I was asked recently if I was becoming vegetarian for ethical reasons....no. Although if I sat and really thought about the processes involved from an animal in a field becoming meat on our plates, it probably would be a matter of ethics. For me though, it's all about taste and texture - oh and as a side bonus, money saving. As I've got older, my tastes have changed....I just don't really like the taste and certainly not the texture of meat anymore. It's the same with alcohol, I no longer drink any at all, I really don't like the taste of it anymore (and I have a congenital liver problem which means I shouldn't really drink alcohol anyway). Husband has always liked big thick slabs of roast meat or steak or chops etc, whereas I didn't, much preferring thin sliced or meat so well cooked (in a stew e.g.) that it melted in the mouth without having to chew it. So recently I thought why am I continuing to practically force myself to eat something that I no longer really like? And in a sudden moment of clarity I thought well just stop, I don't have to eat meat, go vegetarian! As I mentioned before, I will continue to eat fish a couple of times a week, as I do really like both the taste and texture of salmon, cod and smoked haddock. I may also have the occasional chicken meal, although it won't be weekly. And I might have a bacon sarnie once in a blue moon!
In the past couple of weeks I've experimented with making nut roast, vegetable rissoles and burgers, one thing I have discovered is that veggie things need to be well seasoned with S&P, herbs and spices. I've made vegetable rissoles with chopped carrot, parsnip, potato and red onion, lightly fried with spices and then mixed with beaten egg and a handful of grated cheese before being shaped and cooked. A couple of days ago I made chickpea, carrot & cumin burgers, last week I made turkey & veg burgers using half minced turkey and half grated carrot & courgette with plenty of fresh sage, chives and thyme. The nut roast contains chopped mixed nuts with finely chopped carrots and parsnips, and a packet of sage & onion stuffing mix, with apple juice and a couple of eggs to moisten and smoked paprika and sage to flavour. And it's all been delicious, even husband likes the things he's tried, there's been nothing I haven't liked a lot. Some of the things, the chickpea & carrot burgers eg, cost pennies to make. Well, a bit more than pennies but still very cheap compared to a good beefburger or a pork chop. So that's a way of saving money on our food bill.
Husband doesn't want to give up meat, but is happy to have a couple of vegetarian days a week.
Each time I've made things, I've made several at once - 2 nut roasts (in loaf tins and then sliced into 5 or 6 portions), 4 or 6 burgers or rissoles - they make big ones so I only have one at a time. So now I have lots of meals for me frozen, alongside all the meaty things for husband.
I'm feeling so much better physically now and really enjoying my veggie meals, even with the strict candida plan restrictions, which won't last forever. So I'll be continuing with my (mostly) vegetarian lifestyle in future.
We're back at the caravan now, we arrived this morning, to a warm welcome from our lovely van neighbours.