On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. I Do Not Like Mushrooms was originally published in October 2012.
I am a vegetarian. I became one by accident. I thought I would see if being a vegetarian helped my yoga practice back when I did a 66-day challenge. I loved it so much, and found it to have such an impact on my health and practice that I stayed that way. For the most part. I tend to eat a burger when I go rafting, and when I travel out of the country I’ll eat whatever makes sense in the moment.
Here’s the thing about being a vegetarian: Being a vegetarian does not mean I automatically like all vegetables,fruits, nuts, and anything that’s not meat.
Think about it. Do you eat meat or did you ever? Did you like every meat item in the world? Did you like some better than others? I know that was the case with me. For example, I love chicken, but I don’t like BBQ chicken. I never enjoyed ribs. Pork is ok.
So some of this is about the type of food and, in some cases, it’s about how the food is cooked.
Same thing with being a vegetarian.
I’ve had two experiences lately that prompted me to write this post. The first was about a month ago. I was out on business with a group of folks, and there was a catered lunch. I was told there was a vegetarian option. It turned out to be a wrap that was loaded up with squash and lettuce. I don’t like squash. I ate the wrap anyways as it had been specifically made for me, and I didn’t want to be rude. I picked out a lot of squash and at a lot of lettuce and tortilla. Do you know what the side was? A salad. So I could have a wrap with lettuce AND more lettuce on the side. To be fair, the people with the meat option didn’t have it much better. They had a chicken cesear wrap with a salad on the side. Pretty much the same deal.
The other experience was in reading a local menu. The menu was chock full of meat selections. There was a great variety of meat dishes. The two vegetarian options were a veggie burger and a portobello sandwich. These are the two most common vegetarian items to put on a menu outside of grilled cheese, and grilled cheese is usually on the kiddie menu (but I might start requesting it anyways). I hate mushrooms. I hate everything about them, and that’s ok. As a vegetarian it is not my job to like mushrooms and eat giant mushroom sandwiches. I am also sick of veggie burgers. I would say 75% of the time that I order them they are no good anyways. I’m tired of taking that bet.
My purpose here is really a plea: Vegetarians eat more than mushroom sandwiches and veggie burgers. There’s a whole wonderful array of food options out there. I’ve blogged about less than 1% of them. If you run a restaurant, please consider doing more than the standard fare. If you are local to the Durham area I am more than happy to come in and try (and pay for) your vegetarian dishes that are not made of mushrooms and are not veggie burgers. I’m not looking for a free meal. I am looking to improve the quality of vegetarian meals and options as much as I can help with that. What have been your experiences when trying to dine out as a vegetarian? Do you sometimes make exceptions and just eat meat for convience sake (or because your only option is a giant mushroom sandwich and you are starving?)?
If you have a great vegetarian recipe do share! I know some of you have, and I appreciate that. I have not included them on my vegetarian recipes page, but I’m going to start doing that (so just resend something if you want it posted – sorry). If you know of a great vegetarian blog, or one that has many vegetarian recipes, let me know. I’ll link to it. I’m going to start putting together a blog roll soon.