The Pretend Vegetarian.
Happy weekend! It could not get here soon enough.
For about a year now, I have had a strong aversion to meat. It pretty much came out of the blue, but I think it stemmed from that time I lost my mind competition dieting.
It began with chicken. I can’t swallow it if I take it bite. It literally makes me gag. It’s not the taste, but the texture. I actually like the taste. Then a few months ago, I developed an aversion towards beef and fish. I also ate alot of this while competition dieting.
I absolutely CANNOT cook chicken, steak, or fish for myself and want to eat it. The whole process of cooking it grosses me out. If I see one tendon or vein or a bit of gristle…GROSS! I’m done. (Note: I still cook meat everyday for my hubby, friends and family, and some of my recipes are really, very good. Of course I am still going to whore these out detail these on the blog.)
I CAN eat meat out in nice restaurants. (And seriously, how gross is THAT? Then I really don’t know what I’m eating). Only a few bites, however. I don’t order it often, but I will order a filet or some type of seafood. No chicken though. Maybe if it is in a cheesy dip or on pizza, but no chicken for me.
This has nothing to do with how I feel about animals. I don’t even think about the ‘inhumane’ ideas. I just really can’t stand the texture of meat, the veins…ugh I get chills just thinking about it.
But what do I do when my husband brings home this for dinner?
I eat it.
Well, some of it, anyways.
This was shocking because we rarely eat this kind of food. Since we have been together I can’t remember one time that we ever went to a fast food restaurant. Plus, I usually cook every night because I LOVE IT.
This wasn’t exactly fast food, per se. It came from Five Guys. We had never eaten there before, and if you are not familar with the place, the burgers have 2 meat patties on them! I was not a fan of the fries – too salty, too much seasoning – I just wasn’t feeling them. I took one meat patty off, because, let’s be honest here, WHO needs 2 meat patties? I guess my husband, because he ended up eating 4. I told you he is hungry.
See, I really can only be a pretend vegetarian. I never claimed to ever even be a vegetarian, but the thought crossed my mind that it was in the near future.
But I have a huge problem. I hate vegetables. As in, really, strongly, horribly, abhor vegetables. I have never, ever liked them.
Salads are ok – with cheese and french fries.
And corn is ok, too. Oh wait…that’s no good.
I promise that I have been TRYING to eat vegetables for over 10 years. Remember, fitness and nutrition are my passion, so I KNOW I should be eating them. I have never been a picky eater, except for my dislike of vegetables.
Now here I am in my 20’s, excluding 2 major food groups. I really don’t like complaining about my dislike of these foods because there are so many people that need food in this world. Some eat clay pies just to survive, and here I am complaining that I don’t like fresh food. I have tried to cook and season vegetables in a multitude of ways.
The thing is, I WANT to like them. I WANT to eat them. But if I prepare them, they go to waste.
So I need your help. Alot of you have already helped with some of the veggie creations on your blogs.
What are your favorite veggies and how do you prepare them? I would prefer to find ways to eat them alone, as opposed to ‘inside foods’ like soup and pasta (I can eat veggies in those).
I need help now. Or else I will just keep eating this. And this. And these.
And some of this.
And alot of this.
And I’d really like a pulled pork sandwhich right now, but I don’t have a picture of that.
Oh, FYI: I will be back with a very non-vegetarian recipe. I am such a hypocrite.
36 Comments on “The Pretend Vegetarian.”
armature gourmet’s best broccoli of your life is insane. especially with cheese on top :-)
big salads with fun toppings.
ROAST veggies – so much better.
just add MORE to every recipe you make.
Umm…5 Guys is amazing :) AND you can get a junior burger that only has 1 patty!
Instead of talking about veggies, I’m going to talk about Five Guys. I knew as soon as I saw the first fry picture that it was Five Guys. I don’t even want other french fries now that I’ve had theirs. Did you eat them with malt vinegar?
When I was pregnant with #1 I lost the taste for meat, except ground beef. I think it doesn’t have the meat texture that can gross a person out.
Eggplant Parmesan! it’s great, and you can’t even taste the eggplant… :-) (i may have just posted a recipe for this today…)
what i do is in meals where I would put meat, i put veggies instead, disguised. we eat a lot of meat in my home, but once in a while, i’ll make vegetarian stuff.
I stir fry vegetables every week. They’re so good with just a little bit of low-sodium soy sauce or teriyaki that there is no need for anything else… except maybe a little bit of brown rice. You can use any vegetable you can think of… I like to make it colorful… red bell peppers, orange carrots, yellow squash (or baby corn) (or both), green snow peas, broccoli, and bok choy, purple eggplant… add some bean sprouts, water chestnuts, mushrooms, whatever you fancy and call it a day. You can use any sauce… curry sauce, peanut sauce. Once you start loving vegetables in that method the possibilities are pretty much endless.
I so hear you on the meat texture thing!! Its why I had no trouble doing my no-meat-for-30-days challenge last month!
On the veggies front, I’ve found that I much prefer the texture of veggies cooked, rather than raw. Some of my favorites:
1. Green beans sauteed in a little bit of olive oil with garlic, cayenne, and sea salt.
2. Roasted maple brussels sprouts (just posted this recipe on my blog this week)
3. Carrots are always good with nut butter. :)
I love every vegetable.. honestly.. I could eat em raw, cooked, you name it BUT I would suggest making some yummy stir frys or roasting some root veggies (potatoes, carrots, etc). Alot of times if you add some oil and seasonings they taste delish (and makes you ALMOST forget they are veggies!) OMG I remember whent they opened the Five Guys in Oakland when I was at PITT (I still ate meat back then) and was totally obsessed! :)
I love baking green beans and asparagus @425 for 30 mins. They are crispy like fries ;)
For broccoli I broil it for 10 mins but first coat with a bit of oil and then sprinkle it with stevia YUM!
I love veggies though! Except for brussel sprouts blech! Maybe I should try one of the recipes above and give them a second chance. I’ll try it if you do ;)
Ooh, this is hard because I love veggies, so I’m probably really biased. But I like any vegetable grilled. The flavor is just so much better. I love grilled asparagus or zucchini. Good luck!! :)
I have a ton of suggestions for you!
Going to a farmer’s market might get you pysched about veggies. Seeing gorgeous produce fresh from the local fields here in California makes me want to try everything.
A few veggie staples of mine include:
–Fresh salsas–I experiment using roast poblano peppers, and different things each time
–Spaghetti squash–Can be made like spaghetti but you can also make it into a pad thai or indian dish easily
–Zucchini–Cut into strips, season, and bake in the oven for an alternative to french fries
–Eggplant–Cut into slices and bake in the oven. Tastes great between two slices of Ezekial bread with a little hummus as a sandwich.
Oh and as I type this I have kale chips dehydrating in my oven! Great little veggie snack. I’ll post the recipe on my blog.
You don’t have to call yourself a “vegetarian” if you don’t want to. Don’t limit yourself and don’t ever feel guilty about eating something!
Veggies – what about salads? You can pack a lot of veggies into them and then add a few nuts, cranberries, goats cheese etc to spice things up.
Roasting veggies always makes them taste good to me. Roasted red peppers – YUM!
Chili – an awesome recipe for packing in the veggies and it tastes amazing!
Avocado – it’s a veggie and it delicious – use it in salsa, guacamole…
Speaking of – How about dips – you can do bean dips, hummus, eggplant dip…
Wraps – load up your wraps with veggies, cheese and some hummus and salsa. Yum!
Wholewheat Veggie flatbread – like a pizza but with just veggies and spices!
You mean you are not a big fan of Obamba’s favorite fast food?
I am a vegetarian and for the last two weeks, vegan as well. But I grew up eating pizza, burgers, fries, milkshakes, and cheesesteaks. I did not like veggies.
A few things that worked/are working for me and might be helpful.
For your next vacation, make the effort to go to a vegetarian B&B or resort. You will get TONS of ideas about yummy food to eat. I took a trip with my wife to Rio Caliente in Mexico about 8 years ago, and I’ve been a veggie ever since.
Make roasted kale. easiest recipe I’ve seen is here: http://www.eatrundoyoga.com/blog/kale-five-ways/
Make smoothies for breakfast and just throw in spinach or kale along with some fruit, rice milk, and vegetarian vanilla protein powder. You won’t taste the greens and you’ll feel good about getting some veggies.
Do what Kaytee suggested – make a stir fry. It all just tastes better with soy sauce. You can even throw in some tofu or ‘mock meat’ if you want to get the mouth feel of meat.
I love haricot verts (french or baby green beans), blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then quickly put in cold water to stop the cooking. Saute some chopped shallots in a little olive oil, then add beans, add a little Kosher salt and voila.
If you aren’t eating full proteins you are going to be hungry for more, so make sure you are eating complete proteins, tofu, rice and beans, or quinoa.
Roasted squash and sweet potatoes with a some herbs, garlic, onions at 350 until tender with a little brown spots.
I have a total aversion to chicken too!! I’m paranoid that it’s undercooked, and it literally makes me gag to try to eat it.
But I’ll eat a steak occasionally – only if someone else prepares it for me. I totally relate to what you’re saying!
Anyway – these are great suggestions from your other readers! I looove veggies, but can’t think of any other good ideas.
Too funny. I was telling my friend the other day that I could give up chicken forever, no problem. But I won’t give up a good burger. Not that I eat them often, but I can’t be a vegetarian for that reason – I need my occassional burger!
As for the veggies, I would suggest starting out with a veggie lasagna or another Italian dish. You use so much tomato sauce that you cover up the taste of the veggies a little. Another favorite of mine is mixing a little bacon (just a little) into the veggies dishes. For example, green beans with bacon or spinach…it breaks up the flavor a little and it’s a tasty combo.
I think the main thing is to find a good recipe and stick with it. Eating veggies steamed with no flavor is kinda unappealing to me but roast them with garlic and EVOO and I’m in business!
Good luck – I’m sure you’ll find something you like soon.
Meet grosses me out too. I’m a pretend vegetarian as well :)
I’ve been falling in love with veggies. I make quick easy healthy meals and green smoothies. I don’t like spending too much time in the kitchen.
check it out:
I came across your blog through FoodBuzz. As a vegan, I love veggies but I know that many don’t enjoy them. In fact, my boyfriend (who is also now vegan) didn’t eat vegetables at all before he became vegetarian. Anyway, to help you eat more vegetables, I would say think about what flavors you like in foods that don’t contain vegetables or many vegetables. For example, if you really like pasta with meat sauce or meatballs, think about using a meat free sauce and then saute a few green peppers and onions to top the pasta with the veggies. Other ideas:
– If you like curries: Green Pepper, onion, snap peas, and a few garbanzo beans make a great curry.
– My boyfriend and I used to make a lot of veggie fajitas using bell peppers, onion, and zucchini. Topped with salsa and avocado, they were really tasty.
– Roasted veggies are amazing. I won’t eat asparagus any other way. To roast, I simply baste the veggies in a little olive oil and sprinkle with simple spices such as salt and black pepper, rosemary and thyme, or just a little garlic salt.
– Stir Fry! Another great way to eat some veggies. My favorite veggies for stir fry are carrots, broccoli, and onions. The veggies go well alongside your choice of protein (tofu for me); I always make my own sauce to spoon over my finished stir fry.
I hope that was helpful. I am always posting vegan recipes to my blog, although some (like the vegan pumpkin bread I have posted right now) aren’t all that healthy.
yes ROASTING or GRILLING veggies with a bit of EVOO and balsamic vinegar is soo good! they become sweet and crispy, try it, jess i promise you will be a veggie convert!
slip veggies into dishes such as pasta, bulk it up with veggies or make chicken fajitas with some sauteed veggies, you wont even know the diff!
what about green monster smoothies made with spinach??
PROMISE you cannot taste it!!
zucs might be my favorite veggie ever, once the farmers markets open up for business, i can’t get enough. the easiest way to cook them is to saute them in olive oil, just long enough so they’re soft (dan likes them burnt). you can also bread them.
i am obsessed with zuc patties, but they take a little more time to do…
shred 3 large zucs (or however many you want). the key is to get as much water out as you possible can, so either let them drain all day long (add salt to help the process) or squeeze the hell out of them. in a bowl, mix one egg and some milk (you can add more later). then add your zuc, and mix together. add some flour and shredded parm (you can cheat and use the fake stuff…gasp!). you want the mixture to be moist but not runny, so keep adding milk and flour to get the consistency you want. the last, and best ingredient…basil! add a bunch of chopped up fresh basil, the more the merrier. heat up a skillet with veggie oil on medium-high heat. then scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture into the skillet and pat it a little to flatten. i fit about 5 in the skillet at one time. i think it’s about 2 minutes on each side, you want it to be a golden brown color (again, dan likes his burnt). if you don’t like veggies after this, there’s something wrong with you, haha, i would eat them everyday if i had the patience to make them!
ps ~ i’d be a carnivore if it gave me all the nutrients i needed…go meat! :)
Loved this post, I have no problem with meat. I love bbq, grilled shrimp, chicken..love it all. I’m practicing vegetarianism now,mainly to eat healthier and learn to not rely on greasy fast food. And I learned veggie burgers can be just as yummy…OMG.lol
Try this one…http://pepperburgermitchips.blogspot.com/2008/11/butternut-squash-lasagne.html
I’m an ex veggie, now carnivore, still cooking for a veggie wife, and this goes down a treat every time :-) You can play with the herbs and spices that you add to this dish to suit your own taste..i reckon it’s a winner!
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Okay as promised I tried the brussel sprouts today! They were good…your turn :)
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I just came across you blog and was happy that there was a food blogger in Pittsburgh. I just moved from Pittsburgh to San Deigo and I really miss it.
I’m so happy that someone else has the same problem with meat. I think for me it a texture and taste thing. I can not eat the meat I cook I’m too grossed out. If on a rare occassion I do eat me it has to have a lot of seasoning. Have you tried morining star veggie products? I LOVE THEM 3>
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Hi there! :) I just stumbled across your blog, had a few laughs…and decided i’d comment on this article!
Hmm…FUN, YUMMY WAYS to eat your veggies, eh?
My go-to brainless method is to steam cauliflower & broccoli, then sprinkle some low fat cheese over it. Cheesy, but not bad for you! :) (and hey–what doesn’t taste good with cheese?)
Have you ever tried sweet potato fries? Try chopping up a sweet potato into thin, match stick pieces, throw ’em in a bowl with an egg white ( or 2, depending on how many fries) and a bit of flour. Cover those taters, put them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake them for 10-20 mins at 400F.
Raw salads can also be good too! “Organic mixed greens” with peppers and cucumber and a decent healthy dressing..mm! good luck :)
(Also, CARROT STICKS AND HUMMUS. ‘NUFF SAID.)
WOW!! The same thing happened to me!! (Sort’ve)
I went to Taco Bell for my first (and a half) time and took one bite of a chicken burrito and almost got sick.
I spent the rest of the summer, fall, and winter without meat! Something about it isn’t appetizing anymore… at all. I’ll cook it and taste it but don’t enjoy it like I used to.
Chicken grosses me out the most, but I still eat small portions of red meat (which seems so backwards!)
I love my veggies (especially burnt broccoli, salt simmered potatoes (do you consider that a veggie?? Haha), TOMATOES, baby carrots, and the king and queen: Baby spinach and Arugula) but sometime I feel like I barely had any protein through the entire day.
Try faux “mashed potatoes” using steamed cauliflower. Put the cooked cauliflower in a blender with some butter (yay), salt & pepper, milk or broth, and LOTS of cheese (hallalujah!) and puree it all together…it’s WONDERFUL! I have a picky husband who won’t touch anything “healthy” with a 10-foot pole and he DEVOURED this stuff!