I’ve been vegetarian for a very long time now – my mum gave up trying to force feed me meat when I was about 10 years old and I have been loving cooking vegetarian meals ever since. I was very lucky when I was younger; food was, and is a massive part of my family and family gatherings. My mum would cook creative feasts from scratch and I can’t remember a time when we were allowed to eat in front of the TV.
When I tell people that I’m a vegetarian, they often assume that I come from a vegetarian family, but nothing could be further from the truth. My parents, sister, cousins and extended family all love their meat and all have a very healthy attitude towards it. We were brought up knowing what meat was and where it came from while having a strong appreciation for all things organic and welfare. While this tactic worked a treat for my sister and cousins who will happily eat all manner of meat, from steak tartare to fresh oysters, I decided that vegetarianism was the path for me.
Being a vegetarian is very easy in the UK today. There is at least one vegetarian choice at almost all restaurants you go to. To be honest, I often don’t mind if there is only one choice when going into a good, up-market restaurant as normally, these places only have a limited menu for meat eaters alike. What does annoy me however, is the lack of imagination when it comes to this dish as the vegetarian option often feels like an afterthought. I’m fed up to the back teeth of eating risotto when I eat out! Don’t get me wrong, I love risotto, but this is a dish I can cook easily at home and it feels like 9 times of out 10, this will be the ‘vegetarian alternative’ at the moment. Very uninspiring!
But, dishes come in and out of fashion, just like clothes. Risotto is constantly on menus now, perhaps chefs will move on to something a little more inventive and a little less stodgy soon.
A real treat is, however, going to a exclusively vegetarian restaurant. Since my fiancée, family and most of my friends are carnivores I don’t get to relish in this experience as much as I would like, but on occasion, we do. There are more and more vegetarian restaurants popping up all over the UK and are enjoyed my vegetarian and meat-eaters alike. Particular favourites include the understated Sky Apple Cafe, the bustling, fail-safe Mildreds and the inventive Saf.
I’ve created this blog in an attempt to capture some of the meals I’ve made, places I’ve eaten and hints and tips of being an everyday vegetarian. It might take a while for the content to get flowing, so please bare with me and add comments, ideas and recipes as you see fit.
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Many thanks for reading.