Meat – the male sedative

black-eyed pea gumbo & spinach salad

Southern throwback: Black-eyed pea gumbo, johnny cake and spinach salad with pear and avocado

Son #1 eyed the stove top suspiciously, “What’s for dinner?” “Chicken!” I chirped, poking the fresh spinach I had just tossed into the pan atop the sauteed mushrooms, “and …”

“… something I’m not gonna eat,”  he replied. When did my adventurous eater become such a devoted carnivore? The very son who penned an essay in defense of vegetarianism last month and suggested that we give it a try as a family in the New Year?  Knowing that he would have to dig through a mound of spinach, red peppers and mushrooms to reach the chicken was just too much.

Son #1 appeared to be suffering after-shock from Wednesday’s dinner when I tried to slide another vegetarian meal into the meal plan without warning. Since we were out of town over the holiday weekend, I had missed my ritual of making Hoppin’ John, a traditional good luck dish on New Year’s Day.  To catch up I made a quick black-eyed pea gumbo from Lorna Sass’ Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. And I took Southern tradition one step further and made a batch of johnny cakes, thanks to a holiday box of Virginia foods shipped from a friend back East who is determined I pay homage to my Southern roots. A spinach salad with pear and avocado rounded out the meal  The boys weren’t terribly impressed. They survived by adding slices of baked ham to my veggie-intensive menu.

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BBQ pulled pork - a male sedative?

Last week I realized that while an abundance of vegetables tends to agitate my teens, meat has the opposite effect. A recent McGill University study indicates that men become less aggressive at the sight of meat. All I know is that Tuesday’s meal of BBQ pulled pork sliders, coleslaw and sweet potato fries got a big thumbs up, especially after Monday’s tofu trauma. And I thought it was the Virginia Lightning Moonshine BBQ sauce I slathered on the pork!

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