The trickiest part of this month's experiment is training myself to ask the question, "Does that have meat in it?" A normally open and adventurous eater, I don't like the way this question sounds. It comes across as picky, too good or otherwise restricting. It doesn't feel good to cut things out, even things I don't particularly love.
On Sunday, I was having lunch with my family at home. Luckily my dad prepares healthy and vegetarian-friendly meals. This time he made a huge salad and twice baked potatoes with a carrot and cauliflower stuffing. He also made chicken and gravy. I don't normally eat much meat, but as soon as it's forbidden, I want it. That's how it works. That's why underage drinkers go so overboard. The "forbidden factor" makes it so much more appealing. This time I resisted temptation and didn't eat the chicken nor gravy (that darn chicken broth again).
That same night, I was at a friend's house watching the Golden Globes. She prepared delicious snacks like chips and salsa and spinach dip. She also made a sandwich and offered me a bite. I, being the lover of good food, tried a big bite. I chewed and thought to myself, "Yummy!" Only then did she tell me the meats and cheeses it contained. My mouth is also not trained to reject meat. My mouth, and probably stomach, still give the green light to meat. I'm still working on mastering the timing and delivery of the important question, "Does that have meat in it?"
I haven't been beating myself up over these mistakes. I just vow to learn and take note as I move on in my culinary world. Last night I tried a new spin on my brown rice recipe. Instead of the bouillon cube, I stirred in a can of cream of mushroom soup towards the end. My friend, Jamie, recommended it, and the rice turned out great! The rice wasn't dry, and the soup added flavor and texture. But even buying soup has turned into a learning experience. I couldn't believe the different between the Amy's soup and traditional Cambell's soup ingredient lists. For three times the price, you get a short list of natural, vegetarian and simple ingredients in Amy's soup. To me, it was worth it.
As I continue this experiment with truth, I'm trying to embrace my new food question, "Is there meat in that?"