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Mock Meat and Vegeterianism [split from the California board]

There's another perspective and that's from a macrobiotic standpoint. I'm still in transition in eating this way but have been moving in that direction for the past six months due to health reasons primarily. I never thought I'd see the day when I was primarily vegetarian but it's been easier for me when I stick to the foods toward the center of yin/yang. Meat is an extreme and it makes me crave other extremes on the opposite end, and while it's OK to do that once in a while, it's harder to achieve balance that way. So I eat fish a couple of times a week and very rarely eat very small amounts of chicken or pork or beef. That said, I am learning to eat some of the meat substitutes on an every once in a while basis because they serve an important function in the spectrum of this way of eating. Plus, I've discovered that many of them taste a lot better than what I thought they would. Just like with all restaurants, not all dishes are created equal, so to dismiss meat substitutes because you've had a few bad dishes is wrongheaded. Go to a good macrobiotic restaurant or a good organic market and you'll find some really nice examples of delicious and well-prepared so-called mock meat products. I don't always think of these necessarily as meat substitutes, but just as additional welcome ingredients I can occasionally add to various dishes to enhance texture and taste and provide variety. Like JanetG says, they're good to see as convenience food that can add a source of protein to a dish.

If you'd asked me a year ago about this same subject, I probably would have given the same kind of response as honkman. But I decided to be open minded and give the foods a try when prepared by people who really know what they're doing. And I was (and continue to be) pleasantly surprised.

My blood pressure is back to normal, I weigh 25 pounds less and am back in skinny jeans. Plus my energy level is great and I feel terrific, and best of all I don't feel deprived. So it all seems to be working fine for me. Sometimes it's possible to draw incorrect conclusions about what people are doing based on your own personal set of assumptions and behavior. I've now learned from personal experience that this can be a closed-minded perspective. Do I miss meat? Sure, sometimes. But when I'm craving it, I know I'm needing to go back to center instead of indulging my cravings and just setting up a chain reaction of them. It's perfectly easy for me to be satisfied with foods that don't throw me too far out of balance.

Jan 23, 2009
lacoquina in General Topics

Roasted Rosemary Walnuts

Wonderful. I do a version of this substituting coconut oil for the olive oil, and agave nectar and/or brown rice syrup for the sugar.

These are also amazingly good on top of green beans braised in the zest and juice of one fresh orange. Start by sauteeing a chopped shallot and a couple cloves of garlic in a teaspoon of coconut oil, toss in the green beans and about a tablespoon of nut flour. Then add the beans and the orange zest and juice. Cook about 5 minutes with cover on, then about 5 with cover off. Serve with the rosemary walnuts on top. Amazingly good.

Jan 22, 2009
lacoquina in Recipes

Moving to Nokomis!

Hope you have relocated and found some places you enjoy. I live in Nokomis and it's true, there aren't very many good restaurants around, but there are a few. In Venice I'd recommend Bushido's sushi on W. Venice Ave, The Crow's Nest (probably the nicest restaurant in the area, in my opinion), Scamotz for pizza, and the Gold Rush Barbecue on the island for burgers and bbq. In Nokomis, Curry Creek Cafe and Briandi's are both very good. Captain Eddie's I find is better for buying fresh fish than for eating because I'm not big on fried food or bland baked fish, but I do love their smoked mullet which they smoke on site. They just expanded the restaurant and opened a tiki bar in the back, and it's fun to eat a smoked mullet and drink a draft out there on a balmy evening. If you like more interesting seafood dishes, try the Casey Key Fish House on Blackburn Point Rd. in Osprey. There's also a decent Thai restaurant in Bird Bay Plaza on US 41 bypass (Thai Spice, I think it's name is), and Dara Thai on US 41 bypass in Venice is also good, as is the Mexican restaurant Mi Pueblo, also on the US 41 bypass in Venice.

Dec 26, 2008
lacoquina in Florida

Longevity Fusion Cafe in Sarasota, FL.

I saw a commercial for this on Channel 6 this past week and thought it looked interesting. I am primarily eating macrobiotically and thought this would be a good place to go. The menu does look promising and I'm looking forward to hearing what the place is like.

Dec 26, 2008
lacoquina in Florida