As much as I have enjoyed meat in the past, especially a grilled steak, I have grown tired of it - just about all of it. The thought of eating chicken makes me want to...you know... We have eaten so much chicken lately that I can not stand the taste of it anymore, or at least right now. So, a few weeks ago, I asked Rennie if he would try a week without meat. He was game, so we did. Now, I have no desire for meat - maybe the occasional fish, but nothing from the farm (so to speak). I certainly cannot promise that I may not have some meat from time to time, but for now, I am having fun cooking veggies. We are beginning our fourth week now without meat and I am really liking it!
While talking with several of my students this week, I found out that this way of eating (or lifestyle) is called Pescatarian. The definition is: "A word to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh (the word "flesh" here sounds gross to me - did they have to use flesh??) with the exception of fish." Although the word is not commonly used as a pescatarian, it is not technically a vegetarian. Pescetarians believe that moderate consumption of fish or fish oils, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, is necessary for optimum health, although some alternatives are available such as flax seed oil. Although I am eating somewhat like a pescetarian, I don't really feel like I qualify to be called that name yet...it's only been three weeks. Who needs a label anyway?
With the addition of more and more veggies in my diet, I have researched tons of vegetable recipes. I easily tire of the same old thing, cooked the same old way, over and over again. Pinterest has been a great resource of course! I also want to begin to make my own fresh pasta, make dishes using Quinoa, and making breads using different grains and oatmeal. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy this, but I am! I am actually feeling a bit healthier and am not so tired after each meal.
One of my favorite vegetables right now are Brussels Sprouts. Years ago when visiting my good friend, Robin, in Greenville, South Carolina, she prepared the best oven roasted Brussels Sprouts I have ever had. Since then, that is how I fix them. I think the secret is the cast iron pan. The original recipe calls for a few slices of bacon, which I still use. I enjoy the bacon flavor and there is so little of it, I justify it being in the recipe (even though I can't make myself think of it as "flesh"). I have included the recipe just in case you want to try it.
Roasted Brussels SproutsFresh Brussels Sprouts (these are my favorite) or 1 bag of frozen Brussels Sprouts (We usually purchase two packages and cook both at one time)
1 Onion chopped
2-3 Slices of bacon cut into small pieces (obviously omit if you are a vegetarian or vegan)
1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. If using fresh Brussels Sprouts, wash and trim the ends off. Cut them in half. If using frozen Brussels Spouts, do not pre-cook them, but cut them in half and place in a bowl to the side. Cut the onion and bacon into small pieces. Using a cast iron pan or an oven proof frying pan, heat the oil on medium high. Add the bacon and fry until crispy, then add the onions and saute until soft and have a bit of color on them. Add the Brussels Sprouts, stirring them to coat them with the onion and bacon. Cook on the stove top for a few minutes. Place the pan into the oven and roast the vegetables for approximately 25-30 minutes. Check them midway and give them a stir. Servings 3-4 (but if you use them for a main dish as we do, then it is just enough for two people. Serve hot. Enjoy!
Until next time... ~Pamela