“Don’t you get bored being a vegetarian?”
“What do you eat?”
I’m always quite taken a back when I’m asked this question because for me it was a very easy transition which opened up a whole new repertoire of recipes, ingredients and techniques! I think people assume that not eating meat means just eating vegetables n a few boiled potatoes or something but there are just endless meals to be eaten as a vegetarian! In fact my food is more diverse now as before I often would just cook a chicken breast with mash and veg, which to me seems boring now!
I know some people who have swapped meat for Quorn steaks or soya chicken pieces but this feels wrong to me because the amount of chemicals that go into that food would probably be worse. Although of course I will occasionally eat a veggie sausage or some Quorn mince – but my point is I haven’t swapped one for the other on a daily basis.
One of my favourite ways to come up with new recipes is to read a non vegetarian cookbook and try to think about how I could make the recipe vegetarian but still have the same substance and look to it.
For example chicken and coconut curry – I swapped the chicken for chickpeas and sweet potato and then used the rest of the same ingredients and it was so delicious, really low fat and also you are still getting protein and fibre from the chickpeas.
Another recipe I love to play around with is burgers! Before I was vegetarian I would always have a vegetarian burger any way because I found a beef burger to be too heavy in my stomach. A beef burger is so fattening and devoid of any high nutritional value but swap it for some mashed beans, breadcrumbs, vegetables and seasoning and it can be a very valuable meal. It’s a great recipe to experiment with and it can be super healthy or a bit more indulgent by adding crumbled cheese etc.
A naughty weekend breakfast can be eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, vegetable patties, grilled spicy potatoes etc without needing a slice of bacon to complete a meal.
Special occasions can include an elegant mushroom tart, soufflé, open lasagne, truffle risotto without needing a rack of lamb to take centre stage!
So my answer to the question “What do you eat?” is always “everything I want… with a little sprinkle of imagination”
Do you feel you have eaten a more diverse range of ingredients since going vegetarian? Are you a meat eater and worried that a vegetarian diet would be difficult or restricting?