Since I am back on my low-salt, low-fat intake and I am now in maintenance medication for hypertension, I kinda veered away from meat and have been digging vegetarian dishes. I find the vegetarian lifestyle rewarding and cool at the same time. Rewarding because believe it or not, I do feel a “difference” when I eat meatless dishes as compared to when I [savagely] devour pork, beef, chicken with all the fat. But I still drool. In this case, it is very difficult. I love to cook and I miss meat…and the flavor of fat. One time, my office mates bought tons and tons of chicharon (deep-fried, popped pork skin with meat) and the smell of it just made me want to die. I have to be contented with the smell…and sight of seeing them dip the chicharon in vinegar with garlic and chili. (wipes drool).
Another challenge is preparing meals every morning and cooking two dishes every weekend. I bring lunch to office because the cafeteria is not friendly to vegetarians and those who are watching their weight and cholesterol levels. Although I miss their binagoongang baboy with all the fat and oil (uuuggghhh). Weekends also mean an extra effort since my mom and H and the help love my cooking. So I end up cooking for them and preparing a separate meal for myself. Just like this one.
I took a can of red kidney beans, a small can of mushrooms, a can of pimientos, and 4 cups of white corn kernels, divided them into two and prepared chili con carne for my mom and a low fat, no salt, no meat dish. One time, I prepared afritadang baboy and I had roasted chicken caesar salad with wheat fusilli ala pomodoro. It is difficult to watch others savor the fat and oil and patis goodness.
However, it pays to know how to cook and bring in lots of different flavors to breathe new life to vegetable dishes. Knowledge about herbs and spices turn boring vegetable dishes into yummy feasts. It is true what they say: you can still enjoy food, be healthy, but not lose the gastronomic excitement that different flavors bring. Hence, I am slowly evolving from “getting used to” into “loving” being semi-vegetarian and I am looking forward to the day that i will be 100% vegetarian.
To all my readers, don’t worry. I will still share recipes…both meat-based with all the yummy goodness of salt and fat (tee-hee) and semi-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes.
Cheers to a spiced up [vegetarian] life! Visit my food blog: aspiceduplife.wordpress.com
Good luck, Jerome… how goes the new lifestyle? vegetarian… wow!!! Waiting for your next update…