Dinner: A steak, broiled. Broccoli, steamed. Potatoes, mashed.

Simple enough, right? Make the steak a chicken breast, the broccoli a pile of peas, and the potatoes white rice. It’s not any different. It’s protein, vegetable, and carbohydrate.

I was just browsing the vegetarian section over on Tasty Kitchen, and I realized that all of the recipes suck. They look good, but in essence, they suck. They all involve fruit. None of them are for men, that’s for sure. They’re full of odd ingredients that normal people don’t typically have around their kitchen. I know vegetarians aren’t normal people, and this helps to account for some of the recipes. But none of those odd, healthy little people seem to think about us meat eaters. Their recipes are for people like them only. People that have a 50 lb sack of quinoa in their pantry, a wedge of raclette in their fridge, and daikon in the fruit bowl. The fact that my spell checker thinks all of those words are nonexistent means I’m on to something.

I ask myself, why does a vegetarian need those things? To be honest, my husband actually asked me. Here is the conversation we had:

Him: “If you take the steak off of the plate why can’t you just replace it with another vegetable?”

Me: “Because they want more variety than that.”

Him: “But meat is just meat. It’s just one thing. Why do you have to put so many vegetables together to form some fancy dish? The meat wasn’t fancy.”

I was stumped. Why do they have to put so many vegetables together? Why not just potatoes, broccoli, peas, and corn? That would be a full plate. I don’t expect veggie variety when I have meat, why would I expect it without?

Okay, so there’s the issue of protein. Well, they should just take out the meat and put in a pile of beans. Done. Whatever you would have done to meat, just do to vegetables. Personally, I’m a fan of Lawry’s seasoned salt.

Still, despite the obvious flaws, I want to fancy up my vegetables. I want to try something besides olive oil on my asparagus. I’d like to know how to properly cook and eat a squash. I’m interesting in trying brussels sprouts some way other than buttered. So for that I head towards the vegetarians. However, these herbivores and their batty ingredients are scaring away the omnivores who come looking their way. Why can’t it just be simple? Can’t you just take some ingredients that we all know and make a dish out of that? I don’t have radicchio. Can’t it just be lettuce of any variety?

I’m going to work on that this summer. I’ll visit my new local produce store, I’ll buy some normal vegetables, herbs, and tubers. Then I’ll get to work on creating my own arsenal of simple easy ways to prepare vegetables that everyone has heard of. I’ll keep you updated.

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