I am not a vegetarian and I probably never can be. Do not get me wrong I love vegetables, minus a few exceptions like peas, cauliflower, and celery. I had to go to school to learn that kids hated spinach. I was ok with that just meant more for me. I love vegetables, I like them raw, I like them roasted, I like them grilled, I like them sautéed, I am not a fan of boiled vegetables and that is where I think most people go wrong. Boiled vegetables are horrible, sorry there is just no other way to put it.
So other than boiled vegetables I am a vegetable fan, so much so that I will eat the broccoli first before it gets cold kind of person. So it would be safe to assume that I would dig vegetarian food. Sadly that is just not the case. I am sitting here at work picking at a dish of poblano peppers filled with quinoa grain. It smelled good, it even looks pretty good. The dish has poblano peppers in it so it must have some flavor.
Nope, seriously how much mad skillz does it take for a chef to take a delicious poblano pepper and render it tasteless? Yes there is a hint of heat from the decidedly mild peppers but I have eaten a chicken stuffed poblano that tasted fantastic. The pepper itself was just bursting with flavor. This all tasted like boiled vegetables. It not only tasted like eating a shadow but the act of eating it created a mouth feel that was mushy and grainy.
That is one side of the vegetarian spectrum I have tried, the other was long ago on a trip to Chicago. We stopped in at a local authentic vegetarian Indian establishment. I had a feeling that I was punked. The place was a large dirty buffet type restaurant with trays of unidentifiable food. There were no explanations of what the dishes were so I just played a game of food Russian roulette. The immediate results were not enjoyable. Every dish I sampled was nose wateringly over spiced. The later results were even worse when I crash redecorated the hotel bathroom that night. I now have an unhealthy fear of Indian food that will probably never go away.
I have also experienced home cooked vegetarian food. Jonette and I were invited over to a friend’s house to enjoy a feast of vegetarian lasagna. The lasagna came out of the oven and it looked like paste, there was no color just white and beige. I took a plate full of the half liquid mass and took a bite. Once when I was a kid someone dared me to lick a salt lick. Salt licks are big blocks of salt that ranchers use for their cattle. I had one in the back yard to attract deer. Deer like salt licks as well. I think that there was more salt in that lasagna than in the salt lick in my back yard. I forced myself to eat the rest and refused any second helping. To top it all off she served a desert of flourless chocolate cake that could have had a spectacular career as a puck in an NHL playoff game. Good thing there was a Burger King on the way home and a 7-11 where I could get a gallon of water to counteract the salt.
I will admit that I have not had good vegetarian food; maybe good vegetarian food is worth eating. Sadly I have yet to experience vegetarian or vegan food that is worth trying a second time. I am actually sad that my experience today just racks up another point in the bad column. I will go on eating vegetables and meat. I like them both and will keep my options open. Maybe someday I will find vegetarian food that is worth eating.
Until then “Stay hungry my friends!”