Thanks so much for all the lovely sounding recipe ideas and links for veggie websites, lots to choose from. Having given it some thought, I've decided to go pescatarian - I'll have something fishy a couple of times a week, the rest of the time it'll be fully vegetarian. Husband raised his eyebrows, until I said I wasn't expecting him to follow suit. Whilst he loves most veggies and quite likes some vegetarian dishes, I can't see him ever giving up meat, nor would I encourage him to....it's his choice. I'm quite excited about the thought of making vegetarian dishes that I actually really like but husband doesn't - like nut roast, which I love but almost never make because he won't eat it. Over the years I've gone without quite a lot of foods I like, because husband doesn't. On the rare occasions when we've gone out for meals (even less likely now, with the way prices are rising) I've quite often chosen something vegetarian, knowing I wouldn't have it at home. So, even though I've always thought of myself as a carnivore, I've actually been leaning more towards vegetarian for the past couple of years. Things and tastes change as we get older, I guess. But if I have a sudden urge to have a bacon sandwich once in a while, then I'll have one. It'll be interesting to see if I actually still like (and can tolerate) meat if/when I haven't had it for a while.
So....today I'm going to be making a nut roast, the first of many probably. I'll slice and freeze it, so it'll do me for several meals when husband's having a steak or pork chop or chicken leg. I've also got an idea for some vegetable rissoles - I'm going to chop up carrot, parsnip, potato and onion in my processor, gently fry them in olive oil, then mix them up in a bowl with grated cheese, herbs and spices and an egg and form into patties, to be baked then frozen. I'll try making bean burgers too at some point. I imagine that things made with pulses especially can taste quite bland, so will need a lot of herbs, spices and seasoning.
As we're now inundated with apples, I'll also make some individual apple pies, to make full use of the oven. From now on I'm trying to only use the oven once or twice a week, and make sure I fill it.
Some of you suggested things to do with tofu and Quorn....I'm still not sure about that, although the chocolate dessert using silken tofu does sound nice! I guess it's because I've never had them before, don't really know what they're made of, or how they will taste when cooked. As I mentioned before, we've tried a few meat-free sausages and burgers in the past, no idea what they were made of but on the whole we weren't really that keen on them. I've heard that tofu is bland and takes on the flavours of what you put with it. Having said I've never had it....I've just remembered that when we were kids at home (well, I was in my early teens I think), Mum used to use something called TVP, a type of fake dried mince that came in packets, she mixed it half and half with beef mince to make it go further, as it was a lot cheaper. I really can't remember whether we liked it or not, or even if we noticed a different taste or texture.
My best mate popped in yesterday, first time for a while (he's always so busy), which was really nice. I think he was a bit bemused when I told him I'm going vegetarian - his first (laughing) reaction was "well you won't get a lot to eat in our house!" - they're big meat eaters. I'm not going to make a big fuss about my new diet or go all evangelical about it, I never expect others to cater for my food choices - if we were invited round someone's house for a meal, I'd tell them in advance that I'm now vegetarian but there's no need to put on a special separate meal for me, I'd just eat the veggies. Or take something I'd made, if the hosts were willing for me to do that.