Last night I made some pretty tasty vegan fajitas. Olde El Paso and I made them together, actually. I cooked up a couple of boca burgers (chopped up), some red & green peppers, onion, garlic and some pinto beans, threw in the the El Paso mix and voila! Topped it off with some lettuce, tomato and salsa and devoured three of them (the tortillas were teeny tiny, I swear). When I was at the grocery store tonight and contemplating making these, I realized that this would be the first time I had Mexican food without cheese. Mexican food without cheese?? You can’t do that, I thought to myself! But guess what? You can!
It got me thinking about how many times we eat things just because we’re used to them, and how surprisingly tasty it can be to just try something outside of the usual repertoire. Prior to going vegetarian, I really didn’t eat much in the way of vegetables. Once I cut meat out of my diet, I was kind of amazed at how much my taste buds seemed to change. All of a sudden all these “weird” foods started to taste really good to me. Don’t worry, I still don’t like broccoli (I mean COME ON), but I do like a much wider variety of foods now. It’s kind of awesome. The switch to veganism was much the same. After going vegan, I realized that while sometimes I miss the idea of cheese, I don’t actually care to eat it anymore, and really, the fajitas didn’t need cheese to taste good.
I definitely used to be that person who said I could NEVER stop eating cheese. That really was the one thing that held me back from taking the leap from vegetarian to vegan, but now that I have, I realize that it was quite a bit easier than I thought. I still enjoy my food when it’s not smothered in cheese. No, really, I do. One thing I’d recommend, I guess, if you are contemplating giving up cheese or some other omni food is to just take little steps towards it. I started out by getting Chipotle tacos first without sour cream, and then I eventually eliminated the cheese from the mix too–baby steps! (Ok, so I have had Mexican food without cheese, just not homemade, now that I think about it.)
Bottom line: try new foods – they might just surprise you! (If my mother were reading this right now she would definitely question who the author was, because this seriously sounds nothing like pre-veg Mindy. Wow.)