Not eating meat or fish brings some challenges but can broaden your food horizon!
So last month on the 11th I decided to become vegetarian for a month. Why? Mhm, good question! First of all, it was not for ethical or moral reasons! Good news: I won’t try to convince you to stop eating meat! I think I wanted to try it mainly to put myself a bit out of my comfort zone and try something new. There are so many vegetarian recipes on my to-do list that I still want to try. So why not force myself a little bit.
Being now 3 weeks into this little project I realize that I really do miss meat! Normally I eat meat 2-3 times a week, so the majority of the week I’m vegetarian anyway. But now that I can’t have it anymore I kind of crave it… There are some really good vegetarian burgers out there, but you can’t replace spareribs, steaks and chicken wings. And I realized that I miss those the most! (Even if I didn’t had ’em in months).
I now also understand how challenging it is for vegetarians and vegans to go dining out. I don’t mean from an ethical or moral standpoint – I’m purely talking about choice on the menu. Most restaurants have quite a ridiculously small number of vegetarian dishes. More often than not it’s a big salad with goats cheese…
But it’s not all gloomy! Some restaurants make a vegetarian menu their unique selling point. In Utrecht I went to “Gys” which has a mostly vegetarian and organic menu. Their vegetarian take on the Dutch classic ‘kapsalon’ (literally “barbershop”: a deconstructed kebab on top of fries, topped with cheese and baked in the oven) with sweet potato and crunchy tempeh was surprisingly good!
Nooooo I failed! Someone hid squid in my rice!!
When you are dining out and sharing meals with friends, there’s a chance you’ll end up eating something that has meat in it without even noticing it. That’s what happened to me last weekend in London. When we eating with friends at a tapas place with shared plates and goodies I reached for the black rice someone else ordered. It was rice colored with squid ink, lots and lots of garlic and butter. So rich and so tasty! As I went for the second round and took another bite I realized that there were also ever so tiny little pieces of squid in it. The first thought that came to my mind: “Nooooo I failed! I didn’t make it a whole month!”. Then I realized that it really it does not matter that much. I still went vegetarian for the rest of the dinner, the rest of the day and the rest of the week. What happened, happend – it wasn’t a choice I made consciously. Don’t let small setbacks take the best of you. Keep doing what you are doing!
Best vegetarian burger I made so far is thanks to MrHungrySam! A pulled mushroom burger which almost lets you forget that there usually is meat in a burger. This one is a keeper for sure!
I tried a lot of new recipes in the last weeks. Up until now 14 new ones! Next to Sam’s burger, the one-pot Pad Thai and the tart with golden-glazed carrot, mushroom and hazelnuts will definitely remain staples in my repertoire!
Despite really enjoying all these new vegetarian dishes I decided that I will start to eat meat again on February 12th (the exact 1 month mark). I’m really enjoying this little challenge I set for myself and will continue to try all the different vegetarian recipes that waited for way too long on my to-do list. Still, I really enjoy the taste of meat. I’ll try to eat meat even more consciously and don’t put it in dishes that don’t necessarily need it anyway.
I can only advise you to try vegetarian for a month. It’s challenging but fun!
Are you vegetarian/vegan/flexitarian? Do you want to see more vegetarian recipes on the site? Let us know in the comments below. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter in order to now all of these weird shenanigans I’m up to in advance!