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Non-Vegetarians' Experience with Vegetarian Food

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by cybrxkhan, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    So I was wondering, since the overwhelming majority of posters here (and people in most places, anyways) aren't vegetarian, have you ever ate vegetarian food, and if so, what was it like for you? I don't mean eating food that is vegetarian, like cheese pizza or chocolate chip cookies, I mean consciously eating food considered part of vegetarian cuisine, or in a context where the food had to be vegetarian - such as going to a vegetarian restaurant, as part of some religious experience, or eating dinner at your vegetarian friend's house.

    Since I was literally born vegetarian I'm pretty used to eating vegetarian, so much I don't think about it. Non-vegetarians have told me a lot of things about what they think of vegetarian food, often negative stuff about how vegetarian food is bad (especially compared to the "real" thing) but I feel some of it is just that they haven't had much experience with vegetarian food to begin with.

    I don't want this thread to turn into a debate about the pros/cons or ethics of vegetarianism, I'm just wondering what others' experience with vegetarian "cuisine" is, because since I was born vegetarian I literally don't know what it's like approaching vegetarian food as someone who isn't one.
     
  2. nerdfighter13

    nerdfighter13 Prince of the Universe

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    I've been to a few vegetarian places, and I wouldn't say the food is bad. I think it just requires a different taste that some people might need to develop. For me, the problem is that I'm not used to some of the foods, or eating them on there own without meat.
     
  3. Quackers

    Quackers The Frog

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    I've had meat as a staple since i've been alive.

    Only recently i've started opting for vegetarian options on ocassion.

    It was tasty. In the beginning you are expecting the satisfying bite of flesh but this feeling dies down quickly and you get on enjoying the meal. It's a regime i've seriously considered trying for the various health benefits. I'm also struggling to think of a serious ethical case to eat meat...
     
  4. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    I've been to a vegetarian restaurant a couple of times and eaten vegetarian food, since my sister was vegan for a year, and it's okay as long as it's not something that tries to imitate meat in any way. And I did taste some interesting things in those restaurants. But I have no idea what it was.

    But I tried some tofu-lasagne, and I wanted to throw up. Tofu can never be meat.
     
  5. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    I've been to a few vegetarian restaurants (around Boston, in particular). The quality of food is far better when they don't try to recreate the taste and texture of meat with vegetable matter but rather focus on unique vegetarian dishes.

    I generally like the Middle Eastern-style cuisine like falafel or other chickpea dishes, some of the salads are really creative and good (I had a sweet potato-nut-maple salad recently that was exceptional). I am surprised so many things end up pickled--some are good and some are just strange. Eggplant is really easy to mess up, so I generally don't order it. Maybe I'm just picky about it. I'm completely and utterly unimpressed with that rubbery tasteless polymer composite known as tofu. I'd rather eat the tires off my car.
     
  6. de Maistre

    de Maistre Comte

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    I preferred veggie burgers before I became a vegetarian. I don't really think of vegetarian cuisine as a thing, though—meat isn't in everything, and removing or replacing meat in a dish doesn't change it all that drastically.
     
  7. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I generally cook vegetarian stuff on the basis that meat is expensive and adds time & effort. Not that this vegetarian stuff is complex, though. I have a vegetarian friend who cooks a lot and instagrams the end result, and it always looks really good.

    I don't think I've been to a vegetarian restaurant though, and most likely wouldn't decide to of my own volition. Meat is a big part of the enjoyment I derive from eating out.
     
  8. Dralix

    Dralix Killer of threads

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    Even with this part, this thread seems odd to me. It's not like non vegetarians eat meat at every single meal, is it? I mean, I certainly don't.

    Ever had pasta with a meatless tomato sauce? Congratulations, you just ate a vegetarian meal, and it didn't even require a religious experience.

    So my answer is that sometimes I eats meat, and sometimes I don'ts.
     
  9. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    Sometimes I forget to eat meat one day (especially when enjoying squash burritos from the local shop) and I die a little on the inside.
     
  10. Leonel

    Leonel Breakfast Connoisseur

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    I went to the Wayward Cafe once, vegan brunch place somewhere in the UW district in Seattle. It was barely mediocre for me. The 'sausage' looked like rice that was bound together by dehydrated baked bean sauce. The 'ham', while having the consistency of ham, had this like chemical taste to it. The only thing they got barely right was the hash browns.

    It really was my first experience with very not tasty vegan food, especially since I went to this vegan Thai place nearby that I was very very impressed with. They had something called 'mushroom meat' which I honestly couldn't tell from actual meat.

    But if we're strictly talking about vegetarian food and excluding vegan, I like it for a nice change of pace. There's an Indian place down the road that I like to go to now and then.
     
  11. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    I have to disagree a bit. I have difficulty imagining a proper dinner without meat or fish. I'd hardly call pasta with tomato sauce a real dinner. Of course not every meal is a dinner I might be arguing a strawman.
     
  12. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    From what I've gathered, as a few posters have already said, non-vegetarians and even some vegetarians seem to have a distaste for vegetarian stuff that tries hard to imitate real meat. Of course for me being born vegetarian it's not too much an issue, but I could see how one could view it from such a perspective.

    Though I suppose it's also the fact that some imitation meat is better than others - I have had times when non-vegetarians were fooled by imitation meat, thinking it was real, but that is of course not often because the imitation meat, from what I figured, usually doesn't do a good job at it for the most part.




    I guess I didn't make it clear enough in my original post - I'm not talking about meatless food, I'm talking about stuff that's explicitly labeled or considered vegetarian, like tofu dishes or imitation meat.
     
  13. Dralix

    Dralix Killer of threads

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    I'd just say that your opinion is different than mine. Pasta with tomato sauce was just an example for simplicity's sake. But my opinion is that a real dinner doesn't have to include meat or fish.

    Well, that makes it a little less odd. I've had tofu dishes, and black bean or otherwise vegetarian patties plenty of times. Imitation meat? I think that's the worst way to get a meat eater to eat vegetarian foods. Eat meatless food for what it is, rather than try to pretend it's something it's not. My opinion ...
     
  14. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    I will eat vegetarian when out. BD's Mongolian grill, now has tofu steak and chicken. I prefer that over the actual chicken, because of the texture and the flavor is not bad either.
     
  15. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    I really ought to be a vegetarian; principally on account of animal welfare concerns. But I'm not one. I do occasionally try to change.
     
  16. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Meat was a staple of my diet as a child. I didn't encounter vegetarian-only meals until I was in college. I dated a few vegetarian girls, the kitchen I worked in got some vegetarian dishes, and I was on a tight budget so I bought more veggies, which were cheaper. The combination led me to ponder giving up meat, as I like vegetarian food, it's cheaper (most of the time), and I like how I felt the few times I tried vegetarian-only diets (I gave up meat for lent for a few years).

    My fiance tries very hard to be a vegetarian, which means that we don't eat meat often. However, I don't want to give up meat entirely. I've found the balance between the two, and use lots of health veggies in my meals, with meat at punctual points (I usually get most of my protein from lentils+rice, eggs, or beans; different vegetarians are iffy about whether or not fish is included in that regimen, but I do eat fish more often than other flesh).

    The answer is that I like vegetarian food for the most part, but I've also had some really awful stuff. I like the creative use of different vegetables along with spices, and all the different ways you can cook or serve them. I usually don't eat heavy meals, and I almost never feel tired after a meal. In fact, I like the way I feel having switched to a predominantly fruit and vegetable diet! I have a lot more energy, my mood is more consistently upbeat, and I leap out of bed in the morning. And I'm regular, can't discount that.

    Some of my favorite dishes to make are stir-frys, curry, ratatouille, butternut squash casserole, and spaghetti squash pasta. One can never get tired of the endless combinations of vegetarian dishes!
     
  17. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Most food which tries to substitute meat with something else ends up quite tasteless - veggie burgers are the classic example, and quorn just tastes like bad chicken to me. A friend's wife is vegetarian, so whenever they come over for dinner I cook something suitable - I can do a fairly good lasagne with butternut squash and other vegetables that they seem to like. I think you've got to make it in a different way, rather than trying to cook as if it were with meat but switching that ingredient.
     
  18. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Vegetarian food is extremely delicious in my experience.
     
  19. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    My opinion is that vegetarian food can be really good, but it is much harder to make good. You can take meat and pretty much put it with anything and it tastes good. To make good vegetarian food takes effort and skill. I can and have done it, but I am too lazy to do it most of the time.

    Oh, and I am also not into vegetarian food that try's to be like meat, because it fails and you are left feeling disappointed.
     
  20. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    I agree. The key is to let the vegetables stand on their own merits, not masquerade them as meat. They can be effective nutritional substitutes, but almost never effective flavor substitutes. The obvious exception being meat pies. :yumyum:
     

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