long while (I ate chicken but no other meats). So speaking from that experience, I HIGHLY recommend locating/buying/borrowing any or all of Mollie Katzen's cookbooks. My personal favorite is Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, and her breakfast cookbook (Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe) is great if you're a breakfast person. These cookbooks allowed my father (who was a BIG meat-eater) to join me in my meat-less-ness at least most of the time and not mind.

  7. Going meatless is something I always aspire to and would love to do but as soon as I start thinking seriously about it I eat bacon. And I don't often eat bacon. Good luck!!

  8. Interesting.

    I went vegan a year and half ago, for health reasons, and decided I would figure out how to do it right. I thought, somebody out there has to be enjoying this.

    I soon was eating the best food I had ever eaten. And feeling very good, too.

    The Candle Cafe cookbook is an excellent source for recipes. Also, I just picked up "As You Like It" by Ron Pickarski. It's a "traditional" cookbook that tells you exactly how to make the dishes vegan or vegetarian. It's excellent.

    Good luck. Next time you try this, I recommend looking over some books first. It will increase your enjoyment of it, and give a better understanding of how to eat well - both in flavor and in health.

    - Matt

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