Dinner, Only Without All The Murder

babychicken

Please don’t eat me! For the love of Christ, I want to live!

Recently, I’ve been feeling slightly guilty about going to the Minnesota State Fair and having a parade of ham sticks and beef jerky on rotation inside of my mouth.

Ehhhhh…let’s start over.

For the most part I’m a vegetarian. Not for health reasons, but like one of those saps whose heart is bleeding all over the place for the animals. What can I say? As little compassion as I have for my fellow human beings most of the time, I’m a sucker for a bunch of creatures that would happily feast on me if I was incapacitated and it was six minutes past dinner time. Yes, I will have a bite of bacon here and there and you’d be wise not to leave me alone with your plate of hot wings but I rarely buy meat dishes myself. My philosophy is that I don’t make room for more dead animals by ordering them in the first place.

Hypocritical? Perhaps. But I’ve reconciled it in my own head to where I’m pretty much a champion for the wild kingdom. Naturally, this comes with great responsibility. Whenever I find delicious meat substitutes, I feel compelled to share them. So that’s what I’m doing here today. I hope you’ll give this meal a chance and in the process, save a chicken!

Warm Goat Cheese Salad With Chik’n Strips

This is honestly soooo good and it’s also low in calories so you when you’re hungry and want to eat a real dinner later on, you won’t feel so guilty about it. Here’s what you’ll need:

Morning Star Chik’n Strips                                    Mont Chevre Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese

Spinach Leaves                                                   Pine Nuts

Baby Tomatoes                                                   Salt

Chopped Red Onions                                           Black Pepper

Cranberries or Raisins                                          Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Olive oil

I don’t know the exact amounts. I’m thinking about as much of these items as you would put in a salad.

Montchevre Goat Cheese

First cut three half inch slices of the goat cheese and place them on a tray to go in your toaster oven. I have all kinds of fancy settings on mine. I put it on convection at 400 degrees, which seems excessive, but they warm up pretty quick at that heat.

Chiknstrips

Next heat up six to ten strips in a pan over medium high heat with a little oil. Then toss all of your other ingredients in a large bowl and mix em’ all up. Usually I use pine nuts but I guess they’re out of season because I couldn’t find them at the grocery store which is OK because they’re super expensive. Actually, while we’re on the subject, do they grow these things on Mars? Cause seriously, they’re like eight bucks for a small bag.

But ANYWAY. I just bought a salad topper that had walnuts, sunflower seeds and cranberries in it. Also I chop my baby tomatoes in half.

Next, put your greens and everything else on a plate. After about four minutes, your chik’n strips (these are fake chicken strips for anyone who is confused) will be ready to add on top. Pull the goat cheese out of the oven and scoop them up to place around the sides.

goat cheese salad

 Ta da!

A perfectly healthy and tasty dinner option with no blood on your hands!

Little chicken pic via Ryan Schain via loldamn.com

  • http://whyimcray.blogspot.com/ AwesomelyOZ

    Hey Kelly!

    While that looks good, where’s the bacon or maybe bits of steak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zaCUBTI8wc)? O_o I’ve tried being a vegetarian but it doesn’t always work out because.. you know.. I have no self control 😉

    Have a great weekend lady!
    -Iva

  • http://smallanimaltalk.com Anne

    Nice one Kelly. I’ve been burning my way through the vego recipes in Jamie Oliver’s ministry of food book…very helpful for people like me who pass out when they have to pre-heat an oven. I bragged to my mum that I used shredded potato in my pasta tonight. There is more to life than meat and three veg.

  • Janice

    Love the recipe! Looks delicious…also I never thought about cooking the goat cheese in the TOASTER OVEN! Brilliant…perhaps the next article could be about the awesome powers of the toaster oven:)

    • Kelly

      Makes a world of difference!

  • Gabriele

    Looks good…and I’m no Vegan.

  • Rochelle Migliore

    I see murder all over that plate 😀

    • Kelly

      I was waiting for something from you on this one. What took you so long! There is definitely torture on the plate in the form of goat cheese. I’m actually on a vegan kick right now so I’m feeling a little bit better about myself, but eating dairy isn’t doing animals any favors in the grand scheme of things either. I’m trying. I’m still interested in your thoughts on this.

  • Rochelle Migliore

    The moral arguments I’ve heard about not eating animals don’t make sense to me. I don’t see the difference between killing an animal and killing a plant, except for the wording. We “pick” plants but we “kill” animals. Both were alive before we stepped in to consume them to support our being alive. Both will eventually die even if no one kills them, and then other species will consume the carcass to support its being alive.

    Both plants and animals have defense mechanisms to try and ward off predators. This seems like proof of wanting to live. If a plant and animal both show signs of wanting to live, then why is one’s right to live any more compelling then the other’s?

    I’ve heard that we shouldn’t eat animals because they are sentient beings. When it comes to sentience, there is a long history of science saying animals aren’t sentient beings, though we now know that’s not true. So how do we know science won’t someday be able to prove that plants are sentient beings as well? Especially with phenomena like suicidal trees, or something as simple as fruits that bury their seeds deep in their flesh to make sure their species continues even if they themselves are killed (eaten).

    Every living thing lives off the death of other living things. The only way out of that is to die, at which point other living things will then live off your death. So I’m not able to make sense of moral arguments against eating meat.

    • Kelly

      Thanks for posting this Rochelle. I appreciate your argument and I even had to ask Jeff White what sentient meant when I was reading it, however, mine goes something like this. Yes, we all have to die. But we all have to live as well. Unfortunately, for those creatures farmed for food, it’s the living part that’s pretty horrific. While I’ve heard the same thoughts regarding plants and that they may possibly have feelings (my brother sent that to me and said “so what are you going to do now?”) what they don’t have is a central nervous system. Or a brain for that matter. A plant is not screaming out in pain or cowering from fear when a farmer picks it. At least, as you say, as far as we know. However, I would argue that the evidence of animals being terrified and in pain is definitely more obvious.

      When you talk about suicidal trees or plants whose seeds are buried deep in their flesh, these are not choices that were made on behalf of the organisms themselves, rather a matter of evolution. When we say a tree commits suicide, we as human are assigning a human behavior to what is really, as you said, a defense mechanism. A tree isn’t committing suicide because it’s sad. The choice an apple has made to have seeds inside of itself is about as involved as the choice a human has made to have their brain encased in a protective skull. Plants, in my opinion, are not going around making conscious decisions. But my cat on the other hand, will come sit on my head and scream his face off when he’s hungry and it’s time to wake up. He will also shout at me for an hour straight and be unusually affectionate when I’ve left him for days, indicating that he’s been stressed out due to my absence. I can see when he is scared or nervous or if I step on his tail, he yelps and becomes defensive. I’ve never seen a tree do any of this. And when you carve your name in one, or cut one down, they don’t make obvious objections.

      My problem with killing animals for food, is that although most other animals in the world do this, most other animals don’t have a choice. As humans, we’ve developed enough to have alternatives and while I begrudge no one who eats meat, I’ve chosen the alternative. I know that being a vegetarian is only limiting the suffering inflicted on animals, not eliminating my part, but I feel like that’s better than nothing, If I couldn’t bare the thought of my cat being slashed at, poked, prodded, tortured, boiled alive, or confined to a ridiculously small space for his entire existence (all things that happen to conscious, feeling, farm animals) then I can’t justify it being OK for that to happen to pigs or cows or chickens. Keep in mind, I ate meat until I was 31, so I’m not a crusader in all of this, I’ve just made a choice that feels more comfortable to me.

      Thanks again Rochelle! I still need to change that phone thing!

  • Rochelle Migliore

    Great points Kelly! This would be a really good in person conversation, there’s a lot of great stuff here :)

    The thing that bothers me most is the assumption that vegetarians have acceptable moral convictions, and meat eaters do not. None of us want animals to suffer, and thanks in part to the work of people like Temple Grandin, we’re able to give them their deserved comfort and dignity.

    I have A LOT of respect for you choosing to pass on something you enjoy in order to do what you believe in, and what makes you feel best both physically and emotionally.

    And…..

    On’tday etlay outway ourway onephay ecretsay! 😀

    • Kelly

      I agree. To be honest, when I see cows and pigs out roaming around, I’m not as bothered by their somewhat less desirable futures. It’s when I watch those awful PETA videos of animals that are mistreated for so long while they are alive that I get upset. Temple Grandin style is definitely up my alley.

  • senior blanco

    tu es hearto esta grande