Veggie for November: the final week (and a bit)

First things first, and why I’m doing this, the fundraising link!

https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/lindas-veg-pledge-7

 

So, into the final week and a bit.

Thursday – breakfast toast with almond butter and banana

Lunch leftover shephereds pie – note to self, plastic Chinese takeaway cartons are not microwave proof!

Veg box delivered – did a stir fry for dinner.

Friday – used the other half banana and some kale in a smoothie for breakfast.

Lunch was some broccoli blue cheese soup from the freezer

Dinner -a vegan pad thai recipe which was gorgeous, and I will be doing this again!

Saturday

Pre parkrun toast and cottage cheese.

Lunch was cheese and crackers

Dinner was sausage mash and onion gravy (Linda McCartney bangers for me);  Love my red onion gravy.

Sunday – had a lazy relaxed morning, and made myself a fry up with potato bread using the leftover mash.

Found a meal that we could both eat for dinner -mushroom ravioli with a tomato and roast pepper sauce, with garlic cheesy bread.

Monday: I wasn’t feeling too good, and managed a boiled egg and some dry toast, but spent most of the day in bed.

Tuesday – I explored the options in Boots, and was sdaly disppointed – cheese or egg sandwiches, or a veg sushi snack.  I did get excited at the idea of a higedy pie roll with feta and red pepper.  It was rather dry and claggy – a bit better when microwaved. But not something I’d be rushing to eat again.

I still had tofu to use up, so replaced it for mozarella in a caprese salad – with fresh basil, this was rather good!

You say tomato, I say tofu, crazy, caprese, let’s eat the whole thing up!

Wednesday – I’d bought some quorn cocktail sausages, so I’m using them up.  Had a couple for breakfast, and a couple more in a salad lunch.

I was at a party in the evening, and I have to say the veggie options were slim pickings.  The only sandwiches I could eat were egg (thank goodness with no raw onion).  Though the desserts are where it’s at for veggies!

 

Thursday – last day of the month!

I treated myself to lunch at Yo Sushi,and I struggled to get round the veg menu, having to get help from the staff. Too much mayo and deep fried–ness in the mix.

Final Thoughts:

This really wasn’t a hardship.  But it took some planning.  Cooking for myself, bringing my own lunches – great options.  Relying on what’s available in supermarkets and when travelling – limited and poor nutritional choices.

I’m keen to bring more veggie dishes into our repertoire.  My dyed in the wool carnivore husband may take some convincing, however….

Veggie for November: Week 3

Veggie for November: Week 2

Veggie for November: Week 1

 

 

 

Veggie for November: Week 3

I can feel I’m getting into a bit of a swing here – I know what works for me at home, and I’m tuning in to the letter V on dishes advertised on menus and cookbooks.

Wednesday:

This was a low calorie day.  I had a veg ploughmans for lunch ( carrot sticks, mini babybel, pickle and a tomato), and a stirfry for dinner with zero calorie noodles.

Thursday:

Blueberry and chia seed oveernight oats. Lunch with Mum and Dad and sis at Howard Street – had the goast cheese croquettes with salad.  I was staying in town to go to my running club’s evening at Pure Running (where I bought some new trainers) and then on to Dundela Scottish Dance Class, so dinner was kind of …crisps and a cereal bar en route.

Friday:

Breakfast – blueberry and chia smoothie.

Snacky lunch of Boots sushi, Holland and Barrat meat free pepperoni, crisps and apple.

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Dinner was a Jamie dish of roasted cauliflower with pineapple, chickpeas and almonds, with a mango chutney and yoghurt dip. This was really good, and I wll be doing this again!

Saturday:

After parkrun I had some toast and marmalade. The afternoon included a sandwich and bun extravaganza at Portadown Scottish Dance class’s 60th anniversary do! Dinner was a tapas affair with cheese croquettes, saute potatoes, and a bean and kale dish.

Sunday:

It was finally dry enough to do some gardening, after which I tucked into boiled egg and soldiers. Late lucnh was a goats cheese pizza, and supper of baked camembert and harissa parsnips.

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Monday:

A low calorie day.  Lunch was a rather tasty “Look What We Found” soup of sweet potato and coconut. Dinner after running training was a few rye crackers with cottage cheese.

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Tuesday:

After laughing my way through “Carry On Nigella” last night, I was inspired to do a sort of pasta dish with a sauce made with tomatoes and quark.

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Huge thank yous to Emma and Beth, who have got the fundraising off to a start!

Veggie for November: Week 2

Veggie for November: Week 1

Veggie for November: Week 2

On Wednesday I had a wonderful day off!

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I started by making a super smoothie finishing off my frozen red berries, with some cacao powder and quark.  I had a dance class in the morning, and was heading straight to the Chinese supermarket afterwards, so lunch was a snacky mix of cereal bar and cheese.

I stocked up on all sorts of goodies at the supermarket, including various forms of bean curd for protein.

For dinner, there was some leftover cheesey pasta, to which I added some spinach, and topped with a poached agg and a slice of processed cheese.  These tend to accumulate in the fridge and I hate to waste them!

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On Thursday I was having a low calorie day.   I made myself a 100 calorie salad for lunch with 1/3 tin of white kidney beans (they were 15p in BM bargains), with red onion and tomato, and my new fave seasoning, red pepper flakes.

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Dinner was a super spicy stirfry with zero noodles, including strips of carrot, and some rose bean curd.  It was gorgeous, if a little spicy!

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Thursday was also veg box delivery day, so I had fun thinking of the various meals I could make, and puzzling over what to do with a giant turnip.

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Friday, and my lunch was a “bitsa this, bitsa that”, including homemade guacamole and carrot sticks, and some fabulous Iranian dates stuffed with walnut.  I have a glut of carrots at the minute, so I am making myself eat a carrot a day.

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I love Friday evenings spending my time in unhurried cooking, and so I stuck on some old school tunes from The Corrs and Seal, and danced around the kitchen making Jamie Oliver’s Keralan curry.  I wouldn’t normally put pineapple in things, but this was really tasty.  And I made enough to freeze a portion.  Result!

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Saturday morning was another dance class –  I set myself up with a slice of wholemeal toast with cottage cheese and blueberries, and lunch was a cheese and crackers working affair duing a committee meeting.

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I then made a vegan shepeherds pie, using some of my turnip in the topping along with parsnip.  I made half of it totally vegan, to give my sister, but I added cheese and butter to the topping on my half.  Again, there was a portion for the freezer.

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My usual Sunday morning brunch is a boiled egg.  I often do more than one, so that there’s hard boiled eggs ready to go for lunches and snacks – handy portable protein for 80 calories. I usually paint a face on the hard boiled ones to avoid confusion!

For dinner, I tried a Deliciously Ella dish of saute potatoes, wilted kale, tomato and humous.  An unusual mixture, but I would repeat it. There were supposed to be some jarred artichokes as well, which my storecupboard astonishingly lacked.

Monday was another low calorie day.  I’d made a sort of coleslaw with grated turnip and carrot in quark, but I couldn’t manage to eat it –  the first real disaster on this journey.

Dinner was good old eggs again, made into a fritatta with potato and mushroom, and a  few tasty cubes of feta.

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As often happens, the day after a fast day I don’t really feel hungry, counter intuitive as that sounds. So on Tuesday I just had a handful of blueberries with my cup of tea.

Lunch was high protein cottage cheese with tomato, kale and walnut, which was a satisfying mix of textures.

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And there may be no such thing as a free lunch, but I managed to get a free dinner at a new chip shop, by checking in on Facebook at Chipmongers – and they were grrrrrrrrreat!

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Summary: Still on the hunt for veggie haggis, so I can make neeps and tatties to use up my turnip mountain. Still on the hunt for seitan, another protein source.  Still no donations to my fundraising site.  But one happy vegan sister and two handy homemade meals awaiting in the freezer!

Donate here!

Veggie for November: Week 1

 

 

Veggie for November: Week 1

Fundraising page

I’d been intrigued by the fundraising idea of Cancer Research to persuade people to go vegetarian for November.  I’ve been vegetarian at times during in my life, for various reasons including ethical, environmental and health.  I don’t really eat or enjoy much red meat, though I do like my seafood.  I’ve just recently sigend up for a regular veg box delivery from Flavour First, and I was looking for more adventurous ideas for what to do with all the goodies.

My husband, on the other hand,  is a carnivore through and through.  November suited well because it included a weekend where I was away, and a week when he was away, so the amount of dual meal-making would be reduced.

So I didn’t foresee any major issues, and was if I’m honest a bit blase about the challenge.  I wasn’t going to be strict about dairy or eggs.  Let’s see how Week 1 went!

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Day 1 co-incided with one of my planned 5:2 calorie days, and here I ran into my first hurdle.  On 500 calorie days, I love a bit of low calorie protein like prawns or tuna to help me feel satisfied.  I did my usual no breakfast, and for lunch had some potato and leek soup that I had in the freezer.  I had some kale from my last veg box that needed using up, and combined that with mushrooms and an egg for an omelette dinner.  My big saviour today was a jar of balsamic pickled onions, which pack a real satisfying punch.  And I picked up a few tinned pulses at BM Bargains. But I felt tangibly hungry.

Day 2:  I’d made some tasty overnight oats wth some posh yoghurt, apricots, pumpkin seeds and a swirl of mango vinegar (one of my bargain buys from Sawyers –  reduced from £7.99 to £1).  I’d done some Indian veg dishes at the weekend, and used up the leftovers for lunch – lentil dahl, tomato raita and a red onion pickle.  For dinner I used a macaroni cheese ready meal from the freezer – it was OK but I was horrified at the high calorie count…

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Day 3: Off to Perth for the weekend – the RSCDS AGM, where I was looking forward to some great dancing with friends old and new.  I was travelling by bus and boat, so I was limited to the options available en route.  I started with another of my overnight oat dishes, this time with craisins and lime juice, and a swirl of mango vinegar – a fabulous combination.

On board the Stena ship, I paid the £18 to upgrade to Stena Plus, where I had access to lots of acceptable snacks like olives and crisps, nuts and wee buns, and wine.  Sadly the only white wine was my bete noir, sauvignon blanc.  The soup of the day was minestrone, but the member of staff couldn’t tell me if it was vegetarian,  They said they’d find out, but didn’t get back to me.  I went for the veggie burger and sweet potato chips, and it was disappointing.  The texture of the mozarella burger in the brioche bun, with slightly mushy fries, was all rather baby-food-ish.  I don’t like mayo, but the meal came with coleslaw, which I dislike, and some mayo on the burger itself.  I had some time at Glasgow for the change of buses, and I stocked up on cheese sticks and haggis crisps, which I was delighted to find were veggie!  I’m getting good at spotting the important symbol on packaging.  I ate those on the bus, as I had a super-quick turnaround once I got to Perth and headed off dancing!

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Day 4: Saturday is parkrun day, and I usually do this with only a cup of tea (or 2, or 3) in me. I took a cheese stick with me for afterwards.  I found myself at Reids bistro for lunch, where I really enjoyed roast med veg on humous on toasted sourdough.

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I’d researched “vegetarian restaurants in Perth” and headed for Tabla Indian, where I chose 2 of the street food starters, both of which turned out ot be deep fried.  Though the okra and aubergine were lovely,  I had some roti bread with that, which I couldn’t finish, but took in a napkin for later.

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Day 5: Another travel day.   My body has been complaining about the lack of protein, so I stocked up on some nuts for the journey.  On the boat, the choice of veg sandwiches was egg, in a very chunky bloomer, or cheese and mayo, in a granary bread,  I’d have loved the egg in the granary! Back at home, I made buckwheat with mushrooms, chestnuts and tahini.  It was a little bit brown, but very tasty.

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Day 6: Supposed to be a low calorie day, but I was struggling with a sore throat and tiredness. I had some leftover buckwheat for lunch, and tried Linda McCartney sausages for dinner, with crushed potaotes and red onion gravy.

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Day 7: Get some protein in early with poached egg on avocado on toast.  I’d prefer better bread than the cotton-wool white stuff that was in the bread bin – I feel the need for some quality seeded stuff.

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I was meeting my sister for lunch, and we were thrilled to find that Home reatsuarant had a range of vegan dishes (for her) as well as a tempting selection for me.  She had a comfort food sweet potato curry, I had chickpea fritters on tabouleh with a smoky and salty aubergine dip. It was all delicious, and I’ll undoubtedly be back.

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For dinner I finished off my buckwheat along with some edamame/ broad beans/ peas from the freezer, which I swirled in a good dollop of seriously strong spready cheese.

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Summary: I’ve had one encounter with a “eggs aren’t vegetarian – do you mean lacto-ovo-vegetarian?” I’m impressed at my body’s self-awareness and ability to identify what nutrients it needs.  Eating out is often tricky, but occasionally a joy.  And planning ahead is essential.

Funds raised: zero