I'm newish to vegetarianism. I had actually tried the diet briefly once before. Honestly, I don't find it a very hard thing to do. Vegan would be harder - and perhaps one day I'll go that route there are still issues I'm contemplating. But for now I'm a vegetarian and its really, to me, not nearly as bad as most carnivores, like I used to be, think it is, and I knew it wouldn't be. This is because with very few excpetions meat REALLY isn't all that great. All ethics aside, meat, as a food, is just ok. It is what you cook it in that you really crave. Its the steak sauce more so than the steak, essentially. So form my perspective, not a big sacrifice. I'm even finding some of my favorite foods, like burritos, are better without it.
Now one thing I do miss already is Chilli, and i need to let my ego self gloat a bit - my chilli is famous. Its complimented constantly and whats more is even legitimately award winning. The funny thing is there are just three base componets to it:
- Tomato Sauce
- Pinto Beans
- Ground Beef
Everything else is in how I season it, using powders and sauces only. I do not work with whole vegetables in my chilli. I think a lot of people are surprised to discover this is actually why they like it so much. Vegetables like onions and bell peppers I don't ever use in a dish where they are to be combined with other headliners, they are over powering. A little onion powder, but never the texture and overpowering flavor of a chopped onion.
Now... One trick I tell people who are thinking about being veg is your better off spending most of your time NOT eating meat substitutes. You'll enjoy the diet more if you generally forget about meat and enjoy what the other food groups have to offer in their own right. When you do do it, go into the black bean burger expecting to eat a black bean burger, not a hamburger, and you won't be disappointed.
That said I need a meat substitute - baring in mind my commentary on full vegetables in the chilli, and would like some advice on what you think would be my best bet for keeping my formula in tact without using meat.
Looking forward to your suggestions!