Well first up, there better be a couple of disclaimers.
1) I can’t eat wheat or dairy so that was factored in too.
2) The meals I made were predominantly family friendly meals. I tend to make a large evening meal so there are leftovers for the following day and some to freeze too.
3) I can’t take food photos for toffee (vegan toffee, obvs!)
My meal plan for the week
Monday – Vegan Fresh Pesto with Corn Pasta (I used this recipe here)
Tuesday – Homemade Baked Beans on Toast (recipe The Five o’clock Apron: Proper Food for Modern Families)
Wednesday – Spring Onion Farinata with Green Bean, Tomato and garlic salad (recipe The Five o’clock Apron)
Thursday – Garlicky Black Beans with Brown Rice and Guacamole (Deliciously Ella with Friends: Healthy Recipes to Love, Share and Enjoy Together)
Friday – Spanish Lentils – Vegan “Lentejas Caseras” – recipe similar to this one.
Saturday – Falafel – bought out
Sunday – Salad – bought out (and a cheeky slip up at a BBQ)
So first up, I have to say WOW. My grocery bill was about a third of what it usually is (and I froze a lot for future meals too!)
I have also never consumed quite so much garlic. (If you don’t want to stink, always do this when preparing garlic.) We always cook from scratch, and usually eat either fish or meat daily. I actually found vegetarian meal planning and cooking much more interesting. It was fun to break from the norm. My only slip up was at the BBQ on Sunday as there were just too many of my favourites being served up.
(NB Meal planning is vital if you want to keep this up or you will find yourself quickly falling back into old habits! It’s also a great way to avoid wastage.)
My husband is the biggest carnivore going. In his mind, it’s not a meal unless there’s meat or fish on the table. I also have a toddler and a baby to feed, and between the two of them, there’s quite a few vegetables they don’t eat. I tried to combat this by making hearty meals and breaking them all in with dishes they are familiar with.
It worked well. Two days in, Hub said the dishes were so tasty he didn’t even notice the lack of meat. Kids ate up most of what they were given, eating far more vegetables than they would do usually.
This week encouraged me to experiment with more spices, herbs and grains, as well as touching on different cuisines. We all felt much lighter and energetic. Judging by the amount of nappies I had to change, it kept everyone regular too!
Aside from health benefits, of which there are many, I am mainly motivated by the environment and my desire to protect the World my children will grow up in. I have no intention to become a fully fledged vegetarian, eating out is already hard enough with my current dietary requirements. However from now on I plan to turn Meat Free Monday on it’s head, instead meat and fish will be the exception.
I plan to carry on trying out new vegetarian recipes and make them new staples in this house. Despite always having vegetables as sides, and eating large salads throughout the summer, trialling vegetarianism has encouraged me to vary the vegetables and legumes we consume which means we eat a much larger variety of nutrients. It has been great to make vegetables the star of the show rather than an accompaniment.
It’s just the beginning of this journey, but I am so glad I took on the challenge this week. It’s opened my mind, changed pre-conceptions, and put me a step in the right direction towards a better future for my family as a whole.
These are some my favourite recipe books
(They are not all vegetarian recipe books but there are plenty of vegetarian recipes in all of them.)
“Deliciously Ella” Ella Mills
“Good + Simple” Hemsley & Hemsley
“Get The Glow” Madeleine Shaw
“Eat. Nourish. Glow” Amelia Freer
“Happy Kitchen” Rachel Kelly & Alice Mackintosh
“Honestly Healthy” Natasha Corrett & Vicki Edgson
“The Five o’clock Apron” by Claire Thomson
Are there any you would add to that list? Please leave a comment below!
Tempted to change your eating habits? Does it all seem a bit too much like work? Can’t be arsed? Check out this link on the Kin Project website for further motivation and information.
Next week I’ll be back to share with you how I got a long with colouring therapy. On Monday we began the “All the Colours” challenge. More on that soon! – in the meantime you can follow me on Twitter to hear my latest rants and musings or check out my Insta Stories to see how my colouring in skills are coming along.