What do vegetarians eat? To the uninitiated, this seems a constant source of anxiety. I absolutely cannot go out to a restaurant without an omnivore friend feeling compelled to tell me all the vegetarian food on the menu. And when some generous individual invites me over, she also expresses this anxiety about what on earth she can make that I can eat.
Relax, I always tell them. American restaurants that lack vegetarian options are few and far between. And my host is sure to have a ton of vegetarian food in her repertoire without even realizing it. Does she make salad, hold the chicken? Does she make rice, pasta, corn on the cob, or potatoes? Does she steam peas or broccoli? Serve bread with butter, olive oil, jam, or cheese? Does she have any fruit?
Of course she does, and so do you. As soon as you realize that vegetarians don't limit themselves to fancy, show-stealing vegetarian entrees, you will realize that in fact you know how to cook an enormous amount of perfectly satisfying vegetarian food.
To edify those who continue to worry about the sustenance of their vegetarian friends, I offer tonight's supper for examination. George and I both enjoyed the food because it tasted good, it was attractively presented, it was mostly healthy, it didn't cost much, and it was easy to cook and clean up after. We dined on:
defrosted corn kernels
sliced fresh sweet pepper
cucumber spears mixed with fresh lime juice and snippets of shiso (minty herb)
fresh tomato wedges drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, pinch of salt, and some torn fresh basil
pan-fried/ steamed Korean vegetarian dumplings from our Asian grocer
A very delicious, delightful, de-lovely meal, the kind that must warm any parent's heart. No one has to ask me to eat my vegetables, after all.
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