Thursday, April 14, 2016

Veggies and Vegetariansim. . . . . . . . .

Some acquaintances lump me in that group called 'vegetarians'
Family members, and some friends, often say, "I never know what to cook for
 you because you're a vegetarian."
Planning to eat out in a restaurant with me often brings such comments as,  "But what
 about Mary, what will/can she eat?"
Hey out there - are there any restaurants not serving vegetables and salads?

OK, in all honesty I'm really just a pescatarian.

Definition: A word used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat
 and animal flesh, with the exception of fish. In other words a pescatarian maintains
 a vegetarian diet with the addition of fish. . . .and often dairy, which I also eat.
A true vegetarian does not consume any type of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, or
 dairy products, or wear leather etc.

I haven't eaten any meat or poultry in almost 39 years!
I stopped just after moving to North Carolina and learning more about
the way many animals were being raised for human consumption, and
wanting to eat perhaps a healthier diet.
I am not a tree hugger, PETA member, or environmental crazy lady. . . . . I am
a Christian, an animal lover, a concerned person when it comes to farming
practices, animal husbandry, and the way our food is processed.
I am, I think, a kind person.

This was a typical dinner being prepared in my kitchen this week.
The center bowl contains a grain, rice and bean mix - quinoa, chia, brown rice, 
white beans and pine nuts.  French green beans await a light steaming so
 they still have a crunch. Mixed mushrooms, white and baby bella, to be sautéed with
 a knob of unsalted butter and splash of good olive oil. A mountain of 'power greens',
 kale, chard and spinach, to steam in a cup of water with the addition of a 
vegetarian bouillon cube, and the resulting broth will be saved to add to
a vegetarian soup which I make several times a week - we are huge soup lovers.
All this on a plate will look appetizing and be healthy.

Bob, a sometimes meat eater, is good about eating the food I prepare at home.
Of course two people will not devour all this in one meal - leftovers can
be eaten with another meal, perhaps adding salmon or other fish. . . . . . 
speaking of which I must here just say how sad my recent restaurant 
meals have been, especially in regard to the fish offerings and the way they are
cooked and presented. 
I will not give names, but some of the national chain restaurants I used to enjoy,
 especially their salmon offerings (I usually order salmon), have been disappointing.
It seems as the prices increase, the quality of the food, and the way it is cooked,
 go down. Why do so many restaurants try to add so many oils, spices, sauces etc.
 to what could be a good piece of fish if served naked!  I can add any salt and pepper
 I might want. . . . . I like to taste the fish and have it remain my healthy protein addition,
 not be swimming in a plate of often 'secret sauces.'
You are now saying, and you are quite right, "Why doesn't she speak up and tell them
 how she wants her fish cooked!"  From now on I will when eating out. . . . . but 
quite honestly, I have grown to love the food I prepare at home and feel it far
 surpasses much of what is being served to me in overpriced restaurants!

What are your feelings about restaurant meals?
Do you like to cook and eat at home rather than in restaurants?


  1. I do love eating in a restaurant, but rarely eat at a chain restaurant. How sad to have fish not cooked well. My goodness, but I would have been hungry after all those vegetables. I have never been a vegetable lover and gradually am learning, but have a long way to go. Good for you for being a pescatarian. I think it is great that you are.

    1. Marilyn, I recall eating that lovely fish dinner with you guys on the river in Portland! Hope to repeat the evening again some day.
      The rice and beans (with added quinoa and nuts) are very filling and provide a source of protein. We were both stuffed after this meal and it really was tasty. . . . . .and of course healthy, most important!

      Mary -

  2. The meal you are preparing sounds wonderful Mary. I am with you about restaurants. I have not been very happy with restaurants lately. With the exception of Fig Bistro that Penny and I had lunch at yesterday. I would much rather cook at home. I have been spending more time sourcing local foods and fish that have been sustainably raised.

    1. Penny - and Penny - I so wish I had been there with you both at Fig and ScreenDoor!!
      Mary x

  3. I had no idea that you were a pescatarian! I used to eat mainly vegetarian (unfortunately, I don't like fish or seafood - except for canned tuna and I buy Wild Planet) - ate a lot of beans - until I found out last fall that legumes were one of the main foods that were causing my IBS to be out of control. I simply can't digest them. I try to focus on eating a lot of vegetables, quinoa, nuts, nut butters and eggs, but now I'm putting some meat back in my diet too, for protein. I will only eat organic, grass fed meat though (chicken and beef). There is a farm about 20 minutes from here where they raise all their animals and treat them humanely (not put in cages...let them roam in pastures) and feed them a natural diet, no growth hormones, etc. I need to remember to order from them.
    I applaud you for the way you eat and and the reason why. Just remember when buying salmon or getting it at a restaurant, that it's wild caught and not factory farmed.
    Your food on the stove looks delicious! :-)

    1. Sorry you have IBS Melanie - I too suffer with digestive problems at times and wish I could have the cast iron tummy I had as a young person!!
      If I had a farm nearby and could see the way they tend to their animals I might try meat/poultry again. But honestly, I've never missed it at all, and I've never tried to eat 'faux meat products' - can't ever see the need for that. Oh, just remembered, I do make bean or veggie burgers now and then, however would never buy things like fake bacon!!!!

      Hope your weekend will be fun with good things to eat.
      Mary -

    2. Fake meat products are gross, I totally agree with you. And most of them are made with soy, which I totally avoid since it's highly GMO and also messes with your hormones.

  4. I am not a big meat eater,mainly chicken, but I much prefer fish and always choose fish at a restaurant. I often ask for my fish to be cooked without the sauce they offer, or naked as you say. All those veggies waiting to be steamed look like a nice healthy meal. We have just bought a three layer steamer and find that the vegetables taste so much better.

    1. Barbara dear, I just know you would never get a bad meal, especially un poisson, in a French restaurant - or a French home either!!
      Yes, steaming veggies is great - I use mine often, and of course you then end up with an easier method of saving the broth for soup etc.


  5. Hello Mary, I'm a vegetarian - not a vegan, which I believe is someone who doesn't eat dairy, eggs, fish, chicken or red meat. I live in the meat belt of our country. We're 12km from the largest grain-fed cattle feedlot in the Southern Hemisphere. So I'm rather an oddity when we're invited out. At home I eat foods like you show on your beautiful stove - and my husband of 44 years - a great meat-eater, is good about going meatless with me about four times a week. For dinner I steam, boil or oven-roast as many veggies as possible , eat wild rice, quinoa or couscous and always have a portion of lentil stew (my own creation) on my plate. Although never a big meat eater in my youth (I loved fish!) I gave up eating "anything with a face" in 1994. This was purely for health reasons. I can honestly say I've been strong and healthy ever since. Oh, and I have no aversion at all towards meat, chicken and fish. I prepare red meat roasts to serve to family and friends; I can fillet fish, prepare seafood, portion and debone a chicken and cut up a hind-quarter of a beast. (beef) I just don't eat it!

  6. If a function is being planned around here it is always safer to have a vegetarian menu. So many people do not eat meat and the reasons can vary greatly. I visited my sister on her pig farm years ago and have never eaten any pig product since. I try to be realistic about life and the food chain, so I eat meat sometimes and seafood sometimes - just not every day. Scientific evidence proves that a diet containing many vegetables is best for adult health and longevity. Cellulose is the key.
    I rarely eat at any restaurants. I have worked in kitchens and I know what happens. No, that is not for me. I eat at home where the values I hold match the food handling practices.

  7. I, too, am a pescatarian, Mary. Although, I have been known to eat chicken if I get caught at 'a dinner'. But, fish is my choice of protein.I gave up all red meat and chicken years ago for pretty much the same reason you did. I just can't support the way animals are raised for human consumption. It's a thing of nightmares. :( Unfortunately, as time goes on I think it is getting worse. So, it is all I can do to not monetarily support them. I do enjoy eating out but prefer a good home-cooked meal with oodles of veggies.

  8. I do love vegetables and your stove shows some beautiful examples. However, I do eat meat and fish, too. Grains I'm not so fond of. Soups are great favorites around here - tonight we're having corn chowder, which will sit for awhile after I eat it since Tim is coming home later this evening.
    We go out very occasionally, mostly when I don't feel like cooking (once a month, maybe), and rarely to a fancy restaurant. There are some great local places here that we like to try out, not the chains where the food quality suffers because of the quantity. But we've come to enjoy our home cooking the best - it's fresh, no additives, and tastes wonderful!

  9. First of all, hurray for you for your reason to stop eating meat. I quit eating red meat for five years for the same reason but started again. Beef actually tasted weird. I wish I could quit again. Love that you prepare your own meals as I don't cook much anymore. I get so sick of eating out. Would rather have peanut butter on a slice of bread sometimes. Chains are mediocre at best and even the non-chains go wild with their flavors. It really makes sense to just fix meals at home.

  10. I'm mostly a vegetarian - mainly because I just love vegetables - though I do have meat now and then - and adore fish. When we go out to eat we try to avoid the "mass production" restaurants - with their overpriced, overcooked, over sauced foods. A good local restaurant serving fresh local organic food in decent size proportions (I greatly dislike wasting food or taking it home in a box to be reheated - yuck) is our favorite. We've discovered a new one right on the beach - yummm. Though mostly I cook at home - easier and faster - and I know what we are getting.

  11. I love fresh vegetables and salads, is it to do with growing up after the war years when meat wasn't widely available? We eat a lot of fish, but for me nothing beats a salad full of interesting things, tabouleh, beetroot, nuts, as well as the 'normal' salad vegetables.
    I think you are right about restaurant meals, they can be so disappointing especially when they can also be very expensive.

  12. It is so greeny. I adore all green food. I prefer eat at home if I have possibility. As for me, cooking is some fun.

  13. Mary, you are spot on. I do eat fish (a lot) and some chicken. Never eat beef or pork. Jim likes all that stuff but I would rather eat the healthy things. It is hard when we go to a friend's for dinner. I try and be polite and eat what is set before me but it is hard. Don't want to hurt any feelings of friends. We love soup and also eat it several times a week. I make a big pot and freeze some for another night. If we go out for errands during the day and have to get something to eat I usually try and order soup.


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