I'll calling bull on that.
The Hubs and I are working on having better eating habits, not just in the new year, but going forward.We have several friends who have been making the switch from omnivores to vegetarians, pescatarians, and a few vegans. I'm not quite sure I can get down with veganism, but I doff my hat to those that do. We've been told to read "The Omnivore's Dilema" and watch "Forks over Knives", as well as scores of other books, articles and documentaries that list how we are slowly poisoning ourselves from the inside out with the consumption of processed foods and hormone infused proteins. I know, I know. There's no reason a chicken breast should be as big as my quadricep. That would be a really big chicken. Really big.
Not only do our friends make some good points about healthful eating, but our bodies are starting mutiny. The ol' metabolism is slowing down for both of us, stuff gravitates towards the mid-section way faster and sticks around way longer than it used to. So, in addition to making sure we get our fruits and veggies in, we are also working on cutting back on red meat consumption. I give you, Meatless Mondays.
Mondays are hard enough, but no meat on top of it? It's agony.
I'm already a finicky eater. This is a well established and well documented fact. Trying to come up with some additional meals that don't include meat (and in this case meat for us is beef, chicken, or pork) is tricky. Case in point: The first Meatless Monday we had, the Hubs was away on a business trip. I didn't tell the girls about the new plan; I decided to just serve up the meals and see what happened. Breakfast was easy enough -- cereal and fruit all around. Lunch for the girls included PB&J, fruit, some popcorn, and maybe a cookie. For me, I had a salad and a bowl of lentil soup. So far, so good.
Around dinner time, the Hubs texted me and asked how things were going. He told me that he was planning on having a vegetable medley of some sort while he was out doing his business trip stuff. I didn't want to have to go out to the store and buy some vegetarian options, but the pantry was mocking me with it's bareness and preponderance of meaty options.
Getting creative, I pulled out some pasta, bread crumbs, and broccoli. I cooked the pasta per the directions on the box. I sautéed the broccoli with a little EVOO, salt and pepper. I then toasted the panko breadcrumbs with EVOO, s&p, and some rosemary flakes. So far so good. Reserving a little bit of the pasta water, I mixed the noodles, the crumbs and the broccoli altogether, just as Mo came wandering into the kitchen.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" She saw me fold the broccoli into the bowl and she flipped out. "Don't! No, don't mix it!" The agony on her face was palpable. Quickly, I told her to relax and to go wash her hands. I served up small bowls of this pasta primavera-ish concoction and we all sat down.
One guess as to how well it went over.
Mo and Co pushed the past around on their plates. And pushed it around. And pushed it around.
"Where's the chicken?" Mo asked, carefully separating broccoli from spaghetti.
"There isn't any tonight," I said simply. I didn't plan on going into it; I didn't have the energy.
"What's for dessert?" ask Co, per usual.
At this point, I didn't want to eat the pasta either, but I couldn't let them know that. I'm the grown-up! I'm going to make Meatless Monday work, dang it! So I told them that they could either eat what I had made or. . .and I cast about for a suitable alternative that I wouldn't have to do much with in order for them to eat it. Bananas.
There were four bananas on top of the fridge that had their toe on the line of over-ripeness. I told the girls they could eat the pasta or eat the bananas or go to bed.
They took the bananas.
And then, had the nerve to eat the bananas while having the following conversation.
Mo: This is the most delicious banana I have ever had!
Co: Me, too!
Mo: Don't you just love bananas?
Co: Yes! Yes, I do! And this banana is the best.
Mo: I wish we could eat bananas everyday.
Co: I'm going to have another banana for dessert.
You think FLOTUS gave an epic eye roll to Boehner at the inauguration? Who do you think she learned it from?
In any event, Meatless Monday is progressing. It's been three weeks, so it's not quite a habit. I think it has to be three consecutive days to make a habit. Three consecutive days without meat might lead to some ramifications for which I refuse to be held responsible. I can't say what it might be, but use your imagination.
In truth, our Meatless Monday dinners are improving. Pinterest, The Pioneer Woman, and Food Network have become really good resources. There have been quite a few bean based soups simmering on the stovetop. Still, I would give anything for a hamburger right now. I've been on tumblr, stalking burgers.
Mmmmm. . . .burgers. . .