I was never very big on meat to begin with: I don’t eat pork, I never liked the taste of steak or beef, and I’m not huge on fish. If I do eat meat it’s either chicken or turkey (though buffalo wasn’t that bad!) and even that is in moderation. When given the option, I’ll typically go for the portobello burger over a hamburger, for example, and we usually have some sort of meat substitute in our house (I especially love MorningStar’s Crumbles in my pasta sauces.)
Matt’s company has a cafeteria in their building and two days in was buffalo chicken wing day. So, yeah, early on we both realized this challenge wasn’t going to be as easy as we thought.
Thankfully my mom is Queen of the Cookbooks and happily handed over a bunch, plus there are fab vegetarian bloggers. One of my go-tos was Hummusapien’s Lentil, Kale, and Potato soup (which I started making earlier in the year and we both love!) It’s crazy filling, plus the recipe makes a ton, so there are easily a few days worth of leftovers. I also really loved SkinnyTaste’s Broccoli, Cheese, and Potato soup, though anything she touches is excellent. And, naturally, we had a lot of our regular favorites but without meat.
By the end of the month I had picked up on what I can/can’t go for, though Christmas was coming up. My mom’s side of the family is Jewish and we tend to blend Hanukkah and Christmas. Our Christmas Eve meal has one of my all-time favorites: Matzo Ball soup. ♥ Delicious. Unfortunately, my grandmother uses chicken stock when making it. Seriously, this almost undid the challenge for me, I love it that much. (Fun fact: my family was Matt’s introduction to anything Jewish and now every year the soup is his holiday highlight!)
So many friends tried to convince me to take some and freeze it, save it for January, and I considered it! In the end, however, I didn’t have any. My dad’s side is full of Italians. Christmas day features the Feast of Seven Fishes…which for me, basically meant a plate full of broccoli and mashed potatoes ha!
To be honest, I wanted to keep going and am still considering it. Like I said before, I so rarely eat meat anyway that December wasn’t a huge change apart from minor details. I don’t think 31 days was really enough to notice a huge change in our overall health, though earlier in the week we had sausage and my body was not happy. It wasn’t until I had meat again that I felt a difference.
So while I don’t think Matt will ever go full-on vegetarian, I’m thrilled he was able to last 31 days. I’m still on the fence, though I have a feeling I’ll be even more aware of my meals from now on.