As you may be aware, we have had a vegetarian living with us for the past 5 weeks while he did some work experience with my other half. I was determined to provide a variety of healthy meals with as little as possible in the way of meat substitutes like Quorn.
I’ve explained before that I am not against Quorn, in fact their cocktail sausages and scotch eggs are nicer than the real thing in my opinion, but I wanted to branch out in terms of cooking a meal that wasn’t focused around the flavour of a meat. I reckon I have done a pretty good job.
The photo of my meal plan shows that even with careful forethought, changes must be taken into account. For instance there were a few nights that I had to swap meals around due to time restrictions or going out to eat instead. He also stayed a few weekends last minute when I had planned meat or fish in his absence but on the whole the plan has gone well and I’ve tried a few new things. I’d never made mushroom meatballs before (or as my fiance called them, ‘mushballs’) but they turned out all right. I made the mix the night before so they were ready to be rolled into balls for frying. It would have helped if I’d chopped the mushrooms finer and squeezed the liquid out of the mix in a cloth first. Lessons learned!
I was careful to put meals in the same week that used the same ingredients to make the most out of buying things like beetroot and feta, which goes off if I use it once in a meal then wait weeks to use it again. Let me know if you want any recipes based off these meal ideas. Most of my dinners are experimental, based on flavours I like together, how much time I have, what the boys had for lunch that day, etc etc rather than cooked the same way each time but I can give you more ideas to do this at home.
I also tried a few more recipes from Pinterest, such as the one pot Mexican, and the pasta with sweetcorn and avocado sauce, made by whizzing the avocado in a blender and stirring it into the pasta- although this was a little bland for us, as we prefer stronger flavours.
The Swedish sauce is a copy of the IKEA meatball sauce, using this recipe, which makes a lot by the way! http://www.thelondoner.me/2013/12/swedish-meatball-recipe.html
‘Jamie’s Pizza’ refers to the quick homemade pizza shown here on Jamie Oliver’s food channel. It’s a funny video as well- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2RB1KcNtAM
We also made another Costco run last weekend. I really enjoy Costco. I’m not wholly convinced that the savings are worth it with the annual subscription because there’s only 2 of us normally, not 10, and we don’t have that much storage space, but I love buying in bulk where possible. Having a pantry stocked with tins of beans and chopped tomatoes, an upstairs cupboard with months’ worth of loo roll ready to go, an endless supply of laundry powder and softener, and lots of lemonade for drinks mixers helps me feel like the effortless domestic goddess that I obviously aspire to be! Plus there is always something that I would never get from a supermarket, like their amazing tubs of fresh pesto and this week’s buy, smoked salmon pate- YUM!