I have always believed in good old fashioned healthy food. I was brought up with three proper meals every day - eaten at a table. Cereal in the morning, Sandwiches or a small meal at lunch time, after school and a proper meal at supper time. Our plates were filled with vegetables and small portion of meat. All the colours, my Mom always says. Our meals were prepared by my Mom from scratch. We didn’t often eat much processed food and we seldom had take-aways, they were a special treat.
I have taken this basic knowledge that ‘you are what you eat’ and veggies are good for you even if you don’t always like them, into my adult life. It just makes sense – you know it does. I carried on the tradition and cooked the same way in my own home. Always making sure we had at least one good meal every day. I have also become quite good at making good meals within a small budget – because that is an awesome talent to have these days! When I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer in 2019 I changed my diet to exclude all animal products for a while and then slowly reintroduced a few things. Now I would call myself a vegetarian if I must label it.
Changing your diet like this is a bit of challenge if you have always cooked one way. It is not really that I had a hard time not eating meat – it’s more getting into the habit of preparing meals that don’t include meat. Though I never ate a lot of meat, it turns out I always started my meal plan with the meat – I have chicken in the freezer, so I can make roast chicken and then I’ll add some potatoes to the pan and steam some veggies to go on the side. Every time!
Slowly, over the last two years I have gathered a small collection of meat free and often completely animal product free recipes that work for me. Though I do use some of the new vegetarian or vegan ingredients I try to keep my recipes as simple and budget friendly as I can. I have tried a lot of these products and some stick and some, I just don’t get.
I thought I would share some of these recipes with you, maybe you are new to a meat free diet or maybe you just want to reduce your meat intake. For whatever reason, health, ethical reasons or even just because meat is getting so expensive. When I started my vegetarian journey, I did find that simple recipes, with ingredients that I understood and could easily afford were hard to find. I know I have friends who say that they would like to eat a healthier diet but it’s so expensive. I hope these recipes will help you add more vegetables and healthy meals to your diet in a way that works for you. I’m not an Insta Influencer or even a very good blogger, I’m just a fourty-something year old, work from home woman trying to cook healthy, affordable meals for my husband and I. Sound familiar?
At the same time, I’m still learning friends so if you have any favourite vegetarian recipes please do share! If you find an interesting looking recipe on the internet but you don’t have time to try it, share that with me and maybe I can give it a go and let you know how it turns out.
We can learn together.