Are You a Lazy Vegetarian?

Guest Post By Linda G Hatton of Mouse Tales Press

boxed meatless convenience foods

Have you become a lazy vegetarian? No, I am not referring to the non-exercising variety. I am referring to the food-preparation type. You know what I mean – pushing aside the veggies in your fridge for the convenience of veggie meats?

First let me tell you a little about myself. I started on the road to vegetarianism by giving up beef 26 years ago. Shortly thereafter, I gave up pork, chicken, and fish. Eventually I moved on to become vegan and then raw, which initially lasted about six months. My diet has been through ups and downs, taking certain foods out and replacing with them other items as necessary. I no longer follow a strict raw diet, although much of my diet incorporates raw foods into it.

Changes in Vegetarian Options Over the Years

Several years ago, I was having some health problems that I thought might be related to my soy intake. When I became vegetarian so many years ago, options for meat replacements were few, so I didn’t have to worry back then about overdoing it. The modern world has created a vegetarian’s dream of offerings at the supermarket: soy burgers, bacon, sausage, ribs, chicken and whatever other meat replacement you can think of. (And boy, are they yummy; so good that most of my meat-eating friends enjoy them from time-to-time.)

Like many good things, there is a down side. First touted as a healthy addition to the diet, soy may cause some sensitivity in some people when indulged in too often. According to WebMd, soy intake is safe in most cases, however, in some people it may cause certain health issues such as interfering with the way “children with cystic fibrosis process protein” or “…soy products might increase the risk of kidney stones because they contain large amounts of a group of chemicals called oxalates.”

My Eating Habits Changed, Too

Over the years, along with my variation in eating habits, I have followed a variety of cleanses, such as The Master Cleanse. Most recently, I was inspired to give the vegetarian version of the 7-Day General Motors Diet a try. During the course of this week-long diet, an assortment of fruits and vegetables are consumed. On day one, the dieter will eat all fruits except bananas. Day two offers a baked potato in the morning and only vegetables for the remainder of the day. By day six, the diet is back to vegetables along with brown rice (in limited quantities). This diet not only presents an opportunity to shed a few pounds (up to 10), but also the chance for detoxification.

I have to admit that by day seven, I was ready to rip open a box of veggie burgers and dig in. Since I had gotten that far though, I decided that creating an amazing vegetable dinner would help me find some self-restraint to make it through my last night. I wasn’t going to allow myself the convenience of the . . . *drool* . . . veggie burger.

I took a variety of fresh veggies: tomatillos, tomatoes, green and red peppers, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, avocado, minced garlic, fresh beets, and lettuce straight from my garden and created a feast. Okay, another confession. I added one corn tortilla to make the meal. Really though, it was so easy, I wondered why I even considered giving in to the vegetarian version of “fast food,” a.k.a. soy products.

Here is what I made:

Recipe: Roasted Beet Fajitas

Roasted Beet Fajitas
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • For Roasted Beets

  • 3 fresh beets

  • For Homemade Salsa

  • 4 tomatillos
  • a handful of cilantro
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • one teaspoon of minced garlic
  • dash of lime juice
  • dash of salt and pepper to taste

  • For Homemade Guacamole

  • 1 avocado
  • 3 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • dash of lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • For Fajita Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • 1 green bell-pepper
  • 1 red bell-pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • salt
  • Organic corn or flour tortillas, warmed
Directions
  1. Beets: Chop leaves off leaving one inch of stem on tops. Leave the skin and roots on.
  2. Wrap beets in foil and bake in a 400 degree oven until soft, about 50 minutes. Peel and slice.
  3. While the beets are cooking, make the other components of the meal. Homemade Salsa: Chop all ingredients and mix well. Chill.
  4. Homemade Guacamole: Mush it all together! Chill.
  5. Fajita Stir-fry: Slice vegetables. Cover the bottom of the frying pan with oil and heat. Place sliced onion in pan in single layer and sprinkle with salt. Cook until slightly browned and then turn the onions. Add peppers and cook all vegetables until browned.
  6. Assembly: Place one corn tortilla on plate and cover with a portion of the fajita vegetables, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, and sliced beets.

 

Take pleasure in the amazing mixture of fresh vegetables. And relish in the delight of eating simply homemade!

Linda G. Hatton

 

☮ ✽•♪ღ♪•* ♥ ☼ ☮ ღ ॐ •♪ღ♪•* ♥ ☼ ☮ ✽•♪ღ♪•* ♥ ☼ ☮ ღ ॐ •♪ღ♪•* ♥ ☼

Linda G. Hatton of Mouse Tales Press

Linda G. Hatton is the creator and managing editor of Mouse Tales Press, a monthly online publication for poetry and short stories.When Linda isn’t busy playing mom, she writes, reads through poetry and fiction submissions, creates handmade chapbooks (and other crafts), spends hours enjoying the tedious job of web coding, and feeds her love of vegetarian and raw foods by trying new recipes. She is currently in final re-writes for her cozy mystery, Do Not Disturb, as well as having numerous other writing projects on her plate.

Visit Linda at her blog, the whatnot shop, where she writes poetry and interprets “signs in the storefront of life” and at her writer blog, Linda G Hatton. Follow Linda on Twitter @MouseTalesPress and on Facebook, too!

[box type=”download”] 【ツ】♥ Thanks so much to Linda for being a guest blogger on Going Veggie! Do show her some veggie love by leaving a comment below What are your feelings on “Vegetarian Junk Food” and how often, if ever, do you consume convenience foods?

If you have an experience to share with the Going Veggie audience – a product or book review, a rant or rave – drop me an email with your ideas for a guest post.~ Val@GoingVeggie.com[/box]

 

 

 

 

 

17 thoughts on “Are You a Lazy Vegetarian?

  1. I too, as a beginning vegetarian, fell prey to processed soy products. I even went so far as to use soy milk, soy protein powders and soy cheese. I actually didn’t eat much processed foods when I ate meat so between adding tons of processed foods AND then soy I had a lot of issues. Now that I’ve learned how to cook I’ve been able to scale back on all that. And I agree, you can make a lot of this stuff just as easily and more tasty with a little bit of thought and creativity.

    Although I have to admit, I still use Quorn products I just try and limit it to every other week or so. Like using the “chicken” pieces in a Chicken NOT pie( as my husband calls it). It helps to bridge my meat eater husband and I on certain meals when I get tired of cooking his main course separately. The Quorn products are the only substitutes he finds acceptable.

    Thanks for the post. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    1. And a great cook you have become, Dawn! Love my Gardein products every now and then and my fave is still Field Roast brand’s Celebration roast for special occasions – no soy, but gluten. I agree that Quorn makes some great products, too.Thanks for your comment!

    2. I actually made my own veggie meats for a while by extracting gluten from flour. That was a messy process! But it actually turned out pretty well. I have a meat-eating husband, too. He’s been pretty good about trying all my weird recipes (even my raw dishes), although he still hasn’t converted. It is definitely nice to have the veggie meat to use in comfort foods, like my mom’s goulash that I was raised on.
      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  2. The Roasted Beet Fajitas sound (and look) veeery delicious! Wild Bill and I will definitely make some. Thanks for such an interesting, informative post!

  3. When I declared I was going veggie to my working-class Midwestern parents back in 1973, I was twelve. I can’t tell you how many cheddar cheese with mayo on white sandwiches that was placed before me. They just didn’t trust I could live off of my veggie packed salads and generously mixed fruit salads.

    I’ve bounced around the spectrum to where I now I declare, “I’m not a vegetarian; I just eat like one.”

    My suspicion about soy is the same as mine about peanuts: GMO.

    This year I’ve been able to go back to my old habit of water fasting every Sunday with a three-day water fast four times a year. I chose to schedule them around the equinox/solstice for memory reasons. I’ll be fasting this weekend a bit a head of the solstice, but my body is ready. Who’s to argue with that?

    Roasted beets. Mmmmm. One of my favorites. Actually everything about those fajitas sound wonderful.

    1. I admire your ability to do water fasting. I have done various cleanses over the years, but never straight water fasting. I think I’d have to park near the bathroom all day.
      Thank you for reading – and commenting. 🙂

    2. Yeah…you really have to ease your body into it. But once it expects to fast every Sunday, it automatically starts preparing for it on Saturday. I can’t eat heavy meals Saturday night and when I do break the fast on Monday it is normally with sourdough or yogurt or something that has friendly flora in it. My body craves it…in a good way.

  4. Wow Linda, it must take some discipline to follow such a strict diet like the raw diet. I haven’t got a disciplined bone in my body, lol. I’ve had a vegetarian student staying with us for the past 6 months and have explored more veg options, but I have a degree with Cordon Bleu and so it’s too restrictive for me to stick to veg only. But it’s lovely when people discover what works for them.

    1. My diet has gone through many stages over the years. Although I was raw for a while, now I figure as long as I incorporate raw foods in with the cooked ones, I will be happy. It really comes down to how I feel both mentally and physically after eating particular foods and I try to eat my diet based on that.
      Thank you for reading – and commenting! 🙂

  5. Linda you bring up a good point. Having been a vegetarian for over 30 years there has definitely been a recent explosion in the evolution of the meat replacement category . They are tastier, more covenient and processed and they do have a downside. I see the downside as the result of general consumer ignorance and a “bliss” that comes with an undeserved blind trust resulting in not reading the label. This can be said of any processed food vs the uneducated consumer. Sadly, it seems to be a sign of the times. Lazy, might be a bit harsh but I agree it is easy to forget the real reward of making a real meal with the simpler ” known where it’s grown” products.

    I also find these new products as a bridge for sharing with the meat eaters in my life, who were once reluctant, but now a bit healthier. I look forward to trying your recipe …it looks wonderful!

    1. LOL .. this article was generated at my own feelings that I had become lazy due to my reliance on these “convenience” foods. I agree that these products are a nice bridge for sharing with meat eaters. And hey, if it helps one person to eat less animal products, that is a wonderful thing!
      Thank you for your comment! 🙂

  6. Linda:
    I totally “relished” this blog post! Wow! Your writing was “crisp,” “crunchy,” and “super-delicious!” I can’t get over how beautifully written this blog post was! One thing I admire incredibly about vegetarians is how they are so content and satisfied with life being who they are, not trying to preach or change people. I cannot possibly fathom being a vegetarian, ever, because I love meat too much. However, on that note, I absolutely respect your viewpoints and thoroughly enjoyed your commentaries on soy.

    Laughably, the limited experience I have with soy is with the Kikkoman variety that I sprinkle generously on my stir fry. I tend to be a bureaucrat when it comes to my vegetables – they must be fresh or else they are banned from my house. I cannot stomach the canned vegetables and the frozen variety get too much freezer burn for my taste. With fresh, I can dig right into them, cook them in my wok, and add soy sauce for flavoring.

    I’m not much of a beet gal for silly reasons (they stain my clothes!), but I’d love to try your recipe. Thank you for this extraordinarily well-written blog post. Totally “dug it!”

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