Thursday, September 23, 2010

To Veg Or Not To Veg ... That Is The Question

Still Life with Mediterranean Fruit
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Lately I have been toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian.  Well, let me rephrase that.  I have been thinking of making vegetables the main focus of my meals, and continuing to eat some chicken and fish as well, but in small portions.  And as much as I love a well-cooked steak or roast of lamb ... sorry ... I have not eaten red meat for a while.  I'm not opposed to eating meat, and I'm not a member of PETA, I just find when I eat red meat it seems to slow me down somewhat.  When I eat vegetables I feel energized.  Maybe that's the deal with the Energizer Bunny -- he eats his carrots.

There is some evidence to support the fact that people who eat a lot of vegetables feel better, they sleep better, they have more energy and they have lower blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.  Well, that can't be all bad, can it?  My favorite TV snack is brussel sprouts.  When I was a little girl, every year I looked forward to Christmas -- not just for the tree, or the Christmas presents, or all the other wonderful things at Christmas, but specifically because we would have brussel sprouts with our turkey dinner.  That, to me, was the highlight of Christmas.  I had no idea folks could eat brussel sprouts at any other time of the year.  That delicious little cabbage could be mine, any time I wanted.  Who knew...!  You can keep your popcorn or potato chips, thank you.  I'll have my brussel sprouts.

So -- if there are any vegetarians out there who have some good recipes for veggies as main dishes, I would love to read them.


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm sure it's good for you, and would be good for me, but I don't think I could ever do it.

Anonymous said...

I gotta confess that brussel sprouts are up there in my list of least favorite foods. But I agree that a high veg and low meat diet is probably the best.

Kathryn said...

I'll look thru my recipes, Jo.

I've been eating largely "vegetarian" for about 3 years now. Long story how i came to it. I did find early on that i felt better with eating that way. Not so sure now, as the disability seems to be moving in more quickly. I don't know if that is just a progression of illness or due to my diet. I do still eat seafood, tho not every day. I have ethical issues with eating animals, but i'm not militant about it. My hubby is not vegetarian, & i still cook meat for him.

I do believe that one diet isn't for everyone. Dr. Mercola believes there are "protein types" & oh, i forget his words but folks who don't need as much protein, & mixed. Just because something seems to work for me doesn't indicate it will work for all the population.

Your story about brussel sprouts at Christmas reminds me of my hubby & pumpkin pie (his favorite). Somehow he came to believe that he could only have it at holidays. He was flabbergasted when i told him pumpkin comes in cans & i could make it any time of year. "Why don't we always have it?" he asked. I think it has to do with harvest. However, since then he has decided he doesn't care for pumpkin pie "all the time" - it loses some of its specialness for him.

Thank you for your kind comments at my blog. I always feel honored when you come visit. :) I've a friend who will be in Vancouver next week.

Katy said...

I'm not vegitarian, but I do follow the Micheal Pollen diet... eat food, mostly vegitables. So while I do eat meat, its not every day and its not the main course. Stir fries are a really easy way to eat this way and it probably I'm a huge fan of rice.

I laughed when you mentioned the brussels sprouts at Christmas. I still feel weird if I eat pumpkin pie if its not Thanksgiving.

Teri said...

There are GREAT recipes at You can search by ingredient.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

....and you will be much healthier for it. I keep red meat to a couple times a week, Hubby demands it. He is a real meat and potato kinda guy. I've heard our goal is to fill our plates half full of veggies, more would be even better. You go girl!

God bless and have a most marvelous day sweetie!!!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I don't have great recipes...I just make 'em up!!! But I am predominantly vegetarian...It was the best health decision I ever made!! ~Janine XO

budh.aaah said...

Dear Jo, it might be a bit too hot for you..if so then just forget the chillies..

Cauliflower masala

Cauliflower : 1 piece
Potato : 1-2 pieces (medium size)
Cumin seeds : 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder : 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilly : 1 piece
Green chilly paste : 1 tsp
Basil pesto : 1 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves : 1 bowl (small size)


• Cut cauliflower and potato into medium pieces
• Heat 6-7 tsp of oil in a wok
• Pour cumin seeds and wait a few seconds for it to sizzle
• Add cauliflower and potato and stir it well for 8-10 minutes
• Add cumin powder, green chilly paste and basil paste, salt and red dry chilly ,mix it well for 5-10 minutes
• Cover the wok for 10-15 minutes
• Open and garnish it with coriander leaves

Happy eating!

Paula Slade said...

I don't have any special veggie recipes but I love brussel sprouts too, and I'm the only one in our household. I also adore okra and artichokes and the same can be said for those.


I'm vegetarian - love it!

Here's a link for some good recipes:

Charlene said...

I love brussel sprouts too!

I eat very little meat but I can tell if I don't have some at least once a week, I'm not as strong. The thing is, if you're a total vegetarian, you have to get protein and you can with beans, etc.

Bagman and Butler said...

I think it is the healthy way to go. But I'm afraid I'm an Icecreamarian. The other day in a healthfood store, I saw someone with a Locavarian T-shirt. I'm guessing he tries to eat only locally grown stuff?

PhilipH said...

Brussells sprouts eh? Hmm ... quite explosive in some ways, if you get my meaning.

Indian Pundit said...

Hi Jo..

You sounded like my father.
He loves red meat....but made vegetables the main focus of his meals.

TC said...

My family was supposed to have vegetarian leanings due to religion, my family had a dairy and we ate MEAT. I can take it or leave it, have to have a bit of roast and turkey or a hamburger once in awhile. But Brussel Sprouts Jo?? I can see spinich or tabouli however you spell that salad but the dreaded sprout? LOL

joanne said...

We are veggie, fish and turkey's just what we prefer, we don't go gaga if there is meat on our plate but I know that I feel better without the red stuff. Both my kids are vegetarians and they have so much energy and rarely are sick, never with colds or flu like when they were younger. I don't know if it helps but they are fine examples of clean living in every way so it's all about balance.
I will e-mail you some great recipes when I get a chance!

@ly said...

I love brussel sprouts and veggies too but do not think I could make the break from meat. I have issues with my blood sugar and when it gets too low from lack of protein I start feeling light headed. I usually try to have at least 2-3 meals a week meatless and I do enjoy it!! Please keep us posted about how this is going for you.

Cloudia said...

Everything in moderation...

...even moderation, dear Jo :)

Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Pamela Kieffer said...

My granddaughter, age 15, has been a vegetarian since she was 10. Quite an accomplishment for a young person. Funniest thing though, she was not a vegetable lover before and still is not. Very limited diet. Loves her grandmothers eggplant parmigiana.
Good luck, I know you will find many delicious recipes.

Russell said...

I think eating lots of vegetables is great. Of course fruit is good, too. I confess I need to eat more of both.

But I can't think of many things (food wise) that beats a delicous, perfectly cooked steak, an incredible hamburger, a juicy ham, or several other wonderful meat dishes!

The key is balance. Too much of anything is probably not good but a nice balance of several good things can't be beat!

Jo said...

Charles, *heh*

Calvin, I LOVE brussel sprouts. :-)

Kathryn, for some reason I have never been a fan of pumpkin pie, but a big bowl of brussel sprouts -- YUM. *heh*

Katy, I have never heard of the Michael Pollen diet. I'm going to check it out. Thanks. :-)

Teri, I checked out the website. Thank you...!

Nezzy, yes, I think I would miss chicken or fish, especially. We have fabulous sockeye salmon here, and I love that.

Janine, I think the best recipes are made up, yes. I do that too -- sometimes successfully, sometimes not. *heh*

Gugs, you know what? My favorite Indian restaurant has that every Tuesday, and that is what I have for lunch every Tuesday. I LOVE it...! Thank you for the recipe. :-)

Paula, oh yes, artichokes. Delicious...!

Diane, thank you. I checked out the link and saved it as one of my favorites. :-)

Charlene, well, that's the thing. I'm afraid I need the protein too.

B&B, an icecreamarian...! Oh, me too. Especially Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia. *sigh*

Philip, *heh* yes. Brussel sprouts are best eaten -- alone. :-)

IP, yes, I think I'm going to try to do that, and eat meat too.

TC, I don't understand how anyone cannot love brussel sprouts. *heh* I mean, they are the best...!

JoJo, I would love some recipes! And yes, I think there is a lot of healthy nutrition in veggies.

@ly, well, that's just it. I get sort of light-headed too when I don't eat enough protein, so I could never be a 100% vegetarian.

Cloudia, *chuckle* Love it...!

Blue Ridge ... egg plant parmigiana...! Now you're talking. I would love your recipe. :-)

Russell, a juicy ham...! Yes! I think I know what I'm going to buy this weekend. I love ham -- with pineapple and some Coleman's mustard. YUM!


Jo, another link I refer to that you might like:

TomCat said...

Veggies are fine in their place, but my feline persona demands meat! Do you have a spare bird? ;-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I've been a vegetarian for many years and highly recommend such a diet for many reasons. I do not cook tofu dishes cleverly disguised as meat, though - I am probably a natural vegetarian in that I have never liked meat. I like my vegetables to taste like vegetables.

But I have to tell you, brussels sprouts are one of the few vegetables I really dislike.

jennifer black said...

Hi Jo--

I have been a vegetarian for coming on 9 years. My daughter and her husband are vegans--for almost the same amount of time, so we have plenty of recipes around for wonderful meals--even yummy vegan Christmas.

The best place I know of to find great vegetarian recipes that's quick and easy and has lots of feedback from people who've tried the recipes is

Happy eating!


Anonymous said...

I do eat chicken and turkey, but I quit eating cows and pigs a long time ago. I eat lots of veggies and fruit and I feel better for it. Have no problems with weight or blood pressure. I think it would be smart for all of us to eat less meat and more veggies. But...must admit, I don't care for brussel sprouts.

Alicia said...

You know what I love as a tv snack Jo...edamame! Yum! It is so delicious and good for you. I've never been a fan of brussel sprouts but more power to you if you enjoy them cause they are probably packed with Iron!

Diana Studer said...

Love Brussels sprouts. Especially crown brussels sprouts, same flavour, less work to prepare. We are vegetarian, but I prefer to cook quick and simple.

There are delectable (sounding) recipes at Our Friend Ben, veg, with a meat option offered for carnivores ;>)