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Meatless March* was largely a success. I had intended to update weekly with what I ate, but what I ate turned out to be far less exciting than I hoped. I had had visions of amazing homemade creations involving quinoa and tofu, but in the end I was lazy and let someone else do the cooking most of the time.

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Going into the month, I knew I would make an exception for the Lagunitas beer dinner that I had prepaid $65 for before I made the meatless decision. I also had prepaid for a sushi-making lesson. But fish and shellfish is a grey area for a lot of people (and even poultry), so I didn’t feel as “guilty” about that one. That was a lot of fun (sushi in the first two photos MADE BY ME!), except for what I should have realized would be the forced social, introduce-yourself-to-your-neighbor aspect, which I should have anticipated as it was a Living Social Adventure, but that’s a whole other tangent.

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Anyway, other than the above two situations, my only “cheats” were with Smack Shack food truck Lobster Mac & Cheese mid-month (it’s my very favorite thing that they make), and a salmon burger a couple of days ago that was a photoshoot prop for a recipe book my work colleagues are producing.

I gave myself those two fish/shellfish items because at the Lagunitas beer dinner, I sat next to a self-professed “non-meat eater’ who does, in fact, eat birds and fish. Other than the welcome charcuterie (which involved beef tongue and pork “balls,” the content of which to this day remains ambiguous), the main courses were tuna and duck. So according to some sources, that was mostly not a cheat either. My mom never served asparagus or peas for texture reasons when I was a kid (asparagus is now just about my favorite vegetable), but we often had beef tongue and I view it as a treat.

But I digress.

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Breakfast was usually two eggs, cheese (usually chevre), greens or tomato, and an orange. A couple of times a week, I got a Bruegger’s bagel and cream cheese, with my orange.

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Lunch was more diverse, and yet not. Other than a few salads that I packed, some regulars developed. Chipotle veggie burrito bols appeared several times, as did the tasty Greekish concoctions from Trieste Café on the ground floor of my office building. Falafel Friday became a favorite theme, and Omar also makes the best chocolate cake in the world!

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Supper often involved pizza because it’s easy to do meatlessly and still feel like you’re getting enough to eat. Supper also often involved black bean burgers. Let’s add this up, I think I had five different ones altogether. Republic, Acadia, Groveland Tap, Longfellow Grille. Hmm. Maybe there were only four. Acadia wins far and away, no competition, for best black bean burger. The right combination of moist, holds together, and flavor. Republic’s mushroom open-faced sandwich came in second, though I’d like to see about twice as much of it.

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Honorable mention goes to Kieran’s Irish Pub, where I had some amazing wild rice and cheese stuffed mushrooms. The salted tofu was and wasn’t what I was expecting, and was really good with the spicy tomato jam.

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I also survived a visit by my mother, who would never consider not having meat for the evening meal. I was a little disappointed that she only ate one of the Bruegger’s Everything bagels that I got specifically for our breakfasts. I, on the other hand, did not avoid the bagels. Lunches, I kind of sidestepped. Suppers I got through by going half-and-half on a pizza, and then by making a hotdish into which it was easy to add chicken and pasta for my mom and tofu for me, with plenty of leftovers for a subsequent meal.

So today, April 1st, I had initially thought I’d go out (to Butcher and the Boar, then to Saffron) to break my meat-fast. Then, the weather was supposed to be outstanding, so I thought I’d just grill a steak at home. Then my new stove was delivered and I decided to broil rather than grill, just to use it for the first time. I still included salad and vegetables. 

However it happened, I ate a chunk of meat today!

* I decided to do Meatless March for one reason which followed another: I often don’t eat meat for days at a time, unintentionally, because I like beans and tofu and stuff. When I heard some other people talking about giving up meat for March/Lent, I thought, Oh, I can do that, no prob.

Maybe I mentioned this already in my Meatless March introductory entry. Because I have decided to deprive myself, ALLLLLLLIWANTISMEATMEATMEATMEATMEAT. But for once in my life, I am actually engaging in some willpower. I know it doesn’t happen often, so don’t fall off your chair.

Here is the accounting of the first full week. I was hoping to have had time to prepare food at home more but I have eaten out a lot, and kind of made the same thing or a variation thereof when I did manage to make it myself. Oh well. I make the things I make because I like them. I’m really diggin’ the quinoa at present.

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Saturday
Folded over egg thing w/quinoa et al
Baja Sol veggie tacos
Pizza Lucé tri-pepper pizza

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Sunday
Folded over egg thing w/quinoa et al, grapefruit
English muffin, orange
ww tortilla tofu quinoa pizza thing

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Monday
eggs-chevre-sunflower shoots, orange
Real Meal Deal veggie sub, chips
refried bean pizza

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Tuesday
eggs-chevre-sunflower shoots, orange
Acadia black bean burger*, orange
quinoa pizza

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Wednesday
eggs-chevre-sunflower shoots, tomatoes, orange
Acadia veggie melt
quinoa+chevre
Republic black bean burger w/mushroom, Swiss
Sawatdee tofu pad tai, cream cheese wontons
(oof)

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Thursday
Sawatdee tofu pad tai (leftover)
salad w/tofu and orange
ww tortilla+pepperjack
Groveland Tap veggie burger

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Friday
Bruegger’s Everything bagel+cream cheese, orange
D’Amico fresh mozzarella salad, caprese panini (more toasted than the one last week), chips
Longfellow Grill garden burger w/salad

*Due to this whole Meatless March thing, I have been trying everybody’s veggie burger. Acadia Café, you hands-down have the best with your amazing Black Bean Burger. None of the others come close! Republic, you have good flavor but it doesn’t hold together. Longfellow Grill, yours was pretty tasty, too, but it all squished out of the bun by the time I was half-finished.

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I think I love meat too much to permanently give it up. And now that I’ve made the decision of conscience to go organic, free-range, and local, I feel better about the animals I eat. Nevertheless, inspired by others who were talking about it earlier this week, I have decided to join in Meatless March (except for a couple of prior dinner commitments which will involve meat).

I like plenty of non-meat proteins—cheese, beans, tofu, quinoa, nuts, olives, to name a few that I can think of off the top of my head—and this won’t really be that different from how I eat normally. I was, however, kind of funny at the co-op tonight how much I really wanted to buy some meat just because I knew I couldn’t. Because I couldn’t and because I was shopping hungry. So I compromised with a veggie frozen pizza that looked delicious with its roasted eggplant and zucchini slices. And a small serving of macaroni and cheese from the hot bar that was a little past its prime but sang a tempting song to my rumbling tumbly.

I’ll check in weekly with what I’ve been eating. Tomorrow I can start making stuff myself for a more balanced approach. Stay tuned!

 

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Thursday (yesterday):
breakfast: sesame bagel, honey-walnut cream cheese, orange.
lunch: fresh mozzarella salad with romesco, Caprese panini, potato chips
supper: leftover sausage frozen pizza, orange

 

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Friday (today):
breakfast: waffles, butter, syrup
lunch: falafel sandwich, chocolate cake
supper: macaroni & cheese, veggie frozen pizza, orange