Veggie Excited!

So, since making the decision to do this challenge, I have had to admit something rather difficult to myself recently. I'm no longer who I thought I was, my whole world is hanging off it's axis in mass turmoil as I realised that I, Good Golly Miss Dolly, am bored of meat.

Not all meat, admittedly, for some reason I can always go for pork, but I am less and less interested by steak, game, poultry or even lamb. I just can't get excited about it at the minute. I wrapped some pheasant in pancetta and roasted it. It was OK. I struggled through a perfectly cooked bit of venison steak, whilst scoffing down the potato and onion accompaniment with gusto. I just don't love meat like I used to. This is sad news. Like realising that after spending my entire existence fantasising about Johnny Depp whisking me away for a life of bliss and excitement, that maybe, just maybe, he's actually a bit too old and mental now, or at least just a couple of J├Ągerbombs away from turning into Tim Burton's magic, living puppet of terror.

In light of this epiphany, I decided to exchange this tragic loss of enthusiasm for a new found verve for veg, and invest in some veggie cookbooks. My issue with vegetarian cooking isn't just that most of it uses pastry to make it into a meal, and it is therefore no good for my gluten free diet, but also that people try and replace meat with faux meat substitutes, and this isn't what I want. I want good, honest vegetarian recipes that could be an entire meal or a compliment, showing off the flavour of the ingredients used, not pretending the veg is sub par and needs to be battered, breaded or supplemented with bogus meat to be worth eating.

After reading some reviews online, I did something I never do, and purchased not one, but three cookery books by the same author, without ever having flicked through a copy. My chosen inspiration? Denis Cotter. All of my eggs are now in his basket.

For the Love of Food, A Paradiso Year Spring & Summer Cooking, A Paradiso Year  Autumn & Winter Cooking
As you can see, I have already started marking out some gorgeous sounding recipes in For the love of Food and the spring/summer book has some beautiful BBQ ideas that are causing some stirrings in my stomach, especially now the sun is out and my birthday is coming up! I've never been so excited about stuffing a pepper with kale and cheese, but here I am, dribble on my bib and a new way to fling myself into my food.

So on my new quest for only letting fish, pork, veg and cheese pass my lips, here is last night's dinner:

Whitebait Three Salad Scrum
Serves 2-3

Potato salad
1 large potato, sliced (Kent Veg Box)
1 spring onion (market)
4 small pickled onions, sliced
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of English mustard
  1. Put the sliced potato into a pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 8 minutes, or until cooked. Drain and leave to cool.
  2. Once cool, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly

Garden salad
1/3 lettuce, shredded, (Kent Veg Box)
1/3 cucumber cut into batons, (Kent Veg Box)
3 cherry tomatoes halved, (Kent Veg Box)
drizzle of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients- Ta da!

Quinoa salad
100g quinoa
2 tomatoes, diced (Kent Veg Box)
3 handfuls of spinach, shredded (Kent Veg Box)
1 handful grated carrot (Kent Veg Box)
1/2 onion (Kent Veg Box)
4 cloves of garlic (market)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a saucepan put the quinoa and then add twice as much water as there is grain. Season the water with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme and simmer until the water is fully absorbed and the grain has opened and expanded.
  2. In a frying pan on a low heat, fry off the onion and garlic in a little butter and olive oil. Once softened add the tomatoes. Once they are ready, add the carrot and spinach to wilt slightly.
  3. Combine quinoa mix with vegetable mix.

2-3 handfuls of whitebait
some cornflour
salt & pepper

  1. Season the flour and coat the whitebait.
  2. Fry off in hot oil for just a minute on each side. Be wary of overcooking!
A really simple and nutritious dinner, and one where I got extras, as Alex couldn't face eating the heads of the little fishies and after trying to only eat the bodies, leaving a pile of teeny heads and tails, he eventually gave up and relinquished his fried fishies to me! Mwahahaha.

And on that note, it's time for me to munch my lunch of leftover salads. Might add a slice of bacon to liven it up, but it really doesn't need it.


  1. Have they got any recipes for butternut squash in those books? Now that really is a meat replacement without being a poor substitute.

  2. They have indeed, wrong time of year for Butternut though. Have to wait for autumn. There's a summer stew in here that looks amazing though.

  3. Ah yeah, seasonal restrictions. BUM!

    What's in the summer stew?

  4. Red peppers, chilli, garlic, olives, potatoes, sugar snaps and basil!


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