Teresa's gift came at a time when Lyn and I had just begun a big shift in the way we eat; we've cut way down on meat and gone way up on fruits, vegetables and nuts. In the process, we've learned a lot about soy milk, tofu, seitan and such.
We had already switched from white rice to brown rice, but this wild rice is a whole 'nother taste. Nutty and crunchy, it has a backbeat in fragrance and taste that is surprisingly tea-like. We've been eating it straight, as well as mixed with with brown and red rice.
|Long grains filled with taste and protein.|
Speaking of excessive behavior, when we made the shift in our diet, I initially had gone all in, cutting out all meat, dairy, poultry and seafood. Lyn knew this was not the way and simply cut back on those foods.
My irrational exuberance was based on my year-long experience as a vegan in the 1970s when I lived in Cleveland. That experience began casually (rooted in curiosity, not philosophy), and it ended casually – on a lovely summer day when neighbors invited me to a barbecue. The ribs were a great, greasy welcome back to the world of carnivores.
During that year of meatlessnes I lost 20 pounds without trying, tallied no numbers on calories or nutrients, not knowing whether I was getting the recommended 55-60 grams of protein a day. Whether I was just lucky or just young, I suffered no ill effects from my diet. But soon after Lyn and I began our new way of eating about a month ago, I quickly abandoned my totally plants approach, believing bad things might happen if I didn't get enough good ol' animal protein. Such is the contrast between youthful unconcern and older bet-hedging.
Too, my decision to go back to some animal protein is based on my belief that good eating should satisfy the soul as well as the body. My daily search for complete plant-based protein was like work, and the taste of some of it was like, well, artificial food.
To name one, there's the fake meat, seitan, made from wheat gluten. On the other hand, tofu, not trying to be meat, tastes excellent when coated with flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder – and sauteed in oil with peppers, onion, mushrooms, carrots, ginger and whatever else taste buds suggest.
Now, as we eat a good many meatless meals, including that protein-perfect mix of beans and rice, and some meals with modest amounts of grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, organic dairy, seafood, I feel assured that I'm doing no harm; I'll get minimal pesticides and antibiotics – and nutrients enough.
Including those from the wild rice, which contains no fat but is rich in protein. And, taste. Life's too short for anything less.