Have you ever just craved a big, juicy, medium rare, topped with a sliced tomato and caramelized onions, and on a homemade bun burger? You feel like you just can’t go on unless you eat this burger. You will not make it until tomorrow unless you get it. Maybe I’m the only melodramatic one, but I’ve had this feeling and I can tell you the only way to satiate it is to eat that burger.
Why do people crave meat? It’s like it’s ingrained in our DNA and there’s no escaping it. I suppose this doesn’t pertain to all you vegetarians + vegans + all other categories I’m missing, and maybe this won’t make sense to you or anyone for that matter, but there are just some days I can’t function unless I eat my roast beef sandwich for lunch or get my steak tacos for dinner.
Turns out meat eating it is in fact, ingrained in our DNA. From the time our ancestors started domesticating animals, meat has helped our species to survive. Meat is a source of concentrated energy and provides a source of complete protein, unlike most plants and grains. Before we became creatures of culture and knowledge, our taste buds, odor receptors, and brains were our primary means for determining our cravings. Humans ate what their taste buds wanted, and more concentrated forms of energy always won the taste bud battle. Unlike plants whose cell walls are rigid, meat is a fairly fragile muscle and very aromatic when cooked, so it easily triggers all of our taste bud receptors. In particular, our taste buds helped us recognize and pursue important nutrients. Our taste buds have receptors for salt, sugar, and amino acids – all critically important nutrients for our survival. In particular, amino acids are known as “the building blocks of life” hello high school chemisty. Yeah, what does that actually mean? Basically, amino acids are important because they form bonds with other chemicals that allow for important chemical reactions to take place in your body, i.e. the amino acid Threonine supports the immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies, and since it is found largely in the central nervous system, may be helpful in treating some types of depression; and Isoleucine is needed for the formation of hemoglobin, as it carries iron in the blood, and for the regulation of blood sugar, which is burned for energy in the muscles during exercise. I don’t know about you but I like not being depressed and exercising. Think of it this way, if you could eat one last thing before all the food in the world was eaten by starving aliens who are about to take over (bad example, just go with it), what would you eat? That dinner salad? Yeah, I don’t think so. Maybe you’d eat a 1/4 pound burger, or a glazed donut with sprinkles, or french fries … so meat, sugar, or salt. Hmm…get it? Plants aren’t for survival. Yes, they are totally nutrient dense (and, at least I think, delicious), but we can’t survive on them alone.
Source 1 + 2
Alright, now to the good stuff.
Pulled Pork Stuffed Bell Peppers
I totally cheated and bought pre-cooked pulled pork from Costco, but I trust their meat and there are only so many things I can do in a day. If you are vegatarian, vegan, etc. the pork can easily be subbed for your favorite meat substitute
2 bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup cooked pulled pork
1/2 onion – diced
1 cup canned + diced tomato
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
salt + pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350*F. In a bowl, combine rice, pork, onion, tomato, cilantro, and spices. Place peppers in a baking dish and stuff with pork + rice mixture. Bake stuffed peppers for 30 min. After 30 min cover peppers with a sheet of tin foil and continue to cook for another 30 min. Top peppers with queso fresco and let melt (~5 min). Peppers should be soft + blacked on the bottom.
I admire, but aren’t the least bit jealous, of all you non-meat eaters.