My husband and I just got back from an expedition down to Tuscon ~ a culinary capital ~ to discover some new and different approaches to cooking. We've both recently moved away from eating red meat and poultry, and except for an occasional dish with cheese, we've pretty much given up dairy products, too.
In some ways it was challenging, because in most restaurants, most entrees are built around meat. Breakfast options are pretty much egg and meat-based, and lunch menus are mainly variations of meat and cheese sandwiches.
Some restaurants featured a few meatless dishes, and so we would select from those. Otherwise, we'd pick and choose among soups, salads and appetizers.
But while our restaurant menu options may have narrowed, by talking with vegetarian foodies down there, we've discovered there's a whole new world of great eating available when we sample new vegetables ~ for example, rutabagas, parsnips, fennel and chard. Get to know a few spices like basil, cumin, tarragon and red pepper flakes and there's no end to the great dishes you can create!
I can accept that from now on, our restaurant menu options may be fewer and we may no longer have meat in the freezer, because we have many more still undiscovered vegetable-based dishes to try ~ and more money to spend by cutting out that pricey meat!