I Finally Found Something That I Am Good At (Bitch).

February 22nd, 2011

Please forgive the bitch in parentheses up there in the title.  She is only there to keep me from breaking the one and only grammatical rule that I hold dear which is – don’t end a sentence with a preposition.  All other grammar rules don’t even exist for me, a fact that the regular readers of this blog are painfully aware.

Moving on!

Hey guess what!

I am still a vegetarian!

I know!

So weird!

How is it that I haven’t failed at being a vegetarian yet?

Because I fail at everything!

And yet LOOK!

Still a vegetarian!

It’s almost like I have super vegetarian powers!

And it’s even kind of hard to be a vegetarian!

Actually, the only really hard part is that I still cook meat meals for my family while simultaneously cooking no-meat meals for myself and this results in more pots and pans to wash.  But other than that, it is really not that difficult.

Except for when I go out to eat.

There are no vegetarian restaurants where I live.  There aren’t even any vegetarian entrees.  There is only meat, meat, meat, with a side of meat and would you like some more meat with that?

Following are a list of the ‘meals’ I have eaten in Kansas restaurants since I became a vegetarian…

1.  Chips and queso

2.  Chips and salsa

3.  Chips and trio of salsa, queso, and guacamole

4.  A really horrible pepper stuffed with really bad cheese at a local Mexican restaurant that I attempted to eat while an elderly woman in a cowboy shirt puked up her guts for at least ten minutes a mere ten feet from me.  I know, I know, I should have left, but her puking left me paralyzed.  I couldn’t move.  It was like I had contracted her puking illness but instead of making me throw up, it turned me into a a paraplegic.  Plus the people that were with me were not bothered by the elderly cowgirl’s vomiting episode.  They just kept poking down their chips and salsa as if they ate to the music of people barfing their guts up every day.  You can say a lot of bad things about Kansans, but nothing keeps us from eating.  In fact, I think my fine state’s motto of ‘ad astra per aspera’ should actually translated as “To The Pie Hole Through Difficulty” instead of “To The Stars Through Difficulty”.

Now back to the rest of my vegetarian restaurant list. 

Is she really going to list off everything she has eaten in a restaurant since she became a vegetarian?


She is.

5.  Tortilla stuffed with cheese, two tiny slices of mushroom, three pepper slivers and an abundance of onions. (C’mon Coco Bolo’s!  You can do better than that!)

6.  Hummus and pita.

7.  Bean tostada with rice and beans (I tried to pretend that the beans were vegetarian, but they probably weren’t).

8.  One fabulous falafel gyro with rice pilaf and a Greek salad at a hole in the wall Turkish restaurant in Ogden, Kansas.

9.  Fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and Roma tomatoes on fabulous New York style pizza crust at a new pizza place in Manhattan called A.J.’s.

10.  Freshly baked oatmeal cookies with a real fruit smoothie at Bluestem Bistro in Aggieville.

All of these mostly dismal dining experiences have made me question the sanity of living in this state I call home.  Why is it that there are no vegetarian options on the menu?

Oh yeah…

Maybe because I live in the fourth most unhealthy state in the US?

“Kansas has has one of the worst diets in the country. Residents consume the twelfth most sweet snacks per person as well as the twelfth most solid fats – more than twenty pounds per person. The state ranks 28th in adult diabetes and 31st in obesity – 28% of the state’s adults are considered overweight.”

Did your state make the top ten too?  Click here to find out.

In other news!!!
I’ve been having a war on Facebook!
I know!
So exciting!
It all started when I posted a link to a ‘Food Democracy Now’ article on my facebook page about Monsanto and genetically modified alfalfa.  In short order a local rancher made a comment on my article link informing me that genetically modified alfalfa was perfectly fine and that I needn’t worry about it and that I needed to ‘trust our professional opinions in agriculture’.
To which a friend posted this…
‘No offense _____ but that sounds a little paternalistic…”
Can I just say that I love THAT paternalistic comment! OMG! I have never heard anyone ever accuse a man of being paternalistic. To me, it’s like calling a man a male or a ‘beard face’ or a ‘penis haver’ or ‘testicle owner’.  All men in Kansas are paternalistic. If a man in Kansas is not paternalistic, HE IS A WOMAN.
Okay, okay – that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but lots and lots and LOTS of men in Kansas are paternalistic.
And this paternalistic rancher and I are still debating each other about GMOs and our debate has moved into corn fed beef versus grass fed beef and whether or not the meat industry is subsidized and whether or not the production of meat disrupts the amount of food available to the world and whether or not meat consumption causes obesity and type 2 diabetes in kids and harms the environment.  In the midst of this, the rancher posted an article on his Facebook page about something called ‘Meatingful Mondays‘ which is designed to counter ‘Meatless Mondays‘ and I guess promote even more meat eating in the US?  Because according to the below chart, what America needs to do  is eat even more meat.  Even though we are eating 78 more pounds of meat per person than we did in 1950, and twice as much as the rest of the world, there is still room for growth.  C’mon Americans!  Eat MORE Meat!
U.S. Per Capita Meat Consumption
1950 – 2007*
Year Chicken Turkey Veal Lamb Beef^ Pork Total
(retail cut equiv./ lb. per person)
1950 21 3 7 4 44 65 144
1955 21 4 9 4 56 62 156
1960 28 5 5 4 59 59 161
1965 33 6 4 3 70 52 169
1970 40 6 2 3 82 55 189
1975 39 7 3 2 85 43 178
1980 47 8 2 1 75 57 190
1985 52 9 2 1 77 51 194
1990 61 14 1 1 66 49 193
1995 69 14 1 1 65 51 202
2000 77 14 1 1 67 51 211
2001 77 14 1 1 65 50 208
2002 81 14 1 1 67 51 215
2003 82 14 1 1 64 52 213
2004 85 13 0 1 65 51 216
2005* 86 17 1 1 65 50 219
2006* 87 17 1 1 65 49 220
2007* 87 17 1 1 66 51 222
Graph: Meat consumption [PDF]
*Data for 2005 are estimates; data for 2006-2007 are projections.
^Excluding veal.
Source: USDA, Economic Research Service.

See USDA Agricultural Projections to 2016 for projections of future consumption.

Enjoy the rest of your Meatingful Monday!


  • jalf:

    I hate to break it to you, but the “don’t end a sentence with a preposition is a bit of a myth.

    See #1 here, for example: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/top-ten-grammar-myths.aspx

    Still, look on the bright side. It’s one less rule you have to follow!

  • Have you tried making vegetarian dishes for your family? I don’t know if it would fly there. Don’t know if it would fly here either for that matter but just thought I’d ask. My sons don’t consider it dinner unless there’s something that used to breathe on their plates.

    • Rechelle:

      My family will happily eat bean burritos, various pasta dishes without any meat in them and of course a variety of egg dishes. They will eat vegetarian soups if there is nothing else around and grilled cheese sandwiches. We eat ramen with only veggies sometimes and of course we often eat cereal when the cook around here is too tired to cook. All in all – my children eat many meals without meat, they probably just don’t think about it as ‘vegetarian’. But I would like to introduce more meat free meals to our table that we can all enjoy together.

  • #1-3 are staples here in Houston. A night where chips and queso make the bulk of my meal (especially if its a Friday and there’s a patio and a margarita) is a good night! ;-)

  • Local Burger in Lawrence is supposed to have some great vegetarian options. A veggie friend of mine says their veggie burger is really good. I haven’t been there, but maybe we’ll try it next time we head to Lawrence.

    • Rechelle:

      I will have to try it next time I am in Lawrence.

  • You need to come visit us (by us I mean your readers, not the royal “we” or anything) in Kansas City. We can go to Eden Alley, a super duper awesome vegan/veg restaurant on the Plaaaahza. I eat there all the time and I am a meat-eater!
    There are some other veggie places here but I haven’t tried them because I keep hearing they’re run by hippies and it takes forever to get your local organic beet salad or whatever.

    • Skattebol:

      That seems a bit harsh and judgmental, particularly if you have not been. There is a fabulous new vegan restaurant in the Northwest area of downtown, called Fud – I did not think the wait was long and if the owners are hippies, so what? The food was amazing and the servers very nice and helpful.

      • I was mostly joking! Sorry, the internet does tend to turn up the snark level further than I intended. I just really love Eden Alley, is all.

      • And I said I have *heard* those things. Which I have.

  • km:

    If a man in Kansas is not paternalistic, HE IS A WOMAN.
    That cracks me up Rechelle. I’d be frothing at the mouth out there. The “don’t worry your pretty little head about it” tone drives me up the wall and makes my teeth involuntarily gnash:)
    For the record grass fed is so much better for you according to the nutritionist for my chd kid, it has CLA that’s beneficial and corn fed doesn’t, so I stick my childish tongue out at the paternalistic rancher. If you have to buy butter Kerrygold, the Irish butter that seems to be everywhere, is from grass fed cows and is delicious. Do not use it for PNW theater however, blasphemous! Also you can think of me, your feisty Irish buddy.

    • Rechelle:

      I really appreciated the comment KM. Without you, I probably would have caved or worse – apologized!

      • km:

        You are far braver than that Rechelle. I admire you greatly.

  • theresa:

    Oklahoma…we have it going on! High divorce rates, obesity, diabetes, wind sweeping through the plains; what’s not to love?

  • Erin:

    I have a few vegetarian recipes that my family actually likes – even my meat and potatoes husband, who will eat whatever I make, though a lot of times he says “You know what would make this even better? Meat!”

    I’ll send you a few!

  • Samantha:

    okay , I have a vegetarian friend and when she visits she just eats everything on her plate except the meat…its like eating the same meal minus the animal part. I never have to make a separate meal for her, it’s easy..noseparate meals.

    I eat bison meat and organic poultry and pork from a local small farm…it is EXPENSIVE but it is worth it and we don’t eat a lot of it because we have to make it last because it is so expensive…but eating less is also healthy.

    Congrats on sticking with your vegetarianism Rechelle!

  • Shelley:

    You’ve been busy on your break! Vegging out & facebook fighting! I missed you!

    Congrats on your stick-to-it-tive-ness, Rechelle! I decided today that I am going to start being a healthy pregnant person (exercise, fruit, yogurt, etc.) instead of a piggy pig pregnant person…& then my coworker delivered my girl scout cookies today!

    I was a pescatarian (vegetarian who ate fish) when I lived in Hawaii, & I found it surprisingly easy there.

    I love your comments re: paternalism :) I’m going to start calling my husband a “beard face” & “penis haver!” I love it! Btw, I too love calling people/ideas “paternalistic” – it’s kinda like saying, “You’re not only wrong, but you’re also sexist.” So fun!

    • km:

      Another favorite of mine when the machismo comes out is “let the dick-waving begin ! ”

      No, they weren’t ready for me in corporate america, but they got used to me:)

      • Rechelle:

        KM – you teach me so much!

  • This made me laugh.

    My wife has a very yummy (and very, very simple) recipe for a cheese-and-spinach filled loaf of French Bread. If I can find it, or get her to write it down, I’ll send it over.

  • Melinda:

    Sadly, even here in California where almost every restaurant has at least one tasty vegetarian entree I must often bring something from home in my purse to augment my meal. I bring soy crumbles or patties that I have flavored with spices appropriate for the type of food we’re having. Servers often look at my plate strangely when they clear away my altered creations. Most restaurant meals just need to be beefed up (pun and preposition intended).

  • M.R.:

    What!?! I kept waiting for you to list my old standby — baked potato and a salad.

    I am very fortunate that here in Cincinnati we have lots of great Indian restaurants and a number of other little places where the vegetarians have more choices than the meat eaters. But I always try to check out the menu website when I’m going to be going to a new place with friends so that I can be quietly disappointed at home instead of at the restaurant.

  • I ate soups, salads, bread, and baked potatoes when eating out as a vegetarian. Now I am a flexitarian because Arkansas isn’t much better for vegetarians than Kansas is. I don’t eat much meat, but will 2-5 times per week, one serving at a time. :)

  • Oh, and you can have dessert. Not only that, but since you are a vegetarian, you can have TWO desserts, right? ;)

  • Lee (sometimes known as Another Lee):

    Whew, that sounds like my poor husband, who did 3 months of pre-deployment training in the deep South before heading overseas. He could barely eat at the chow hall as even the cooked vegetables had a big ham hock floating in them. Many iceberg lettuce salads later, he landed a decent chow hall over in Afghanistan. I send him Thai cup o’ soups and raw food bars to fill the gaps. I love the “Quorn” products if you have them anywhere in your larger cities. They are frozen, so you could stock up and keep them on hand for salad toppers, stir fries, etc.

    Kudos for being an excellent vegetarian!

  • I eat paleo, so I am smack in between of a Midwesterner’s wet dream and a Midwesterner’s nightmare. I eat meat, fruit, and most veggies. No starches (potatos, corn) or legumes (peas, peanuts), no dairy, no grains. Muwahahahahahahaha!!!!

  • barb:

    My oldest is a vegetarian and has been for about 5 years. I don’t make separate meals, I just make sure that a full meal can be made without the meat portion. Making sure she has a protein/grain option is the key for me. For example, we would have porkchop, veg, couscous and chickpeas. That way she can have everything but the meat and still have a complete meal. However we are not big meat eaters anyway, we probably only have 2 meat meals a week.

  • MIdwestIrish:

    Have you had the veggie burger at Freddy’s? I hear it’s fabulous…me, I’m more of a Freddy’s steakburger and cheese fries kind of gal…but my veggie lovin’ friends LOVE that veggie burger.

    • Rechelle:

      Yes! I had one this weekend on the way home from a basketball tourney. I was so excited to see it on the menu. Sadly, my excitement dwindled after the first bite. Still – it was a significant offering at a fast food joint, so I am not going to complain too loudly.

      • Wow, I didn’t know Freddy’s had a veggie burger! I usually get the pattymelt. I think I’ll try it next time we go there.