Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let's Play Hide The Meat

I had no idea meat products are used in SO many things I thought were safe. Trying to avoid meat has been a freakin' culinary obstacle course. Are there band-aids for my hurt feel-bads when I discover I have eaten a little bit of meatiness? I imagine there are some people flinging their heads back in an evil diabolical laugh as I post my proud pictures of my fabulous-look what I found- meat free meals.  I said I imagine it that way...not necessarily that you do...i'm just neurotic that way. But I will save that for another blog.

In yesterday's post, I was so happy to have avoided 3 meat traps (one was sorta not a trap as much as it was being lazy). One dish, I forgot had bacon in it, until Mr.Man pointed it out and then I went to order another and found out it had lard in it. Jeez what's a girl have to do to get a guilt free meal on this planet!  I was feeling guilt free until my Sister In Hawaii called and let me know that the tortillas in the pic I posted includes,  you guessed it, lard! What's a little lard you say, it's just grease. Yeah well read on to learn how that's made...insert sound of me pounding my head on my desk here.

Let's go to lard school, shall we!

Lard can be obtained from any part of the pig as long as there is a high concentration of fatty tissue . The highest grade of lard, known as leaf lard, is obtained from the "flare"  visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys and inside the loin . Leaf lard has little pork flavor, making it ideal for use in baked goods, where it is valued for its ability to produce flaky, moist pie crusts (suddenly I hate flaky, moist pie crusts). The next highest grade of lard is obtained from fatback , the hard subcutaneous fat between the back skin and muscle of the pig (I just threw up a little). The lowest grade is obtained from the soft caul fat surrounding digestive organs , such as small intestines , though caul fat is often used directly as a wrapping for roasting lean meats or in the manufacture of pates. Wait, we roast lean meats in low grade pig fat? I'm confused. Thanks Wikipedia- I am forever scarred.

"And how would you like that veggie burger...deep fried in lard,
or smothered in bacon bits and covered in salami?"

Besides the once delicious stuff above, here's more of what I have learned to avoid in my short Vegetarian life:

*Hostess, Nabisco cookies and other wrapped bakery items. Yep, Oreos & Ding Dongs are off the table.

*Commercially prepared cakes, pies, cookies, bread, you get the idea.

*Soups & broths  -unless labeled Vegetarian and even then double check the ingredients.

*Prepared beans- most have lard! Boo!

*Tortillas. Double boo.

*Jell-O, marshmallows and anything with gelatin. I had no idea gelatin is made from boiled  hooves and butt holes...blech. Sorry but not even Dream Whip can make that thought taste good.

* Processed & boxed food. Who knew Hamburger Helper is flavored with "beef powder". Sounds icky. Now you might be asking why the hell am I eating Hamburger Helper anyway? Hello- hamburger is printed in giant -you don't need your old lady glasses to see- colored font right on the front of the box! I thought maybe soy-burger would be good in that dish but Mr. Man said he already learned this lesson the hard way: just because it says to add beef- doesn't mean there isn't already a little cow lurking inside the flavor packet.

So I ask you, what else has hidden meat or meatish ingredients in it? Help a sister out and comment below if you know of anymore surprise meat bombs lurking in common food.


  1. Ha ha! Meat bombs- like meat balls- but different. I just don't read the labels in order to save my sanity.

  2. Ugh. Sister In Hawaii just called to tell me the rice probably was flavored with chicken stock. Is the room spinning or is it just me?

  3. This is as bad or worse than avoiding gluten!! At least most people know what meat is (I think).

  4. Hi AJ Thanks for stopping by my blog! You would hope people know what meat is but just last night I found a waitress who does night...I ordered the veggie plate last night and the waitress says, "there's brisket in the beans is that ok?". Ummmm, I dunno-is brisket suddenly a vegetable?