Welcome to Meg’s Vegetarian Kitchen
I’ve been a vegetarian since December 2012 and love how I’ve become more adventurous with my food choices. I’m trying new vegetables, fruits, and grains that, two years ago, I’d never even heard of. My favorite part of the switch to vegetarianism is all the experimenting I’ve been able to do. I hope you enjoy the recipes I share here (some written and followed exactly, some I make up as I go along). I’ll probably talk about some challenges and tips I encounter as a new vegetarian; I hope you will, too!
Why I Became A Vegetarian
I’ve never really liked eating meat, and I only ever ate chicken, ground beef, and the occasional hot dog. In the beginning of 2012, I started to not feel well, in any aspect. In addition to the fatigue and more obvious symptoms (that made me say, “Something’s wrong.”), I wasn’t able to tolerate meat, dairy, and gluten. While dairy and gluten upset my stomach, meat made me physically sick. After a trip to an endocrinologist, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October. That diagnosis pushed me to make the decision I’d been considering for years: go vegetarian. I’ve reduced my dairy and gluten intake (that intolerance has lessened significantly after my thyroid removal) but, since the smell and taste of meat still made me ill, I decided to cut it out, cold turkey. And I’m so glad I did. It’s a high fiber, low fat diet that’s helped me lose weight. I feel better about what I’m eating because it’s usually pretty healthy. And, as I’ve always been an animal-lover and felt squeamish about eating them, I feel pretty great about that, too.
Being Vegetarian in a Meat-Eating House
I live at home with my parents, who eat meat. It’s presented a challenge to all of us, cooking separate meals, adding meat to just a portion of the recipe, even making the change to only using vegetable broth instead of a meat-based broth. My mom gives me warning when she’s going to cook bacon so I can escape to my room until the smell goes away. I’m lucky that my mom likes to cook, and that she loves me, because she’s been very accommodating. A lot of the recipes you see here will have an optional meat version, because that’s a lot of what I cook (half-veggie-only for me, half-meat for my parents). Most things I make are easily adapted to personal preference, so you can make it fit your house’s needs, whether you have veggie, meat, or just picky eaters.