Might as well get it out there now, so I don’t have to worry about being “outed” at an inconvenient time: I’m a vegetarian. Yup, no meat, no fish, no birds, nothing that eats or shits, as my stepdaughter, Kelly, would say.
I am not a radical, not on a mission to change anyone’s lifestyle; this is just my own way of being comfortable with who I am and what I eat. My husband and my son are both omnivores, and we coexist peacefully, except when I push the zucchini a little too enthusiastically.
However, once-in-a-while, I make a dish so good that even Chuck doesn’t complain. Last night, I made Vegetarian Cowboy Casserole and Lovin’ Spoonful buttermilk cornmeal side. If you judge this meal on the photos alone, you would be incorrect on a couple counts. First, the Cowboy Casserole tasted much better than it looks, and it looks darn good. Made with soy protein (I know, I know), black beans, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, mushroom soup, spices and cheese, this is a comfort food if ever there was one. Chuck gobbled it.
The Lovin’ Spoonfuls, however, looks much better than it actually turned out. I think it was operator error, but as lovely as it looked on top, it was watery and under-cooked inside, and after a littler longer in the oven, it firmed up a bit, but it still lacked flavor. It was disappointing to create such a work of art that tasted like paper.
I became vegetarian, wholly, in December of 2008, almost eight years ago. Prior to that, I hadn’t eaten red meat of any kind for probably ten years, working my way up to completely vegetarian. I’m not vegan; I eat dairy products and eggs, and I wear leather shoes and love my leather seats in my Subaru. I’m just happier eating a vegetarian diet, knowing that I’m not directly responsible for the deaths of other sentient beings. Do I still own some culpability because I eat dairy products, wear leather, and eat eggs? Sure. I’m not perfect, just working on a better version of me.