Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dinner Vegetarian

I've always been a meat and potatoes girl.  It was out of necessity.  When you live and work on a cattle ranch, things happen.  Cattle die.  Every day we would wander around the fields looking for sick cows or calves to doctor.  When you pay a lot of money for them up front, you want to be sure they live long enough to recoup your investment.

The other reason ... if you caught them quick enough and the Vet autopsy didn't discover anything detrimental to our health, it was immediately butchered and stashed in the freezer for dinner.  Sound terrible?  It was ... at least I thought so ... but you ate what was on the table.  We didn't have money to buy much food in the store.

Once a year we would gather up all the cows and calves for branding.  Otherwise, your neighbor might accidentally take your expensive calf to HIS house.  Just like people, cows have funny personalities and sometimes go crazy when separated from their calves.  One tried to jump over an eight foot tall fence.  She succeeded in jumping into our freezer.

There was always meat on our table.  I preferred the macaroni and cheese my Mom made and I looked forward to Sunday dinners when we had fried chicken.  That is another story ... we raised the chickens.  Chickens die.  I'm sure you can gather the rest of THAT tale.

I thought about all this yesterday morning as I had coffee with my bird buddy.  I've named him Jack.  Jack is outside singing every single morning.  He's moved from the rooftop to the weather vane.
Back to the story .... I think my cooking skills came from my mother.  About every third time she cooked, we had broiled steak.  I've no idea why we didn't barbecue, other than we didn't own one.  Like me, she was prone to distraction, resulting in blackened steak for dinner.  It would probably be a "thing" nowadays.

Unfortunately, meat and potatoes don't bode well for a diet.  I've actually become a dinner vegetarian.  Yes, that IS ham in the pan.  I cheated.  I've been trying to have small lunches with meat and vegetables but when it comes to dinner, it's SO much easier to just have salad and vegetables.  Steamed or nuked, I LOVE vegetables.  When I saw this recipe for fried rice without the rice, I thought I would try it.  It's WAY outside my comfort zone.
These are cauliflower crumbles.  They were never available in any store where I grew up.  When I saw it had been switched out for the rice in this recipe, I was intrigued.  Could it be possible?  So I chopped up some ham, carrots, celery and onions, frying it up according to the recipe.
Like regular fried rice, there was soy sauce and scrambled eggs too.  I dumped in the crumbles and stirred it up.  In two minutes it was done.  How interesting .... it actually LOOKS like fried rice ... and it's so HEALTHY, except for the ham part.  
Time for the taste test.  It's no where NEAR as good as mac and cheese, but it IS better than burned steak.  In fact, it was pretty tasty.  I'm not sure this is something for the men, since most men are meat eaters.  Surprisingly, it didn't taste like cauliflower at all.  It tasted like fried rice.  Even the leftovers the next day were good.  After that toss it in the cemetery.  

I much prefer fried chicken and mashed potatoes.  I tell myself I should just eat anything I want, after all I'm old as the hills and should indulge myself.  My too tight jeans speak a different language.  I'm going back to being a dinner vegetarian.

I think about what I eat every single morning as I listen to Jack, drinking my coffee outside at the table we used to cut and wrap those cows on.   Strange I should hang on to that table but it's one of the few remnants of a bygone era ... life on the ranch.


  1. Aah farm life and farm meals from yore. I, too, was raised on a farm for the first 6, 8? years of my life and wish every child could experience what I did.By the way, pigs die too, just not our favourites like Queenie and Squealer. They survived our barn fire, we had to keep them alive!
    Your meal looks good and I believe the ham to be healthy too, we were meant to eat like the cave man, as long as it is real pig. :) It would be the cauliflower switch to rice that Bill wouldn't be able to get over, no matter how it tasted. Men, not willing to experiment. At least, many of them.

    1. You are exactly right Patsy! About the pigs AND the men! LOL

  2. I was raised in the city, but my grandfather was a ditcher and lived with us, so it was always meat and potatoes.
    Love using cauliflower, great for a pizza, crust,a massage potato replacement and even the fried "Rice", You meal looked tasty, lean chicken and pork wild have been good in it as well.

    1. I've heard of cauliflower for pizza crust .. just not sure I'm that adventuresome to try it!!