If you read my post at the start of the month you will know we decided to partake in No Meat May. Now the month has come to an end I thought I’d share a few observations and let you know how it went.
I decide to give up carbs and alcohol too as I wanted to lose weight for an event in June.
The first week went great you can read about it here. I lost quite a lot of weight in the first week but I knew that wasn’t sustainable. I have to say by the end of the second week I couldn’t get warm, my body needed more fuel so I listened and made sourdough which felt like such a treat, as did most of our meals actually, we both seem to be savouring our food more, both of us commenting on how delicious our food has been. I’m sure our non vege meals were just as delicious but we didn’t appreciate them as much.
Over the weekend the sun came out, I picked wild garlic and made a sauce and hummus with it, I’m going to try pickling the seeds but they need to be salted for 3 weeks first.
When you have sunshine you have to make the most of it, we had sourdough bread, garlic oil and a feast of mezzes courtesy of Claudia Roden’s book Mediterranean Cooking, and well, it needed a bottle of wine to wash it down. It was so enjoyable relaxing in the garden, we don’t get that many days when the weather is good.
The dishes from Claudia Roden’s book are as follows:
Salatet Ads – lentil salad
Gigantes Plaki- butter beans in tomato sauce
Moutabal- aubergine dip
Panises- lentil or chickpea fritters
I noticed that we had hardly any rubbish to put out for the bin men, no plastic tray packaging from meat, also we compost all our veg waste. Another bonus, our shopping bill was a lot less without meat, fish and wine.
We were loving the food so much we didn’t miss the meat at all, but we do usually eat a lot of vegetarian food. I have been more experimental this month making seitan and lentil and chickpea tofu.
When the weekend came round again I was going to make tapas but my mezze spice kit and cookbook arrived from The Spicery
From the cookbook I chose to make falafel with hummus, Borani Laboo, a Persian beetroot and yoghurt dish, Mashwiga, a North African dip made from aubergine, tomato, garlic and onion, Lavash, an Armenian bread, and a Shepherds Salad with walnuts and feta as a garnish. Adding feta was my choice as I had some in the fridge.
I wanted something to just heat up on Sunday so I made a couple of curries, they always improve overnight, these were Baingan Ka Salan, a Hyderbadi curry with aubergines and roasted coconut and peanuts ( from The Spicery), the soft aubergine in a coconut sauce was amazing but lacked a bit of colour so I accompanied it with sweet potato Saag Aloo ( Hairy Dieters ) and a red cabbage Kosambari for some crunch, which is like coleslaw with spices.
In the third week we had Houston burgers, I wasn’t sure about adding molasses to a burger, I didn’t have any but I did have black treacle so I added that. I didn’t have any BBQ sauce so I used chipotle paste and some ketchup instead. The burgers had a lovely smoky sweetness which was lovely.
What I have loved about this month ( as opposed to our usual vege days ) is that it was a celebration of vegetarian food, exploring recipes I’ve not tried before. We love our mezze / tapas meals and I will continue making and exploring seitan recipes, it’s so much better than bought meat substitutes.
I found giving up meat easy, I didn’t miss meat although I have missed having salmon. I did slip up once and ate a couple of wine gums without thinking about the gelatine.
Will I become vegetarian? Probably not but I will only eat meat occasionally, and I will only buy local meat from our butchers from now on.
We have both enjoyed this month very much, OH enjoyed it as much as I did, and I lost 9 pounds in weight even though I let my hair down on weekends and didn’t count the calories. This isn’t really the end.