Star Trek's Borg queen says: "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE." So, give in, darlings, I swear it won't hurt!
Resistance. Darlings, why do we have so much? Why is it when we are confronted with change, or the possibility to change, we resist SOOO much?
Let's take Meatless Mondays for example. What's the big deal?
"My family won't participate."
"Why, I'll just die if I don't eat meat every day!"
"If I don't eat meat EVERY DAY, I'll turn into a tree-hugging, vegetarian!"
Okay, so La Diva is exaggerating! But you get the gist. Again, what I want to know is: What's the big deal?
A fave line from vegetarian hippy Neil from the popular British 80's TV sitcom "The Young Ones."
To La Diva, Meatless Monday is just a convenient way to post about something I already do, going without meat was not a conscious effort on my part, as many times I don't eat meat for various reasons:
I crave refreshing salads made with vegetables high water content and fiber.
Sometimes meat feels too heavy to eat for dinner.
I am in the mood for a carbohydrate-rich meal, like pasta or risotto.
And most of all: I'm out of meat so will make do without. (When you cook for a living, you DON'T want to shop any more than you have to!)
As far as saying: "My kids/husband/wife/dog/parrot/whatever won't participate, they love meat." La Diva says, don't forget: YOU are the boss. YOU are making the food. YOU are running the kitchen. Who ever said that mealtime was based on a family democracy? La Diva's kitchen is a dictatorship.
"Darling family, this is what's for dinner, eat it."
I often think the cooking parent will make assumptions on what their family will or won't do without even trying to divert from the norm (like the mother at my Earth Day demo that wanted to plate up my food sans veggies for picky kids, going against the entire point of the exercise.) Believe me, if the family is hungry and there is no other option, they WILL eat it. (And I can't tell you how many times my sidekick DJ Nevah L8 started complaining about a fish/veggie dish and then all of a sudden, his plate is clean and I have one backpeddlin' Bear Man asking for more!) La Diva says if you make the meatless meal satisfying and tasty, will your family really miss eating meat ONE DAY?
Darlings, DON'T GET ME WRONG: La Diva loves her meat. Oh yes, the cavewoman in me loves meat and the bloodier, the better. I don't think meat IS THE DEVIL and to blame for all of our health woes in this country, it is certainly only a part of a combination of various factors.
What puzzles La Diva is this attitude that we MUST eat meat every day. And what if you don't? You are going to starve? I hardly think so. Ohhhh! I get it! You WANT meat every day! Yes, well, La Diva would like to drink champagne and eat chocolate every day but that ain't gonna happen either. After living in Australia and being away from this country's "Bigger, Better, MORE" culture for 10 years, I not only survived, but actually thrived. And was consistently a good 10 pounds lighter than I've been since I have moved back to the United States.
Darlings, don't make a big deal out of this CHANGE if this is something you'd like to try. I look at Meatless Mondays the same way as I look at cutting down on coffee or sugar or alcohol. If you want meat on Monday, by all means, eat meat on Monday. But maybe come Wednesday, consider making a pasta with a meatless tomato sauce. The point is to eat less meat on a regular basis for your health and the planet's health (more on this later.) After all, making BIG change is always easier by starting with SMALL changes over time.
We have control over what we put into our bodies and as omnivores, our diets should be balanced and comprised of a variety of nutrient dense foods. And when we eat too much of any ONE THING, disease and allergies can develop. Moderation, is truly the key and going meatless one day a week is a simple way to eat moderately. With more and more Americans succumbing to obesity, heart disease and high food prices, we can no longer think about changing the way we eat and live, but MUST change. Resistance is futile.
And now, here's my Meatless Monday recipe:
Chili Corn Cakes with Spinach and Hazelnut Salad
RESULT: Yum, yum! Well, as per usual, La Diva made plenty of substitutions to this recipe (so I wouldn't have to shop! heheh!) I was out of corn meal and polenta and substituted grits, I used almonds instead of hazelnuts (why ARE they so bloody hard to find anymore?) and chopped green onions instead of coriander (aka cilantro leaf.) It still tasted mighty fine. I have to say though, I thought the cakes were a bit dry but that was probably because I put in the last of the grits (about a 1/2 cup) and did not add any additional buttermilk to make up for it. Doh! I just added a bit more dressing!
What did DJ Nevah L8 think of the meal? He actually asked for seconds! He really liked the refreshing, tangy salad with the hearty corn cakes. Nice texture on the cakes too as I used organic corn that popped in your mouth.
I got this recipe out of an Australian magazine years ago when I lived there and made this dish frequently. (Sorry about the size, it scanned larger but I could not get it to post any larger even though I increased the pixels! )
With fresh sweet corn coming into season along with healthy, green spinach, this dish is a winner for hot summer nights. Ciao, darlings!
The "Around the World with La Diva Cucina" cooking class continues at Epicure Gourmet Market this Thursday with the Buonasera Supper! Hint: white cream truffle, polenta, sauteed gnocchi and ricotta are part of the plan! Want to know more? CLICK HERE AND THEN GO TO UPCOMING EVENTS!
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