Protein?

Well, it’s become pretty clear that being a vegetarian doesn’t automatically translate into eating healthy. For example, there isn’t any meat in beer and cheese pizza, thank God. Who knew? I can already tell that this sort of eating is going to go into stages, from the absence of meat to carb loading to something else resembling more of a diet, which I hate. I sure do love carbs as much as I love meat.

With that being said, my biggest cause for concern is how to supplement my loss of protein intake. I’ve heard that stuff is pretty important. For now, I’m adding protein to my morning shakes and trying to add as much dairy to my diet as possible, but I’m going to need more throughout the day. More importantly, I suppose, is where will I find it out at restaurants? It looks as if my main sources of vegetarian protein are in beans and soy products like tofu. Yummy. . .

Any other ideas?

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6 responses to “Protein?

  1. James, James, James… I can see this blog being a real distraction from work (thank you) and really cracking me up!! (Love the name already, haha!) Anyways, I was a vegetarian for a while a few years back, but being smack dab in the middle of a Sicilian family while trying to do so, wasn’t making it easy. Today, with the exception of some seafood and grilled chicken, I predominantly live off of fruits, grains, and veggies (I’ve cut red meat and pork almost entirely out of my diet-except for the occasional Reason sandwich from Slows *drools*). I had to alter my diet mainly because of the health reasons, but I also cut out a lot of meat because I, like your beautiful wife, adore animals. I always try and get cage and cruelty free meats when I do need to grill up some foods, so if you decide to turn back to meats, I would recommend this option simply because the animals will have had a nice life, and most of those meats are hormone and chemical free. Anyways, the next time you are in town, you two will need to come over and I will cook you an amazing, meat-free dinner 🙂 I have a delicious spicy tofu recipe or I can always cook up some pasta with fresh veggies 🙂 I also make a mean grilled veggie sandwich, veggie and cranberry quesadillas, and fried rice. I dont expect you to enjoy this endeavor one iota, but, at the very least, you’ll discover some new, interesting and tasty recipes out of it 🙂

    Good luck soldier!

    Katie 🙂

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    • Well Katie, you’re absolutely right. I am not enjoying this is at all. I cooked at an Italian restaurant on-and-off for almost a decade, and as we speak I’m rifling through my fridge and finding nothing but a pile of veggies that even my experience as a cook and overactive imagination cannot transform into something that sounds even remotely appetizing. The more I look, the more I’m thinking about taking you up on your spicy tofu immediately. I can’t believe I just said that… I’m learning more about myself daily.

      Thank you for your input and your recipes. I look forward to giving them a shot. In the meantime, be sure to spread the word about the Bitter Vegetarian. I know that I’m fresh out of the gate here, but it would be great to have more support from others like you!

      -JC

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      • You’re most welcome, and I’ll post your link to my facebook to share with my friends 🙂 If all you have is veggies in your fridge now, then I’ll give you my delicious recipe for grilled veggie sandwiches that I invented a few years ago. Normally this recipe is top secret, but I can see you’re in need, so I’ll pass it on. These sandwiches are super filling, very healthy and really surprisingly tasty (I cooked them once for Matt and he fell in love and always wants to make them now).

        Serving: 1

        Ingredients:
        2 slices of whole wheat or seven-grain bread
        1/2 a small zucchini, sliced
        1/2 a small yellow squash, sliced
        1/2 red or white onion, sliced
        1 red pepper, sliced into 1-inch sections
        4 small mushrooms, cut in half
        2 stalks of asparagus, cut into thirds
        (honestly you can use whatever veggies you like, these are just my go-to staples)
        mixed greens
        1 tablespoon of hummus
        1 tablespoon of reduced fat garden veggie cream cheese (I typically get the shmear from Einstein Bro’s)

        Spray a grill with non-stick spray or lightly grease with olive oil, and turn the temperature to medium-high. Place mixed veggies on grill and cook for approximately 10 minutes (turning over once) or until veggies are tender (not soggy) and have nice grill marks. Meanwhile, toast your bread. Once the bread is toasted, put 1 tablespoon of hummus on one slice of bread, and put 1 tablespoon garden veggie cream cheese on the other. Place the mixed greens on the hummus topped slice of bread. When your veggies are done, remove them from the grill and pile them on the mixed greens. Once you’re done adding as many veggies as you like, top with the veggie cream cheese slice of bread. Cut in half. Enjoy!

        The result is a filling, warm sandwich filled with yummy veggies. I cant wait to cook a veggie dinner for you and Kate! I’m gonna try my spicy tofu recipe in the next week or so, if it’s successful, which I’m hoping it is, I’ll let you know! Either way, you and Kate should come by the new place and I’ll cook a fantastic dinner. I’m Sicilian, I live for feeding others! 🙂

        Cheers,
        Katie

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  2. This is a recipe I’m stoked to make (just waiting for my avocados to ripen a bit more)

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Avocado-Salad-with-Peaches-366729?mbid=rss_epinr&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+newrecipes+%28Epicurious+-+New+Recipes%29&utm_content=Google+International

    You can add more protein to this by using spinach instead of arugula or a mix. Also remember, protein is a necessity for sure, but dont discard carbs or healthy fats. Things like pastas, breads, nuts and avocados are all very important to a healthy diet. Protein burns fast, especially when you’re not getting it from the sources you used to, so healthy carbs and omegas are crucial too 🙂 I also have a fantastic meat-less taco soup recipe. It’s simple, filling and tasty and PACKED with protein if you want it 🙂

    Unfortunately, cutting out meat does cut out a lot of protein, and you may have to turn to vitamins to help, but, you can also sneak protein into veggie dishes and still make them taste good. For example, one of my fav summers lunches is a watermelon, spinach and feta salad. It’s so tasty, you dont even need dressing! Here’s all you have to do: (I just eyeball it depending on how hungry I am)

    1. Cut watermelon into chunks
    2. Clean and dry spinach. Tear into smaller pieces if you have larger leaves, but leaving them whole is fine too
    3. Mix them together in a bowl (spinach and watermelon should be about 50/50)
    4. Crumble feta on top of mixed spinach and watermelon and mix all together.

    If you let it sit for a while (15 minutes or longer), the feta and juice from the watermelon will mix and it’s so tasty and refreshing you wont need to add a dressing 🙂

    Good luck James!! (p.s. thank you for successfully distracting me from work for 45 minutes, haha!)

    Katie 🙂

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