Saturday, 13 September 2008

On Going Vegetarian

DLOG mentioned in his comment to my last post that I was a vegetarian and I was explaining to him when we met over lunch this week how this came about...

Not that I didn't like the taste of meat you understand - there was nothing more delicious to me than a barbecue cooked steak - I was just becoming increasingly uncomfortable about eating an animal that had been killed for my gastronomic pleasure.

Added to this, we live close to the farmers' market in Bakewell (i.e. the place where they trade cattle, sheep, pigs etc), where on market days you can hear the moans of the animals in their pens all day and through the night, waiting to be sold to the highest bidder.

But the final straw was going to one of Mr Badger's friends (also an Alpha Male) for a party where a whole baby pig was being spit roasted, trotters hacked off and eyes still in his little head. Ugghhh!

I've delayed writing this post - so its now been 6 weeks since I stopped eating meat; here are a few observations.

Firstly, from research, the human body only needs 50g of protein a day which is easily obtained from a whole variety of beans, seeds, nuts and vegetables - as well as milk, eggs and cheese. Contrary to popular belief, it's simply not necessary to eat meat.

Secondly, I feel lighter, healthier and fitter, and I've also lost a lot of weight.

Thirdly, that most of the flavour in dishes is actually in the sauce - the meat is just a carrier, so substituting it with potatoes or beans is just (if not more) delicious.

Fourthly, shopping bills are noticeably lower...

Finally, that most restaurants/pubs seem to have a single, gratuitous and usually pretty unimaginative concoction as their vegetarian 'alternative' afterthought. It's pretty disgraceful!

But when a restaurant does vegetarian well it is absolutely delicious - like the meze platter I had at Ozer where DLOG treated me to lunch.

I'm still cooking meat for the family - not eating beef is rather alien to my Yorkshire husband, plus I have 5 growing boys - but at least by having a vegetarian option available at every meal they can now choose whether or not they wish to eat 'dead animal'!

As meat costs spiral I think more and more people are going to realise they simply don't have to eat quite so much meat, if any at all!

19 comments:

Stephen said...

echo that Rachel. I am also a veggie. Rest of the family not.

Since you are talking about food can i draw your attention to the role food has in the prevention and curing of cancers. I know quite a few people with terminal cancer who should have left this planet years ago but through a carefully designed diet have fended the little bugger off.

Here are a couple of videos that i hope will be "food for thought" and perhaps could help folks see how to tackle this illness differently.
These videos have certainly helped me.

55mins
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4312930190281243507&q=A+World+Without+Cancer+-+The+Story+Of+Vitamin+B17

2 hours (Jerry Brunetti) Terminal cancer.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8841234327210711547

I have spent a lot of time looking at "food as medicine", so if you want any more information i will try and find it. There is no definitive answer, but having lots of options is always preferable.

TheDLOG said...

I tried it once, problem was theres not alot of vegetables that I actually like, so then started to add fish, and hey before I knew it we were all back on meat again.
Tell you all what though, there is nothing like a veggie roast dinner, cabbage, cauli' carrots beans potatoes, (roast of course), cheese sauce and gravy, mmmmmmm yum yum.

DLOG

robbie said...

these are great videos Stephen, thx.

Stephen said...

sorry, didn't want to be miserable, but its something that is important to me right now.

best

Stephen

Anonymous said...

Being a vegitarian is healthy!
I am a trained chef, and it is the key trust me..

Funny i should see this, i have my own restauarnt and i have a great V.Option inface i have 4 people on it.

Asparagus Tarts, are the best seller with Asparagus soup..

Anyway i am of to an Elton john concert soon, so better go and finalise the booking details i am not sure how me typing in google, "Elton john concert dates" leads me to the "Rachel Elnaugh site" - Listed some what number 6 on the list? maybe it is just me...

Rachel Elnaugh said...

DLOG a better way to approach it (well, one that worked for me anyway) is to think of all the meals you currently love and then how you can adapt them...

For example, my kids are big on chicken fajitas (made with Old El Paso fajita kits) - even hubbie had to agree that my re-fried kidney bean version was far tastier than the chicken version I made for the kids!

By the way 're-fried' beans are just red kidney beans really fried - until they start to break up... Absolutely delicious!

TheDLOG said...

Maybe I should start to think again, there are some nice Cypriot dishes that I like, such as Black eye beans boiled and then put olive on them cucumber tomatoes, and a lovely chunk of crustie bread just to mop that lovely olive oil, mmmmmmm, salivating just thinking about it.

DLOG

TheDLOG said...

Oops, forgot, the problem is I can't really afford to lose any weight!!

DLOG

Stephen said...

thank God for the lighter things in life. thank God they still exist. thank you. The sun is shining. I'm going out to mow the lawn now. That food does sound good, thats for sure.

TheDLOG said...

A Favourite Recipe

Cauliflower Afelia Style
1 Large Cauliflower
1 oz butter
1-2 tablespoons light cooking oil, or Olive Oil
half glass/100ml dry red wine
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon freshly crushed coriander seeds.

Method
Wash cauliflower and divide into small florets

Melt the butter in a large frying pan/saucepan, add the oil and fry the cauliflower gently until it is brown.

If there is still a lot of butter in the pan, remove cauliflower and wipe out pan.
Replace the cauliflower and add the wine, seasoning and coriander.

Simmer covered until the cauliflower is cooked to your taste.

DLOG

TheDLOG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheDLOG said...

Another

Louvia Me Lahana

8 oz black eyed beans

1 lb fresh spinach

Olive Oil and lemon juice to serve with beans.

Method

In a large saucepan, cover the beans with water and bring to the boil.
Drain and throw the water away.

Cover with fresh water and simmer for about 25 minutes or until almost tender, adding more water if necessary to keep beans covered.

Shred the spinach leaves and toss into the beans. Cook for a further 5 mins

Serve the Louvia hot with a good spoonful, (or more if you like), and lots of fresh lemon juice squeezed over them. And fresh crusty bread to mop up whats left.

DLOG

hani said...

dlog you are making me hungry! I love the last dish. So good for the mind and body.

TheDLOG said...

Oops, should be 'with a good spoonfull of OLIVE OIL'

DLOG

Mark said...

TheDLOG said...
I tried it once, problem was theres not alot of vegetables that I actually like, so then started to add fish, and hey before I knew it we were all back on meat again.
Tell you all what though, there is nothing like a veggie roast dinner, cabbage, cauli' carrots beans potatoes, (roast of course), cheese sauce and gravy, mmmmmmm yum yum.

DLOG

13 September 2008 10:18
robbie said...
these are great videos Stephen, thx.

13 September 2008 12:39
Stephen said...
sorry, didn't want to be miserable, but its something that is important to me right now.

best

Stephen

13 September 2008 13:47
Anonymous said...
Being a vegitarian is healthy!
I am a trained chef, and it is the key trust me..

Funny i should see this, i have my own restauarnt and i have a great V.Option inface i have 4 people on it.

Asparagus Tarts, are the best seller with Asparagus soup..

Anyway i am of to an Elton john concert soon, so better go and finalise the booking details i am not sure how me typing in google, "Elton john concert dates" leads me to the "Rachel Elnaugh site" - Listed some what number 6 on the list? maybe it is just me...

13 September 2008 15:55
Rachel Elnaugh said...
DLOG a better way to approach it (well, one that worked for me anyway) is to think of all the meals you currently love and then how you can adapt them...

For example, my kids are big on chicken fajitas (made with Old El Paso fajita kits) - even hubbie had to agree that my re-fried kidney bean version was far tastier than the chicken version I made for the kids!

By the way 're-fried' beans are just red kidney beans really fried - until they start to break up... Absolutely delicious!

14 September 2008 03:03
TheDLOG said...
Maybe I should start to think again, there are some nice Cypriot dishes that I like, such as Black eye beans boiled and then put olive on them cucumber tomatoes, and a lovely chunk of crustie bread just to mop that lovely olive oil, mmmmmmm, salivating just thinking about it.

DLOG

14 September 2008 03:30
TheDLOG said...
Oops, forgot, the problem is I can't really afford to lose any weight!!

DLOG

14 September 2008 03:32
Stephen said...
thank God for the lighter things in life. thank God they still exist. thank you. The sun is shining. I'm going out to mow the lawn now. That food does sound good, thats for sure.

14 September 2008 05:16
TheDLOG said...
A Favourite Recipe

Cauliflower Afelia Style
1 Large Cauliflower
1 oz butter
1-2 tablespoons light cooking oil, or Olive Oil
half glass/100ml dry red wine
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon freshly crushed coriander seeds.

Method
Wash cauliflower and divide into small florets

Melt the butter in a large frying pan/saucepan, add the oil and fry the cauliflower gently until it is brown.

If there is still a lot of butter in the pan, remove cauliflower and wipe out pan.
Replace the cauliflower and add the wine, seasoning and coriander.

Simmer covered until the cauliflower is cooked to your taste.

DLOG

14 September 2008 07:42
TheDLOG said...
This post has been removed by the author.
14 September 2008 07:50
TheDLOG said...
Another

Louvia Me Lahana

8 oz black eyed beans

1 lb fresh spinach

Olive Oil and lemon juice to serve with beans.

Method

In a large saucepan, cover the beans with water and bring to the boil.
Drain and throw the water away.

Cover with fresh water and simmer for about 25 minutes or until almost tender, adding more water if necessary to keep beans covered.

Shred the spinach leaves and toss into the beans. Cook for a further 5 mins

Serve the Louvia hot with a good spoonful, (or more if you like), and lots of fresh lemon juice squeezed over them. And fresh crusty bread to mop up whats left.

DLOG

14 September 2008 07:51
hani said...
dlog you are making me hungry! I love the last dish. So good for the mind and body.

14 September 2008 07:57
TheDLOG said...
Oops, should be 'with a good spoonfull of OLIVE OIL'

DLOG

Kathryn said...

Rachel - to add to your comment "But when a restaurant does vegetarian well it is absolutely delicious" ... As I've been vegetarian for a long time now,we always try to search out places that offer good veggie food. While on holiday recently, we stayed near Bakewell and had a superb meal in Felicini's in Bakewell and would thoroughly recommend this Italian restaurant to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!

Stephen said...

Veggies, try this one. Good for the kids too.
Potato and Bean Enchiladas

455 g potatoes, peeled and diced
2 g cumin
3 g chili powder
6 g salt
15 ml ketchup
455 g fresh tomatillos, husks removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, divided
672 g corn tortilla
440.2 g pinto beans, drained
336 (12 ounce) packages queso fresco
oil for frying

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). In a bowl, toss diced potatoes together with cumin, chili powder, salt, and ketchup, and place in an oiled baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, boil tomatillos and chopped onion in water to cover for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, puree with half of the cilantro until smooth.
Fry tortillas individually in a small amount of hot oil until soft.
Mix potatoes together with pinto beans, 1/2 cheese, and 1/2 cilantro. Fill tortillas with potato mixture, and roll up. Place seam side down in an oiled 9x13 inch baking dish. Spoon tomatillo sauce over enchiladas, and spread remaining cheese over sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

TheDLOG said...

If we carry on like this we could write a cookbook,

'The Rachel Elnaugh Veggie Book. (In Association With.......)

DLOG

TheDLOG said...

Rachel, as you thought you the food at Ozer was so nice check this recipe out, it is delicious. Mr Ozer' recipe for Tabbouleh;


Ingredients
2 tablespoons bulgur
a large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
6 large fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
a pinch of caster sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 extra-large tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
salt and ground white pepper Method
1. Put the bulgur in a small dish a cover with a teacup of tepid water; set aside so that the bulgar can soften slightly.

2. Meanwhile, assemble the remaining ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, in a large serving dish. Stir them around to distribute evenly.

3. Tip the bulgur, and a few drops of the water that clings to it, into the serving dish and stir everything around. Season to taste. Leave to stand for 25 minutes, during which time the bulgar will soften yet still retain a slight crunch. Serve.