Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New 52 | Week 22: Meatless Week

I'm sure some of you saw on Facebook last week my postings about "Meatless Week". Now you get to find out what it was about! When I embarked on this "New 52" journey at the beginning of the year, I already had Meatless Week in mind. As far as I know and remember, I've never not eaten meat for a whole week. So I put it on my New 52 list as something new to try. I have nothing against meat. In fact, I love meat. But I wanted to see if I can not eat meat for a week, and also see how my body felt, and how I would deal with eating out.

I told my friend Meera about my Meatless Week idea at our girls breakfast a few weeks ago, and she heartily decided to join in. In fact, she wanted to call it "Mid-May Meatless Mania", LOL!  Last Monday she called me and said, "How's meatless week going?". That cracked me up! It was only Monday! She told me that her husband AJ was not really on board with meatless week. But she's the one making dinner every day, so she basically said "we're doing this", ha ha! Todd was not totally on board either, so I told him that he could eat meat at lunch if he wanted to, as long he wasn't eating meat in front of me. :p

So here were my meals. Some things I ate twice, if there were leftovers. I won't talk about breakfasts because I usually don't eat meat during breakfast anyways. I actually started with Sunday (5/22) night dinner.

Sunday 5/22 dinner: Anne's edamame, corn, and potato chowder. (She made this for Soup Club exchange.)
Monday 5/23 lunch: same soup, leftovers brought to work.  This was tasty!  Thanks Anne!

Monday 5/23 dinner: Bob Harper's Veggie Stir Fry - you know him from The Biggest Loser. I saw him make this on the Rachel Ray show and filed it away for Meatless Week. Here's the in-process.

And the final product for dinner.

I have to say I didn't love this dish. The flavors were lacking. This was the FIRST time I've ever eaten quinoa and tempeh, and I'm not a big fan of either. I love tofu, but the tempeh had strange textures and was tasteless. We just boiled the quinoa in water and ate it with the stir fry like rice. I've since learned from my friends on Facebook that there are better and more flavorful ways to cook quinoa. I may give it a try, but not any time soon! :p

Tuesday 5/24 lunch:  ate out at Stir Fresh with my friend Erecca from work.

I wasn't sure if we should go to Stir Fresh, because I liked being able to pick out the meat there and watch them grill it. But after some thought, I know I love tofu and they have that there, so I went for it. My meatless concoction turned out absolutely DELICIOUS. I would totally eat this again!

Tuesday 5/24 dinner: Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes from The Pioneer Woman. Peppermint had raved about this dish to me before, so I filed it under Meatless Week to make this.

In process:

And the final product for dinner.

I liked this dish, it was tasty. But it's not healthy because of the heavy use of butter and heavy cream. My stomach protested a little. Not sure if I'll make it again.

Wednesday 5/25 lunch: leftover Spaghetti with Artichoke and Tomatoes.

Wednesday 5/25 dinner: ate out at Souplantation with Todd, before Jane Lui concert at Belly Up.

It was pretty easy to avoid meat at Souplantation... I noticed that the stuff I usually ate there doesn't have meat anyways.

Thursday 5/26 lunch: Bob Harper's Veggie Stir Fry leftovers + a salad from the cafeteria.

I put some hot sauce in there and it was more palatable.

Thursday 5/26 dinner: ate out at Veg-N-Out, a vegetarian "burger" place. I had read about this place a few months ago and wanted to try it. I had the Italian "Burger" with sundried tomatoes and mozzerella cheese.

I have to admit that I wasn't a big fan of this. I mean, it tasted just okay, it was not heinous or anything. But to call it a "burger" is just wrong. I would never think that this could be a viable replacement to an actual beef burger. In short, I was not fooled! Not only that, the potato wedges that came with it were totally tasteless. If you're a vegetarian place, you better know how to serve up potatoes that aren't tasteless!

Friday 5/27 breakfast: this was a special breakfast out at Original Pancake House, because we took Friday off. So I'm including this breakfast! Chocolate chip pancakes were awesome!

Friday 5/27 lunch: The Lone Star tofu sandwich at Jimbo's Naturally (the grocery store). This sandwich came highly recommended by our friend Maria. Todd had it with Maria and Shannon for lunch a couple of weeks ago and loved it.

I must say that this Lone Star sandwich is a HUGE winner!  I would eat this tasty and flavorful tofu sandwich ANY TIME, in place of a meat sandwich.  It really was THAT good!

Friday 5/27 dinner: sesame noodles with kale (a recipe that my friend Mary shared on Facebook a while back.)

These were awesome with some spicy sriracha sauce! Pretty tasty!

Saturday 5/28 lunch: leftover sesame noodles with kale (see above).

Saturday 5/28 dinner: salad + artichoke pizza from Bongiornos, after running.

Sunday 5/29 lunch: bean and cheese burrito from Alibertos.

Thus concluded my Meatless Week! Some things I learned during Meatless Week:
  • I didn't miss meat that much, but I did feel more hungry during the week.  Not sure if it was psychological or not.
  • I didn't plan the protein too well.  If I did this again, I would try to incorporate more protein in.
  • It was pretty easy to eat out and be meatless.  But I'm sure vegan would be a whole different matter.
  • I love tofu and mock meats.  If I could eat those all the time, or eat Asian meatless food, I could probably be a meatless person permanently.
  • Being meatless is not necessarily healthier, and you probably won't lose weight.  If anything, I ate more fat to make up for feeling hungry.  
  • Quinoa and tempeh are not my friends.
About This Project

New52 is a project started by Peppermint and I to encourage each other and others around us to try something new every week in 2011. The "new" each week doesn't have to be something big. It could be something as simple as ordering a new dish instead of old standbys at your favorite restaurant. It's simply opening your heart up to NEW possibilities.

Don't worry if you're late getting started on joining in. It's totally OK if you miss a week here or there. We encourage everyone to keep an open mind about trying something new. This is a life project, and a photography/blog and even scrap challenge if you wish. If you participate this week, please leave a link to your blog post in the link list below. You can also post images to our New 52 Flickr Group! We would love to see what you were inspired to do.


    1. whew! I thought you were going to come back and say that you've decided to give up hamburgers forever!!

      My first born never eats meat. Not one bite since she was 2. She's harder to cook for than my dairy free kid. (btw, I have a great recipe for spicy enchiladas..uses tofu.)

      Great post!

    2. I agree tempeh can be weird - it is difficult to cook in a way that actually tastes good. The best I've had was at Native Foods -- closest to you is Aliso Viejo.

      The best way I've found to prepare it is like this:

      Steam for 15 minutes
      Marinate for 30+ minutes
      Season and pan fry

      The steaming "opens up its pores" to take on the marinade, making it more tender on the inside.. and then the frying gives it a crispy outer coating.

    3. What? Butter and heavy cream are totally good for you! Don't be silly!

    4. I enjoyed reading about your meatless meals. And the photos are so yummy looking. I like to eat meat but I totally hate to cook it.

    5. ok, Me would be Mimi lol. I didn't know what my blogger profile said appararently.

    6. You do such creative things for your New 52! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    7. I'm such a carnivore that I don't know if I could go meatless for a week. I love some of your dishes and should give it a try. I do love tofu so that is a start.


    Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear from you!

    [feedly mini]