Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Life on Lansill - Please pass the veggies, part 2, AKA Faux Meat

We are so far, so good on the whole "Allie becoming a vegetarian thing."  We have hit a few milestones this past week.  Let's just call them the "faux meat milestones". 

On Thursday evening, we decided to grill outdoors.  It was the first grill of the season for the Kentucky  Moncks, and the two males in our family were happy to get out on the patio and utilize the propane induced device.  Earlier in the day I researched how to make homemade veggie burgers, knowing our Allie would need something to satisfy her want of dinner.  I found this recipe:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Veggie-Burgers/Detail.aspx, which turned out to be pretty good.  I, as well as Allie enjoyed a veggie burger on Thursday night. 

On Friday evening, we went out to dinner in celebration of Chip's birthday.  The restaurant's menu included a veggie burger, so that's what Allie decided upon.  There were other options, including a veggie plate, but I think she really wanted to try out the restaurant version of faux meat.  Well, when our meals arrived, the waitress set down a burger plate which included a ground beef patty.  Not what Allie ordered.  Allie's first thought, not wanting to displease, was to eat the fries only, and not ask for a replacement burger.  We quickly talked her into sending the plate back.  Soon she received her original order - what I believe to be a Boca burger patty on a bun.  Allie enjoyed it also, bringing half of it home for lunch on Saturday.  She mentioned she liked our homemade version better (much to my satisfaction, of course!).

Tonight Jamie (our carnivorous 15 year old son, who is also our resident gourmet chef) made veggie chorizo burritos for himself, Allie and I.  He wasn't real thrilled about the product beforehand, actually he was skeptical, but he ate two (rather large) burritos filled with the chorizo, eggs, potatoes and cheese.  Granted, I've taught him you can put about anything in a tortilla and enjoy it - that comes from growing up on the border.  Allie ate one full serving, as did I.  So, this made a total of three faux meat experiences in the last week.  Three fairly successful faux meat experiences. 

I've almost finished reading "Fast Food Nation."  Quite informative, and more than a bit frightening!  We've recorded Jamie Oliver's show http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution.  I planted a blueberry bush on Sunday (please send suggestions if you've ever done this!).  We'll soon be planting our two vegetable gardens.  We are buying much more organic food.  Allie and I made homemade granola last night (does that mean we're Granola People???).  And I realize that THINKING about what you're going to eat takes a lot of effort!  We weren't terribly horrible eaters before.  We weren't one of those everyday through the fast food drive through families.  But, good grief, if you truly are what you eat - and you are - we weren't doing a fabulous job.  I don't want my kids to drink.  I definitely don't want them to do drugs.  But I also don't want them to be unhealthy because of the garbage they eat. 

So once again, congrats to The Albear (our affectionate name for our girl child) for keeping up her commitment to be meat free.  And for trying new things.  Even when it's not easy. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life on Lansill - Please pass the veggies

Allie, our 11 year old daughter has decided to become a vegetarian.  We recently watched "Food, Inc." http://www.foodincmovie.com/ as a family.  This film shows how terribly animals in our food supply are treated.  Allie is an animal lover.  It bothers her to think an animal suffered before becoming her dinner.  So, she's made the change.  No more meat.

A few people have asked me if she's now a vegan.  The answer is no.  She continues to eat eggs and cheese, and enjoys other dairy products. So far she's fine and hasn't looked back.

The other three of us are still carnivorous.  We have made, and continue to make changes.  We are more careful about what we buy and are striving to eat more organic, leaving behind the processed.  I believe last week we ate three meat free meals.  We are fortunate to receive a good portion of beef from my parents, who live in Oklahoma.  My dad's cousin sells them beef from cows he raises - grass fed on the range. 

I think I could go meat free.  Husband Chip is happy being careful about his diet.  Fifteen year old son Jamie doesn't have the desire to live meat free.  I think if I could document that Jack White http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_White_%28musician%29, Jack Bauer and Dwight Schrute (Jamie's heroes, and yes, I realize 2 are mere fictional characters, but hey, he's 15) are all vegetarian, he might consider taking the plunge. 

I'm reading "Fast Food Nation" http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Food-Nation-Dark-All-American/dp/0060938455, at the suggestion of a vegetarian friend.  I've come to see an entire industry differently.  I wonder what our society would be like without McDonald's and the like?  Obviously healthier, and we'd waste less gas if we didn't wait in drive through lines.  Not to mention time.  And money.  And I could go on and on about labor, greedy corporations, etc.

I think my biggest concern about Allie becoming a vegetarian is school lunch.  Her vegetarian school cafeteria options are a peanut butter Uncrustable, or sometimes a salad.  She can also eat the meal minus the entree, although that doesn't leave a lovely plate of fruit and vegetables.  Today she chose the salad option, but had to remove deli meat from the top (slimy & gross!).  Aren't there more vegetarian kids out there?  I try to get her to take her lunch, but she dreads one more thing to carry.  Her book filled backpack weighs a ton and her locker doesn't accommodate much.  Excuses, I know, and we might have to push past them. 

I checked out two library books of vegetarian recipes yesterday.  So far, so good with all this.  We're proud of Allie.  She's made a good decision.  We realize she's eleven, and might change her mind back.  She might binge on a pepperoni pizza at a friend's house next month.  But, we give her grace and we applaud her convictions.  I surprised her with a bouquet of sunflowers last week, as opposed to a candy bar or some other unhealthy food treat.  We're starting to think about our garden plots for the Spring.  We're THINKING, not just eating, not just grocery shopping.  We hoping it makes a difference.