One Month Challenge: Gone Meatless, Week 3
[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. This month, Emmy's going 31 days without beef. Or chicken. Or turkey. Or....you get the idea.]
I can’t believe that I have made it through two weeks as a vegetarian! Honestly, I am a little surprised – I haven’t cheated at all! Not a single piece of meat. Not even chicken broth, because I was worried that would count.
Not that’s it’s been a total breeze…
By far the most difficult vegetarian moment for me this week was when one of the clubs I’m in had a group dinner… at Chipotle. Now, I know a lot of people like Chipotle, but I love Chipotle. LOVE. Their meat is one of my FAVORITE things in the whole wide world. I don’t even need a burrito; I could be totally content just eating their meat plain… straight out of those silver serving buckets.
So to say it was a wee bit challenging to go in there and not get my favorite Steak Burrito doesn’t really do my feelings justice. I thought about getting a vegetarian burrito, but I’m not a big fan of their beans and thought it would be too empty without meat. So I went with a veggie quesadilla instead. Not exactly the world’s healthiest option, but it kept me perfectly satisfied while everyone else chowed down on their delicious and meaty burritos.
And things only got better from there.
While the meatless Chipotle run wasn’t easy, by far the highlight of my week was discovering all of the awesome vegetarian substitutes out there. Who knew all this stuff existed?! While I wasn’t able to find the chicken substitute called Quorn in either of our local grocery stores, I was able to track down some of the MorningStar Farms Chik’n Nuggets and Chik’n Patties that everyone commented about last week. And wow, they are DELICIOUS! I’ve actually eaten their Chik’n Nuggets with kids I nanny for before, and I had no idea that they weren’t actually meat! I also tried their Spicy Black Bean Burgers, and I was surprised how much I liked those too!
I also tried cooking tofu this week…which wasn’t quite as successful as the MorningStar Farms situations. Not that I’m blaming tofu, though; I have a feeling this was probably just a failure on my cooking skills. Dinner was still alright because the pad thai noodles I made were delicious enough to stand on their own, but the tofu…disaster.
I’m not giving up on tofu, though. I’m definitely going to try again next week (but maybe I’ll get it from a restaurant this time…). Boca Burgers are also on my list to try, and that’s a big one. For some reason, I’m a bit more skeptical of those than of the Chik’n Patties and I don’t know exactly why. With the breading around the Chik’n things, it’s easier to camouflage the slight difference in taste and texture from real meat.
But I’m also super proud of how far I’ve come. And surprised by how much I’m liking it. Maybe I can do this for more than a month! It’s not that hard and I feel great. Though I’d better hold out to see how these next two weeks go before I make any commitments!
[Check out the other One Month Challenges we've taken on! And if you've got a challenge you want to tackle, email us and we could feature you next month!]