If you want to do your part for the planet, eat well and get experimental with cooking, this might just be the thing for you. I was so inspired after hearing a talk by Graham Hill on Ted Talks that I felt compelled to share. Being a weekday veggie is not as scary as it sounds, it basically means giving up meat for the week and eating it on weekends only. A good way of cutting down food costs and giving the body a bit of a break.
I think it it fair to say that many of us in the west eat too much meat, yet we know it is not the best thing for the planet. As a serious steak and sushi lover (preferably not together) the idea of being a strict veggie is certainly a no no, but I often feel compelled to cut back on my consumption of it. I think it is a suitable compromise. I also feel it is a way of giving myself a chance to experiment with recipes I wouldn’t ordinarily try, whilst doing my little part to save the planet one plate as a time.It is something I have been debating doing for a while, but it has been impossible these last few months. Now things have calmed a little, I have decided to give it a go for the month of november. I feel December would be an unrealistic time to start… Just looking through the archive of my images I am rather delighted to have uncovered a few inspiring dishes, which by the look of them might inspire you too. (Above is my Kale, Orange and Hazelnut Salad a delicious vibrant warm green salad, which is perfect for the colder winter months and below a few of delicious dishes on the menu at London restaurant Kurobuta.) The plan is to share my experiences and efforts on the blog along with some (hopefully) inspiring recipes that I manage to come up with on my journey. The reason I am posting this now, instead of next week is because I think the idea takes a little time to get used to and requires a bit of planning. So I am gearing myself up by sharing now These are a few tips I have been passed on by my veggie friends. If anyone else likes the idea of trying this with me, I hope they will come in useful.
Top Tips for the Weekday Vegetarian
- Plan ahead: Make a shopping list for the week, planning for the meals you fancy making. Being caught on the hop, with no options and lacking in inspiration makes it that much likely to reach for the convenient reduced price ham winking at you from the supermarket shelf.
- Stock up on protein rich foods: like eggs, pulses, lentils, organic tofu and legumes. It is easy to replace protein with carbohydrates and miss them out, leaving you feeling hungry and unsatiated. Having tins of organic chickpeas to hand is a great way to make sure you don’t fall short.
- Try re-creating recipes you like with different ingredients: This is something I do a lot when I am recipe developing. (Swapping cooked chicken for roasted sweet potato is the way I discovered one of my favourite warming winter salads) Swap your pasta sauces, mix up the salads and if you are pushed for time get crackin with the eggs. Goats cheese and chive omelettes, pesto scrambled, shakshouka baked, poached with swiss chard and pine nuts… the possibilities are endless…
- Plan meals out: If you are eating out look at the menu ahead of time. If it looks limited and uninspiring, do a bit of research and suggest somewhere else
- Get spicing: Use spices, nuts and fresh herbs to jazz up dishes. Making them bold flavoured, colourful and delicious is the way to keep your meals varied and interesting. Just look at the amazing food that has come out of Ottolengthi’s book ‘Plenty’ and his new book ‘Plenty More’ it is all veggie, but because it is delicious even stanch meat eaters are seduced.
Favourite Vegetarian Recipes
- Super Speedy: Poached Eggs and Crumbed Tomatoes
- Comforting and Carby: Sweet Potato, Kale and Pomegranate Spaghetti Bowl
- Light and Warming: Poached Egg, Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts
- Nourishing and Filling: Asparagus, Edamame and Quinoa Salad
- Cold Busting: Tomato Soup
If you have any helpful recommendations and suggestions along the way, I’d love to hear them, so do leave me a comment. I don’t think I am going to be able to get through without a little support. I will certainly be steering away from the steakhouses for my Grazia column this month…