Madison Gives Up Meat

“From this day forward I declare that I am a vegetarian!”

About two weeks ago Madison issued the above proclomation citing animal rights and just the overall “gross texture” of meat as her reasons for forever forsaking meat.  (I suspect it also had something to do with the fact that her mother has NO IDEA how to cook meat and serves “mostly cooked” chicken at almost every meal.)

I explained that this would mean no more chicken enchiladas, lasagna and – her favorite – meatloaf.  “That’s okay, I can live without that stuff,” she calmly replied.

We discussed the pros and cons of vegetarianism – protein from alternative sources, more fruits, vegetables and grains, and the necessity of eating everything on her plate in order to get the proper nutrients.  We also talked about where meat comes from, how it is processed and the impact of that cycle on the environment.  In the end, she decided the pros far outweighed the cons.

To be honest, I wasn’t surprised with her declaration at all.  Thinking back, I realized that every time we grilled last summer Madison would roll her eyes and pick at her plate.  Slowly, her requests for meat dwindled and her love for animals became more vocal.  It seemed only natural that her moral views would begin to align with her culinary tastes.

Thankfully, this new eating habit didn’t throw me much of a curve ball in the kitchen.  I’ve experimented with non-meat diets from time to time over the past decade or so and I have just as many vegetarian cookbooks as “regular” cookbooks.  So I combed through the recipes (vegetarian cooking is surprisingly simple and quick!) and decided to try three meals: Full of Beans soup, Tofu Stir Fry and Pasta and Steamed Vegetables.

Madison loved the Tofu Stir Fry, (tofu, bok choy and carrots) and I served the pasta and steamed vegetables with chicken on the side for Joel and me.

But our favorite was the Full of Beans soup.  (Did I mention vegetarian cooking is surprisingly simple and quick?)  All that’s required to make the soup is a food processor or blender.  I served it with toasted bagels with butter and sliced green apples.  The meal was deliciously light and filling.

Are you still a vegetarian? I asked Madison yesterday.  “Nah, I think I’m growing out of it” she said.

But I’m not so sure I’m ready to give it up and go back to the kitchen full time.  (Really, vegetarian cooking is surprisingly simple and quick) – so from here on out at least one meal a week will be meat-free.

Full of Beans Soup, serves 4

1 can kidney beans
1 can mixed chili beans
1 can fire roasted red tomatoes
1 cup shredded Jack cheese
4 tbsp sour cream

Drain beans and combine with tomatoes in a food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a large saucepan and heat.  Top with cheese and sour cream just before serving.


One comment on “Madison Gives Up Meat

  1. Susan Weisberger
    January 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Thanks for the Bean soup recipe, I’m going to try it. yummm.

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