My life as a pescetarian

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For the past eight years or so, I have been a pescetarian. For those who arenít familiar with the term, a pescetarian is someone who eats fish, but no other meat. Itís different than a vegetarian, which is someone who does not consume any meat, including fish.

And, a vegetarian differs from a vegan, a diet that excludes all products made by animals i.e. eggs, cheese and butter.

It all started back in high school, when I made a list of things to do before I die, or a bucket list. ďBe a vegetarian for one yearĒ was one of the things I knew I could cross off pretty easily, and decided to tackle it. While voluntarily excluding meat from my diet, I quickly realized going out to restaurants for dinner is difficult for non-meat eaters.

After I completed my year without any meat, my first delve was into a freshly grilled hamburger at my friendís house. Looking back, I donít know what exactly it was that made me want to continue the lifestyle, but I decided I liked being a vegetarian. Originally, I wanted to be a vegetarian just to try something new, possibly a conversation piece, but mostly to support my feelings on animal rights. Now, there are so many additional factors that back up my daily dietary choices. I do not only choose to exclude meat for health reasons, and animal rights, but to reduce the impact on the environment.

I wanted to keep seafood in my diet; some of my favorite foods include tuna, shrimp and salmon.

I would love to create a more strict diet for myself and go vegetarian again and make an even bigger impact on the world. But allowing seafood as an option, makes it easier to go out to eat and is an easy way to get protein. Honestly, I think it is interesting to practice this type of diet. When I go out to eat, I am encouraged to try different types of dishes and expand the pleasures for my palette.

Excluding meat from your diet, even just once a week, can have a big impact. I do love fruits and vegetables and especially love tofu. It is easy to replace meat with tofu in dishes, and they come out tasting wonderful.

Included is a recipe for a vegetarian dish of black bean burritos. I encourage you to start a meatless day in your household. Let me know what recipes you try!

Black Bean Burritos

1 16 oz can of black beans, rinsed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

3/4 c vegetable broth

1 tbsp cooking oil

1/2 jalapeŮo pepper, seeded and minced (more or less depending on spiciness preference)

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 carrot, shredded

1 rounded tsp kosher salt

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

8 small flour tortillas

shredded Monterey Jack cheese or crumbled queso fresco

preheat oven to 350

heat the oil and 1/4 cup of the broth in a large pot over medium heat, add the salt, onion, garlic, and jalapeŮo and cook until soft (about 5-10 minutes)

add the carrot, bell pepper, the remaining broth, the beans, and the coriander and cumin and simmer for another 10 minutes, using the back of a wooden spoon to smash up some of the beans to make a consistency similar to refried beans

remove from heat and stir in the cilantro

put 2 heaping tbsp of bean mixture into the center of each tortilla and sprinkle with desired amount of cheese

roll up and line up the burritos in a 13x9 inch baking pan (you may want to use toothpicks to keep the burritos closed)

bake, uncovered, 15 minutes until cheese melts and the tortillas lightly toast

eat plain or with some store bought salsa on top

Note: Wrapped tightly in foil, these freeze very well. For a super quick meal, bake the frozen foil pack for 20 minutes at 350, unwrap and bake another 5-10 minutes.

(Recipe from http://pescetarianliving.blogspot.com)

Join the Conversation