Friday, April 12, 2013

"Steak" and Veggies

Wednesday night for dinner I felt like I needed to eat something a bit healthier.  I've been having a lot of pasta and packaged food lately ... plus I polished off those Archway cookies in less than two days. I've also been craving protein a lot, so I decided to go for a traditional "meat and potatoes" kind of dinner.  Though this still sent me straight for packaged food, in the form of these vegan black pepper steaks, I don't feel like it's as bad as the cookies, oatmeal, and kettle corn that I have been straying towards too often in recent days (weeks). 
A lot of vegans and vegetarians never eat fake meats of any kind - and more power to them - but I find them essential for a couple of reasons: 
1. I wasn't the kind of meat-eater who never really like meat and that's why I became vegetarian.  I liked the taste of meat, I just eventually decided I couldn't handle where it came from and how it got to my plate.  But I can't help that I still miss it from time to time.  So when I find myself craving meat, having a meat alternative really comes in handy.  If you are the kind of person who never craved meat in the first place, this might not be such a big deal. 
2.  Fake meats are an easy protein source.  Beans, lentils, tofu, and the like often take a while to prepare.  Nuts make you feel gross if you have too many.  But fake meats are nice, simple, virtually-ready-to-eat options that usually only require you to heat them up (if even that).  Convenience foods can be your friend when you are looking to stick to any dietary choice, because humans want what we want when we want it, and whatever we can have now is what we're more likely to want. 
Side note: Have you ever seen that impulse control test they do with 4-year-olds and marshmallows?  They tell the kid they will give them two marshmallows when they come back in fifteen minutes but in the meantime they leave them alone in a room with one marshmallow.  Almost every kid eats the marshmallow almost instantly.  It's supposed to be an indication of that child's future happiness in life because it demonstrates their ability to control their impulses and wait for good things ... but I'm pretty sure it's just a test as to whether that kid even likes marshmallows.   

Meanwhile, back to dinner ...
To accompany my fake steak, I roasted some zucchini, carrots, and red potatoes quickly by chopping, tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baking for about forty minutes - stirring half-way through.  The fake steak got tossed in the oven wrapped in tin foil for the last fifteen minutes or so of cooking, and voila ... steak and veggies dinner. 

The fake steak even comes with black pepper sauce right in the frozen pouch, so you don't have to do anything to make the steak more "exciting". 

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