A funny thing happened the other day.
I went to a sausage making class and emerged three hours later a fleeting vegetarian.
Bring on the beans and cheese.
Of course, I expected a slightly different outcome when I signed up for the class. Visions of grinding my own meat and hand-stuffing thick chicken, turkey, and pork sausages filled my thoughts while mounds of frozen links filled my fantasized freezer. I was one excited sausageer – that is until I spent 3 hours huddled around fifty pounds of raw pork. There was just so much meat and so many people and so much talk about the step-by-step process involved in getting the poor free range piggies from the farm to that fork you’re holding in your hand there. And the smell…. oh dear god the smell.
I didn’t know it was possible to get the meat sweats without actually consuming meat.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had a run in with meat-nausea. It took me years to be able to handle raw meat. In fact, during college and my first post-college years I lived on pasta, rotisserie chicken, lunch meat, canned tuna, and EGGS. Lots of eggs. As I grew older, I slowly started cooking my own meat. Sure, at first I had to use two tongs to handle the meat, taking special care that my skin did not come into the slightest contact with anything slimy and especially taking care not to get a whiff of anything. Anything. I had no problem eating meat–in fact I loved meat–I just didn’t want to be near anything that wasn’t fully and completely (is that pink I see?!) cooked.
After time, I got past it. I stopped thinking about meat as animal remains and instead chose to shroud myself in a cloud of blissful unawareness. I completely broke the link between the meat case at the grocery store and the cows grazing the farm next to my highschool. Heck, I even started making my own hamburgers and meatloaf—without using gloves, no less.
And then I went to this sausage making class….
And, whelp, I haven’t eaten meat since Sunday, which by my calculation is the longest I have gone without meat since the day my mom switched me to solids.
At first I was confused. If I don’t eat meat… well, what do I eat???
Thus far, I’ve managed to nourish myself with potatoes, beans, hummus, Trader Joe’s Veggie Masala Burgers (love!), and lots of veggies and fruit. Honestly, I don’t intend to remain a vegetarian nor am I devoted to it for the short term. I think the human body needs meat. It is designed to eat meat. I WANT to eat meat… as soon as I quit getting queasy every time I see or hear the word “meat” that is.
Easy Cheesy Black Bean Burritos
Adapted from Cooking Light’s Chipotle Bean Burritos
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup white onion (chopped)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Mexican chili powder (or substitute regular chili powder)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup prepared salsa
- hot sauce (to taste)
- 2 low carb tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
- shredded mexican cheese blend
- tomatoes (chopped)
- white onion (chopped)
- plain nonfat greek yogurt
Step 1: Heat a small skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, 1/4 cup onion, cayenne, chili powder, and salt. Saute for a minute, then add water and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Remove beans from heat, stir in salsa and hot sauce, and use a wooden spoon to partially smash the beans (chunky texture is good). Spoon half of the mixture onto a tortilla and add toppings of choice, such as additional salsa, hot sauce, plain Greek yogurt, tomato, onion, or cheese.