Sunday, August 19, 2012

Faux vegetarianism & a hearty soup for it

Faux vegetarianism. That kind of describes my diet now.

Back in March, my sons came from Austin to visit and while they were here, the youngest told me he'd been vegetarian for months. He told me that since he'd given up eating "anything with a face" his blood sugar was great. I prepared and ate vegetarian meals while he was at my apartment and lo and behold, my blood sugar was great, too. I played with eating meat and not eating meat for a few weeks and it became clear to me that just about any meat, other than seafoods, spiked my blood sugar. That was enough for me.

I embarked on a regimen of eating a ton of vegetables with a few bites of meat now and then and have lost about 12 pounds. My last A1c was under 7 and my physician was thrilled. So was I.

It's hard to maintain this, though. Now and then I crave meat and when that happens, I buy some, prepare it and enjoy it. So, while I'm not a vegetarian I'm almost one. ;)

Yeah, faux vegetarianism seems to work for me. For now. I don't know if it's a permanent thing or if, in the future, it too will cease to help keep the blood sugar under control but for now I'm enjoying it.

I wish I could say my grocery spending has decreased a lot but though it's gone down a little it hasn't gone down by much.

So what do I eat? I'm glad you asked.

Breakfast is usually stir fried vegetables of some sort (broccoli slaw with bell peppers is my favorite) with a scrambled egg, all rolled into a low carb tortilla with plenty of cilantro salsa. Sometimes I get crazy and fry a slice of vegetarian 'bacon', crumble, and add that. Sometimes I eat soup for breakfast. My favorite is just a simple vegetable broth loaded with zucchini, onions, and celery that I've stir fried a bit and added to the broth. I add plenty of fresh garlic and a bit of ginger and it's filling and delicious.

Lunch is generally salad with some steamed vegetables or a crustless vegetable quiche. Sometimes I just lightly steam a few vegetables and top them with a bit of homemade white sauce, spiced up.

Dinner is often a repeat of breakfast or lunch with a bit of fruit or yogurt on the side.

I've learned to occasionally enjoy Gardein or Morningstar Farms products but I try to keep those down to a dull roar. They're expensive, even on sale, and I really prefer to eat fresh food. The Gardein Crispy Tenders make a tasty addition to salad (my co-workers tried them and thought they were eating chicken) and their Beefless Tips are delicious served with a bit of wild rice. The Spicy Black Bean Burger from Morningstar Farms is one of my favorite treats. I fry it and put it on a whole wheat thin bun with a bit of onion dressing and it makes for a very portable lunch. A friend recently gave me a recipe for homemade black bean burgers and I'm going to make that one day this week.

So yeah, I'm a faux vegetarian...if you have some good vegetable recipes, I'd love it if you shared.

I'll head out to work in a couple of hours but I started a slow cooker soup awhile ago that should be ready when I get home. It's just a basic barley & vegetable soup but I stir fried the barley, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and bell peppers in a bit of coconut oil before adding them to the crock with vegetable broth. Stir frying or roasting the vegetables a bit just brings out the delicious flavors and makes the soup tastier. When I get home this evening, it will be a nice welcome.


Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

We eat a mostly vegetarian diet as well. Although I do make meat based dishes a few times a week. But we don't eat a lot of meat at those meals.

We make smoothies for breakfast. You can get a lot of veggies and fruit in a smoothie and it's a fast and delicious way to start the day!

CookinsForMe said...

Manuela, now and then I like a good smoothie but I generally have vegetable ones, even for breakfast. One of my favorites is tomato, mushroom, and green pepper. Delicious!