If you are what you eat, exactly what are you? I have to admit that my self-image – if I am what I eat – has had some times when it would be a rather bleak picture. Back in January, basically at the start of my training for my May 6th marathon, my 25 year old daughter wondered if I would give up meat, along with her, for Lent. She was figuring this would make it easier on her to be sure she wasn’t just eating side dishes for 40 days.
I had been a vegetarian in the late 70’s while a college freshman and sophomore. I knew this would be a challenge for both her and myself as I would still need to feed a growing teenage boy who had no intentions of giving up meat. I decided I was up for both the menu planning and the cooking challenge.
There were a few bumps along the road. My youngest – that growing 17 year old teen – is a culinary student at our local BOCES. We had constant heated discussions about quinoa. I would tell him it is a complete protein. He would counter with I was serving him a side dish for dinner. This would happen at least once a week.
I started out the Lenten season thinking I would do theme nights on my menu planning. Soup one night early in the week would leave leftovers for lunch for the remainder of the week. My daughter vetoed this idea by saying she doesn’t like soup that much. She took to finding recipes and making a weekly plan. I would then add meat for the two meat-eaters in the house and buy groceries.
Funny thing is I made a 9 pound ham for Easter dinner. Daughter and I did not eat it. I know, way too much ham for just two people. I did manage to freeze two meals worth of ham, a ham bone for fall soup making and still have leftover ham in the fridge for the boys to use for sandwiches this week. Daughter and I have not had meat since February 22.
Keep an eye out for what I believe some of the benefits to our new-found vegetarianism are.