Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ahh the weekend!

My second week as a vegetarian is done and dusted. And yep, I have failed at reporting to the world about what I have been eating, so I apologise. But rest assured I have been following a no meat diet and overall I feel good.

Each lunch I have had last week was leftovers from the previous evening's meal. I had left over ravioli from when we went to dinner with friends and then we did host a barbeque with friends the next night. No rice salad, but I did do a potato bake and our guests made a nice green salad which was great for lunch the next day. I also baked a heap of vegies for myself, just to make sure.

With so many leftovers we even managed a dinner from them as well, which was just what I needed after my day at work.

The most epic fail of the week was a "Caesar salad" that I bought from a local take away. I figured I would do the right thing when I ordered and request no bacon or chicken which was fine. When my colleague returned with our food I saw the salad had no dressing or croutons. Basically my vegetarian option for a Caesar salad was lettuce, egg and Parmesan cheese! I certainly won't be ordering from there again.

The win this week was a recipe by Jamie Oliver - Happy Cow Burgers which I have eaten for dinner last night, lunch today and I will be eating again tonight with fresh steamed vegetables.
The burgers are made on frozen broad beans and the taste was amazing - I didn't even notice that it wasn't a lovely homemade rissole. I highly recommend them, even for a whole family meal.

I have planned a week's worth of meals, so let's see how this week goes.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Work and old habits

I knew as soon as I went back to work that my daily posts might be delayed. There always seems like so much to do and time doesn't appear to be on my side.
So let's recap now...

Sunday morning was mushrooms with scrambled eggs. Lunch was leftover vegetarian macaroni cheese with some chips. Dinner was vegetarian fajitas.

Monday morning was scrambled eggs on toast. The pasta from the other day did nicely for lunch and dinner was the same sauce used for 5 Spice meatballs smothered over zucchini, carrot, broccolini and white rice. That was an interesting dinner... For sure I thought I would miss the meatballs but serving them up for the others was a piece of cake!

Today's breakfast was boring old toast. Lunch was leftover fajitas which was originally made on kidney beans and corn - super tasty with the addition of an enchilada sauce.
Tonight I convinced my husband to take me to dinner.  The initial reaction was "Why are we paying to go out to eat vegetables?". It is a good opportunity to see how the restaurants deal with vegetarian meals and to get some inspiration - even if I did have a meal plan!

Tomorrow friends are coming to dinner. A good old barbeque is planned.... I will be consciously avoiding the meat and snags for roasted veges. Maybe a potato bake and some rice salad? We shall see how the afternoon ends up!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Day 4, 5 & 6

Leftovers have been a good friend to me this week.
Besides not wasting food, it means I am not stressing out about every single meal.
Leftover lasagne without a side salad satisfied me for lunch on Day 4 after a breakfast of toast. Super boring. Dinner was a repeat of lunch WITH a salad again. I'm not a huge fan of salads everyday but it is going to be something I am going to have to get used to...

Day 5 was scrambled eggs on toast before a fabulous walk up the local gorge. My fruit snacks were enough to get me through to lunch where I politely refused a ham sandwich from my friend and hurried home to leftover falafels.
Dinner was a macaroni cheese - without the bacon.

Day 6 - today was a little more adventurous. Breakfast was scrambled eggs on portabello mushrooms (the pic at the start of this post). I am not a fan of mushrooms but I really am trying to embrace new things. Besides, they didn't taste too bad.
Lunch was a vegetarian version of a caesar salad... clearly no bacon or chicken for me.
And tonight was a spinach and ricotta agnolotti with a creamy cabonara sauce sans bacon. Mushrooms also featured in this sauce as well as peas.

Yesterday after my walk I ventured to the local library and borrowed a couple of books for recipe inspiration. Looking through the meal ideas really got the ideas flowing and I wonder how I am going to go this week when I go back to work. Usually when I get busy at work I resort back to the tried and tested meal ideas when I plan our eating for the week.

Even 6 days in I am not missing the meat. No other noticeable difference weight or feeling-wise at this stage but my increased chocolate consumption (thank you Xmas presents) may have something to do with that!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Day 3 and the lunch challenge

Today was going to be my first little challenge - eating out.
Breakfast was super boring pieces of toast with some Vegemite as I was saving myself for a lunch date with my friend, Maddy.
I chose the place because I figured being a Chinese restaurant they would have quite a few vegetarian options... unfortunately I was wrong.
While waiting for Maddy I scoured the menu - sweet and sour pork, beef and black bean, combination noodles with chicken or beef, king prawns and plenty of other dishes that were all based on meat.
I was about to ring Maddy and tell her to meet me somewhere else when I saw a stirfry with vegetarian option - bingo! Crisis averted... this time. Admittedly I did order a side of fried rice which when it arrived did have a few little pieces of pork through it. I dodged those and reminded myself to next time ASK if they could make it without meat.
Dinner was a vegetarian lasagne with side salad while my husband enjoyed the lasagne with a roasted chicken maryland. I didn't even flinch when serving it up. Not even a quick sniff to see if I miss it.
At the moment this challenge is a choice which leaves me to wonder if that makes it any easier. Usually when we are told we can't have something we crave it even more. I haven't told myself I can't have meat per se... it is more about choosing to not have it for now.
Day 3 was a success.

Day 2...

Day 2 has come and gone and was successful as far as vegetarian eating was concerned. Not so much on the chocolate front.
Breakfast was left over bechamel sauce with sweetcorn on toast.
Lunch was this vegetarian pizza  I whipped up at home on pita base with bought tomato sauce. Topped with three different types of cheese and some baby spinach right at the end it was really good!
Dinner was leftover cauliflower curry with chickpeas.
So far so good!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Surviving day 1

Well I did survive and it wasn't as big a deal as I imagined...
Breakfast consisted of some leftover bechamel sauce mixed with tinned corn on toast (an old favourite).
Lunch was some leftover roast vegies from my last roast lamb dinner (see photo from the last supper above) and some falafels with a divine spiced pumpkin chutney.
Dinner was my cauliflower curry with chickpeas.
Done and dusted. So how do I feel? Just fine!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Going vegetarian...

The preparation has begun for Vegetarian January. In less than 2 days I am forgoing meat for 1 whole month. Doesn't really sound like much and for those die-hard vegetarian folk out there I am sure it isn't.
But this month means cooking new dishes almost every night or I face the boring option of eating salad. Cooking I enjoy but when I go back to work the inspiration and ideas tend to go out the window when I get busy and we revert back to the protein (meat) and vegies.
So now I am prepped. I searched for inspiration on different vegetarian recipes that I can adapt to include meat for the others and that look really appetising. They have been saved to my Pinterest board here if you want to see what I have found.
This morning I got up early to go to the local markets and stock up on half my vegetable list and then I followed up with the supermarket to get the other items. I did have some lentils in the pantry but the mouse my cat let into our house (a whole other story) somehow managed to get to the third shelf and help himself to my legumes and pasta packets.
Just to start getting into the swing of things I whipped up a cauliflower curry with some items I had... the chickpeas I purchased today will be added to it to make it a bit more filling. That is Monday's dinner sorted!
To celebrate the last day of being a meat eater (for 1 month anyway) I am having roast lamb tomorrow night. It is my intention to enjoy every mouthful but to also remind myself that this is a new challenge and anything I usually set my mind to, I do it.
Wish me luck!