Since converting to vegetarianism two months ago I have begun to notice curious bursts of dietary defensiveness in friends, family, and coworkers. First let me say that I am not evangelical about my shift to vegetarianism. Others can eat what ever they please with no lecture from me. I’m happy to discuss this choice if asked, but I generally prefer to remain silent about it.

I’m finding that people will quiz me in conversation about the particulars of a vegetarian diet, perhaps looking for apparent contradictions or logical flaws in my response. Some are quick to mark out their meat eating territory so that it is known far and wide that they really dig being an unrepentant carnivore. They’ll ask “if we’re not supposed to eat animals, then why are they made of meat”?

Others just shake their heads and marvel at how someone could make such a silly choice.  I can’t say how many times I’ve been asked if my choice of vegetarianism was based on some political philosophy or ecological theory.

Nope.

I’ll explain that with my new menu, cycling, and running I’ve lost 11 % of my body weight and am still dropping weight. Yada yada. I’ll ask if they had ever seen my likeness on a Rubens painting and their eyes will glaze over and the topic will turn to the Broncos.

Something interesting to do with chick peas- Green Hummus.

1 Can drained chick peas
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup washed fresh spinach
4 or 5 fresh basil leaves
salt to taste
1-2 cloves garlic
1 heaping tablespoon of pine nuts
1 pinch each of cayenne pepper and fresh ground black pepper (gives it some kick)

Place ingredients in blender or food processor and process to a smooth paste. If blending is difficult, add just a dash of orange or lemon juice to loosen the paste for efficient mixing. Enjoy as a zesty spread on a garden vegetable sandwich of cucumber, spinach, tomato, onion, and feta cheese. Don’t be shy with the cayenne.

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