Monday, April 19, 2010

Meatless For 40 Days

Yesterday I signed up with our Fellowship's 40/40/40 challenge. We are taking 40 days around Earth Day to make a small change in our lives that benefits the planet and I chose to forgo meat for that time.

I hope that this challenge will encourage me to eat more mindfully. At every meal I have to make the decision to eat foods other than meat. I will have to really think about what I am eating, what it really is, and where it comes from. I have tried to do this before, but I hope that signing up and being accountable with encourage me to stick with it. I have restricted, but not eliminated, meat in my diet in the past, but difficulties in feeling a family and the lure of bacon always had me backsliding. I will still eat dairy and eggs and some wild-caught fish; a vegan diet just seems to great a switch to make all at once.

The children are not at all excited about this. Their diet is not restricted, except that I'm sure I'll be cooking a lot less meat, but they can have it at school or when I am not home. Still, not fans.

I also like the idea of pursuing a Lenten-type path for 40 days to see what benefits might be there. Evangelicals don't practice Lent so it was never part of my childhood. I was intrigued this year by the growth people found in a Lenten fast, but I didn't want to add another Christian-based observance to my calendar. I'll keep you all posted as to how that goes.

Suggestions from meat-free folks out there are more than welcome. One note though, I want to avoid fake food. I would much rather eat beans than tofu hot dogs or the like. Tofu is fine as tofu. I only have a handful of vegetarian dishes that I make so I would love to learn some others so that this 40 days doesn't end up feeling like 4 months.


  1. As you may know, there are lots of internet sites with vegetarian recipes. If you Google "vegetarian recipes" and the ingredient(s) that you want to try, you'll probably see many choices.

    Our favorite cookbook authors are Robin Robertson and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. (BTW, the latter got her start by giving vegetarian cooking classes at First Unitarian Church of Oakland.)

  2. I find the fasting recipes from Orthodox Christian-heavy cultures (Russian, Greek and Ethiopian to name three) are often very delicious -- and very often fully vegan besides. The web is full of them.

  3. Thanks to both of you. I would never have thought of trying Russian or Ethiopian recipes, Scott.

    Even the kids liked tonight's lentil & veggie stew so that was a bonus.

  4. If I am stuck, I try Lots of good recipes. Indian & Thai food are great for vegggie ideas. My favorite cookbook authors are Isa Chandra Moskowitz (her recipes never fail), Dreena Burton and Deborah Madison. Good luck! I find it is actually pretty easy to go vegetarian (vegan has been harder for me...). It is also very hard not to give in to all the yummy vegan treats out there ;-)Love the tofutti cuties!

  5. I'm a big pasta fan... lots you can do with red sauce and pasta, just don't add meat to it. I am going to try to make lasagna with fresh spinach tonight! (spelt grain noodles, Muir Glen pasta sauce in a jar w/no sugar or strange additives,fresh mushrooms, good cheeses - yum!)