March 29, 2012

Veg Box Recipes 3,4,5 & 6

Another week and another veg box. We used up everything from our last one except one leek and a couple of mushrooms. This week we have celeriac which I used tonight in a lentil salad with apple and raisins { 6 } from the veg book. We also have spinach and rocket, as well as massive courgettes.

On Monday I looked in the fridge surprisingly I found I had everything I needed to make an amazing sweet potato salad with spinach and feta { 3 }. Its amazing to go in the ice box and have such interesting food to use that doesn't include a trip to the grocery store. On Tuesday, we needed to use up what we had left so I made a beetroot coleslaw with walnuts left over from Christmas that were still good in their shells { 5 } with refried beans (made from scratch) on a flatbread (also made from scratch) { 4 }. Yummy. The flatbread recipe from the veg book is super tasty.

The consensus is that the sweet potato recipe, which is not from the book, was the best! Tomorrow I'm going to experiment with Halloumi and the tomatoes from our box.

I haven't missed meat at all and I am really enjoying making dinner. I am finding that since I'm investing so much time with organic veg that I really should include more organic ingredients into my life. I usually try to buy organic when I can, but the price tag tends to put me off.

Today, I found myself opting for the organic apples, raisins and even organic udon noodles! This is probably the most socially conscious my tum tum has ever been! And speaking of the tum tum, lets just say lots of veg = lots of flatulence and Frebreeze is being used in abundance! But I have lost a few pounds since going meatless so I'm not going to complain.

*I was informed by my other half that he used up the last of our first box on Wednesday night while I was working so we did get through everything in the box in a week.*

March 23, 2012

Veg Box Recipes 1 and 2

We got our organic veg box on Wednesday, but didn't get to make a meal together til Thursday. After a trip to Waitrose (a posh grocery store in the UK) for special ingredients, I made Kale Speltotto with goat's cheese { 1 } from the River Cottage Veg book. I had never heard of Pearled Spelt before last night but it is cooked like you would cook risotto. In fact you could substitute goat's cheese with Parmesan to end up with something really similar to risotto. The thing is, I dislike risotto. Billy's made it several times in the past but no matter the ingredients, I find it difficult to get down.

But the spelt didn't taste like risotto. I used an onion, garlic and leeks from the veg box and added it to the cheese, spelt and kale. It was my first time cooking with kale, though I've been meaning to add it to my cooking repertoire for awhile as it is supposed to be super healthy.

I think I'd give it a 5/10 if I were grading it. I don't think I'll make this exact recipe again, but I definitely think spelt will be on my menu again.

Tonight I used up carrots, a pepper, mushrooms, garlic, and pak choi from the box and added ginger, white wine vinegar, soy sauce and egg noodles for a quick stir fry { 2 }. Billy is out in London tonight with work mates so I didn't want to get too fancy with my din din. It was quick and simple but oh so nice having a fridge full of nice ingredients. I feel like half my time is spent in grocery stores picking up this and that for each night's meals.

I also was asked today if I had lost weight by a coworker. Yay! That will spur me on. I think lots of veg + ballet + riding bikes with Billy = a much healthier Su!

March 19, 2012

Meatless Month

I cannot detach myself from things that I see. This is why I made for a terrible Forensic Photographer. This is also why I haven’t eaten pork since August when I photographed a story on a pig farm. So when I photographed a dairy farm on Friday, my future with beef was becoming tenuous. I tried not to stare into the big brown eyes of the calf that I know in 18 months will be on somebody’s plate.

I made sure to order a steak on Saturday when Billy and I went out for a nice meal on his company’s dime (a reward for being employee of the month) and it was as perfect a steak as I’ve ever had. It was char grilled, not too pink and very tender. Okay I thought to myself, if I can eat this steak than all is well on the meat front. Billy won’t be upset with me for further restricting our diet.

So you can understand my surprise when he suggested post steak that we try and cut meat out for a month. Really!?! Yes! I love the taste of meat but I hate the constant repressing of thoughts while eating it. So we watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg program and bought the book of the same name. We are not after recipes that just substitute meat for tofu or quorn. We want meals that are so good you don’t miss meat.

I am actually really excited about this. I like food adventures that make us come out of our comfort zone. We love talking about what we eat, breaking it down to figure out the ingredients and spices.

Yesterday was Day One. Unfortunately I picked the first recipe, a balsamic leek and goats cheese tart in filo pastry. Sounds good, but I didn’t realize I needed small tart pans, which I don’t have, and was forced to make two large tarts. Blah was the outcome. Maybe if I had done it to the recipe it would have been better but alas I don’t know if I’ll bother again.

All the recipes in the veg book excite us and to further our meatless cause we ordered our first Veg Box. We have been wanting to join a scheme since our Edinburgh days but couldn’t due to where we lived. We wanted one super close to keep our food miles down but the closest one is in the next county over. We should hopefully get our first box on Wednesday and we have big plans to use everything in the box no matter what.

I think I could easily cut meat out all together but only in the UK. When I go home my favorite restaurant is a redneck bbq joint with loose meat bbq sandwiches. I actually moan when I eat it because it is well amazing. I actually had them cater my wedding and it was a huge hit (except to my lovely friend Arielle- a from birth vegetarian).

So wish us luck!!