Monday, February 25, 2013

2 weeks of pescatarianism down!

So two weeks ago, I made the plunge into pescatarianism. Not for any health related issues, but because I always give up something for Lent. As a paleo eater naturally, meat is something that is a real sacrifice to give up. I'm used to depending on meat for protein, iron, and fat. I love the taste of all things meaty, and I wouldn't turn down a piece of squirrel just like I wouldn't turn down a burger. I believe in eating every edible part of the animal, too, so I'm not just a filet mignon type of girl. Organ meats are as cool as pork rinds. Meat is a wonderful resource. It's easy to get and easy to prepare. But, I've learned a few things from this experience, so here's a quick summary.

1. Cod
For picky palattes that aren't used to eating fish regularly, cod is a great substitute for land-animal meat. You see cod everywhere at fast food restaurants, but it's usually breaded and fried. Recently, Carl Jr.'s & Hardees came out with a charbroiled cod sandwich. I haven't tried it, but this makes me SO HAPPY. When was the last time you saw a fish sandwich that wasn't breaded and fried?? I hope this sort of thing becomes a trend at restaurants, because while fast food shouldn't be your primary source of nutrition, giving people healthier options is a wonderful step toward getting the public past their fear of healthy food. I've heard all sorts of excuses from people about how they can't eat fish because it tastes too "fishy" (o_O), about how it's too expensive, about how they just can't prepare it right. Well, cod is one of those fish meats that's hard to screw up. I have a really easy way of going about it. Salt.. pepper.. frying pan. Bam. Done. I wish I could grill it, but we're saving up for a new grill. Until then, it's some olive oil in a pan. Eat that fish with a little tartar sauce and a side of broccoli or green beans or anything green, really. Brusselssprouts. My husband's favorite side-dish is caramalized onions with Old Bay seasoning. So easy! So delicious! So low-carb and low calorie! Never fails.

2. Tofu
I've had some hits and misses where tofu is concerned. Actual plain tofu (I got the firm type) was fairly easy for me to cook, and I enjoyed it. I made a simple salt & pepper fried tofu, where I salt/pepper both sides and fry it in olive oil. I added it to a broccoli stir fry and it was fine! No probs! Now, tofu "meat" products. Uhhhh... the hot dogs weren't great. I ate them because I was having some friends over and I needed a vegetarian substitute for the sausages/turkey sandwiches we were serving. The texture was something like... rubber and playdough. I was not a fan. I'll probably make the salt and pepper tofu again, but I'm leaving the soy dogs alone.

3. Beans
Beans take a while to prepare. You have to soak them (because we do things right in Robot House!), and you have to cook them a while in some spices and broth to make them more than just beans. Having a dad who's central American, I grew up on beans. My parents made beans at least twice a week and we always had some in the fridge. They would usually cook them with a pork bone, or ox tail, or some chicken parts thrown in there with a bunch of random vegetables. My mom wasn't big on dicing, so she'd just throw big chunks of whatever into the pot and let it cook ten or twelve hours. That was a regular meal at my house, so doing it vegetarian style at home wasn't too hard. My only issue is that the husband isn't too keen on bean soup, so I'm gonna have to omit this one. It didn't feel right without the pork bone, anyway. Also, let me clear up any rumors.. Central Americans don't have the same reaction that most Caucasians do when it comes to beans. Likely, we've evolved a way to process them so we don't get all gross, so no, there's no horrible gas coming from Robot House.

So far, I've had mostly seafood as protein. Can you believe I haven't had canned tuna, yet? I understand the threat of mercury, but I just haven't gotten around to it. When I do, it will be with this recipe!
Tuna Salad
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. small capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 can (6 oz.) light tuna packed in olive oil, drained
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

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