This fortnight I have been cooking dinners from Jackie Norman and Gareth Scurr’s Easy and Delicious Vegan Recipes for Busy People, although I have been un-veganfying the recipes with cheese and yoghurt and real milk.
OK, I’ve just been cooking vegetarian meals. But I like the terms unveganfying vegan meals or veganish cooking.
I like vegetarian food. I like the lower impact on the environment. If you want to do something for the environment, and you eat meat, cut out a red meat dinner each week. You’ll lower your carbon emissions by quite a bit.
I also like that I am not inflicting suffering on animals.
But the main reason I like vegetarian foods is: I like the flavour. But not vegan. Nothing beats milk and cheese and yoghurt.
I often go for the vegetarian options at lunches. People often comment, “I didn’t know you are vegetarian!” I’m not. Just prefer it.
I do like some meat. Roast lamb. Yum. An occasional piece of salty ham. Prawns. Mmmm. Roast pork. Occasionally. Not a fan of most pieces of chicken. While I often eat butter chicken, I normally only eat the sauce with a piece of naan, leaving the pieces of chicken for Mr S. I do like the skin off a roast chook. Not so much the meat.
Some of my meat-free choices might make little sense. I hate meat on my pizzas. Except for a few prawns. Spag Bol with meat is horrific. Makes me gag. But I can eat savoury mince. I hate tofu. It also makes me gag. Blurgh.
I’ve been following Jackie and Gareth on FB for a while – they sold up and have been living a minimalist life in a van driving around NZ. When they released a vegan cookbook, I thought it might not be released in Australia. Luckily it has been and my library had a copy.
First dish I made was their Ye Olde Family Chilli. Very similar to my own brew but they add tinned lentils and cocoa powder. Once cooked up, it really looked like meat. Not that I needed it to look like meat, but if sons come it might be good to fool them. I jazzed up our bowls, or loaded them up, with corn kernels, yoghurt, grated cheese, sweet chilli sauce and corn chips. My cheese and yoghurt additions are the non-vegan additions.
This was a winner!
Second dish was lasagne. Similar to my recipe, more so because I won’t use non-milk options to make white sauce and have to use real cheese.
I adapted their Man Flu Minestrone. What made it the BEST EVER minestrone was my addition of a piece of Parmesan. A rind with a bit of cheese still in it. OMG. Devine.
Also adapted their cauliflower curry. I tossed in some Nigella seeds and cardamom pods. Went down a treat. This was vegan. I was going to add yoghurt but it was off.
As well as being yummy, cutting the meat makes for cheaper meals. Which is lucky because I spent a bit on chocolate for Easter. 🐣