Technically, I’m not a vegetarian. I’m a lacto-ovo-pescatarian because I eat eggs, dairy, and fish. Until we realized that my son has problems absorbing nutrients from his food, it had been a good 10+ years since I attempted to cook meat. Back in my pre-health-consciousness days in college, I did a lot of ground meat hamburger helper and shake n’ bake chicken. Then I got to Dallas and stopped eating meat and didn’t have to use those mad cooking skills anymore.
In the last 6-9 months I’ve been attempting to add meat back into my family’s meals so that my kids can be exposed to all kinds of meat and fish and decide for themselves later in life the way that they will choose to eat when it comes to both health and the treatment of animals. As a vegetarian cooking for meat eaters, I use a meal planning system that I love (not an affiliate link) and I add meat substitutes to the meat dishes for myself so that I can continue to eat relatively meat-less. I just throw some Quorn breasts in there or some Morningstar meatballs or some seitan or tofu in lieu of beef or chicken.
Here’s the thing about re-learning to cook meat: that stuff is gross and weird, ya’ll! I mean really, in 10 years of cooking healthy and meatless I never had a recipe tell me to cut through bone, remove a tendon, beat something with a mallet(-type thing), or wrap a brick in foil!
I had to use YouTube to figure out how to butterfly a chicken last night. It involved CUTTING THROUGH BONES WITH A KITCHEN SHEARS. Holy crap. I could never be a surgeon. How do ya’ll do this? I do admit that it smells really nice when it’s cooking. But so does pie. Mmmm, pie.