As many of my readers know, I have recently started a new role at Cincinnati Zoo as Catering Manager. Though not directly involved with the animals, I do engage and interact with their keepers- and squeal like a child whenever my favourite “animal ambassador” comes out for a show and tell during events. (For those wondering, yes I’ve met Fiona, yes she’s cute!)
Having been at the zoo for just over 2 months, I have become very conscious how much meat I eat, and how happy I am to coo over hippos and goats and flamingos, and how I would do anything to protect them (above everything else, the zoo is about conservation). Yet I have been happy to eat chicken and pork pumped full of water and hormones. America is the land of meat, meaning vegetarian restaurants are few and far between, but I can’t work surrounded by protected species, and go home and eat mass produced and mass slaughtered ones.
I have been vegetarian before- it stemmed from watching Babe aged 9 and refusing to eat meat (apart from sausages. Oh the irony.) so I know that being vegetarian is easy to do, and easy to maintain once you know how to get your protein. And as I’m lactose intolerant, save for the occasional sprinkle of Parmesan or scoop of ice cream, I am also dairy free. Meaning that + vegetarian = the accidental vegan!
With the shift to being vegetarian in full swing, I was delighted to come across Em’s vegetarian lentil ragu recipe. Packed to the rafters with protein as it uses both lentils (25g of protein per 100g) and quorn mince (14.5g per 100g), it is a great recipe with easy to follow instructions. I highly recommend this recipe, and giving Em’s blog a little like and love.