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Geez, Matt Lauer—Tell Us How You Really Feel

September 22, 2010

Hello, hello! Happy Wednesday to you! It’s been a busy morning here—grading, a trip to the vet (Ella has a sore leg :-(…but the doc gave us something to take down her inflammation, so it looks like she’s going to be fine…the life of a working dog, alas), a run on the treadmill— lots of stuff getting done!

This morning, as I ran, I watched the Today Show, which had a segment with food writer and chef Mark Bittman about reducing the meat in your cooking.  I love Mark Bittman—I have two of his cookbooks (How to Cook Everything, and How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian), and I’ve read several of his pieces in which he praises the vegetarian lifestyle and urges people to try a “vegan until dinner” eating plan as a way to become healthier and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into a diet.

The point of the Today Show segment was to show viewers ways not to completely eliminate meat from their diets, but rather to simply reduce the meat—using only a half a pound of beef in a beef and mushroom stew; substituting a large amount of the ground beef in a burger with brown rice, etc.  All of the food looked amazing—I mean, it was cooked by Mark Bittman for crying out loud!

BUT—Matt Lauer seemed to have some real beef (no pun intended, ha) with eating vegetarian! Right when the segment started, he opened by saying, “You know, when people people see a meal without meat, they immediately think: boring!”  Ummm…not everyone! I actually think that vegetarian cuisine can be more exciting than cooking with meat, because you have a chance to get pretty inventive.  There are only so many ways to cook a chicken breast. 

Then, when they moved on to the burgers, Matt complained, “You know, I hate it when you can tell that someone is trying to reduce the meat in a dish.”  Then why did they put you on this segment, the entire purpose of which is to show people how to reduce meat in dishes?! He took a tiny bite of the burger, and consented that it wasn’t bad—but that it certainly wasn’t a regular burger! Mark Bittman replied that he was right—it wasn’t going to taste the same as a quarter pound of meat—but that it was a lot better for you, and still delicious. 

I don’t know…I guess it just irked me!  End of rambling!

Moving on to lunch, which was vegetarian and THRILLING!!! (ha)

Pacific Curried Red Lentil soup (purchased on sale…score!), doctored up with chickpeas and spinach:

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Plus crackers on the side:

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You know, I’m not always a fan of canned or boxed soups, but this one was tasty!! It was a little sweet, but also had a major spice kick to it.

Back to work, back to work…I only have ten papers left to grade! Whew! Fifty papers in 4 days is no small feat, I tell ya!

See you tonight!


23 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2010 6:37 pm

    Gah, I’m with you on the rant – I hate it when people automatically assume veggie food is dull or unfilling or bad or whatever…it’ infuriating!
    Love your lunch, it looks so comforting 🙂

  2. September 22, 2010 6:37 pm

    Ugh, that sounds kind of annoying 😛 Luckily I didn’t see that segment!

  3. September 22, 2010 6:39 pm

    bummer! i would have thought he’d have been a little more objective, but oh well. at least YOU and I know it’s good!

  4. September 22, 2010 6:43 pm

    That would have irked me too. Its not even giving the chance for vegetarian food options to seem appealing to the standard public.

  5. September 22, 2010 6:44 pm

    Yeah he’s always pretty opinionated, it annoys me about him.

  6. September 22, 2010 6:54 pm

    I LOVE Mark Bittman…I have three of his cookbooks and was so excited when he started doing a regular column for Cooking Light about reducing meat in meals.

    I think it is silly to view meatless as boring. Even though I’m a self-proclaimed “vegetarian when I want to be” I have always said that eliminated meat really forces you to be more creative when cooking! October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, and I’m considering going for it all month, just to see how creative I can get…although I don’t know that it would be all that much different since I’m practically a veg most of the time. 🙂

  7. September 22, 2010 6:55 pm

    Wow, that’s lame. Wish he would have ATTEMPTED to be a little more open minded.

  8. Kristi permalink
    September 22, 2010 6:58 pm

    I love the taste of Pacific products, but I have to watch the ingredients. They often use MSG.

  9. Kristi permalink
    September 22, 2010 7:08 pm

    Forgot to say that I hope Elle is in top shape soon. Speaking of natural products, I’ve recently found an Arnica lotion that is great for sore muscles and inflammation.

  10. September 22, 2010 7:55 pm

    I love to add spinach to salads it takes it to the next level! Have a fantastic hump day!

  11. September 22, 2010 8:48 pm

    That soup looks delicious!

  12. September 22, 2010 9:36 pm

    hahaha Matt Lauer isnt very good with his words sometimes! umm if anything, meat is boring! vegetarian food has more color and dare i say, flavor!!!???!! yes i said it. haha

  13. Amanda permalink
    September 22, 2010 9:59 pm

    #1 I am going to have to go grab some of Mark Bittman’s cookbooks.
    #2 No wonder Matt Lauer complains about his high cholesterol all the time 🙂

  14. September 22, 2010 10:14 pm

    Pacific tends to have some REALLY tasty soups. I’ve been impressed so far. FYI-the Roasted Red Pepper is a must try.

    Since I’ve pretty much stopped eating meat, I don’t miss it! In fact, I think it tastes SO bland. The thought of it actually turns me off. Matt Lauer doesn’t know what he’s missing!

  15. September 22, 2010 10:15 pm

    That’s annoying. Wasn’t the point of the segment to ENCOURAGE people to eat more veg? Weird.

    Love doctoring up canned soups!

  16. September 22, 2010 10:26 pm

    Lol. I feel like Matt Lauer is definitely the A-hole of the gang. I’m waiting until they replace him with me 🙂

  17. September 22, 2010 10:26 pm

    I used to love Matt Lauer, but recently he’s been saying stupid stuff like that and it’s making me not be such a fan…. Doesn’t he understand how many people he influences with what he says?!

  18. September 22, 2010 10:26 pm

    I DO eat meat and I think that vegetarian dishes are often more creative than meat ones – not boring at all!

  19. Jen permalink
    September 22, 2010 10:53 pm

    Oh Matt, if you weren’t so adorable looking I would be SO annoyed with you

  20. Ginger permalink
    September 23, 2010 12:04 am

    Poor Ella – hope she’s feeling better (she just doesn’t know how to go at half-throttle, does she?) That soup looks great; I’ve been meaning to try one of those Pacific soups; they look like they’re a cut above regular canned soups. And, it IS getting to be soup weather, isn’t it? Yea!!!

  21. September 23, 2010 1:23 am

    Soup looks great. I am totally with you that veggie cooking can be far more interesting and creative. I really hate close-minded people who “assume” they know what vegetarian/vegan cooking and living is all about. I won’t even get on that soap box.

  22. September 24, 2010 1:27 pm

    I didn’t see that segment, but I hope Bittman took those comments in stride.

    I like Pacific soups, too, and usually dress them up a bit. I’ll have to look for the one you showed here. I like the French Onion and usually caramelize my own onions to add to – it’s so rare to find a tasty pre-made vegetarian French onion.

  23. September 27, 2010 4:31 am

    Jeez, what a horrible comment from Matt! Not surprised, but what an a–! And just like some of the guys I work with. I’m guessing Bittman handled it gracefully, though. I’ve gotten my meat-eating hubby to try more vegetarian dishes when eating out because they’re anything but boring compared to another steak or salmon fillet.

    The soup looks wonderful, awesome idea adding chickpeas to it.

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