After enjoying many a burger on our USA trip this summer, F suggested we eat vegetarian for a month after getting home. We didn’t eat much meat to begin with, and I rarely cook meat for myself when F isn’t around. In the past couple of years we’ve been thinking more about the ethics and environmental impact of eating meat. We thought a vegetarian month would expand our recipe repertoire and be a fun challenge. Read on to see what dinners we made…
- A variation of this baked ziti for two
- Salad Niçoise without tuna: lettuce, green beans, boiled eggs, random other veg
- Three recipes from Anita Bean’s The Vegetarian Athlete’s Cookbook (a newish favorite)
- Potatoes with spinach & chickpeas
- Dhal with almonds, plus rice: this has entered the semi-regular dinner rotation
- Tofu & veg stir fry (photo above)
- Sweet potato & black bean tacos: a lazy variation of my enchiladas. Anything with sweet potatoes and black beans is okay by me!
- Cauliflower fettuccine Alfredo (adapted from this Serious Eats recipe): this was already in the regular rotation. It’s delicious, especially if you like cauliflower, pasta, and creamy foods.
- Vegetarian kimchi soup with tofu (adapted from Bon Appétit): pictured above. Not the most photogenic, but still quite tasty.
- Store-bought veggie burgers on Dunn’s brioche buns with roast potatoes
- My soba noodle salad with peanut sauce and Quorn pieces
- Vegetarian bolognese with Quorn mince: F made this from scratch. Didn’t miss the meat!
- Homemade falafel with yogurt sauce, tomatoes, and pita
- Pan-fried halloumi-portobello-zucchini “burgers” on Dunn’s brioche buns (man, those buns are good!)
- Colorful salad with boiled eggs and gruyère-melted toast (pictured above)
- Tofu, greens, beans, and rice bowls from The Full Helping: hearty and healthy but a bit bland, even after I doubled the spice amounts.
- Takeaway (vegetarian) pizza from Sacro Cuore, our favorite place across the street
- Roast tomato and garlic pasta, à la Joy the Baker: we’ve made this a number of times before and it’s always nice.
- Pie and mash! Vegetarian Pieminister pies, homemade mash, peas, gravy.
- Baked sweet potatoes (1 hour in the oven, 400F/200C) with baked beans (Heinz) and peas. There was probably some grated cheese action, too.
- A BBC Good Food lentil bolognese at Joe and Ciara’s
- Pancakes & Pflaumenkuchen on the weekend!
Bonus Recipes (I can’t remember when we made these)
- Vegan Thai curry vegetables from NYT Cooking, aka Thai green curry without meat. Tasty!
- The Food Medic’s cauliflower and pea korma: really nice! I added carrots and onion, and left out the chili. F was also a fan and I’ll definitely make this again.
- The Full Helping’s curried quinoa lunch salad: delicious – would make again. Had it for dinner and it made great leftovers for lunch the next day.
Our vegetarian month went well and neither of us craved meat. The most difficult part, I found, was finding good veggie options while out and about: Tesco has limited vegetarian options in their lunchtime meal deals… We tried a bunch of new recipes and some will definitely become part of our regular rotation.
We like a bit of meat in our diets for the iron and protein (and taste), but ethically and environmentally it makes sense to cut down quite a bit on our meat consumption. So we’ve decided to keep eating mostly vegetarian but allow up to two dinners per week to be cooked with some kind of animal protein (chicken, fish, pork, beef, etc) that we buy from our local butcher (much happier chickens!). We can also be flexible when eating out.
What has your experience been with eating vegetarian (or not)? If you are a vegetarian, I applaud you!
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