Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Carnivore's Delimma

The last few weekends with their excesses and indulgences have left me wanting to turn over a new leaf and do something radical with my diet. I love food too much to partake in juice cleanses. So the next best thing (for me) is to try being a vegetarian for a few days. I am toying with the idea of eliminating dairy also while I conduct this experiment but I'm still on the fence with that, and till then I shall consume all the cheese I want!

So now that I have reconciled with eliminating meat for a few days, how to approach to my meat-loving, veggie-hating husband that we are about to embark upon a 3-day vegan adventure? I decide to skip sugar-coating the facts and just inform him.

We are eating organic vegetables for the next three days.

A look of horror on his face.

Okay, two days, I proffer.

Still some reluctance on his face.

Okay, can we just try it for today, please? 

Okay, he says, let's see how this goes.

So then began the process of choosing a recipe palatable enough to not remind the hubby that anything is lacking.

Carnivores love burgers so I decided to make a veggie burger. I got a bean burger recipe from Kath's amazing website and tweaked it a little, throwing in my own additions. I also decided to make Kale chips as a side. Here are the recipes.

Bean and Pea Burger

Ingredients (Makes 3 burger patties):
1 can of Pinto beans
1/2 can of peas
Whole wheat flour-3 Tablespoons 
Salt (a dash)
Pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
Garlic (1/2 teaspoon)
Red pepper flakes (I overdid this by adding 1 teaspoon. It gave it a real kick, which I liked, but please use less if you do not like food to be too spicy)
1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce

1. Mix the beans, peas, flour and spices using a grinder/food processor 
2. Heat a skillet with medium heat and spray some cooking spray.
3. Make patties and place on the skillet.

4.Cook for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes.

They should look like this

Place it in a hamburger bun and add whatever garnishes you prefer. I added a slice of lettuce and some ketchup.

They were delicious. Even the hubby agreed! 

Kale chips

Bunch of kale
Salt to taste
Shredded or powdered parmesan cheese (you can avoid this if you prefer-they still taste amazing)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Wash kale and dry it well. Use a salad spinner if possible. I do not have one and so I employed the meticulous use of kitchen towels. Spoiler: It worked out!
3. Tear the leaves off the stem into chip-sized pieces
4. Spray some cooking spray into a cookie sheet and place the kale chips on to it.
5. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the edges get brown


These were amazing and the real winner of our meal. The hubby polished off the first batch before the burgers were even ready and so I had to make a second batch. They were that good!

So now that I have shown the hubby (and myself) that we can indeed eat enjoyably and nutritiously without the use of animal products, and Veggie-Day was such a hit, I am already planning our next meal!

Although the hubby did well with this one-day experiment I shall not subject him to any further dietary restrictions! Who knows how long I can keep this up. I know I am not converting into a vegan or a vegetarian any time soon but I do think there is something to be said about how good I felt all day today.

Question: Have you ever gone out of your comfort zone to try a new diet/way of eating? Were you successful or did you soon revert back to old eating habits?


Amber said...

I try to do little "exercises" like this on a regular basis - cutting out meat/meat products for a day (or a few) always makes me feel better, particularly after a weekend of excess. I've found Peas and Thank You to be an excellent source for delicious vegan cooking!

I have a bag of kale in my fridge right now. I want to make kale chips but I feel like they will be a bust. You've given me the courage to give it a shot!

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Amber: Kale chips are so easy! Trust me. I am a mess in the kitchen. If I can do it anyone can. Key is to make sure the kale is super dry. Thanks for the rec.I shall check out Peas and Thank you!

Ameena said...

With the exception of fish here and there I am a vegetarian. It's really one of the best things I've done although it certainly is challenging.

A while back I did the Fat Flush Plan and that even MORE challenging. But if you are looking for a great way to "detox" but with proper foods instead of a pepper concoction I totally recommend this book. It was life changing.

sofia said...

oooh boy, if i told my boyfriend i was going vegetarian - even for a day - he'd murder me. and then insist we eat different things for dinner. good luck! i love bean burgers. try the black bean burger recipe from veganomicon, they're fab.

Kristene said...

I've been a vegetarian for almost 4 years now, and I don't miss meat at all! I must say, living in NYC with all of its restaurant/specialty store options probably makes this easier. Your recipes look delicious!

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Ameena; I will check it out. Yes, totally not a pepper concoction juice cleanse fan. I just really want to try and start eating better. With our lives being so busy it's so easy to consume all this junk on-the-go.

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Sofia: The hubby had threatened to order in if the dinner I made wasn't to his liking! Luckily, it worked out. Black bean burgers sound delish!

Kristene: Interesting that you've been doing it for 4 years. I'm going to do it in baby steps. Few days at a time for me!

Lauren said...

I've tried everything (it's work research) and agree with you cleanses aren't fun (if you can't eat) though Organic Avenue was nice. I have found taking wheat out of my diet has made a huge difference in my skin, energy etc. I would try it for a week and see how you feel (or not). Love kale chips.

ellen said...

That looks great! I've tried kale chips and I just can't get into them, though. I'll keep trying...

I've gone vegetarian for a month. It was only intended to be a month just to change things up a bit and break routine. It went really, really well. I don't eat too much meat to begin with, but it was nice to force myself away from having chicken or something as a back up. I'd do it again (and probably will).

PS -- I'm heading up to Cape Cod in a few weeks!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
This bean burger recipe sounds great. I just made my first bean burger with my food processor and it turned out a lot better than I thought, even the BF loved it (it's a winner!). I also LOVE kale chips. Yum yum.

Pink Lady said...

I am adding Kale to my Farmer's Market shopping list. I can't wait to try them.

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Lauren: A wheat-less diet would be hard for me. I have done it for a few days and admittedly I felt great, but I love carbs too much. Carbs will be my downfall..

Ellen: Try different toppings/spices with the kale chips to see if that makes a difference. Honestly, I loved them just with a little bit of salt.

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Gina: I'm glad I found your blog! Yes, its funny how the true measure of a successful dish is if our significant other approves! I'm always stressing that the hubby will be unhappy with my culinary experiments!

Pink Lady: You will love them!

Amy B @ Second City Randomness said...

I'm one of those people who cannot completely change the diet all at once- it has to be slowly introduced, like I'm being sneaky. ;)

And I'm with you on the whole juice cleanse thing- just can't do it. I like to chew my calories...

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Amy: Totally get what you mean about sneakily introducing small changes! Thanks for stopping by!

Cameo said...

I have been eating a lot more plant based proteins lately and love the way I feel (bowls especially!). I am a big proponent of eliminating wheat and dairy. Changed my skin and energy levels too (@Lauren)! I applaud your hubby. It's tough for guys to rationalize vegetarianism. I am fortunate to have an SO who puts up with all my culinary whims. I think once they TRY the veg food, they realize it's delicious. Eventually...

Sam @ Mom at the Barre said...

Cameo: I have kept up with keeping things dairy-free and have limited the meat in my diet and I do agree that my energy levels are up. So there is truth in that matter.

Yes, the hubby was surprised to realize that veggies can actually be delicious!

Thanks for stopping by!

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