Let's pretend you want to stop eating meat

If you would just stop that silly screaming I would explain that I only want to share a delicious recipe. See, I have nothing against the death of another living creature so I may roast, boil, fry it, and eat it. When I was six years old I had a pet chicken (the sort that you get at a county fair when it’s a tiny baby chick) I’d play with sometimes, after returning from school. One day my beloved chicken was nowhere to be found, and coincidentally I happened to wonder where he was while observing that my mother had deposited a plate of chicken stew before me.

She casually mentioned the chicken had flown south to seek adventure. I looked at my mother and knew she was lying. I knew the golden pieces of flesh in that bowl were parts of my pet. I shrugged, allowed her to think she had fooled me, and ate my meal. My pet was yummy. At that age I understood that baby chick was no longer the little creature that my father had bought me months ago when I oooh’d and aaah’d over its cage as it chirped. The large chicken had entered the food classification.

Yet I cannot, and will not eat squid. I simply refuse to devour an animal I admire.

About a decade ago, I was a vegetarian for a year, and I quite enjoyed it back then. I’m thinking about repeating the experience, because I’m reaching meat-related boredom, and because I’m not liking what I’m reading and finding out on the Internet about the way our food is treated before it dies. I’m not only referring to animal cruelty, but the hormones and antibiotics and soylent green-like feed. I’m not the only one I cook for, so there’s a serious level of responsibility there as well.

Here’s a recipe I like for

Stuffed Ancho Chiles

Ingredients

  • Ancho chiles
  • 1 jar of Newman’s Own salsa, the Cilantro one is best
  • A block of Monterrey Pepper Jack cheese

Preparation

When I looked into the procedure of cooking the chiles, I found that most recipes indicate they must soak for a number of hours, or overnight. I had no time for such foolishness, so I was glad to spot a recipe with shortened steps. I only had to boil water and 1/4 cup vinegar with bay leaves, marjoram, and thyme to taste, and soak the chiles in the water (after removing it from the burner) for fifteen minutes.

I believe the reason for soaking the chiles is to soften them, but I don’t mind the harder texture at all. It’s the flavor that makes them delicious.

So I did the above, and once that was done I halved the chiles, and removed the seeds. Now I had six halves, and I had no idea what I was going to put in them, so I looked in my fridge and saw some leftover Newman’s Own salsa, cilantro flavor, and I spooned a couple of tablespoons in each chile half.

I grated about half a block of pepper jack cheese and placed it in lovely mounds over the chiles.

I created a foil tent over the baking dish (I like pyrex for this) and inserted it into a 350° oven for 35-45 minutes. By then the cheese was deliciously melted. I ate mine with rice.

And some meat. 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Let's pretend you want to stop eating meat

  1. I just don’t know what to do about vegetarianism. I try to be conscious of the planet, energy consumption, other living creatures… but holy boots, do I love meat.

    I gave up meat for a month, as best I could. I didn’t drill down and read ingredient listings, but I did avoid obvious chunks of animal flesh in any form. That was a very difficult month, between my cravings and my mother’s dismissal of my concerns: “You’ve gone two weeks without meat. That’s pretty good. Let’s celebrate with a pepperoni pizza.” And at the end of that month, there was a small period where meat actually turned my stomach, but I got better.

    I used to have weekly grilling nights, too. My friends would bring over various grillables and food experiments, and we’d grill it all up. One weekend I announced we would be doing a vegetarian experiment and people threatened to not show up. Regardless, I served marinated portobello caps on toasted kaiser roll, with a roasted red pepper mayonnaise I made myself, with grilled pears brushed with wine. One woman said she would fellate me weekly for the rest of my life if I made dinners like this for her, but it turned out she was all talk.

    Touring Asia presented the concept of meat as a seasoning rather than a main dish, which I’m now trying to adopt. Not trying very hard, but I bear it in mind. Sometimes we skip meat for a meal (hell, some days I forget to eat entirely), but I’m a long way from giving it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t eliminated meat from my diet after that year’s experience, but I did greatly reduce my intake of it. I certainly don’t eat it every day, but I love a good steak.

      Your grilling nights sound fun. Your portobello burgers sound amazing! I really enjoy those when I get to have someone prepare them for me. I’ve never fixed them for myself.

      I’ll tell you something peculiar that’s been happening: ever since I eliminated refined sugars from my diet, I’ve been craving flesh something fierce. One day I had three different kinds of meat on my plate. I felt quite the savage. The craving has subsided a bit now, but if anyone suggested I stop eating meat right now, I’d probably bite off their head. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • How interesting! I remember a friend who gave up meat, her mother made her start eating it again because she became increasingly ill-tempered. It actually calmed her down… and I’ve felt the same thing, even with a simple hamburger (of course, nothing can ever be simple for me).

        What was it that prompted you to quit refined sugars? We tried giving up carbs for a while (all that walking and fresh food in Asia slimmed us down, but we gained it all back upon returning to the States), and of course that’s when all the free pizza and bagels turn up in the office, but one can’t argue with the results. But to give up sugars and end up craving meat… someone’s got to know something about that. I can’t riddle it out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m trying different things, and observing the results, if any. Nothing medically required, but I’m interested in seeing if “anything” happens. So far I’m not missing it at all, but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth anyway.

          Mmm, free pizza! That’s worth gaining a few pounds, no? Did you know that when I was in school in South America, if a girl was too skinny, the parents sent her to the States during the entire summer break, just so she would gain weight. All she had to do was eat whatever her relatives here ate normally, and she would go back down there a few pounds heavier, recounting in wondrous stories all manner of candies to which she was exposed. That’s when I first heard a description of candy corn, and I thought it sounded disgusting. I’m still revolted by those little shapes.

          I don’t know why I’m craving meat, but it seems there must be some nutritionally based reason behind it. Maybe I need extra B12.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’d never heard of any such thing… that’s… I wish I could say it’s cynical of them, but they’re taking full stock of what the States have to offer. We kind of have a reputation for too much selection, too much convenience, and favoring independence over responsibility.

            When we toured a Hmong village in Lao PDR, we encountered kind of the same thing. Our tour guide said that a cousin of his who lived in the US now returned to his country to visit her family. He stressed that the Hmong people are typically hardy, strong, with great endurance, so it was a shock to see the US cousin unable to lift much and unable to walk down the street without getting winded. In one expression, he laughed at the States and registered something worse than disappointment in his cousin, while marveling at the whole situation.

            As for candy corn… it’s just honey, originally, isn’t it? I know I have strange tastes (I love circus peanuts, for example, even though I generally hate marshmallow-flavored confections, but not genuine marshmallows per se), but candy corn was always a treat for me. If you mix them with salted peanuts, they taste like a Pearson’s Nut Roll, but I think those are a strictly Midwest-only treat.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I wouldn’t have expected you to hear of it, as I’ve always viewed it as a very localized social response. Now I’m sure I wouldn’t see parents wanting to fatten up their kids, and sending them off to a foreign country to do so. There were clear dietary differences, as down there we consumed a lot of legumes, vegetables, fresh dairy, etc., and we had no fast food- wait, there was one Burger King in my city, but we seldom ate there.

              I had no idea candy corn was honey. I’ve always loved honey, and that one time I tasted one, it didn’t taste like honey to me. Maybe I didn’t keep it in my mouth long enough. 🙂 I did try to eat one of those nut rolls once! I remember it because it was such a traumatic experience, hahah! I really didn’t like the taste.

              I will deny it if interrogated, but once every few years I do like to eat a Twix. Yum!

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m not one to judge a guilty pleasure. All child slave labor and palm deforestation aside (to say nothing of those poor orangutan communities in Kalimantan), once in a while I’ll indulge in a Kit-Kat. I tell myself, “We’re all about to die anyway,” and I have a quiet moment in which I truly savor all aspects of this little bar. Then I put on a hair shirt and flog myself into unconsciousness.

                Liked by 1 person

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