So if you haven’t been following along, you can check out this entry which explains what my “Picking My Battle” challenge was all about this month.
While it was a little touch-and-go there at the end (mostly due to final exams), I’d have to say this challenge was a lot of fun. It was great to expand my horizons a bit with new recipes, creative modifications to old favorites, and learning to live without meat a couple days each week. I learned that, just as I suspected, I don’t miss meat that much when I don’t have it. In fact, it’s something I’ve considered giving up altogether before.
Until now, I didn’t think giving up meat would be all that practical because in the Midwest, getting fresh produce can be quite the crapshoot in the winter and spring. But with a bit of creativity, and learning to cook a few things I don’t have much experience with (like cauliflower), I’ve found it’s a lot easier than I thought. It even opened up a bit of money in our weekly grocery budget to buy more seafood, which is very, very, very expensive in the Midwest.
The biggest surprise to me throughout this past month is the amount of food I cooked that my husband ate…and liked. He can be a bit of a baby when I try to change the way I cook, which is mostly why I decided to do this on nights where we didn’t eat dinner together.
He started the month making his own dinners (mostly omelettes), but by the end of it, he was looking forward to seeing what new recipes I was trying out. It was the falafel that really did him in – after that point, he tried almost everything else I cooked. I’m glad that he decided to come around to the idea that he can still have a healthy, fulfilling dinner without the meat. A few of the recipes are ones I don’t think he’ll eat (anything with quinoa he’s still pretty hesitant to try), but it’s a start.
As I move into May, and into a very different challenge for the month (stay tuned – I’ll tell you what it is soon!), I’m a little sad to be done with this one. Don’t worry – I’m still planning to cook a lot of this food in the future, and continue to cut back on eating meat every night…but having the structure to do this on the regular made it a lot easier. I’m looking forward to making changes to stay healthier, eat better, and maybe lower that grocery bill a bit.
So let’s move onward and upward into May!