Friday, July 2, 2010

Am I becoming something I hate?

I'm a little late with this post - I meant to post it on June 30th since I was inspired by The Kitchen Reader - their book for the month was “Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating” by Mark Bittman. I'm a brand new member of this book club (not sure if that's the right descriptive term?) and didn't read this month's selection, but I did enjoy the reviews posted at Cooking for Comfort, Jill's blog, and Spike Bakes.

I'm all about meat. I'm a proud, unapologetic carnivore and everyone knows it - I've even had a former friend serve me meat with a side of meat for a New Year's Eve dinner. But of all things, I'm actually considering following Mark Bittman's lead and try to be mostly vegetarian before 6pm.

I should clarify - I don't hate vegetarians with the level of fervor that Anthony Bourdain does, and I definitely eat vegetables. It's just that I naturally gravitate towards a meat and then build my meal around the protein. Notice I'm trying to give myself some wiggle room by qualifying it as "mostly" vegetarian and there's no way I'm going vegan, as was Bittman's reported strategy to improve his health.  I'm thinking more along the lines of a day-time pescaterian, which is just a vegetarian who eats fish.

The good thing in learning of my borderline high cholesterol is that it's making me think about what I choose to eat, and if I'm going to eat something high in fat, then it better be worth it. So the other day, when I was in my daily "hmmm, what should I eat for lunch today while avoiding my work cafeteria at all costs" mode, I decided to go for Indian food and I went with lentils (dal) and rice as my meal. If I ever decide to become full-blown vegetarian, I'll have to move to India - they really know how to use spices to make vegetables interesting, flavorful and filling, though there may be more ghee (butter) than I want to know about.

I realize I can't rely on Indian takeout as a sole source of vegetarian meals, so I'll be picking up a copy of Mark Bittman's book for some vegetarian inspiration to expand my cooking repertoire.

While on the topic of Mark Bittman's recipes, here's one that I made last winter that I really liked - so simple to make and very tasty!

Winter Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing
2 blood oranges or tangerines

1 pink grapefruit
1 navel orange
1/2 small red onion or 1 shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
Lime or lemon juice to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly chopped tarragon or a pinch dried.

1. Peel citrus, removing as much pith as possible, and slice into wheels. Remove any pits, layer fruit on a serving dish, sprinkle with salt and garnish with chopped onion.

2. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and tarragon until well combined; taste, adjust seasoning as needed and drizzle over salad.

Yield: 4 servings.
(Recipe from the New York Times, The Minimalist column Jan 20, 2010)


Anonymous said...

Indian cuisine has lots of great vegetarian options, and Bittman certainly has a lot of veg ideas too. Everything in moderation, I guess, although I'm laughing at meat with a side of meat!

Jennifer said...

Meat with a side of meat-that's my kind of eating.

This salad looks absolutely spectacular!!!!!

PharmaFoodie said...

Jill, I'm going to try the New Indian Home Cooking cookbook you blogged about recently, your Indian dishes looked good!

And yes, the meat with a side of meat was horrifying - we were all in a meat coma for hours afterwards, I really don't recommend it.

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