Nic’s Meat-Free week

Nic’s Veggie Week: Birthday Thursday
Pesto pasta There was a birthday in da house today and I am so lucky that the Birthday Boy’s favourite meal is pasta and pesto. Brilliant-then I remembered that pesto is made with parmesan-it’s not veggie! Off I went to Hornett Wholefoods who stock 4 different varieties (I wasn’t expecting that) so chose Suma Pesto Alla Genovese. There was absolutely no difference to this and ‘normal’ pesto-the comment I got was “It tastes like pesto”
I also made a cake. It was his birthday after all…

Nic’s Veggie Week: Freaky Friday
OK, it wasn’t freaky. I was out all day again so I had lunch on the go. Having seen the Nothing But… range I opted for a bag of Pineapple and Grape-tasted great and one of your five a day. I am looking forward to trying some of the savoury ones.
For dinner I wanted to use up some bits and bobs that I had in the fridge. I simply chopped up some courgette, pepper, mushrooms and red onion and roasted them in the oven then popped them in a pitta bread.
Emma shared a healthy version of chips on one of our film nights and these were the perfect side. I used a sweet potato. I don’t have a proper recipe for these so here is my version:
• Chop the potato into chip shapes (skins on)
• Parboil until soft-ish
• Pop onto a baking tray with some low-calorie oil spray and seasoning
• Cook for about 15/20 mins

Roast Veg in pitta

Nic’s Veggie Week: Lazy SaturdayEggs benedict
This morning I met some friends for breakfast in Buddies-an American style diner. They had steak on the menu for breakfast-whaaaaatt??!!! There was a pretty good veggie selection so opted for eggs benedict with mushrooms and hash browns. OMG-it was huge! So huge in fact I did not have lunch or dinner!

Nic’s Veggie Week-Sunday
I joined Emma and a group from Northants Veggies at Irchester Country Park for a sharing BBQ. The weather held out for us (it had been forecast rain all day) and there were about 50 people there, all having brought meat-free BBQ food, salad, cakes, home-made bhajis and drinks. Emma fired up the barby and had a steady rotation of sausages, burgers and koftas. Sarah had brought aubergine so I had an aubergine and mushroom ‘burger’, which was a first. I’ve been to loads of BBQs at Emma’s house so I was aware that there’s no need to worry about what a meat-free BBQ looks like! A couple of people who were also in the park came across out of curiosity and were relieved that the burgers tasted ‘normal’ and that they actually would go to a supermarket and buy the Linda McCartney mozzarella burgers they’d had.

Conclusion
So that’s Veggie Week all done and dusted! Was it hard to do? No. Did I crave meat? Not really although I really fancied a burger of all things on Friday but got over that as quickly as it arrived.
Would I go veggie full time? Yes and no. I have decided to be mainly veggie when I cook for myself but if I go out to eat or have friends over then I will eat as I have done before (and I still have meat in the freezer and I am not going to chuck it out) I will investigate meat alternatives such as Quorn, Linda M and VBites as I did not eat these on veggie week-I may transition over slowly so you never know….
I liked having a meal plan each day so I only buy what I need and I will certainly be doing this each week and I have enjoyed making something different each day so I will carry on doing this.

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Nic’s Meat-Free Wednesday!

Nic’s Vegetarian Week: Happy Wednesday

I am half-way through my adventure and I have to say that I am not missing meat that much. Hmmm….. (Ed – yay! It’s working…)
I was in the office today and had to leave the house earlier than normal. I am not really human until about 10am so I was a bit discombobulated and not organised enough to make lunch so the pitta bread/falafel idea did not happen so when I got home I put them in the freezer (not sure what they will be like when they defrost).
What I am finding useful this week is having a meal plan and everything that I have cooked has been bought already so there have been no last minute trips to the shops to get something for dinner. I am not chucking away food either which I am a devil for.
So, here is what I had today:
Breakfast: I wasn’t hungry at all this morning so I had a bowl of cereal when I got to work.
Lunch: As I had a late breakfast I didn’t bother with lunch although there some Pear Drops knocking about the office. I have a ‘the palette of a 6 year old’ according to the man in my life and these were hard to resist. I was not sure whether they would be veggie as they were red (cochineal?) so I didn’t have any. Yes, Emma-I turned down sweets! (Ed – Yay again! Well done on both counts – cochineal definitely not veggie!)
Dinner: Of course when I got home I was pretty peckish so I had a handful of Lentil Chips from Hornett Wholefoods and got dinner on straight away.

One-pot mushroom & potato curry
Ingredients
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1 onion, roughly chopped
• 1 large potato, chopped into small chunks
• 1 aubergine, trimmed and chopped into chunks
• 250g button mushrooms
• 2-4 tbsp curry paste (depending on how hot you like it)
• 150ml vegetable stock
• 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
• chopped coriander, to serve
Method
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and potato. Cover, then cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until the potatoes start to soften. Throw in the aubergine and mushrooms, then cook for a few more minutes.
Stir in the curry paste, pour over the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or until the potato is tender. Stir through the coriander and serve with rice or naan bread.

NVW Wednesday BBC pic

Nic’s day two – Electric Boogaloo

Day Two of Veggie Week – Tuesday

Breakfast: I am a creature of habit so the day was off to a cracking start with me poached eggs (cracking geddit….Sorry)

Lunch: I wasn’t that hungry so I just had some yogurt with some chopped fruit. Emma has trained me well over the 18 years we have been friends so I know that gelatine can often be an ingredient in yogurt-none of that malarkey here!

Dinner: Not out tonight so I had more time to prepare something. Thanks to the BBC Good Food website I made Spicy Falafels. This was dead easy to prepare but when I tasted the mixture it wasn’t spicy enough for me so I freestyled and added some Harissa Rub blend from Hornett Wholefoods and this gave it the kick I needed. Ironically I bought this so I could marinate chicken…

I had some cous cous knocking about so served it with that and another salad. I think that you could also pop them in a pitta bread with some hummus for lunch. Now there is an idea for tomorrow….

NVW Tuesday - NicIngredients:

  • 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g can chickpeas, washed and drained
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (or use more cumin)
  • Handful parsley, chopped, or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan, then fry the onion and garlic over a low heat for 5 mins until softened. Tip into a large mixing bowl with the chickpeas and spices, then mash together with a fork or potato masher until the chickpeas are totally broken down. Stir in the parsley or dried herbs, with seasoning to taste. Add the egg, then squish the mixture together with your hands.

Mould the mix into 6 balls, then flatten into patties. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, then fry the falafels on a medium heat for 3 mins on each side, until golden brown and firm.

Nic’s Vegetarian Week – Monday

NVW 2015
Day One of Veggie Week
Well, here we go! The first day of being vegetarian and I did not burst into flames!
 Breakfast: Nice and easy as I always have poached eggs on toast (I consider myself to be an expert in this field…)
Lunch: I am not a big lunch eater and because of the job that I do I am not desk-bound so I chucked a Nakd Bar from Hornett Wholefoods in my handbag along with a banana and that did the job. Nakd bars are a recent discovery for me and come in all sorts of yummy flavours. I am a massive chocolate fan so for me I get all the taste and none of the guilt that I get from eating a Dairy Milk-ace!
Dinner: As I was going out this evening (Ralph McTell at The Stables in Wavendon-amazing) I wanted to have something quick so it was a no-brainer to have a Replete Flatbread again from my friends at Hornett Wholefoods. The filling was the Gluten Free with 3 cheese and wild mushroom. This was the first time I have had this flavour and it won’t be the last-it was delicious. I warmed the flatbread in the oven for about 15 minutes and just had a salad on the side. Easy-peasy!
Normally I would have the salad and some ham and if I am going to be totally honest this was a lot nicer and I did not miss the meat… Emma will be pleased!…..…
Nic goes veggie - Monday pic

Nic’s week begins!

NVW 2015My best friend Nichola is going meat-free for National Vegetarian Week, with the help of Northants Veggies (and the BBC Good Food website). She’s an avowed meat-eater, despite really enjoying all the food she eats at our house on a regular basis so going without meat is a big deal for her. I’m so impressed and happy that she’s accepted the challenge – it was at her suggestion, so maybe the time’s right for her to make it a permanent change???

Here’s a picture of her shopping in preparation for the week:

Nic's Veggie week goodiesShe says,

“I’ve got recipes from the BBC Good Food website and gone for meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes. I’m looking forward to it!”

I think she’s got a fantastic week ahead. She’ll be posting pictures, reviews and progress throughout the week – keep watching!

Another event!

NVW 2015On Friday 22nd May, from 7.30, join us at The Hind Hotel in Wellingborough for what is always a fabulous event – the Taster Evening.  The chefs at The Hind always put on an amazing spread for us with vegan options clearly marked.  This is a free event, with donations to the Vegetarian Society more than welcome.  Come and join us for excellent food and company!

The Hind 2015

Eurovision Pizza Party!

NVW 2015Another event for National Vegetarian Week.

On Saturday 23rd May from 7.30, we’ll be sharing a love of Eurovision and a love of pizza – bring your favourite food and drink along too; if it has a link to a Eurovision country, all the better! We will be watching the entire Eurovision competition as we eat and drink so get ready to join in with the fun.

Please call 01933 741798 for address details – fancy dress is optional… 😉

National Vegetarian Week 2015 events

NVW 2015After a period of quiet, the group has lots of events planned for The Vegetarian Society’s National Vegetarian Week. This is an annual event and this year runs from 18th – 24th May with the theme of “Share”. Events planned are as follows; please call 07419 373596 if you want to confirm that outdoor events are still going on, bearing in mind the great British weather!

Monday 18th May – information displays in Wellingborough and Northampton libraries. If you want to have a display in your local library, contact Emma on the above number to get some posters and flyers; you can also order some free from the Vegetarian Society.

hwlogo2Tuesday 19th May – Craft day at Hornett Wholefoods, 48 Midland Road, Wellingborough, NN8 1LU. 9.30am – 1pm for the under 5s, 1pm till 5.00 for 5 – 10s. Parental attendance is vital please and there will be a small charge of £1 per child to cover the cost of materials and to donate to the Vegetarian Society. There will be painting, colouring in, junk modelling, snacks and drinks, all along a fruit and veg theme. There’s no need to book ahead, please just come along!  For more information, call the shop on 01933 741798.

Wednesday 20th May – Launch of the book sharing area at Hornett Wholefoods. There will be an area to the back of the shop where you can bring and swap books on the following subjects:

Meat-free cookery and lifestylebooks
Gardening
Ecological lifestyle and green politics
Quality fiction
Please bring along books you’d like to swap and see if you can find that long lost copy of something you’ve been looking for for years!

Saturday 23rd May – The group will have a stall in town from 11-3, giving information about the group, how to go and stay meat-free and ideas on what foods to eat.

veggie bbqThere will be a free meat-free BBQ outside Hornett Wholefoods as well; donations are welcome for VegSoc.

There are more events still in the pipeline for 23rd May – watch this space!

Sunday 24th May – Sharing BBQ picnic at Irchester Country Park, between 12 and 3pm. Come and join us for our final event for NVW – our traditional BBQ picnic at Irchester Country Park. As you’ll be aware, the theme for NVW is “Share”, so bring something along that we can all try and bring what you’d like to have cooked on the BBQ. This is a free event, although we will accept donations to give to VegSoc. There will also be a “Smoothie Bike” – selling bike-powered smoothies for which there will be a charge; this will be advertised on the day. Come along, meet some new people and have fun!
(In the event of the heavens opening, please call 07419 373596 to find out where we’ve moved to!)

All week – We have a non-vegetarian friend attempting to go meat-free for the whole week too – watch this site to see how she gets on and what she eats!  I really hope she sticks to it for more than a week; I’ve been trying to convince her for the past 18 years that it’s a good idea!