Flexitarian Whiskypalian

When Buck and I modified our approach to what we eat several months ago, I ran into a word that seems to describe it well: flexitarian.

The word was coined sometime in the early nineties, and was named “most useful word of 2003” by the American Dialect Society. And in 2012, “flexitarian” was listed for the first time in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

But we only discovered it after searching for a way to describe our mostly plant meals. It’s sounds like one of those weasly bureaucratic made up words. Something to describe a wanna-be vegetarian with no spine.

Makes me think of Protestants who disdain Episcopalians by calling them “Whiskypalians” and say they’re former Baptists who like to drink. Well, yeah, I resemble that remark.

And so, I guess I can live with being a Flexitarian Whiskypalian.

So what’s happening with us on this new regime? Any cravings for the old “meat and three” way we grew up? Dreams of butter and cheese? Do we drool over ads for Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse?

In a word: No.

I can’t explain it, and I’m surprised. First and foremost, we’re enjoying meals more than we have in years. They’ve become un-boring. Buck continues to have zero IBS symptoms, which means more energy and a more relaxed and comfortable man. I’m sleeping sound as a young child, a welcome change. Whether this is related to our diet change, I can’t say. I can say the allergy-related puffiness under my eyes (which I hate) has improved significantly, and weight creep has reversed. Yeah, I know. I’ve got New Convert Syndrome. Ask me again in six months.

Meanwhile, a few photos . . .

House-Smoked Turkey Breast

Here’s an example of the “flex” in flexitarian. The meat on the plate is house-smoked turkey breast. We don’t grill outdoors anymore. I lost my taste for using charcoal, and have always been scared to death of using propane tanks on a gas grill. Silly, but true. But my little secret for the best smoked foods I’ve ever tasted is an inexpensive indoor stovetop smoker made by Cameron. For this turkey breast, I used pecan wood chips. The wood chips come in pecan, cherry, oak, alder, hickory, mesquite, and maple, among others. The veggies here are a mix of roasted Brussels sprouts, yellow squash, slow-roasted tomatoes, and garlic-and-herb-marinated olives, a perfect foil for the Texmati brown rice.

Red Beans and Rice February 2014

Our new favorite is red beans and (brown) rice. We split an Aidell’s Organic Cajun-Style Andouille (made from chicken) link, which adds huge spicy flavor. The roasted miniature zucchini and wedge of cornbread completed this luscious meal.

IMG_20140223_183427_875

More flex, here, with sea scallops and capers with whole wheat couscous and roasted asparagus. No butter in the fridge anymore, but I’m experimenting with a soy-based substitute made by Earth Balance.

Roasted Brussell's Sprouts

First time I’ve ever eaten Brussel’s sprouts and liked them. These were tossed with a bit of olive oil and roasted with shallots.

More later. Time to go to work. Buck had one final (seriously, I promise) rewrite of the first two chapters of his manuscript and one more polish to add sheen to the total book, so we are set up on the conference table, reading aloud, with me challenging, then making changing to the computer file, and laughing (a lot). Buck’s manuscript has gotten commercial-grade good. And we’re having a blast. We sent a few query letters out late last year, then took a good hard look and realized it wasn’t quite ready for prime time. Different story now. This baby is ready to fling out into the world.

6 thoughts on “Flexitarian Whiskypalian

  1. Ah, yes. As a friend says, “Flexibiity is the key to indecision.” Works vice versa, too. The meals look scrumptious. I’ve been enjoying a Green Giant veggie mix that includes barley and corn–and others. The barley and corn are my favorites.

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    1. The GG mix sounds good. We use one from Birds Eye sometimes that’s very good: it’s a mix of brown and wild rice, with broccoli and carrots.

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  2. Looks delicious! I am flexitarian too. I eat mostly plant based now, but fish a couple times and week, and when eating out have learned that lean meat is sometimes better and more healthful than trying to be vegan or whatever. Flex is hard to explain, though. People want you to label yourself is a more definitive way . . .

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    1. I recall a quote from an ancient college psychology class: “Flexibility is the hallmark of a healthy personality.” I think that probably applies to “flexitarian” eating, too. Sensible. Reminds me of our old friend Gracie who died in 2005. A fun-loving woman in her seventies, the last time we saw her she was in the hospital suffering from, I think, pancreatitis among other things. She was trying to whip up some interest from Buck and me in going with her and some other of her buddies on a train trip to Las Vegas where the crew would gamble and party for several days. I remember she looked at Buck (who she swore she would have hit on if she’d been twenty years younger) and said: “Honey, if I’d had any idea I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

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  3. What a great word! I may use it to describe myself in various ways. “What is your political persuasion?” I’m a Flexitarian. “What church do you attend?” I was raised Baptist, have Whiskypalian relatives, but truly believe in Flexitarianism. “What’s your dietary regime?” I’m addicted to the “see-food” diet but am trying to become a Flexitarian.

    Love that range-top smoker you have! I’ve been trying to talk myself into one ever since we had the yummy salmon and tomatoes!

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    1. Hilarious 🙂
      Re the smoker: I thought it might be one of those gadgets I succumb to but never use once the new is gone, but not so. It’s great for smoking fresh turkey legs to use in pots of beans or greens. I’m going to try smoking some Vidalia onions today. Will let you know how that goes!

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