In 1990, I became a vegetarian. My husband had gone strictly vegan the year before, after seeing a brochure about factory farming. Mr. Steak-Hamburger-Pepperoni Pizza was suddenly eating only bulghur wheat and brown beans. We both grew up in the South, where we put pork fat in everything but iced tea, so this was the equivalent of waking up with an alien. After many arguments in restaurants, I decided to join my husband in his culinary conversion for the sake of our marriage. This, of course, flipped our families out and made us a complete pain in the butt… no meat, no fish, no stock, no gelatin, no dairy…and no joy.
Fast forward to now. We’re ovo-lacto-pesco (just no porko beefo fowlo) vegetarians. We added back dairy first, then eggs, then a piece of fish now and then. I only eat fish if it’s kosher* and my husband won’t call himself a vegetarian at all. It’s a compromise with family, society and our taste buds. It’s not perfect, from an ethical standpoint, but there are health benefits. Mainly, we just feel better and enjoy fresh, mostly plant-based food and want to share some recipes with you.
As for your own food choices, follow your heart, or your mind, or your religious leader, or your doctor. My vegetarianism, such as it is, is not an indictment of your bacon cheeseburger. If you’re looking for ideas for simple meals made quickly with mostly fresh ingredients, you’re at the right place. If you are strictly vegan, gluten-free or have food allergies, some of these recipes aren’t for you.
*I got my husband back by converting to Judaism, adding a layer of food craziness.
Feel free to experiment and to change any recipe you see here to suit yourself, and let us know in the comments how it turned out for you.
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