I was planning to take the day off, but I felt like writing today. So why not write a little blog! ????
I’ve been cutting back on meat for a while now. I don’t buy my meat at the supermarket, only on exceptional occasions and even then, I get organic meat. Usually I ordered meat from an organisation that keeps cattle in the nature reserves in the Netherlands. These herds must be culled every so often and by choosing to buy this meat I could be sure the cows that end up on my plate had a good life, out in the fields all year long. Eating grass and herbs, not soybeans and corn. But to be honest, I did have these ‘guilty pleasures’, like getting a pizza with pepperoni every now and then. Or getting a bacon and egg sandwich at the gas station when I had a long drive ahead of me. As an animal lover that never felt quite right to me. Of course, I have known for a long time that animals are treated horribly in the meat industry. Animals don’t need to be treated the same as humans, but the unspeakable pain and sorrow we put animals that we see as edible through is really too much.
You might have seen it mentioned somewhere in the news lately, the news about the slaughterhouse in Belgium where animals were treated so very badly. I can’t watch the footage. It makes me sick to my stomach, I hurt real bad for these animals and I can’t sleep for days after seeing such misery. Even without actually seeing it, it was the last drop for me. I can’t keep buying bacon-egg sandwiches with a straight face and bury my head in the sand any longer. So, I have decided to stop buying meat. I will finish the meat that is still in my freezer, but after that I’m done. I’m becoming a vegetarian!
I have always been a real meat-eater. I don’t really like vegetables all that much. Give me potatoes and meat and I’m a happy camper. A long time ago I discovered that my body loves me way more if I eat some vegetables, so I learned how to prepare them in a way that didn’t make me gag. Now it’s time for the next step: learning to cook real vegetarian dishes. Thankfully the internet is chock-full of vegetarian recipes and the supermarket shelves are stocked with more and more products that make it easy to replace meat. I’m not going vegan, mind you. That’s one bridge too far for me. If I force myself to make the switch to becoming vegan right away, you can bet I would be stuffing my face with a nice and juicy burger before the month is over. But if I get organic dairy only and eat vegetarian, that’s a big enough improvement for now. I started experimenting with some recipes this week and I’ll write a blog about my experiences every now and then, sharing the most successful recipes. I’m not a brilliant cook to be honest, I can’t even cook a decent meal without a recipe. So, if I can make these so can you!
All righty, here are the first three recipes! The first one is really simple and that’s probably the best way to start I guess. It is a pasta dish with zucchini and vegetarian sausages from the Vegetarische Slager (Dutch company) that I like very much. This recipe was given to me by one of my Facebook followers, thank you! I don’t have an online recipe so I will just write it down here:
Heat up some vegetable or coconut oil in a medium pot and stir in a minced garlic clove. Add thinly sliced zucchini and stir fry until tender. Add sliced mushrooms if you like, and the vegetarian sausages (I cut them in smaller pieces before throwing them in). Keep stirring until everything looks good, add a small cup of crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and take the pot off the heat. Sprinkle some lemon juice over it and serve with pasta.
It’s easy, it’s yummy and it’s healthy, I love it. Though it was only late March, it was already nice enough to eat outside the other day. Looks good doesn’t it!
When I finally switched off the button in my head there was no stopping me. I created a new Pinterest board, called ‘wow! No cow!’ and pinned happily away. I like falafel, but to eat it in a pita with a nice yoghurt-based sauce is even better. It makes me smile. You can find the recipe here (in Dutch), I did use ready-made falafel though. This is how things looked in my kitchen:
But.. how about pasta sauce? I used to make a large batch of Bolognese sauce every now and then, which I put in the freezer in small portions. Well, it seems there is a solution to that as well. I stumbled upon this recipe for a sauce with walnuts and mushrooms. It looked good on paper, so why the heck not try it? I have to get used to nuts in my pasta sauce, but other than that it tasted just fine. I cooked some buckwheat and sweet potato noodles to go with it. You can get them in a health food store and even at some of the regular supermarkets these days. Ordinary pasta works fine as well, but a bit less wheat is not a bad idea for me.
Are you going to try them out? Enjoy!