Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sayonara Steak...I mean it this time!

Throwback Thursday: That time I barfed off the edge of a sand dune in the majestic Sahara Desert.
Remember that time red meat finally made me so sick that I almost died (or at least it felt that way) in the middle of the Sahara Desert?

Yah, well, apparently neither did I because less than one year after I swore off red meat, I'm right back where I started. Apparently, I didn't learn my lesson.

Becoming a quasi-vegetarian (no beef, lamb, pork, or any other animal that walks on four legs) would be so much easier if I had a strong moral or ethical issue with eating meat (I do love animals but have a problem with the argument that people don't eat meat because they don't think animals should die for their food-what about the millions of insects, mice, snakes, and other animals that are displaced and/or killed for your fields of vegetables? And don't even get me started on the fact that dairy cattle are treated just as poorly, if not worse, than beef cattle but most vegetarians eat dairy.)

Or if I my love for the environment outweighed my love for a good steak. Between the feed they need, the greenhouse gases they "emit", and the space they take up, cow are not really environmentally friendly.

Or if I simply didn't like the taste of meat.

But alas, none of those reasons are good enough. In fact, the only good reason I have for not eating me is that it makes me so sicker than any other food on the planet (except for kiwi and eggplant which cause me to have an anaphylactic reaction).

I supposed that reason will have to do...

After being violently ill after a single bite of a cheeseburger the other night, I'm once again swearing off meat. Hopefully this time for good. Hopefully this time, I can convince myself that being alive and healthy outweighs the deliciousness of a Burger's Priest burger, or a perfectly cooked juicy steak, or slow-roasted barbecue ribs falling off the bone, or my Auntie Rhonda's award-winning veal roast...

It won't be easy, but I'm trying. I really am.

Wish me luck and send me your favorite meat-free recipes, like this:

Thousand Island Chicken Coleslaw
Adapted from this recipe I found in Gourmet Magazine 7 years ago and it quickly became a family favorite.

Served with fresh crusty bread, this makes a cheap, quick, and light summertime dinner. Or leave out the chicken, increase the veggies, and use as a side dish for a bbq (red meat free, of course!)

1/4 cup of mayonnaise (or a mixture of mayo and Greek yogurt)
A little less than 1/2 cup ketchup
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp. relish
4 cups shredded cabbage (I buy the precut coleslaw mix)
1 cup shredded kale
2 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped (I often use leftovers or get a rotisserie chicken)

Make the dressing by whisking the first five ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Put the veggies and chicken in a large bow, pour the dressing on top, and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes but not more than an hour. Otherwise I find it just gets too soggy and the difference in texture between the crunchy cabbage and the chicken is one of the things I love about this dish.


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