Yes it is National Vegetarian Week this week – a week to promote the delights that vegetarian food can offer. The vegetarian menu has come a long way since the old nut roast days; though I have to confess to being rather fond of nut roast myself!
Restaurant menus have items on their menu are that will tempt the meat-eater too. Gone, thankfully, is the mushroom stroganoff as the highlighted vegetarian choice! Again I love a good mushroom stroganoff, but in my vegetarian decade I got rather bored of it!
So I am a fallen vegetarian, but I do make sure we eat three vegetarian meals a week as a rule. To me, a vegetarian meal is equally, if not more enjoyable than its meaty competitor! Betta Living, in celebration of National Vegetarian Week, ran a competition for bloggers to come up with a gorgeous vegetarian recipe. Although this was brought to my attention I did not get my act together in time, but I have had a good nosey at the entries and got to write about some on the Betta Living blog here.
There were some fantastic entries, some really clever ideas and I was left feeling mighty inspired to try some out! Halloumi seemed to be a popular ingredient – I particularly like the sound of Natalie’s Baked Double Lemon Halloumi with shoots and baby leaves. You will find her recipe on the list I did for the Betta living blog, along with some of my other favourites. I could, of course, have chosen many more!
It goes without saying that we often have vegetarian based pasta dishes, and easy but filling suppers like vegetable chilli too. One of my biggest challenges is to convert Oscar to eating more cooked vegetables in recipes. He loves salad and raw vegetables but when it comes to things like the vegetable chilli, you can tell he would rather have meat in it! Being gluten-free, I can not even swap for veggie alternatives like Quorn, which Oscar actually loves! Maybe I should do a Quorn version for Oscar but then I think it will need to be in another pan. Can you freeze Quorn that you have cooked in a sauce? A question for anyone who might have the answer out there!
I think sometimes meat eaters don’t tend to know how make up a good vegetarian meal, making sure you are left full. Even sometimes I struggle to think when I have eaten an egg too many and full up of cheese too! Pulses can be great vegetarian fillers; I am a huge fan, but lentils get a bit of a wide berth from the children unless disguised in soup! My lentil and Leek soup is a good one for this and I can just about get away with lentils in my much-loved by Vegetarian Bolognese recipe.
So as you can see, there are many ways we can give meat the day off or even the week off, and for those who would like to, keep it off the menu for good! I have done that and the bacon called me back, but I am more than happy to enjoy several veggie meals in week!
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