For the first two weeks of Lent this year he gave up refined sugars. The only sweetener he was using for himself was honey (except on Sundays!). I think if I had been more supportive (read sacrificing some of my lifestyle full of chocolate mug cakes and stress eating), he would have gone on longer. Even though no one in the family is reading food labels that closely anymore, those two weeks gifted us with a new awareness of different kinds of sweeteners and amazing refined-sugar-free homemade bread. That John bakes fresh. Every week.
|ready for the oven|
Back to the point. Given this background it wasn't very surprising when John looked at me one evening and asked "you want to give up meat for two weeks starting tomorrow?"
This idea didn't exactly come out of the blue. We've always known animals raised for massive meat distribution are usually raised in poor conditions, fed junk, and as a result require more junk (medicines) to keep them healthy. You get out what you put in, just like humans. John recently showed me a video from Chipotle's website on the topic and since then I've been thinking about moving not towards a meat-free diet, but one that opts for meat from animals raised a smarter, more natural way. As a side effect, Chipotle has also superseded Moe's on my list of favorite places to get a burrito fast. Which is a big deal since we had Moe's cater our wedding.
Chosing naturally raised meat has a downside though, one that has prevented us from taking the leap -- its more expensive and takes more effort to locate. Hence our interest in adding meat-free dishes to our cooking repertoire.
So, I hummed and hawed and we didn't do it, but I did make the conscious decision to eat more vegetarian meals. For the next four days I didn't eat any meat at all. I substituted with Tofu, beans and peanut butter. Shockingly, I didn't really miss the meat.
Recently I decided to choose vegetarian options when we go out. We still make vegetarian dishes at home too. I'm kind of enjoying it. Its forced us to be creative in the kitchen and the results have been tasty and generally well accepted by our children. Since they aren't huge fans of meat anyway the dishes tend to be more to their liking, especially those with black beans. They will devour some black beans.