(Mostly) meat free January

So here we are at the end of January, and having just been through a month of (mostly) plant based eating. And let’s face it, that is how the majority of the world’s population eats all the time, and if we are to sustain the human race, it’s how all of us should eat all the time.

We weren’t driven to do this out of any high-falutin ideals to save the planet, we weren’t doing it to tie into the Veganuary movement; no, we were mostly doing it because we ate a whole lot of heavy, greasy, meaty food at Christmas and New Year and wanted to give our systems a bit of detox time.

This eating challenge was a particular challenge because my vegetarian dinner collection consists of about 3 recipes (which I’m pretty bored with; my vegetarian friends probably more so) and a lot of vegetarian recipes are written by ex-meat eaters it seems, who are replacing the “filler” of meat with the “filler” of carbs. If I want to eat more vegetarian food, I don’t want the recipes to be (vegetable) and pasta, or (vegetable) risotto, or (vegetable) pie. I want my vegetarian recipes to actually feature a range of vegetables!

There was one website that gave us a lot of vegetal inspiration, and that was Vegan Richa. Proper vegetarian (OK, vegan) recipes featuring lots of vegetables. All quite simple to make, and all quite tasty. Delicious recipes such as:

  • Cauliflower walnut taco “meat”
  • Peanut Butter Cauliflower bowl
  • Spicy Kung Pao Cauliflower

Yes, there was one vegetable that was key to mostly-meat-free January, and that was the humble cauliflower. So versatile!

We discovered pulled jackfruit, a great substitute for pulled pork; we learned how to make oat milk and oat flour; we visited other parts of the supermarket and brought home (And cooked) a wide range of vegetables, lentils and beans.

We have tried new recipes, some 20 or so over the month, and although not all of them are “keepers”, we have a few more strings to our dinnertime bow.

But the heading says “mostly” meat-free so I have to come clean: we were also eating fish. But even with the fish we were trying new recipes (my fish repertoire is even skinnier than my vegetarian repertoire).

And we were also “dry” – yes, a whole sober month, done properly this time.

And talking of skinnier, of course we lost weight, didn’t we, cutting out meat and alcohol? No we didn’t. Well maybe a little but not a lot. So I don’t recommend this as a weight loss programme.

I’m hoping that as we continue into 2019, we will continue to try new plant based recipes reduce our meat intake. Because maybe I do have a small niggling feeling of guilt about intensive farming practices and over consumption of meat in wealthy countries.

Ans meanwhile, tomorrow night we eat our first red meat in a month. And maybe have an alcoholic drink too.


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