I Feel Like There is a “Nacho” Joke In Here Somewhere. Please Find It.

Somewhere around today probably marks the one-month anniversary for me becoming a vegetarian (again).

It was a bit of a gradual transition due to my habit of making large amounts of a recipe so leftovers are available for either freezing or next week’s meals. Since Tom is not a vegetarian, I did not need to “use up” every single piece of meat in the house but I do remember there being a day or two of meat leftovers after I had specifically purchased only vegetarian groceries.

Overall, I am very happy with the decision and find it extremely easy. Again, beforehand we usually had at least one completely vegetarian meal a week for dinner and I was not eating lots of meat at lunch. This was not such a huge switch for me as it might be for others.

I am a small bit concerned about my energy level. But that is probably more related to stress and my forced resting state as my skin infection healed. I had started a very active morning routine (after the vegetarian switch). I am finding it difficult to re-start but I think that would be the case no matter what my diet.

I will be due to have blood work (thyroid) done shortly, so I feel comfortable continuing my veggie quest with the knowledge I will have a mandatory doctor’s visit where I can share these changes.

I am very surprised with how supportive Tom has been. We try to split housework fairly and I do the majority of the cooking. I have offered to make recipes where meat could be added at the end to complete the dish for him, but he has so far declined. I also agreed to purchase meat if he wants it on the grocery list. That offer has probably been declined because since I never did eat a lot of meat, I was never the person to send over to the butcher to select the best roast.  It usually helps if someone knows what animal a “Boston Butt” comes from.  (A pig.  But I did not know that before Tom and I am pretty sure I have still never purchased one.)

An added bonus with him purchasing whatever meat he chooses to eat is that grocery shopping is a lot faster. I also feel less guilty in choosing a non-sale or expensive “treat”. Last week’s Ranch dressing and veggie nuggets? No remorse over the calories or the dollars!

I should also say that most surprising so far in Tom’s support is that he is eating vegetarian a lot of the time as well. I make enough for there to be leftovers and many nights Tom prefers the convenience of re-heating a vegetarian dish than making something else. It makes me happy to know I can cook vegetarian (or vegan) meals that are tasty enough to appease a meat-eater. It also makes me happy because I believe eating more vegetables is healthier and I like the idea of him being healthy.

Please note that I did not make this change because I thought I would be automatically “healthier”. I am aware that Oreos are vegan and you can find processed junk to fit any dietary restriction. When I ate meat, I aimed to eat homemade meals that didn’t call for a ton of prepackage foods. Now that I am a vegetarian, I do the same.

This diet change is prompted by concerns over animal welfare and the environment. Because of that, I would prefer to seek out vegan meals. On the one hand, the only dairy I eat on a regular basis is cheese and yogurt. On the other hand, I do eat both regularly. If anything, my cheese consumption has gone up since this change. (There I go, not being “healthier”.)

In order to shift myself to eating less dairy, I have purchased a book on vegan crock pot cooking and I’m working through one recipe a week. Once I feel like I have a good enough collection of recipes to work from, I will likely start looking at some of, what I feel like, are the harder vegan decisions like butter alternatives and how to still bake without eggs.

I have already tried one vegan cheese recipe. It was…interesting. It was nacho cheese and if we define nacho cheese as tangy and salty and gooey than I would say the recipe was a success.

If we define it as something we would call cheese and eat with a spoon straight out of a container then…fail.

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