Contrary to popular belief, I do cook well-balanced meals for my family on a daily basis, sometimes even making three meals a day from scratch.
As you may remember, I live in a small Mexican farm town, and some of the town's people earn a living through cattle ranching. Thus, my mostly vegetarian lifestyle sometimes causes, shall we say, a bit of a stir in our community.
Now, just to clear things up, let's get up to speed on my current beliefs about eating meat. I began my journey away from meat three years ago when I read Diet for a New America By Robbins, John (Google Affiliate Ad). I soon went from eating meat several times a week to a vegan lifestyle and remained a vegan for about 7 months, until I became pregnant with Baby Hippo, at which time I began to crave McDonald's hamburgers. During my second trimester, however, my body began to crave vegetarian forms of protein, such as beans and peanut butter, and I jumped back on the vegetarian band wagon, but began including milk, eggs and cheese in my diet.
Over the past two years, I have altered my lifestyle to include meat when eating at church functions or in other people's homes, or even in restaurants, but I still don't buy meat from the grocery store, or cook it at home. My policy with the kids is that if they want to eat a meat meal, they need to ask their father to pick some up from the grocery store, and they can cook it themselves.
Now, living in a small town, word about what I eat and what I feed my family gets around pretty quick. I think we must all be a little bit bored to be so concerned about each others diets, and in the town gossip train, a few of the townspeople's perception of my family's eating habits have become a bit skewed. So let's set the record straight, shall we? :) :) :)
Asking my kids to cook their own meat, should they have a great desire to eat meat, does not equal I don't cook my kids meals. A few in town have said what a shame it is that my kids have to cook their own meals and that I won't lift a finger to help them. Some in town even go as far as drilling my kids as to what they ate for their last meal. When one dear lady asked the twins what they ate for breakfast one morning, while they were playing at a friend's house, they replied, "We like jump tam-po-line." She didn't get very far in her investigation.
Others will question my football player son, who, everyone knows, HAS to have TONS of protein. When he answers that he had a salad for dinner, knowing looks of pity cross their faces, and invitations to come to their homes if he wants a good steak abound. What the 16-year-old boy leaves out is that it was a chef salad, with hard-boiled eggs, two different kinds of cheeses, 8 different vegetarian toppings to add, some of them sauteed and seasoned, and nuts and seeds to sprinkle on. This dinner was so filling, I could only eat half a salad.
What some townspeople don't realize is that I spend hours poring over recipes and ingredient internet sites and labels to make sure my football player son gets the protein he needs. I create recipes and enter them into nutritiondata.com to make sure his protein has a high amino acid score. I go over with him what he is eating at each meal and how much protein he is ingesting. We discuss the harmful effects of Tostitos and soda and I ground him if he doesn't eat his vegetables.
Now I'm not gonna lie. The 16-year-old boy is not always agreeable to this way of eating, but he happens to be the fastest runner on the team (or so he tells me), and through hard-work and training has risen to the position of first-string receiver. He has a perfect physique; lean and muscular, with cut biceps, pecs and abs. He certainly doesn't look like someone who's starving because his mother never cooks for him. The proof is the pudding, I say.
And now, so some of the townspeople will stop worrying, HERE is a link to the nutrition data of a recipe I feed the kids most mornings before school. It's a recipe I created to add protein to my son's diet, as the addition of a small amount of beans in his pancakes adds 8 grams of protein per serving. Sometimes I even get crazy and add things like zucchini, bananas or beets! I like to layer the dry ingredients in a few jars, like so.....
.... to make breakfast time easier and quicker, plus they look really pretty on my kitchen sink window sill....
Hope your family likes this as much as we do. :)
P.S. I just had to share with you a photo of a raw vegan meal I made recently; Fresh-Squeezed Cranberry Orange Juice, Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho, Beet Ravioli, a side salad, and Raw Vegan Key Lime Pie!