Orecchiette with marinated eggplant and mozzarella.

Don’t call me a vegetarian.

Life List Goal: Eat Vegetarian for a Month

Goal number 87 on my incomplete list of 1,000 things to do in my life: EAT VEGETARIAN FOR A MONTH

I chose this as a goal for a variety of reasons. Mostly for my health and to force myself to make different food choices and to explore different foods and recipes. I mean, any time I eat a really good vegetarian meal I don’t miss the meat, but I will usually tend towards getting meaty meals anyways.

So I decided to go ahead and try for a month of veggie eating. I am using the term “month” a little loosely here, as I started on July 10 and intend to finish on August 9th. (I had to wait until after my trip to New York and the hot dog eating contest.) But 31 days is 31 days even if it isn’t a calendar month.

Mind you, I don’t intend on giving up meat forever and am sure that on day 32 I will be eating a pork burrito or a hamburger or maybe both. But hopefully I will be inspired to continue to incorporate more veggie based meals into my diet.

One thing is to be clear: I am not a vegetarian and am not calling myself a vegetarian. So don’t call me a vegetarian. I am just eating vegetarian food and not eating meat for a month. And as I told someone: it’s not about the animals. I love meat. I hate animals*.

I am now on day three of my veggie-based eating plan.

And I made a couple of “rules:”

No meat. No exceptions.

I am not eating vegan so I am allowed eggs, milk, cheese, etc.

But I should bake something vegan twice.

Try different meat substitutes.

Try two different vegetarian restaurants.

Don’t just eat french fries and cheese quesadillas. 🙂

That isn’t to say I am not allowed french fries and cheese quesadillas… 🙂

To kick things off, here’s what I ate my first weekend of eating a vegetarian diet:

Mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese, onion, and spinach

Mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese, onion, and spinach.


Peach Gazpacho

Peach Gazpacho.


More stuffed mushrooms (I didn't want the ingredients to go to waste!)

More stuffed mushrooms. (I didn’t want the ingredients to go to waste!)


Orecchiette with marinated eggplant and mozzarella.

Orecchiette with marinated eggplant and mozzarella. (Based on this recipe.)


So can this bacon loving girl go a whole 31 days without eating any meat? We will see… Wish me luck!

UPDATE: See the results here!



*I don’t really hate animals but I did have a dog bite my face so they kind of piss me off sometimes.

p.s. I totally will never be a good food photographer because I 1) am too impatient to set up the lighting and stuff and just want to eat 2) don’t tend to cook when there is actually light out and 3) don’t iron my napkins.


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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Marlo
    July 12, 2010at10:33 pm

    This is a good goal. The last time I attempted to be a vegetarian I only lasted a week. Due to the sharp drop in calories I was constantly getting headaches. However, the dishes that you posted look much more appetizing than what I was eating. I think that this is something that everyone should try at least once in their lives. I’ll be very interested to hear how you manage when the cravings kick in. Keep us posted!

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