I’ve been maintaining a vegetarian diet for almost four weeks now. In case you were wondering, I did manage to use the lime curd in my edamame bean savoury rice dish and it went down a treat. Edamame beans are something I’ll cook up a lot more.
Rice has been my latest fad. Indian spiced rice with chickpeas, and Spanish style rice with peppers, onions and butter beans have taken centre stage on my plate. I have rediscovered the versatility of rice and beans – my husband has too, much to his dismay.
The downside of my vegetarian diet.
It’s not all roses and harps. Even though I don’t react brilliantly to dairy, I have increased my intake. Why? Because I can. Stomach cramps and mucous throat aside, it’s been fun but it can’t continue for much longer. My sleep pattern is poor and my stomach feels like a balloon. I suppose doing vegan month in May is a good thing (for my body) really. As a vegetarian, I’m certain my weight has shot up, but then again, I can’t complain when I’ve added cheese and ice cream to my diet – two ingredients I hadn’t previously eaten often. I’ve been treating myself to ice cream sundaes most nights – not good. It has to stop or I’m going to have to buy bigger clothes!
How did the holiday in Devon go while being vegetarian?
Eating out was a little tedious. Why do most veggie dishes come with salad and garlic bread? and why are they mostly chilli and lasagna? I hate garlic bread. Bring back the stuffed pepper. At least I could have had my beloved savoury rice fix.
I have an exception, the Terrace Tapas Bar in Ilfracombe. I managed to enjoy paella rice, aubergine baked in tomatoes, patatas bravas, Spanish tortilla, nachos, deep fried mozzarella sticks, beautifully dressed salad, and sourdough bread dipped in oil and vinegar. They get ten out of ten for accommodating veggies. On top of that, their customer service was second to none. I made a note, reminding myself to make the paella rice and the aubergine bake when I returned home. I forgot how much I love Spanish flavours.
The next morning, I asked Wetherspoons if they’d make me a vegetarian Eggs Benedict as Eggs Benedict is one dish I love (as if I hadn’t eaten enough the night before). They replaced the ham with a veggie sausage and I can tell you, it works a treat. Wetherspoons are highly accommodating to individual needs. If you ask and they can do, they will do. Top marks to them too.
As guessed, the ice cream was exceptional and the flavour choices were amazing. It’s ice cream heaven in Devon. I have to stop thinking about ice cream.
Thoughts of going vegan in May.
I’m going to miss cheese and ice cream. It will be like saying goodbye to old friends. I know there are substitutes but I’m not yet sure they’re in my price range. I’m contemplating making a rice pudding with soya or almond milk. Time to adapt maybe? Who needs cheese? My body is telling me to quit cheese anyway. On the upside, I’ve found vegan chocolate for a reasonable price at B&N and it tastes lovely. Happy days – hopefully.
What have I been cooking?
Since returning home from Devon, I’ve made an aubergine bake (below) topped with a mix of grated cheddar, chopped fresh coriander and breadcrumbs; paella rice with Quorn chicken, and a rose water plum and ground almond crumble. The crumble was star of the show and is actually a vegan dish. Check out my recipes below.
Baked aubergine with cheese and coriander topping. (See photo below).
Ingredients (feeds 4 as a veg side or 2 as a main).
1 aubergine – sliced.
1 tin of tomatoes or 6 tomatoes.
4 cloves garlic.
Sugar, salt, pepper to taste.
Cheese – grated. (I used cheddar but mozzarella would be good too).
Coriander – finely chopped. (optional but tasty).
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs.
Fry onions and garlic in olive oil. Add salt to taste. Add dried oregano and peeled/tinned tomatoes. Cook down for a couple of minutes. Taste and season further with sugar, salt and pepper. Keep tasting.
Get a frying pan and add olive oil. Fry the aubergine slices in batches.
When the tomato sauced has cooked down and you’ve fried your aubergine slices, layer them, tomato sauce first, in a baking dish. Tomatoes then aubergine until you run out.
Mix the grated cheese, coriander and breadcrumbs in a dish and pour the mix over the aubergine.
Bake for half an hour at 160 or until the aubergines are all soft and the cheese is grilled. Serve and enjoy.
Rose water plums topped with ground almond crumble.
Ingredients (serves a generous 2).
1 punnet of plums, halved and with stones removed.
4-6 tablespoons of rose water.
3 tablespoons of self raising flour.
2 tablespoons of Pure Sunflower Margarine.
2 tablespoons of Demerara sugar.
2 tablespoons of ground almonds.
Lay the plums face up in a small baking dish. Sprinkle caster sugar over the plums to suit your palate. Spoon the rose water over the top, making sure that each plum has a slight covering.
Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add the margarine and rub until it resembles crumble. If you need a bit more margarine, go ahead and add a little. If you need more dry ingredients, do the same. Pour the crumble mix on top of the plums and put in an oven set at 160. My plums took about 25 minutes. When the plums are soft and the crumble is crumbly, it is ready to eat. I served it with some Alpro Soya single cream and it was yummy. Plums and rose water are a combination to die for.
Anyway, I’ll let you know how vegan May is going very soon.
Toodle pip – and do try the plums.
And if you’re going on holiday and fancy something scary and holiday themed to read. …..