It’s eight o’ clock in the evening on Easter Sunday and I’m still struggling to digest my fast-breaking lunch of roast lamb and vegetables. I haven’t felt this full and, let’s face it, bloated in weeks. Perhaps my body is struggling with the unaccustomed food element. Or perhaps I had more on my plate than in the past few weeks. I don’t know, but none of my vegetarian creations have left me feeling like this. It’s a pity: I was really looking forward to my Roast Lamb lunch and in the end it was fine but something was…missing. Perhaps it’s because vegetables have been relegated. I feel sorry for them.
I’ve really enjoyed this last six and a half weeks of vegetarianism even though at times, like yesterday at a pre-theatre Sushi supper, I have been left with few food options. My long-suffering husband even cooked some tempura veg for me on Friday night to go with my takeaway chips when everyone else had fish.
My conclusions then: I love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Everyday book. It’s clear he prefers spending time enjoying his cooking to time spent actually cooking it. My favourites from his recipes are: tomato and mozzarella risotto; vegetable tempura; fennel, squash and goat’s cheese lasagne (as cooked by OH); and pasta with potatoes, green beans and fresh pesto. I shan’t be cooking swede speltoto again in a hurry though. I also enjoyed recipes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty book, although these are somewhat more involved and obviously the creations of a chef. Do try the sweet potato pancakes and the bulgur pilaff with all of its Middle Eastern spices though. Other successes of my own were Puy lentil Bolognaise and vegetable couscous salad. From now on I shall always make ratatouille by oven roasting it. ALWAYS. We’ve eaten lots of lovely salads and the diet has relied heavily on eggs and cheese for bulk, protein and taste. We’ve consumed white wine instead of red and a veritable lake of olive oil.
I have lost a little weight, yes, but not as much as I hoped. This is largely due to my hoovering up Green and Black’s Chocolate with Caramel in vast quantities. I’m not sure whether this means that the vegetarianism caused me to lack something essential that was satisfied by chocolate consumption. Perhaps something else is causing that. Or perhaps I’m just addicted to chocolate. My husband has lost lots of weight, which is as galling as usual. I’m wondering if the vegetarianism has just caused me to get my consumption of food into more perspective: it’s taken far less preparation and cooking and space in my head and, whilst enjoying the dishes, I haven’t felt as passionately about them as I’ve felt about my food in the past which has meant smaller portions. I’m hoping that this will help me permanently reduce the absolute quantity of food that I eat.
The Lentveggie regime has made me feel lighter and more vital, less weighed down and bloated and more energised but this has coincided with a very worrying change in Darling Daughter, who has been experiencing constant dizziness for over a month now. She’s been tested for all sorts of things and the doctors can’t find anything wrong with her. I am wondering whether the dizziness is attributable to the sudden change in diet. A quick Internet search reveal that other teenagers have had these sorts of symptoms on switching suddenly to a vegetarian diet. I can only hope that perhaps eating more meat and fish will make her better.
So, in conclusion, I shall be steering my family away from expecting to consume animal flesh daily. Perhaps a couple of times a week is reasonable. It’s been an eye-opening six weeks and nowhere near as much of a strain as I expected and I hope that I can keep up the good work in future.