I’m not sure if everyone with a blog is receiving an undue amount of spam comments lately, but every day I open my Dashboard, I see upwards of 100 or more spam waiting for me to delete. I rarely look them over to see if anyone real has been caught up in the filter; i’m trusting they haven’t, but my apologies if you’ve left a comment that hasn’t appeared. I am too impatient to sift through the drivel.
But today when I opened the spam, and readied myself to hit ‘Delete’, one comment caught my eye, and I had to wonder if it was actual, or not. It said “I’m not sure how you can survive on this dreck. For pete’s sake would it kill you to eat a little meat now and then?’ The sender’s name seemed authentic, the email was normal, and the website looked legit. Still, after a moment of shock, I deleted it with the others. Even if it was real, harsh criticism of my blog, my words and my life have no place here. This is my home, and I’m not interested in anyone bringing their scorn in to it.
My friends and I have had a discussion about this type of intolerance a lot. I am blessed with a bevy of amazing women in my life that share a desire for good health and well-being through our food and lifestyle. Through changes in our diets, my friends and I have found incredible health benefits that we never expected to be possible. We don’t avoid certain foods because it’s trendy and everyone is doing it; we avoid them because our bodies have clearly shown us that this is what they want. And we don’t get it, this bashing of choice. Not at all. Our choices, regardless of how anyone else views them, whether they understand or not why we do them, or really, any opinion about them, these are OUR decisions, and should never be vilified for being different than someone else’s. And since giving up meat, I get this a lot. The worst part is when it comes from family. I don’t expect anyone outside of myself to agree 100% with what I choose to do, and I consider it to be great fortune that Mike is completely on board with our healthy eating habits. I find it odd, and also disheartening though, that others feel they can impart their beliefs on me, or dump a whole lot of disrespect on my choices. They’re MY choices. Choices made for reasons of health and well-being. Choices that took time to develop, and that my body has made very clear, are correct for me. I don’t ask anyone else to believe it, accept it, or even participate in it. I just ask that it be respected.
Is that really so difficult?
I mean, really, does that pepper there LOOK so terrible? Stuffed with whole grain wild rice, legumes, vegetables and cheese, this has “Delicious!!” written all over it. You can eat it and still feel light inside, yet fully satisfied too. And it will stick with you, despite it’s feathery appearance. This is comfort food through and through.
I realize that everyone has the sense that their choices are the right ones, and that sense, as deeply ingrained as it is, seems implausible that others don’t share the same vision. What they do, what anyone does, is the right one however, for those making the decision. And this bashing about of others, a dressing down of someone who chooses differently for their life and health, can we all just agree to stop so much judging? What does it really say about someone who thinks that muscling their beliefs on others is acceptable? Does it make them seem secure in what they preach? Or does the very act of questioning someone else, of scorn and laughter over another person’s choice speak to an insecurity they have about themselves?
I don’t have the answers. I doubt this conversation will end, ever, and that makes me sad. The consumption of food has become such a hot-button issue, and everyone thinks they have the right way of doing it. We make very powerful statements by what we put in our mouths, and it seems that instead of it polarizing us, it’s turning us against each other.
What food choices do YOU make for your health? Do you ever feel like those choices are questioned by others? How do you respond to those questions?
Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers
3 colored peppers of choice, sliced in half and cored
1 cup wild rice, washed and picked over
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz can great northern beans, rinsed
1 c. frozen corn kernels
1/2 c. canned tomatoes, or 2 chopped fresh Roma tomatoes
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 c. shredded cheese of choice, plus more for topping (I used cheddar and pepper jack together)
1/3 c. shredded parmesan, with more for topping
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the wild rice, return to a simmer and cook, covered until the rice is tender 30-40 minutes. I used long grain, or regular wild rice so it took longer than if you use the cracked version. Adjust simmering time accordingly. Once rice is tender, drain excess water in a wire strainer and set aside.
Meanwhile, set your oven to Broil. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place prepared peppers on sheet, cut side up and broil for about 5-7 minutes, until edges are slightly browned and peppers are softened just a little. Remove from oven, set aside and set oven temperature to 400°.
In a deep skillet, saute shallot in oil for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook about a minute longer. Add the beans and corn, and heat through. Stir in the tomato and wild rice until just combined and remove from heat. Add the cheese and panko. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When mixture is cool enough to handle, pick up a generous handful and press it together slightly, then mound it into a pepper half. Repeat with remaining peppers and filling, mounding the peppers full. You may not use all the filling but be generous. In a small bowl, place about a half cup of the shredded cheese and several tablespoons of shredded parmesan. Add two tablespoon of panko bread crumbs and toss to coat. Top the peppers with this and place in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the cheese on top has melted. Serve immediately.
What’s on YOUR plate this month??