March 21, 2008
Before Prince Fielder agreed to review some vegetarian recipes with me on Friday, he wanted to make one thing clear: This was absolutely the last veggie-related interview he was going to do.
The Brewers first baseman was smiling and half-joking when he said it, but the truth is that questions about his relationship with his father have all but disappeared since Fielder revealed he had become a vegetarian earlier this spring. It's arguably the most-talked about baseball story of the spring.
"It's all anyone ever wants to ask about, anymore," said locker neighbor Craig Counsell.
Fielder reports that the new approach is working well. On Friday, he had a protein-packed smoothie and veggie chili for lunch. Both gave him enough energy to hit a double off the center field wall a few hours later.
Though the attention has been almost overwhelming, Fielder recognizes that people are interested in his lifestyle change and doesn't mind endorsing the no-meat outlook. When I showed up at his locker with five recipes that Yahoo! readers had sent me to pass along, Fielder happily looked them over and offered what he liked and didn't like about each one. At the end of the interview, he put them all into his locker to bring home to his wife, who is also a vegetarian.
"Thanks for these, man," he said. "I might try a few out."
Pesto Pasta Toss [recipe]
Fielder: "Oh, I’ll get that, for sure. I like pasta, it's pretty good. I’ll even substitute wheat pasta in there and make it more healthy. I like this one a lot. Only five minutes to make? That’ll be easy for my wife."
White Bean, Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza [recipe]
Fielder: “I’m not eating that. I know I’m a vegetarian, but when you start mixing the goat cheese in there and stuff … I’m just down with the regular cheese. I don’t like to make it too fancy ... (Also) I don’t eat that much pizza as it is. It’s not that good for you or for what I'm doing as an athlete.”
Roasted Ratatouille with Basil Aioli [recipe]
Fielder: I’ve seen the movie, but I’ve never ate it. I’ve always wondered what it was. I’d probably try it, although I'm not sure about the eggplant ... I don’t like eggplant, it gets to me. I like the taste, but then I get like that saliva throw-up aftertaste in my mouth, you know what I’m talking about? Eggplant is good for you though, so I’ll put that as a maybe. It depends how I'm feeling."
Tandoori Paneer Tikka [recipe]
Fielder: Indian food? I can do that. A little spicy. I like spicy. I don’t like yogurt though. Can you skip it and leave it off? Ah, there's cottage cheese (paneer) in there? Oh yeah, I’ll do that … This looks really good."
Egyptian Koshari [recipe]
Fielder: "I like beans. Lentils are beans, right? I love beans and rice. This will definitely work, too. It will definitely work."
BLS would like to thank Prince Fielder for his cooperation and wishes him luck in the kitchen.