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Fresh & Creamy Guacamole

A delicious-sounding guacamole recipe–I’ve made guacamole of my own before, but I’d be interested in trying this.

nom and nom

Not much beats the freshness of hand-made guacamole. If you have 10 minutes and a handful of simple ingredients, this green beauty can be yours to dress up your tacos, salads, sandwiches, or chips!

Guacamole! Guacamole!

Ingredients

1 1/2 Persian limes, juiced

3 Haas avocados, peeled and pitted

Handful of cilantro (smaller stems are okay!)

1/3 yellow onion

1 large clove garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing to achieve the level of creaminess or chunkiness you prefer. I use (and adore) the Ninja Master Prep system. Serve fresh or chilled. Great with chips, on tacos, or as a tasty garnish to enchiladas or soups.

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My Lent Experiment: A Failure?

Easter is this Sunday, Lent is almost over, and I am craving meat.

It’s pretty serious.  Yesterday, I felt like having fried chicken.  Last night before I fell asleep, I was fantasizing about eating barbecued ribs.  And right now, I’m thinking about how good a a lunchmeat sandwich or a hot dog would taste (the fact that the meat is processed is not bothering me).

In short, it doesn’t bode well for any kind of future as a vegetarian.

Even worse, I cheated three times.  I ate three dishes with meat in them, three times when I was having meals with my family, and they tasted so good that I didn’t even feel guilty about it until long afterwards.

From both a religious standpoint and a gastronomical standpoint, the experiment was a failure.  I didn’t stop eating meat for all 40 days, and while the vegetarian dishes I made were good, they weren’t enough to satisfy my huge, overwhelming animal-protein cravings.  Yet I’m not giving up.  I can recognize that I’m not ready to give up meat completely, but I can still reduce my meat consumption.  If I cook one meat or fish dish per month and make enough to serve three or four people, that means I’ll be eating meat for about three days a week, which should hopefully be enough for me.  Moreover, I can stop eating processed meats: no more salami or deli turkey sandwiches for me. (By the way, if anyone has some vegetarian sandwich recipes, please send them to me.  I love sandwiches.)

So even though this experiment was not a success, I still managed to gain something from it.  I gained recipes for delicious vegetarian meals.  More importantly, I gained a new understanding of my dietary needs, weaknesses, and willpower.

If anyone has some tips for reducing meat consumption, or stories about becoming vegetarians, I’d be happy to read them.

Tasty Tofu

Tasty Tofu

Tonight I cooked tofu for the first time, and I lucked out in choosing a very good recipe.  This stir-fry was quick and easy.  I generally prefer mild dishes, so I left out the red pepper flakes and the flavor was perfect.  The sauce was nice and tangy.

A question: does anybody have any good recipes for fried tofu that don’t require a deep fryer?  I remember trying fried tofu balls with marinara sauce in my college cafeteria, and they were delicious, almost like cheese balls.  I’d like to try making them myself, but only if I can pan-fry or oven-fry them.

My Lent Experiment

Before this year, I never thought of becoming a vegetarian.

I made plenty of excuses.  I love the way meat tastes.  I hated the idea of eating tofu all the time.  Why should humans become vegetarians?  After all, we’ve been omnivores since Homo sapiens first evolved in Africa.

That was before I learned just how much environmental damage a society’s high consumption of meat causes.  The habitat destruction underway all over the world to create new pasturage for cattle.  The methane produced by cattle and other ruminants contributing to climate change.  Not to mention the filthy, unsavory conditions under which most of these animals are raised.

So finally, I decided to reduce my own meat consumption.  In fact, I decided to try going entirely without meat.  And what better time to try an experiment of this nature than at Lent, a time when Christians often give up certain foods or drinks as an act of penance?

So far it’s been two weeks.  While I wouldn’t say that going on a meatless diet has made me feel miraculously healthier and more physically fit (as some more over-enthusiastic vegetarians might claim), it hasn’t been a hardship either.  I’ve found some good vegetarian recipes, and they’ve been plenty filling.  Since I’m not a vegan, I’ve still been able to enjoy eggs and cheese.  True, I still get tempted sometimes, such as when I smell bacon, but overall, the vegetarian dinners I’ve been putting together have been so good that I haven’t missed eating meat as much as I expected.

I’ve still got 26 days of the experiment to go, but the results so far are giving me hope.  Now I know that I can be strong enough to change my lifestyle.  Now I know that I really can do something in my personal life to make a difference about the environment.  Now I know that I won’t be clueless about what to do if continued climate change and habitat destruction make meat a luxury in the future.

And I just might become a vegetarian after all.  Time will tell.