This Vegetarian Still Loves Meat

Sitting in the backseat of my friend’s car, my heart sank as my friend described the sandwich place she was taking us to for dinner and the amazing deli meats they had.  I suddenly realized that, whenever I went to a sandwich shop, I always ordered a ham and cheese sandwich or a meatball sub.  Both of which are no longer options thanks to my newfound vegetarian lifestyle.

I’m not big on salads (something I’m working on), but I figured that, if nothing else, I could probably get them to throw one together.

We arrived at sandwich place, and to my surprise, they had a vegan section on the menu!  So I ventured to try something new – some sort of wrap with soyrizo.

The biggest challenge so far about being vegetarian is that I previously ate some form of meat at almost every lunch and dinner.  Suddenly I am forced to rethink how I structure my meals.  What I formerly considered side dishes (rice, vegetables, beans) have now become main dishes.

I am most worried about continuing to eat properly as a new vegetarian.  Especially at places where I am used to eating meat as the main part of my meal, I need to learn (and really, just to accept) foods that can, and should, be the main dish.

On another note, I realized today that being vegetarian affects the food I eat from my Cuban heritage.  My favorite medianoche sandwiches are stuffed with ham and turkey, and many of the little pastries I love are full of chicken or ham.  Yes, Cuban food does offer vegetarian options, but I wonder if I would eat meat occasionally in the future to feel more connected to this side of me.  It’s something I’ll worry about only if the time comes.

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1 Comment

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One response to “This Vegetarian Still Loves Meat

  1. Maybe you can learn how to make those Cuban staples from family members, and make them yourself using beans and veggies! You can use vegan bacon bits to simulate the ham, and use lots of Cuban seasoning for that flavor you remember as comfort food. Being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up on your culture, just adapt it slightly to fit your needs.

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