The Reluctant Vegetarian

This morning, I embarked on a new challenge.

Until today, my day looked something like this:

  • Breakfast: rye bread with ham and cheese, large caffè latte
  • Mid-morning: latte or cappuccino, or flat white if really I needed a kick
  • Lunch: leftovers in some guise or other, with some sort of protein be it a bit of meat, fish or cheese
  • Snack: fruit
  • Dinner: definitely meat or fish, carbs and veg

But as of today, I am ‘The Reluctant Vegetarian’. More about this later.

In stark contrast, this morning I had porridge with fresh figs and maple flakes (thank you, dear Canadian friend) and some Moroccan mint tea.

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For lunch, as it was Saturday, it was a family (read: kids) favourite: DIY pizza. It’s the lazy mum’s trump card: sandwich thins (lightly toasted) topped with whatever you like. For me: passata, smoky Tabasco, red peppers, mushrooms, a slice of fig (yes, again, they are in season), oregano and honey.

Surprisingly tasty although to call it a pizza would really be stretching the truth.

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Luckily a cinema trip with our 8-year-old daughter provided an excellent excuse to indulge in some popcorn (of which I think I will be eating quite a bit in the future, as it ticks all the boxes).

Then dinner. Gloom. Saturday night is always something extra nice, as there is time to plan it, prepare it, lovingly cook it.

I think the resulting improv is quite alright, even if I say so myself: honey and orange roasted pumpkin, minty quinoa, toasted ras-el-hanout chickpeas and an almond milk, ground almond and garam masala sauce.

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So why Vegetarian? And why Reluctant?

10 years ago, I started a blog. This same blog. It was full of delicious food, some of it prepared by me, all of it quite carnivorous. I love meat. I love cooking meat. I love big roasts which allow for leftovers for subsequent meals. I also love vegetables. And fruit. I once did the famous diet where you almost exclusively eat meat and I hated it (yes, it worked). I craved fruit and veg! What I’m trying to say is that I really don’t like leaving out entire food groups.

And yet. This blog stopped around the same time as my life as a mum started. I guess other things, such as sleep, were more important. And by then, the food was maybe not as photogenic. But I missed the challenge, the creativity. And for some time I have been thinking how best to get back into it.

Little did I know that it would all be thanks to a doctor who carries out research into auto-immune diseases. Diseases of which I have 4. And counting. So in an effort to stop these pesky everyday hassles to my body, this doctor ordered a plethora of blood tests to gauge my hormonal balance. And, oh by the way, you need to be 100% vegetarian for the next 3 months. WHAT??? And no dairy. And no soy. I am already eating a gluten-free diet, as I was diagnosed with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity a decade ago, and have an on/off relationship with dairy. “So what’s left to eat?” she wails

Well, we’ll have to find out. As this blog will have to help me dig deep in my creativity and hopefully steer a course towards healthier shores.

So for now, I have been 100% vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free for about 10 hours. My husband has joined me 95% of the way. Our 3-year-old could live off fruit and raw veg, and happily eats his 8-year-old sister’s share of the green food group. Said sister feels VERY sorry for mummy, by the way.

But after today’s menu, I’m starting to feel less sorry for myself.

Feel free to suggest other dishes in the Comments.

 

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