I am a lazy vegetarian. I gave up red meat and chicken in 1981 and seafood in 1982. For 36 years I have eaten nothing but veggies and cheese and an occasional egg. So naturally I’m slim and trim and super healthy. Actually…..no. I’m tipping the Toledos at about 275 (I’m nearly 6′ 4″, so it’s not THAT bad). I have never really learned how to eat a healthy vegetarian diet. It’s too damn complicated! Most vegetarian cookbooks have ingredients I’ve never heard of and to get them I have to enter a Trader Joes, or worse yet, a vegetarian grocery and battle all the tree-hugging, hairy underarm, druid feminists! I would rather battle the zombies at WalMart…at least there I can see the exits in case of emergency.
I get my protein from Jif, cheese, salted peanuts and other fine food. Not exactly a Jack LaLanne regimen, but at my last checkup my cholesterol was as low as it can go and all organs are working properly…or at least semi functional.
All of you have tried to go veggie…and failed….admit it. The reason is because it is impossible to go from sirloin to sprouts overnight. So here are my tips for you all who choose to start out lazily on their quest to be vegetarian.
TOP FOODS FOR THE LAZY VEGETARIAN (in no particular order)
- WalMart coleslaw and Amish potato salad. This is a staple of my diet. I have made special trips to WalMart to get both so I have my fix before they run out. And they WILL run out, usually before 4pm. Take a half day off of work if you have to. It is worth it. Note: You MUST buy the slaw and salad that they scoop into the containers. DO NOT get the pre-packaged stuff. It is NOT the same!
2. MorningStar Farms bean burgers. This is your steak when others are eating New York Strip. They say a portabella mushroom is the “vegetarian steak”….bullshit. A portabella mushroom is a big squishy mushroom. Don’t even try to cook them firm, it won’t work.
Spicy Black Bean Burgers are the best, but the Grillers are good and Boca Burgers are pretty good, too. It’s ALL GOOD with WalMart slaw, onions, ketchup, and mustard slathered on top!
3. Papa John’s thin crust mushroom and onion pizza. Good lord, I can (and have) eaten a whole large in one sitting. Thankfully I order “light on the cheese” so I don’t get fat(ter). Currently, you can get one for $7.95 (carry out only), which is a deal compared to the $13 you’d have to pay if you don’t order online or order delivery. In the past I have strayed to Domino’s, Pizza Inn, Lil Caesar’s, etc, but I always come back, even though every time I see “Papa John” on TV I wish I could punch him in the face. I think if he nicked himself shaving his whole face would peel off due to so many facelifts. Okay, that’s mean…..buy his pizza, it’s good.
4. My chili recipe. This is one of the dishes I survived on in college. It’s much better than Ramen noodles. This is simple and takes about 3 minutes to make…that includes microwave time. Here it is:
Mix one can of Bush’s Chili beans with one can of diced tomatoes. Done!
Sprinkle cheese and diced onions on top. Garnish with saltines. This is an excellent source of protein and vitamin C!
A variation on this is to drain the beans, throw them on a tortilla with some cheese, microwave for about 1 minute and…BOOM…burritos!
5. If you’re too lazy to make the burrito or chili recipe (man, that’s real lazy), you can always grab one of my favorites, Taco Bell Bean Burritos! In college these beauties were 79 cents each and they cured many a hangover on Sunday mornings. If you’re really hungover you might want to get there before the church crowd. It can get real uncomfortable if you don’t. Nowadays they are slightly more than $1. That’s about 5 cents in 1981 dollars! Still the best bargain in town.
6. Jif peanut butter. I know it is more expensive than Skippy or Peter Pan. Twice as much as Great Value or Food Lion brand, but it is worth it. Choosy mothers choose Jif and I’m a choosy mutha when it comes to peanut butter. If I was a contestant on Naked and Afraid, a jar of Jif would be my survival item.
7. Nabs. The square meal. These can ONLY be Lance brand. Keebler uses lard in their version of nabs, or at least I heard they did 30 years ago. Regardless, Lance brand blows every other cracker away. Don’t bother with the Nip Chees or Nekots or Toastys. There is only one Nab, aka Toast Chees.
8. Beer. A good source of grains (hops, rice, malt). I prefer Miller High Life just because I like the old commercials and I hate craft beers. Keep the coriander, pumpkin, sugar and spice, and other foreign objects out of my beer! Be aware that English beers like Fosters are not vegetarian (yes, Fosters is made in the UK, not Australia). Apparently they contain traces of gelatin which is made from animal products. You know what…if you want a Fosters or a Guinness, have one. I won’t tell.
I hope you enjoyed my Lazy Vegetarian Survival Guide. Good luck!