About a year and a half ago, before we went on the AT I tried a week of going vegetarian while Chris was on a business trip. It was really easy for me then, I was able to cook what I wanted and try new recipes. I haven’t tried this again until the last two weeks.
We’re back in Beaumont for our job for about two months and I got the idea to try going vegetarian again. I thought it would be easy but we eat out most of the time and it is really hard! Vegetarian options are either making something meatless or eating lots of salads and pasta. Sometimes I don’t mind this but it is really frustrating to find something vegetarian on a menu.
A few nights ago was semi-difficult. We went to Pappadeaux’s Seafood for dinner and there is very, very little on their menu that is vegetarian. Originally I thought I might try to eat some fish once or twice a month but now I am being stubborn and trying to really stick to this plan. Trust me, the crab cakes were lusted after heavily. On their lunch menu was a chicken pasta that I thought I could order without chicken, which I did after asking the waiter if I could get the lunch item for dinner. He said he could swing it. My other option if that failed was going to be a Greek salad with some sides. I had thought the dirty rice might be worth getting but Chris got it with his meal and it had sausage in it. Hrm. So, that wouldn’t have worked.
I have various reasons for trying to do the vegetarian thing. The biggest reason is to stay healthier while we are on the road working. I notice a huge difference in how I feel after dinner without eating meat; there is no heavy, over stuffed feeling in general. Another is the environmental effects from eating meat. Some of it is also the animal cruelty aspect, the mass farming of animals. When we ever settle down (I’m done guessing at this point…it’ll happen when it happens I guess!) it will be easier to purchase organic and free range meats to eat a few times a week while eating vegetarian for most of the week. Right now that just isn’t an option while eating on the road.
I would love to be around Eliana for her super-vegan help but she’s off in Florida (Alaska at the moment actually). If someone out there is vegetarian and has any help or ideas for great vegetarian options, drop me a comment or email. I’m already getting annoyed with the same old options of pasta and the regular old vegetables that are served. Breakfast and lunch is really easy because I can prepare that myself for the field and in the hotel room but Chris prefers to eat out (I’d be ok eating in most nights) for dinner. I’ve checked a few vegetarian restaurant website lists but we are in a very southern, bordering Cajun area that is just not into the vegetarian thing.
One of the better things I’ve had recently was a stuffed portobello mushroom that was almost like a baked potato. It was awesome!
So, I don’t know how long this will last, but I hope I can make it the two months. We’ll see!
I’ve been a veg for more than 20 years now (yikes!) and Tom has been for about 15 years… but we’re lazy about it, meaning we really do utilize all the pre-prepared products out there. We’re just not the type of people who have the time or energy to marinate tofu or seitan. We’ve managed to stay on the diet forever and we just incorporate all the products available (and there are SO many now, compared to when I started when all that was available was a dry mix for veggie burgers…) – vegetarian “chicken”, “sausage”, “turkey”, “meat”, etc. Our favorite brand, hands down, is gardein http://gardein.com followed by Quorn http://quorn.com and Boca makes great stuff. We’re also getting into a lot of Asian and Indian cuisine- so many great options.
When you get back North, you should try out the Cosmic Cafe. Its off Oak Lawn in Dallas. I drive by it all the time, but haven’t tried it out.