It’s been two years since I stopped eating meat and also since I started blogging! The two sort of happened at the same time because I initially wanted to use my blog as a way to learn how to cook vegetarian foods and record any recipes I came up with. I didn’t want to use lots of fancy ingredients or have to shop in special health food stores and I wanted to continue eating similar meals that I was used too! This meant I used a lot of quorn products such as sausages and mince, which I still eat on occasion, and I shied away from lentils and tofu.
I still try to stick to simple ingredients and ‘every day’ recipes however some of the ingredients I was scared of before have become a normality now, I know the owner of my local health food store by name and I hope to show people that “fancy ingredients” can actually be really simple!
When you stop eating meat it forces you to look at other ways of getting the iron, protein and minerals you know you get through meat, and in turn that makes you look at what else your body might need and how to be healthy without the animals. For me this journey just became a rolling learning curve about nutrition, treatment of animals, how our food is made and how the food industry has changed over the years. It’s become a passion! Luckily for me it also seems to be an endless journey because there is soo much to learn!
The day I decided to be vegetarian was a bit of a snap decision and I had nothing in the house prepared for this new change so I decided to make a spaghetti bolognese using quorn mince and this would last a few days until I’d thought up some more recipes. We ate quorn bolognese quite a bit those first few months but to this day it is still a firm favourite!!
Spag Bol is one of those dishes you make when it’s a bit dull weather outside and you’ve been feeling a bit run down and in need of something warm and delicious. A big bowl of steaming hot bolognese on comforting pasta will cure anything I have remade my spag bol for my blogs birthday because I still make it reguarly without any changes! I thought about recreating it with lentils etc because I do like to keep things vegan if possible however I love the flavour of the quorn mince with the rich tomato sauce and it’s perfect for people like me who never disliked meat but just chose not to eat it.
I used Explore Asian’s Soy Bean Pasta instead of normal pasta which made it healthier, it tasted different from normal pasta as it had a strong savoury flavour but it worked perfectly with the sauce. The pasta is a source of protein, Iron and fiber with low carbs and low fat, along with the low fat, protein packed quorn mince and plenty of vegetables this is a really balanced yet ‘hearty’ meal. Serve it with Salad!
Vegetarian, Vegan Option
2 Garlic cloves (more if you love garlic)
2 Celery sticks
Handful of Chestnut Mushrooms
450-500g of Quorn Mince
Herbs de provence/ dried basil/ herb of choice
2 tablespoons Tomato Puree
2 cans Chopped Tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
salt and pepper
Chilli flakes – optional
Fresh basil leaves to garnish
Finely chop the onions, carrots and celery and fry in spray oil with a good grind of salt and pepper on a medium heat untill softened (approx 10 mins).
Dice the Mushrooms and crush the garlic and add to the pan with the herbs, mince and tomato puree and stir for another 2 minutes so everything it well combined then add chopped tomatoes, 1 can full of water, ketchup and chilli flakes. Stir!
Cook for about 25 mins, covered, on a low heat then take the cover off and cook for a further 15 minutes until your sauce has thickened and reduced down nicely
Cook enough spaghetti for however many people you are feeding.
Serve with the basil leaves on top and a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and some balsamic vinegar!
Thankyou to everyone who reads/ follows my blog I love writing it and have become one of those people who dreams about recipes!! Blogging can be really time consuming, especially cooking and photographing dishes but over the last 2 years I have posted an average of 3 times a week so I’m pretty happy with that!
I’ll be taking part in Vegan MoFo 2013 so I hope you enjoy a slightly increased volume in blog posts and plenty of vegan recipes!!! I have a pretty cool theme that I will reveal 1st September!