The Veg Out: Day 1

There has been a lot of writing over the decades about what one should have as a Final Meal.  What would yours be?  Mine would be a slab of seared foie gras, gastrique  and a fine Sauternes; main would consist of haunch of venison with sauce chasseur duchesse potatoes,  turned vegetables and a 1945 Chateau Neuf de Pape; the fish course would consist of several pieces of toro and o-toro sashimi, served with iced sake; a selection of fine cheeses and ports to match and to finish a dram or three of cognac. Life would be very, very good at that point.

Which brings me with why I just wrote that.

See, I should be happy. This is Day 1 of The Veg Out, my experiment with my willing participants (my family) on a month of vegetarian eating. But somehow I feel conflicted.  My final meal of meat for a month was….not stellar, and I will write about it here in the days to come.  Needless to say the company seated at the table vastly outstripped the performance of the food. But enough of the bad.. on with the good!

I was skeptical at first as to what the food would bring and I am happy to say that The Lady knocked it out of the park!  She did it with the help of our favorite food friend du jour  Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.

HFW or Whittingstall, as The Wee One likes to call him, is English and a farm-to-table advocate.  His books and philosophy line up with what we feel would be ideal, if only we had access to the farms near him.  So we make do with what we have, what we can scavenge at the local mega-mart, and supplementing with our bounties from the Organic Food Cooperative we belong to as well as the harvest we grow at my parent’s home in the country.

The Lady took the first night opting for 2 dishes, both of which were poo-poo’d by The Wee One,  *sigh*.

HFW Carrots and Chickpeas

HFW Carrots and Chickpeas

The first was Seedy Spinach Salad. This was made with local organic spinach and lots of seeds: pumpkin, sesame, poppy and cumin.  It was lightly dressed with cold pressed olive oil, flaked Maldon sea salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice.  Just summer-full and refreshing.

The other dish took us both by surprise how filling and wonderful vegetarian cooking could be. Spicy Chick Pea and Carrot Pita Pocket. This warm delight was served not in the aforementioned cardboard like pita pocket, but oven warmed naan breads.  As a wrap and topped with a thickened yogurt it was both filling and satisfying.

That is one of the things that we are finding with this adventure: how fantastically satiated we are after we eat just veg.

Was it a success?  It sure was. Day 1 of the Veg Out was a total success! It has even doubled our resolve to stick with this adventure for as long as we can.

We’re in it to enjoy it, and to share with you, readers, The Veg Out.


The Veg Out: A Miniseries

So, I have mentioned before on this blog something that I have been  toying with, and that is wanting to take a month and go vegetarian.  I understand for the hard core fans of eating this way, this is a bit of a cop-out as it is just 30 days and not much of a social commitment to eating less meat.  I think they are wrong –  here’s why.

We are a little family of 3 –  that is the Lady, the Wee One and I. We eat animal protein 6-7 days of the week, and as I have mentioned before we are doing better by incorporating at least one vegetarian meal in a week cycle, but sometimes, that gets lost in the business of life. So we end up pulling something meat based from the freezer and having our pound of flesh.

That means we are eating a minimum of one pound of animal protein per day –  that is 30 pounds in a month and more likely over 400 lbs a year! So if we can cut that for even one month we are going to do well the health benefits alone are going to be startling.

But, I am not going to lie to you Marge, this is going to be one epic test of personal self control. I have days when I crave animal protein –  absolutely crave it.  As in I could eat as much as I can cram into me in one day and not be satiated.  What will I do if I get the meat-shakes during my month of only veg?  How can I curb my cravings?

I have been told that the meat based cravings will go away –  but can I take it.?  Will I wake up in the middle of the night with the bacon sweats?

So in preparation we have been adding more vegetables into our repertoire and encouraging the Wee One to help choose the vegetables we use each night.

Tonight The Lady made for us all a pasta with a goat cheese sauce.  The vegetables as selected included peas, asparagus and french beans –  it was excellent and it has made the shortlist of things we are going to eat during the big Veg Out. But we are not ready to get there yet.  We have decided that the month of July is going to be our month and I have decided that it is going to make a great little miniseries of posts.  From the big pig out on the day before to the final repast, stay tuned for we are going for the big Veg Out!