This year I decided to give up eating meat and fish. As someone who used to always order all of the ribs when eating out and cooked salmon for dinner 2 or 3 times a week, most people who know me are eager to know how I’m finding vegetarian life!
I must say that I’ve really had no problem at all with my new lifestyle. I think it’s because I spent most of 2016 cutting down on my meat intake, it wasn’t such a shock to the system. Also because it’s something I thought a lot about before deciding to go for it, I felt really happy and passionate about my decision. My biggest tip for you, if you’re thinking of cutting out meat and fish, is to do it gradually and don’t just go cold turkey (pun very much intended.)
I have found that vegetarianism has increased my creativity and love of cooking, and has improved my overall health and happiness. It’s also a much cheaper way of living!
I thought I would share an example of some of the meals I like to eat on any given day, for those of you who would like some meat-and-fish-free meal inspiration! Enjoy.
Cacao and peanut butter overnight oats (this is vegan, too!)
For one breakfast:
1/2 cup of oats
2 tbsp peanut butter (the 100% nuts kind)
1 tsp cacao powder
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tbsp Alpro natural yoghurt
Drizzle of maple syrup
Mix all of the ingredients together and leave in the fridge overnight. I then chop up a banana and add it on top. That’s it!
I get made fun of at work when I bring my overnight oats in to eat at my desk in the morning, as they always look really unappetising! But I promise you they are a lot tastier than they look and they’re really good for you, whilst also filling you up. (Adding the chopped banana on top in a a pretty pattern makes it look yummier!)
Makes around 3 portions:
1 veggie Stockpot
1 1/2 pints boiled water
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp miso paste
Sprinkle of grated ginger
100g mushrooms (I like to use a mix of different ones)
1 pak choi
100g baby sweetcorn
200g tofu (optional)
Dried chilli flakes (to taste)
Mix the stock pot with the boiling water, soy sauce, miso paste and ginger and let it simmer while you prep the veg.
I cook the tofu, baby sweetcorn and mange tout through for a 3-5 minutes in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil or fry light. I don’t usually fry the mushrooms as they cook through in the broth later.
Add the mushrooms, baby sweetcorn, mangetoute, pak choi, chilli flakes and noodles into the simmering miso broth. Bring to the boil again and then let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then it’s done!
You can add pretty much any veg you like. I personally don’t feel like it’s necessary to add tofu every time, I just love vegetables so much, I really like adding different ones in each time as it brings something new to the ramen. This is my go-to combination though – hope you like it! I usually make it at night so I’ve got lunch for the next three days.
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
Handful of green beans
Salt and pepper
Flour wraps (or you can use gem lettuce leaves if you’re being super healthy)
Steam or boil the green beans for 5 minutes. Fry the onions and peppers in a little olive oil for a few minutes, add all of the seasoning, the mushrooms and the cooked green beans.
Scoop out avocado flesh and put in a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork, add a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lime juice. Put everything in a wrap and eat to your heart’s content! YUM.
The great thing about fajitas is that you can literally use any veg. I sometimes use up veggie leftovers in fajitas, literally anything works!
Apple with almond/peanut butter
This is another thing I get made fun of at work. The idea might be a bit weird, but it’s such a good pre-running snack, so I sometimes have it at work at around 3 or 4pm, so if I go for a run for work I’m not completely drained from the working day. It’s also sooo yummy! It’s a great fix if you’re craving something sweet, but it’s actually good for you. Make sure you choose the 100% nut variety of almond/peanut butter. This doesn’t have any rubbish like palm oil in it, but still tastes amazing.
If you have any quick and easy recipes for vegetarian food I would love love love to see them in the comments!