- Animal welfare. I don't really see anything wrong with eating free range local meat, especially if you're supporting local business at the same time. However it's just so easy to use chicken stock cubes etc. which of course use the cheapest possible chicken. And I don't want to eat animals that haven't ever seen the sunshine.
- Disgust. For some reason the idea of eating animal products disgusts me. Pork chops turn to dust in my mouth, eggs I can't stand (unless they're in chocolate cake or something ^^). I've always been fussy but recently I've just really gone off animal products, even my mum's shepherd's pie and my dad's butter chicken! I still eat honey though, of course.
- Health. I lost 2 kg in my first week of being veggie!
- I like it. I just like lentils and beans and veg!
Anyway, last night I had what can only be described as a vegetarian feast:
- Okra with lemon, my dad's recipe
- Mixed veg curry
- Fresh peas
- Fried mushrooms
- and the others had a pork chop each as well.
So here are some recipes!
Dad's Okra with Lemon
I just love okra, and I think it's in season at the moment. My plants haven't done anything yet but who knows what August may bring? The ones we used yesterday were from Thailand (eek, food miles!) but I just can't resist okra, the minute I see it any green principles fly out the window I'm afraid.
- Add a bit of oil to a large pan and heat. I used organic rapeseed oil.
- Top and tail the okra, and wash. I used 2 smallish packets to feed 4 of us.
- Add the okra to the hot oil and move around the coat them in it.
- Continue moving the okra around the pan for around 15 - 20 minutes. They'll release a sort of clear goo. Keep cooking until the goo stops and the okra have gone soft. They should still be green but the smaller ones will be tinged with brown in places.
- When the okra are cooked, add the juice of half a lemon to the pan, and stir. Chuck the squeezed lemon half into the pan too, for extra flavour. Cook for another couple of minutes to infuse the okra with the lovely lemony-ness.
- Serve nice and hot. I think something crunchy, e.g. toasted sesame seeds, would be nice sprinkled over the top.
Mixed veg curry
We just used whatever was in the cupboard, fridge and garden yesterday! You can use any sort of veg you happen to have lying around. This is how we made last night's version:
- Chop an onion fairly finely, and crush a clove of garlic.
- Heat a glug of organic rapeseed oil in a hot pan, and add the onion and garlic.
- Chop up 2 carrots and a couple of celery sticks - not too big and not too small. Add to the pan.
- Add French beans (topped and tailed) and runner beans (topped, tailed, de-stringed and sliced) chopped in half widthways.
- Add some fresh tomatoes straight from the garden.
- Add some tinned tomatoes too.
- Tip in a can of chickpeas.
- And stir in a sachet of curry powder,
- Leave to stew until everything is soft and lovely, but hasn't lost its colour.
And another of my favourtie vegetarian foods:
Sweet Potato chips
- Chop some sweet potatoes into thin chips. We use 1 tuber per person (though I could quite happily munch on more, to be honest!).
- Add some oil to a deep roasting tin. Tip in 1.5 tsp of cumin seeds and 1 tsp of black mustard seeds, or the herbs and spices of your choice.
- Heat the roasting tin in a hot oven (200 - 220 degrees, I reckon) until the mustard seeds start to pop.
- Bring the tin out of the oven and tip in the sweet potato strips. Mix around a bit to coat them in the oil and spices.
- Put back into the oven and cook for around 20 mins or until soft and just beginning to char and caramelise at the edges.
There you have it! Sorry there are no pictures, but there's never any left for me to photograph!