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Vegetarian for a week

Vegetarian

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#151 Fat Guy

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:07 PM

Here's a history:

http://www.meatlessmonday.com/history/

It was a campaign in WWI and WWII, and in 2003 it "was recreated as public health awareness program in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future."

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#152 christine007

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:32 PM

I should have chimed in earlier, as my Mom is a lifelong vegetarian, but one thing we do that pleases meat eaters, and everyone else alike, is to copy a recipe from a long gone eatery we all liked.
you put butter or margarine on a pita, top with thin slices of mushrooms and onions, and put on a baking sheet at four hundred about twenty minutes. After the mushrooms start to melt, pull it and add swisscheese, or whatever you have/like. put back in for about ten minutes. this is sooo good. You can do, tomatoes, sprouts, whatever. this is sooooooo good. :wub:
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#153 teagal

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:40 PM

I just got an email from Environmental Working Group that has Mario Batali asking people to pledge not to eat meat or cheese 1 day a week. Seems like Meatless Mondays are now mainstream!
Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

#154 Kouign Aman

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:30 AM

What is the reasoning behind no cheese?
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#155 nikkib

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:14 AM

Dairy farming being considered cruel maybe? Or the fact that the number of Cows affects the C02 levels in the atmosphere due to their ummm digestive habits...
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

#156 Kouign Aman

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:18 AM

Not as much as third world power plants do.
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#157 annabelle

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:32 AM

How is dairy farming "cruel"?

#158 Will

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:48 AM

How is dairy farming "cruel"?

Industrial "production" of milk and eggs are, in some ways, worse than the meat industry - they keep animals in similar conditions, but keep them alive longer, and only kill them once they're no longer producing. Animals raised for meat aren't treated well either, but at least they get killed sooner.

It's cruel because the animals are kept indoors in very close quarters, antibiotics are overused (to increase production, and to try and reduce the diseases that are common when that many genetically similar animals are in a confined space), dairy cows are impregnated but have their calves taken away from them for veal, etc.

I think it's fair to say that most of the issues mentioned in the 4 sections following this:
http://en.wikipedia....n_health_impact
are fairly well documented / substantiated.

Not as much as third world power plants do.


I am pretty sure that the overall carbon footprint of meat and dairy consumption in the first world far exceeds the problems created by power plants in the developing world. Whether or not you're concerned about animal cruelty, etc., eating less meat is one of the best things you can do for the environment.

#159 annabelle

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:38 PM

I guess all of my relatives who are ranch and dairy farmers are cruel bastards who mistreat their animals, except that they are not.

I'm still waiting to see a mathmatical formula for the oft cited carbon footprint, as well. Honestly, all of the existential problems caused by a trip to the market are enough to cause one to leap into traffic, refrain from having children and live in a cold damp cave. Except that would probably be imposing on the Earth in some yet to be determined way. /rant

#160 Will

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:12 PM

I'm still waiting to see a mathmatical formula for the oft cited carbon footprint, as well. Honestly, all of the existential problems caused by a trip to the market are enough to cause one to leap into traffic, refrain from having children and live in a cold damp cave.


Obviously you could calculate it different ways. Just the carbon dioxide that comes out of the cows themselves is significant, but I would also factor in the grain grown to feed the cows, the fertilizer used to grow it, the "footprint" of transporting the feed around, etc., it adds up quickly. Of course there are people who are treating their animals well, and pasturing their animals (vs. feed lots / factory farms, etc.). But even with factory farming and industrial agriculture, we're going to have a hard time sustaining the increasing worldwide demand for meat and dairy, and if everyone followed Michael Pollan's philosophy and we had only pastured animals, treated humanely and eating grass, etc., the amount of these products would be nowhere near enough to support even the current levels of consumption of these products. Yes, there's some land that's suitable for pasturing animals but not growing plants, but not enough.

Assuming you're legitimately interested, from doing a quick search, there are quite a few articles which give some quantitative idea of the impact of meat and dairy production.

http://www.guardian....d.climatechange
http://www.nytimes.c....4.6029437.html
http://ecocentric.bl...rbon-footprint/

I'm not trying to insult your relatives; I have no idea how they run their operations or whether or not they're cruel to animals. As far as factory farming goes, I do believe that the system is inherently cruel to animals, at least based on the existing industry "standards" for treatment. Heck, even the industry is starting to acknowledge this. But I'm not blaming the operators or the industry as much as the market. Consumers insist on low prices for meat and milk, which the producers give them. However, we all pay the hidden costs in terms of the pollution and other problems caused by industrial animal farming. And even those who seek out local products from pastured animals will have a hard time pulling that off consistently unless they eat at home almost all the time.

I am a vegetarian, but I'm not I'm not trying to make the case here that everyone should be vegan or vegetarian. What I'm saying is that, even by the most mainstream point of views, people are going to have to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy products over the next 20-50 years. I think the future will also need to have more pork, more offal, and less beef.

Edited by Will, 26 July 2011 - 01:14 PM.


#161 jduncan81

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:25 PM

Interestingly, I've recently gone the other direction. I removed most carbs from my diet after reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

Other than occasional exceptions I've limited carbohydrates to green vegetables, some low-sugar fruit, some dairy (and the occasioanl beer) for the last month. I'm feeling much better, and I'm losing weight rapidly, despite eating to fullness 3 times/day.

(I should add that my exercise level is the same - moderate - as it's been for the past 6 months, during which I couldn't lose a single pound!)

#162 annabelle

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 01:48 PM

I'm not picking on you, Will. I appreciate your taking the time and trouble to explain your postion and to provide citations. Agenda driven citations, but citations, none the less. And, frankly, a citation can always be found to fit one's agenda be it pro or con. (Debate team was good for something.) It is good to see that yours is a true advocation of vegetarianism and not that of fashion. That is the way that I see the Meatless Monday trend, as a faddish bit of fashion. As I stated on the last page, Catholics ate fish on Fridays for hundreds of years with no "atta-boys."

Edited by annabelle, 26 July 2011 - 01:50 PM.


#163 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

Time to dig this up. I want to see how long I can last.
  • No plan to go full vegetarian or, God forbid, vegan. I simply enjoy meat too much. For this week, tho', I will prepare or buy no meat. I will not be a pain-in-the-arse guest if someone is prepping food for me, tho'. Which happens rarely, anyway.
  • And therein is the motivator for this. I eat too much meat. For the longest time I've meant to eat, say, two or three vegetarian meals per week. And I might eat one. If that. From an economic and health standpoint this isn't such a good thing. I possibly also don't eat enough vegetables on a regular basis. On some days I'll have a dozen vegetables. On other days I'll have only a couple. There's no consistency.
  • I'm on holidays at the moment. This means I actually have the time to poke around the bookshelf and find compelling vegetarian dishes I'd like to prepare, altho' like Steve I'm also very happy to hear suggestions.
  • Before I even get on the wagon I might already be doomed to fall off. Going out for lunch tomorrow, 'tis already booked, to a place that isn't especially vegetarian-friendly. We'll have to see if I can navigate that menu and avoid the trap of pork belly. The one vegetarian main on the menu sounds kind of half-arsed. A sort of, 'Oh, yeah, we have to cater to you people in some way, I guess.' I understand that this is something vegetarians go through all the fucking time even with fairly high-end restaurants and it's something that in Melbourne, thankfully, some prominent chefs are seeming to make an effort to combat. See also: Jacques Reymond.
  • I'll eat basically anything but am not fond of especially 'eggy' things. I enjoy lightly cooked eggs and am leaning in that direction for tonight's dinner (a recipe from Plenty) but not things like quiche.

Edited by ChrisTaylor, 01 January 2013 - 03:21 PM.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#164 Allura

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

I would love to eat more vegetarian meals, for financial reasons, and also because I just get tired of meat. That being said, I have to maintain a low to moderate carb diet due to diabetes. So...what are my options orther than eggs and dairy dishes?
Joanna G. Hurley
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#165 BeeZee

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

I would think you could incorporate legume-based dishes...yes, they have carbohydrates but they are high in fiber and have a lower gylcemic index than "simple" carbs like white rice or pasta. I love lentils, for example...you can cook a batch, portion out and make cold salad (room temp) with viniagrette and some veggies, garnish with some feta if you like, or turn them into hearty soup.
"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

#166 SobaAddict70

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

It's easy if you ease into things gradually.

At this point, I'm probably meatless 80% of the time, although I can be a real carnivore when I want to be. Those days don't happen all that often though.

What a difference a year makes. In mid-2011, I had a very meat-centric diet. At the time, I was also lifting regularly. In 2012, for various reasons I won't go into here, I transitioned into a mostly meatless diet. At present time, I'm not lifting but if I went back (which I expect to, sometime in mid-2013), I don't expect that my food intake will drastically change. There might be more dairy and eggs, but not a sudden increase in the amount of animal protein. (I have a couple of friends who are successful vegetarian bodybuilders, a fact which itself is eye-opening.)

I think you will do fine.

Last night's dinner had a vegan appetizer and a vegetarian main. Tonight's dinner will not be meatless (the salad will have pancetta, and the main is fish of some kind), whereas the lunch I just had a few moments ago was vegan (vegetable wonton soup, fried rice, spicy tofu, stir-fried green beans with chopped garlic, bottled water).

You must be wondering, where is Soba and what have I done with him? :wink:

#167 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

Day one was basically a non-issue as, I mean, I have unplanned vegetarian days every day. Some bread and some cheddar. And, later, some shakshuka from Ottolenghi's Plenty. I added a little bit more substance to the dish in the form of some baby spinach leaves (stirred into the sauce and wilted slightly before I added the eggs) and olives. This is a dish that I usually serve w/ heavily spiced meatballs, which takes it firmly out of the breakfast camp and transforms it into a viable dinner. Maybe because of this I couldn't help but shake the feeling that it was lacking. Pleasant enough, yes, but I wish I'd added something to boost the umami. Apologies for the dog's breakfast quality of the image. I'm no Achatz.

Posted Image

Today it's a vegetarian chili. I'm working from a well-reviewed recipe in the 'chili cook-off thread' but expanding the selection of beans. I have a mixture of chickpeas, black beans and great northerns.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#168 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

Posted Image

Brunch of button mushrooms w/ toasted ciabatta. Was hoping to grab some Swiss browns from the grocer but they were all out. Ended up jacking the buttons w/ a bit of sherry vinegar and porcini powder.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#169 emmalish

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

Today it's a vegetarian chili. I'm working from a well-reviewed recipe in the 'chili cook-off thread' but expanding the selection of beans. I have a mixture of chickpeas, black beans and great northerns.


Do you mind pointing us to the recipe you're trying? My go-to veggie chili recipe is from Whole Foods (definitely recommended), but I'm always open to trying a new one.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#170 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

I haven't cooked it yet so I might have some last minute modifications, however ...

http://forums.egulle...48#entry1762948

Altho' I'm going to start with a chilli paste made from pasillas and guajillos. I'll add the chipotle later in the cooking process. And too, I'm using a mixture of beans: chickpeas, black beans and great northerns.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#171 haresfur

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

I find I appreciate vegetables more when they take centre-stage. It's getting into the mindset of, 'Yeah, vegetables provide their own flavours and I don't need to think of what meat isn't there..." I think there is a certain amount of recalibration of your taste buds that happens.

In terms of chili, mixing beans is great, but if you aren't using canned, I'd cook them separately to get the done correctly. I figured out I'm not a chipotle fan but some smoked paprika works well for me.
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#172 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:36 PM

Yeah, I soaked and cooked the beans apartheidly. One look at the ULTIMATE Pressure Cooker ChartTM confirmed my suspicion that the three legumes would all require different amounts of pressure cooking. Incidentally, I suspect they're all equally fresh-ish--I purchase my beans in small quantities from a place with a fairly high turn over--but the maximum suggested cooking times were a wee bit short for everything except the chickpeas. Still, I figure the best part of one hour in the sauce will soften the blacks and northerns enough.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#173 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:54 PM

I did make a few extra modifications along the way. I added the spices gradually--some at the start, some about half way through, some towards the end. Smoked paprika became part of the spice mix and I also added a little bit of liquid smoke. It was okay but, damn, just a few flecks of shredded pork or beef--say, some leftover smoked brisket--would've been lovely.

Today I suspect I'll be falling off the wagon at lunch time but I'll make up for it, honest, by preparing tofu for dinner. I'm thinking of that recipe in Plenty. Maybe serve it with some soba or something. Bulk it up with some napa.

Edited by ChrisTaylor, 03 January 2013 - 04:56 PM.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#174 Katie Meadow

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

Great vegetarian side for chili or as a light lunch: Rick Bayless mushroom quesadillas. In simplest incarnation that's sliced mushrooms, sauteed in oil or butter, salt and peppered and cooked until all liquid is gone and they are brown and tasty. Put a flour tortilla on a griddle or in a cast iron pan and turn after it browns on one side. Sprinkle on cheese of choice (I like it with jack, but I'll use whatever melty cheese is available), add a few spoonfuls of the mushrooms, fold over and continue to cook til bottom is browned, then flip once more to finish. Add hot sauce or roasted chiles as you like. Since I never thought to use mushrooms this way it seems exotic.

#175 Lady T

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

:wink:

One of my go-to's, even sometimes in winter, is a good ratatouille: prep 3 cut-up organic tomatoes (peel and seed, if you're an ostomate as I now am), with S + P and herbs to taste (fresh basil and/or parsley in summer, dried oregano and/or parsley in winter) tossed together in one bowl; one small onion, finely chopped, and a clove or two of garlic, minced, and 1 each yellow and orange bell pepper, skinned, seeded, and cut up loosely into squares, in a second bowl with appropriate S + P. In the third bowl: one Japanese eggplant, skinned, seeded as/if necessary and cut up bite-size; 1 - 2 zucchini, skinned and cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch coins. Season that to taste with S + P as well.

Chuck about 1/4 cup decent (not salad/finishing quality) olive oil into a 10 - 12" skillet, along with 1/3 to 1/2 cup decent white wine (the one you intend to drink with dinner). Cook the onion/garlic/ pepper mixture until somewhat softened, then add the eggplant/zucchini bowl. Allow to cook down until soft, watching liquid levels and seasonings carefully. Finally: add tomatoes and herbs, and cook down until irresistible. Should end up as a somewhat tomatoey stew, with component vegetables still recognizable.

Serve over good bread, as is, with a glass of good white. Or, even better: toss some of the mixture into a small casserole, top with a few bits of butter and far too much shredded Swiss cheese and Parmesan, and slip into oven for 15 - 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Serves one person, at two meals, beautifully. A green salad can accompany, or follow.

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#176 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:55 AM

So far I've yet to be truly inspired by anything. Plenty's tofu recipe just didn't do it for me. I didn't realise how much my love of the tofu in Ma-Po depended on the pork content. Tonight I looked to Giorgio Locatelli's Made in Italy for inspiration re: something involving mushrooms. He asked for fresh porcini, which I can't get. I used a mixture of baby king oysters, regular oysters, rehydrated morels and a little bit of porcini powder.

Posted Image

The egg was the 'perfect soft boiled egg' from Modernist Cuisine: boiled for three minutes and then placed in a 64C bath for 35 minutes. It didn't peel too well given I don't have any butane for my torch and the eggs were very fresh, but that didn't matter for this application.

Edited by ChrisTaylor, 05 January 2013 - 01:57 AM.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#177 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:29 PM

Posted Image

Brunch.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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#178 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

It's now been the best part of a week. I've fallen off the wagon at a restaurant and when someone else was preparing dinner for me--I wasn't going to be a pain in the arse as a guest, I mean--but everything I've eaten within the confines of these here walls and everything I've prepared or purchased myself has been vegetarian. And it's been difficult. So far I've had the most luck with pasta-based dishes. Maybe because I've always liked some vegetarian or near-vegetarian classic Italian sauces (ie. something that might flavour a whole lot of other ingredients with a small quantity of cured pork or anchovy fillets) I haven't found surviving off pasta the least bit difficult. I haven't been in the mood the roll out the dahl and bean-based curries, even tho' I'm normally a big fan of chana masala. The handful of Ottolenghi things I tried were a bit of a let down. Plenty was my first port of call after hearing such positive reviews.

To be honest, I doubt I could ever go vegetarian full-time. And unlike when Chris was doing it, I have access to dozens of cookbooks. Two or three days each week is doable and I hope I can stick to that. I find it slightly disturbing that I feel addicted, altho' that's perhaps too strong a word, to meat. I get that the body craves protein and everything else, but it feels decidedly fiend-like when some meals (i.e. the tofu) are unsatisfying die to an obvious lack of animal product. I wonder if I should revisit that sort of dish but allow myself the indulgence of, say, fish sauce.

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between






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