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Old 11-09-2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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I grew up eating food...it appeared on the plate and I ate it. Not always safe to ask or guess what it was. Street life, the army, college and marriage to a woman who thought of cooking as an excuse to drink wine pretty much cured me of culinary selectivity. But about 19 years ago, for health reasons (hepatitis C, it turned out), I lost interest in eating meat. First to go was red meat, then poultry, and finally, someone said to me, "Well, then, you're a vegetarian." I replied, "No, I still eat fish," but as I said it I realized I hadn't had any fish in nearly a year. I kind of slid on into veganism, and that lasted for about 9 years. I started lifting weights and running (marathons!), and discovered I just wasn't getting enough protein, so I began adding meat to my diet. Not much, and more poultry and fish than red. Eggs, but little dairy, and only as an ingredient.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:25 AM   #12
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This line is really amusing me. A number of years ago my mother was having severe diverticular problems. Whenever I'm in the state, I am the family cook. One thing she just could not stomach was meat. She loved meat, and could eat soups, stocks, etc, just not the meat. So I had to learn to be what I call weirdo vegetarian. Gravy, stock, broth, ok. Just no pieces of meat. On top of it, one of her dearest friends is a generations-long vegan, and now I have a neighbor who is a committed vegan (well, I'm not sure how committed you are when I had to explain to her that she shouldn't have Worchestershire sauce). So I've learned the ins and outs. And, Yes, Yakuta, my first line of restaurant defense is always Indian food. My husband and I are committed omnivores, but we often eat vegetarian meals. We love Kitchens of India and use them as a shortcut often. One of my dearest friends is from Pakistan (he's old enough that he was born in India) and they are the family who introduced me to the Kitchens line.
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:54 AM   #13
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As many know, I worked at a camp a few summers ago and was the special diets cook there. This included gluten and lactose free, diabetes, etc. But the biggest group were the vegetarians and vegans. Having eaten that way myself I knew a lot about what to serve and everyone was really happy with my choices. Until I met my match one day. One of the counselors arrived and informed me that she was a vegetarian but was allergic to all raw veggies and some cooked ones! And she refused to eat lentils or eggplant in any form. Since ratatouille, eggplant Parmesan and lentil loaf were three of my mainstays I had my work cut out for me with this one. We worked it out, but I think she got tired of eating leftover tofu scramble and quinoa and black beans!
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:03 AM   #14
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Just as an aside, my husband was being interviewed for a college project by the daughter of a friend. I'd planned on lunch, and was just about to ask him if she was a vegetarian, as many college age girls, if not committed to the lifestyle for life, at least go through a phase. We decided on carry-out pizza, and he did mention that she'd become a vegetarian. So we got two pizzas, one with the works, the other meatless Mediterranean. When we opened the boxes, the young lady yelled, "Oh, MEAT!!!" and scarfed up the pizza with the works! Just goes to show how mercurial that age group can be!
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:12 PM   #15
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Well I have been a vegetarian for almost a year and a half.... Yes I fit in the age of "a college girl" But am clearly not one.... I have always desired to be a vegetarian as I truly felt it was animal crulety, but never had the disipline to do so after so many years living at home and having no option of the menu at hand was forced to do so.... my rule was nothing with skin or veins and my parents usually did so. Later though after the birth of my 2 boys I was always sick and it always seemed to be after a meal but mainly dinner (larger portions). Went to the doctors seen a dietician and it was detected that my body has a hard time breaking down saturated fat... I still eat eggs and dairy, not overly though and if I do eat to much of it in a day I get just as sick, but it only took one meal to screw me up, so it was a well needed push to put me where I want to be, my hubby and kids eat meat and vegetarian meals, I willingly cook them and buy them. But I have almost all the support of my family and friends but I love the line "OH JUST TAKE THE BACON OUT OF THE SALAD" OR ITS ONLY CHICKEN BROTH" I always respond with if I am not going to eat the good tasting filling part why do I want their fat and grim in my body....... duh! But unfortunately not everyone will get it.....

Thats my story sorry for the novel!
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:16 PM   #16
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I want to lead a more vegitarian life, but I really like my protien. I, like others, have concerns about living green, animal walfare and my health. I do eat meat, but I purchase my meat from local farmers who raise their livestock off the land. And the animals are free of hormones, antibiotics... and the best reason, not run through commercial processors. I don't think I could ever be a TRUE vegitarian, but I think I could do much better than what I am doing now.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #17
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Hey not sure the resources you have available in texas, but here in canada we have a lot of alternatives, we have simulated chicken, beef, steak and sandwich meat.... I would say some of it doesn't taste bad but is a far cry from a meat taste. But others I could fool ya! the steak is really good and as far as I know they make it so you get the same nutrients the products I buy are alot of yves veggie cuisine.... I'm sure if you looked on their site they could maybe point you to an area you can get it, also one thing I didn't know when I first started was that most of the vegetarian meals are in the produce section, I also purchase and really enjoy chicken and cheese with ham, or the chicken brocoli and cheeese rolls, like cordon bleu but obviously all simulated meat, really good and I find that in the meat section, worth a try even just to say you did.... this life style is not for everyone and I am definately not a preacher.....
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:40 AM   #18
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Coming from a vegetarian who likes to cook, eat, and has a good memory of what meat tastes like, some of my favorites are the following.

Hot Dogs = worthington leanies ( frozen)
Burgers = Morningstar Farm Original Grillers ( frozen)
Chicken = Boca Chicken patties ( not the spicy ones) ( Frozen)
= Quorn also makes a good Chicken with gruyere cheese
= Yves ( or smartlife, I forget) made a good chicken stuffed with cranberry
stuffing
Chopped meat = Morning star crumblers ( good for chili, lasagna, meat sauce , tacos.....but will NOT stick together when trying to make meat loaf, meat balls... unless u add a lot of cheese/ eggs ........

I havnt found great, or even good meat balls, although there is a recipe i have somewhere that has walnuts, eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs.... and they texture is actually pretty good. Needs some tweeking, but definitely doable.

****Im not saying the above taste like meat, so no one shoot me down at tell me that they dont taste anything like it. All im saying is that when comparing to the others ( in my taste) these are among the better tasting ones. With the leanies, if u toss some mustard and sauerkraut on top, very close, although a little salty. And the grillers, add the special sauce, lettuce , cheese , pickles , onions on a sesame seed bun ( anyone else singing, I know i am ) and it will taste just fine.

trust me , although im a vegetarian, I cant have a slab of tofu with sprouts on it, Id rather eat meat ( joke, but not totally)
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:49 AM   #19
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Having been a vegetarian for 20 years, ive kind witnessed the evolution of the veggie simulated meat products, which started with 'tofu pups' which was pink, salty, squishy tofu, loaded with a nutmeg-like flavor stuffed into a sausage shape. And for burgers was a pasty pressed vegetable bean patty. Maybe the new products are not as meaty as meat is (since they are not meat i dont ever expect them to be) But for those who have shopped for and eaten these things over the past 20 years must agree that they not only have come a long way, but are also so much more available ( at least here in new york). I can go to any supermarket, and there is a freezer or freezer section dedicated to vegitarian products, where as years ago, id have to go to a vegetarian/ health food specialty store.

If anyone else knows of really good vegitarian products id love to hear about them. I love trying new things.

And just to show u how much more i like the leanies than the other hot dog produts, for awhile i couldnt get them near my house, so i found a place online to get a case of them for about $90, then spent another $90 just to ship the frozen products to my house. Now, for whatever reason, my local stores still dont sell them ( even after me complaining about it), but i drive about 45 minutes out to the Hamptons to buy a case of them every 3 months. Call me crazy, But I ( and my kids ) love our leanies :)
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:20 AM   #20
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The absolute best 'meat' that I've found is Field Roast sausages and lunch meat. They're seitan instead of whatever they put into the Morningstar type stuff.

Nothing beats homemade though. I make my own hot dogs, sausages and cutlets. I'm looking for that elusive meatball and the one I'm trying next is a mix of wheat gluten and tempeh. I make several burgers, but I don't even try to make them like meat.
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