I first went veggie when I was 9 and it lasted 2 years, until I went to secondary school.
My sister, Bec went veggie a couple of years later and has stuck with it.
My Gram (pictured) was a great influence as she made me delicious veggie foods, like rissoles, nut roast and these delicious tarts that tasted like they had bacon in them – I need to find that recipe. She also made vegetarian sausage rolls at Christmas which I will post later this year.
She worked for the Jewish Vegetarian Society in the 1960’s, and also knew the head of the Soil Association (according to my dad). She would send me off to school with some nuts which I would add to my school dinner, as at the time being vegetarian was pretty unheard of. And the dinner ladies were brilliant – they would make me a vegetarian version of meat dish – instead of spam fritters – cheese fritters! Tasty but really unhealthy!
Gram took us out to a vegetarian restaurant in the early 1980’s and it was memorable for being very, very bland. I think she’d be very pleased at how things are turning out today the amount of choice and options and … recipes.
I went veggie again in the new year (2016), with plans of making the whole family veggie, but it’s not quie worked out as planned, I am still eating fish, and the rest of the family are still eating meat, only organic, but meat. I’ve decided to see this as a bit of a journey, from meat eating to vegan, and I plan to take my family with me, so will be adding a new vegetarian recipe to the rota each week.
The one thing that’s made it tricky is time to try out new recipes. Vegetarian and especially vegan diets need to have a good amount of high quality protein: eggs, seeds, nuts, lentils and beans. So any recipes I make will include those ingredients as a general rule.
So right at the end of National Vegetarian week, here are my veggie posts to celebrate:
First up is mushroom and red lentil pasta which is a quick an easy midweek supper.
Then there’s nettle and red lentil soup – which is perfect for this time of year.
Then a favourite in our house, Spanish tortilla, we make our’s with smoked paprika, and you can add all sorts of left over veggies – I’ve made it with sweet potato, carrot and beetroot too, which is really tasty.
Minestrone soup is a great soup to make anytime of the year as the vegetables are available all year round.
One of my favourite soup recipes is this one by Rose Elliot – who’s an amazing vegetarian cookery writer, It’s a celery and tomato soup and is literally, onions, celery, garlic, stock and tomatoes, and it is delicious.
Then there’s this post on cauliflower three ways: cauliflower cheese – was something often had when I was growing up, and then there’s roasted cauliflower which I much prefer to steamed now, and of course cauliflower base for pizza, which adds more high quality protein to the dish (from eggs and ground almonds) compared to pizza with a bread base.
I had also forgotten about veggie spag bol which is a great alternative to the classic dish.
Roasted vegetable lasagne is one to get back on the rota as my eldest used to love it – I need to try adding some berlotti beans to up the high quality protein content, and you can get gluten free lasagne sheets too.
Then there’s chickpea and leek soup which is quick and easy to make for lunch, especially if you have tinned chickpeas.
And finally, Summer bean stew with chickpeas – which I haven’t made for ages and peppers are just coming into season so it’s time to try it again…
Pulling all my veggie posts together has shown me that I need a bit more variety, inspiration and creativity. So am off to get some…