I became a vegetarian last week. This has been coming for a while now, but not for the reasons I ever would have thought. I don't mean to sound completely callous, but the idea of eating meat because of animals hasn't ever bothered me as much as it should (oh look, I'm probably a psychopath- and I just had to look up the difference between psychopath and sociopath and it turns out there isn't one! now you've learned something today!). The thing that was really bugging me about poultry and red meat was the texture. And the flavor. It just doesn't appeal to me anymore so I haven't been eating it. Meanwhile I've had to find other protein sources to substitute, and that part has been sort of fun.
There's a woman at work who keeps chickens and sells eggs for an amazing price (not even $1.50 for a dozen), so I've been eating more eggs. I've also been eating more beans and veggies in general. I've had fun experimenting with flavors and so far I haven't missed meat at all. Now I might have to cave when it comes to bacon, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. My friend (another Heather) and I were giggling at the snootiness of "Ovo-lacto-pescatarian" because that is one OBNOXIOUS title. So I guess I'll just say I'm not eating meat or poultry. Not that anyone has noticed- it's not something I feel should be a big deal because I'm not doing it to make a point or support big lofty planet-saving ideas. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, but I'd feel like I'd have to take a political stance about my eating habits. And I just like to eat.
In honor of my week of going veggie, here's a really terrific fish recipe I've made twice now. I think it probably started with a recipe in my boyfriend Mark Bittman's book "Kitchen Express", but I've tweaked it a bit.
You will need:
A couple of pieces of white fish- I used cod
Start your fish cooking in a hot pan with olive oil- until it's brown on both sides. While it's cooking, zest your orange and lemon (not a ton of zest- maybe 1/2 teaspoon or so?) and then juice them (you'll need about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of juice). Add to the juice a good grating of fresh ginger (I keep mine frozen so it keeps forever and that makes the grating easier), and a clove or so of roughly chopped garlic. Shake in a good amount of soy sauce- maybe 2 tablespoons? (You can tell this is soooooo exact, right?) Then dump that over the fish, put a lid on your pan, and cook it for 5 or 6 minutes until the fish is done. When I make it this way in a small frying pan the juice reduces to a sauce and it is AMAZING.
It's going to be interesting to see how long I hold out on the vegetarian thing. So far it's been a breeze- it's probably much easier to do when you don't like meat in the first place. Like those people who loftily say, "Oh, I don't like sweets." And I look at them like they have 3 heads because WHO REALLY FEELS THAT WAY? I'm becoming the enemy.