Diary of a Part-Time Carnivore

It’s the story of everyone’s life at some point in their lives: what you love doesn’t love you back. This is another unrequited love story. I LOVE MEAT, BUT MEAT DON’T LOVE ME!

As you all know, or should know if you’ve read my previous posts, I gave up meat for Lent. Being pescatarian felt great. I didn’t have any lags in energy and I wasn’t left hungry. Well, Lent ended and I resumed eating meat. I played Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited” as I took my first bite into a delicious hot dog.

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My first taste of meat after Lent ended.

Then, I went home and made some baked ribs with tostones and salsa verde.

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It felt great, like making up with your boyfriend after a nasty fight. You can’t get enough and you’re sure that this time the relationship will never end again. Then, you remember how toxic the relationship is for you; it doesn’t exactly bring out your best self, and, despite how good you feel when you’re together, you feel like crap later. You wonder if those few instances of happiness are worth the even more common, more prolonged, instances of pain.

In the end, you decide that the best thing is for you to let go of the relationship completely or maybe just be friends because you deserve a love that loves you back or at least loves you better.

This story is all too familiar, right? For me, it hits close to home because I went through this with an ex, who was definitely not the one for me, but he has been my best friend for years after we broke up. Now, I’m in the same situation with meat.

After not eating it for months, I feel how harmful it is for my body. I’ve suffered from acid reflux and digestive problems for years. While I was strictly pescatarian, I didn’t feel the heaviness in my stomach and my reflux was under control. I even ate tomatoes and oranges without consequences. Then, I started eating meat regularly again, and it’s like all of the negatives of my relationship with meat hit me hard. I had to start taking Prilosec again and all is not well in the digestive sector of my life. I’m forced with the decision again, do I want to remain in a toxic relationship, or do I want to end it?

I love meat, but meat don’t love me; so maybe we should just be friendly, see each other occasionally  and catch up, but not too often. I have decided to remain pescatarian, eating meat only once in a while.

Stay tuned for your next slice of genius.

Lent is Over, But My Pescatarian Diet Isn’t

So, I successfully went all of Lent without eating meat, except for March 16th, when I accidentally ate some mini meat empanadas at a birthday party. As a penitence, I gave up alcohol. So I went 40 (counting Good Friday) days and nights without meat and 33 days without alcohol. It was great. I did miss meat at times and alcohol a lot, but I actually like being pecatarian and alcohol free. I’m actually going to remain a part-time carnivore, eating meat maybe once a week or so.

Just to recap my Lent, I’m going to upload pictures of some of things I cooked while everyone was out meatloving.

etc. etc. etc.

Stay tuned for your next slice of genius

Grocery Shopping- Getting it All Over With

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I like to go all in and get things done all at once. I like to go grocery shopping once a month, just get everything I need and not step in a supermarket again for thirty or thirty-one days—unless it’s February, then it’s twenty-eight (unless it’s Leap year, then it’s twenty-nine). The problem with my system is that my vegetables and fruits tend to go bad after a while because we can’t eat them fast enough.  So, stuck between not buying fruits and veggies and going grocery shopping more than once a month, I took to the internet and stumbled upon this website: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-blanch-vegetables-home-108570 which teaches us how to blanch vegetables so that we could freeze them. Silly me, I would have just thrown them in the freezer, washed and whole, but this works.

If you’ve read my last post, I’m going pescatarian for Lent, so my freezer won’t be stuffed with meat, which I buy, season, and separate into portions on grocery shopping day. So, I blanched my veggies, and chopped up my fruit and here it is:

My Blanched Veggies and My Chopped Fruit, all Ready to Be Frozen

My Blanched Veggies and My Chopped Fruit, all Ready to Be Frozen

Veggies, Fruit, Fresh Seafood, and Frozen Seafood. Prepped for the Month

Veggies, Fruit, Fresh Seafood, and Frozen Seafood. Prepped for the Month

It’s so much easier for me to just have everything prepped and ready for me to cook when I need them, what with my kids, school, and writing. I pick the day I go grocery shopping, usually a Tuesday since I don’t have class and there are better deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I know that most of my afternoon or evening will be spent chopping, dicing, mincing, seasoning, etc. but it saves me so much time later because I just have to defrost and cook as desired.

Since I’m going pescatarian, I will have to make another trip to the supermarket for fresh fish sometime this month. I bought fresh wild whiting, wild carp, wild porgy, and wild squid (my son loves calamari); and I bought a large pack of frozen tilapia and flounder—they are ten bucks and they come with like eighteen fillets a bag—and two bags of scallops for this recipe I’m dying to try (I’ll post it when I do). Oh, and I got a 2 lb. bag of frozen mussels for $4.99.  I should be good for a few weeks.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can focus on everything else I have to do all day: read, parent, read, parent, job hunt, read, parent, write, cook, clean, wash bottles and more bottles, and …

Stay tuned for your next slice of genius.

My Weekly Meal Plan

My Weekly Meal Plan

So, in order to make my weight-loss journey more fun, I had to get creative with my eating habits. So here it is: Meatless Mondays, Tofu Tuesdays, Whatever Wednesdays, Turkey Thursdays, Fishy Fridays, Soup or Salad Saturdays, and Sinful Sundays (i will indulge in a meal of my choosing and not feel guilty).

Tofu Tuesday! Recipe: Breaded Tofu with Sweet Potato Fries

So, Tuesdays are Tofu Tuesday at my house. I recently became fond of tofu, so much so that I have dedicated every Tuesday to it. Yesterday, I made breaded tofu with sweet potato fries, and it was delicious! I got the recipe from http://ohsheglows.com/2012/01/18/easy-weeknight-dinner-crispy-breaded-tofu-strips-sweet-potato-fries/ and tweaked it just a smidge. Here it is:

My Ingredients

My Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash all-purpose seasoning
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato + 1 tsp oil + 1/2 tsp cinnamon + pinch salt + 1/4 tsp cumin

1. Press tofu: Rinse the tofu with water and place a couple kitchen towels on the counter. Wrap the tofu with another towel, place another towel on top, and finally several heavy cookbooks on top. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to soak out the water.

2. Meanwhile, pour milk in a shallow dish. In another bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, salt, Mrs. Dash, and pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F and grease 2 baking sheets with oil. Slice the potato into fries and then coat with 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp Mrs. Dash, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt. Lay out on greased baking sheet.

Cut Tofu into about 8 Pieces Flour is optional. I dip in flour before I dip in milk and breadcrumb mixture.

Flour, breadcrumb mixture, and almond milk. Flour is optional. I dip in flour before I dip in milk and breadcrumb mixture.

Slice the Sweet Potatoes and Season

Slice the Sweet Potatoes and Season

3. Slice tofu into 8-9 strips, lengthwise, depending on how thick you want it. Dip the tofu strip into the milk mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Coat both sides entirely and then place on baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.

Cut Tofu into about 8 Pieces

Cut Tofu into about 8 Pieces

Align Tofu Strips in Greased Pan

Align Tofu Strips in Greased Pan

4. Bake tofu on middle rack and fries on bottom rack at 400F. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the tofu and fries, and then bake for another 15-20 minutes until crispy. Remove tofu and broil the fries for a few minutes, watching carefully, until golden and charred in some spots.

So here is the finished project

So here is the finished project

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/01/18/easy-weeknight-dinner-crispy-breaded-tofu-strips-sweet-potato-fries/#ixzz2sQFQcrb8