I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth! I will be posting a little about ours here later in the week, but until then, here is a little recipe that has been sitting in my queue and I wanted to share it with you real quick.
Now, I am a vegetarian. I have been for a little while. Why? (Everyone wants to know why.) I know it's mostly curiosity, especially because I come from a place where almost no one ( if anyone) is vegetarian.
A place where people love their biscuits and gravy, bacon and fried chicken (and pork chops and corn bread and ham and beans, etc. etc...)
Anyway, I was raised on meat. I've been a vegetarian before. But this time, it's for different reasons altogether.
Don't worry, I won't preach. I won't try to gross you out with all the Peta enhanced documentation of animal cruelty cases and big corporate no-no's of what you are all doing wrong (because I don't think you are wrong...). I care, but I just don't have the stomach for it. (For now...*big cheesy grin*) But, it is the reason for my conversion. The cruelty in which manufacturers pump out the production of their "product" is just so wrong, and all for money. That goes for product testing, too. Who can stop it? Who can restore the balance between necessity and gluttony? Only us, the consumers. That's all. Opening our eyes to the possibility of a kinder way of doing things. *Big happy grin* heart heart rainbow rainbow butterfly butterfly kiss kiss
Now I'm done. Soapbox put away....
Ok, so...that's why I am a vegetarian. It's simple. I can no longer eat animals. That's it. If you know me really well, you know that I love animals, have rescued all of ours, feed the birds outside, compost, save worms and turtles, and even feed the slugs outside. I do. Am I weird? Maybe to you. But to me it has always been a normal way of life. Is it so weird to love that much? I'm still working on the human to human love. It's a bit harder, sometimes. Animals are innocent, most humans are not. But, I'm learning and growing and realizing everyone has pain and reasons for being the way that they are. Love and patience; it is a very good start to a wonderful recipe for life, I think.
All of our animals have lived to ripe old ages, except my little tadpole Grow-a-Frogs. Something was up with those. So I won't have anymore. The one I had years ago when Tyler was about 10 years old would have probably lived to 25, but my cat, Thor, climbed up on top of the huge entertainment center, knocked his habitat down, and ate him. I was very mad. And I looked for that frog all day, in hopes of finding him. I didn't :'(
But, I digress. Since my spiritual shift in 2008, and then my total transformation after our mothers passed, it's been a change in the making. But I was never a big meat eater. I loved bacon, and I was a cheeseburger connoisseur. I really, really loved both of those things. But, over time, it just left me. How can I feed the slugs outside bits of banana and turn around and use leather, or animal tested products and eat meat?!
I can't. So, the natural progression for me was to stop. And I did. Just like that. No missing it. No problem finding something to eat. In my house there is no meat, except the turkey meat breakfast sandwiched Noah buys for himself and Tyler. And I buy cruelty free dairy ( Organic Valley milk-NOT Horizon organic milk because it is not cruelty free.) And Cruelty free eggs. Preferably from that small town I live in. (We are allowed to have chickens in our yards right in town. Cool. And these people LOVE their yard birds. They are pets, not really 'eating' chickens).
So, how do I get around this? No meat? What about protein?! What about NUTRITION?! Oh the horror!!!
My sister insists that I will starve to death and be protein deficient. *SMH* Human beings really need about 46 grams a day (for your daily needs, and a little info on protein, click here, if you like).
So, I get more than enough. Most food has a bit of protein, and I eat soy protein on top of that, so I'm loaded. I'm good, really. I eat enough, believe me!
Now, for a typical dinner to show you I am not starving my family or myself, I'm not a "fad" lover, and not falling in the "trend" category of what's popular at the moment. How many of you even knew I was vegetarian? My own best friend didn't know. Our closest family friend didn't know, I bet none of my family knows. It's a private choice that does not need to be broadcast. So, why am I broadcasting it now? Because I have awesome recipes to share if you dare, and I wanted to clear up any questions and get it out of the way. And to shed some light on the not-so-weird personal choice of being a vegetarian or vegan. Some people just have allergies and have to be vegan. As I've gotten older, I've started having funny break-outs and it could be a dairy thing, who knows. And, yes, some people latch on to whatever is trendy at the moment, maybe for attention, maybe because they are just not satisfied with whatever, but who are we to judge, right?
There, out of the way.
We can begin.
"Chicken" and Quinoa with Mushrooms, Broccoli and Brown Butter Balsamic Asparagus
Now, what does that look like to you...?
Smells like it, too...
This is the magic maker...
Looks like chicken, doesn't it? Tastes like it, too. Smells like it. Feels like it. Grills up like it. It's a miracle. Here's the breakdown of protein on this ONE plate. All of our plates were the same. Yep...Noah and Tyler ate this, too. UNFORCED.
And they loved it.
Soy protein "chicken": 20g
1 Cup Quinoa: 24g
1/2 C Broccoli: 1.3g
1/2 C Asparagus: 1.5g
1/2 cup Baby Bella mushrooms: 2g
Our ONE meal had just under 50 grams of protein in it. More than my daily need. That's strong. That's pure muscle building healthy protein. And it was SO gooood!
I love this balsamic brown butter asparagus. Here's how to make this up for your family. Go ahead and use chicken if you want. I used to eat chicken, but when I did, I always bought antibiotic free, steroid free, cruelty free chicken. Hard to find? Not really. Our little "mom-and-pop" grocery store in town carried it, so did the local Wal-Mart and Shop 'N Save. If you live near a Dierbergs, Schnucks, or Whole Foods, they will definitely have it.
Here is my asparagus recipe from Allrecipes. I just washed and cut up the broccoli and roasted it in there with the asparagus and covered it in the same sauce. Oh, so delish!
I followed the directions on the bag for the Chick'n and grilled that up and then, I sauteed the mushrooms in a little butter and salt and pepper in the pan right after the Chick'n. I bought a box of quinoa and cooked that right up according to the directions on its box, and viola! Done. Time to eat. They loved it. It was delicious, filling and good for you. You can even have dessert.
Interested? Let me know if you try it and how you like it. You know, I've read for years in magazines (Woman's Day, Family Circle, All You...) to cut down your grocery costs and try to have at least one or two non-meat meals per week to be healthier and save your hard earned dollars....
Give it a try!
Have a fab week!
*All opinions are my own. I received no compensation and am not affiliated with from Deirbergs, Walmart, Schnucks, Shop'nSave, Gardein, Grow-a-frog, Allrecipes, Woman's Day, All You, Family Circle or Peta at the time of this post.