Meat Free Monday?

Hello everyone!

If you have followed my blog for a while, you may be wondering where last week’s Meat Free Monday recipe was? I’ve decided that 52 was enough and I’m not a good enough cook to create 52 more unique and tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes… If you want inspiration then it’s all still here on the blog!

Ultimately, the challenge to blog about it each week showed me a variety of new ingredients that can be used as a substitute for meat. It also showed how varied a diet can be without including meat at all… Especially as around half the meals were also vegan!

This has shown me I CAN go meat free consistently, therefore my New Year’s Resolution is to go vegetarian apart from when I go out to eat (and then avoid red meat). Also, I’ve switched to dairy-free milk and yoghurt, so I’ve drastically reduced my dairy intake! For me, this is quite a change.

I may still blog a recipe when I find a great new one, but it definitely won’t be every week! I hope this all makes sense and I’m still going to be blogging regularly about sustainable living.

Meat Free Monday: Winter Vegetable Hominy Hash En Croute

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I hope everyone is having a lovely break – I really do love this time of year, I think it’s great to catch up with family and friends, but it also gives you some breathing space from the usual every day stuff.

I made this bake because I had more time than usual! Also, I actually ate this on Christmas day, but I’ve been slowly getting through it since then 🙂

I used this recipe from Thug Kitchen – it’s not too complicated, although I did have to specifically buy a couple of ingredients (tempeh, hominy corn).

It did smell amazing when it was all mixing together, but I was a little doubtful that it’d be good enough for Christmas… I was wrong! It’s so tasty and wayy better than dry turkey.

Also, tempeh is hard to get hold of (at least in the UK), but it’s worth it – the texture is amazing, a lot better than tofu. It held together so well and absorbed the other flavours.

This dish takes a bit more effort than most of the other meat free meals I’ve posted on here, but it’s definitely worth it! It also reheated fine in the oven for a few minutes so it’s lasted me a few days.

This is the last meat free meal of this year! I’m so happy that I managed to keep this up, and I hope it’s inspired some people to take a step out of their comfort zone towards reducing meat consumption.

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Meat Free Monday: ‘Meat’balls

Last year I used to have meatballs pretty much every week; they’re relatively cheap and I thought they tasted great with a tomato sauce and pasta/rice. Now, the thought of them kind of grosses me out… I haven’t had red meat for a while and I don’t think I’m going to eat it again!

Anyway, I thought I’d try to recreate a meat free version of them. I found this recipe on the Thug Kitchen.

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Now, mine don’t look like the pictures from Thug Kitchen! But they tasted amazing, and really filled me up. I don’t think I let the mixture cool down enough, as I was too impatient. So that could be why the texture was off. Also, I think it’d help if the lentils were blended after being boiled – they were definitely the biggest bits that kept falling apart.

Another thing is that this seemed to take a while… However, because this makes enough for 5/6 people, you can always freeze the remaining meatballs and reheat them for a much quicker meal!

I served it with rice, chopped tomatoes and green beans this time. However, I’m sure it’d be amazing with pasta.

Overall, this hasn’t replaced traditional meatballs for me, but with a couple of adjustments it’ll be there!

Meat Free Monday: Veggie Dumpling Stew

I feel like my photos don’t do this justice!

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This is a tasty stew – it’s vegan, filling and perfect for winter evenings!

I used this recipe which is basically a load of veg, some herbs, stock and then the dumplings themselves. I love dumplings so I really wanted to see if I could make my own taste good! They do – but I did add a little more flour than the recipe says as they looked a little sticky when everything was mixed. This could have been because of my poor measuring though – I don’t understand cups!

Anyway, this is great and perfect for nights in with family/friends, it also isn’t too salty which I was worried about!

Meat Free Monday: Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

Just in case you’re not sick of the sight/smell/taste of pumpkin, I have a recipe for spiced pumpkin pasta! I thought it’d be a nice change from tomato, and seasonally appropriate.

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I used this recipe which is nice and simple! I think using coconut milk really brings out the flavours of the herbs and the pumpkin.

Side note: Why don’t supermarkets in the UK sell pumpkin purée??! I had to order some online because I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Anyway, as you can see I served it with some greens – spinach would also work really well with the flavours in this!

Meat Free Monday: Vegan Paella

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I made this Paella to get a bit of sunshine back in my life! I miss the sun.

This colourful dish is full of veggies and super cheap to make. I loosely based it on this recipe, but needed to substitute some of the veggies. I made a batch to serve 4 people and have just frozen the rest of it.

The thing I love most about this is the variety of textures! I sprinkled some chopped cashews in it and I was a little concerned it would be odd… But it was great! A bit of crunch to offset the other flavours and textures.

This is a great light, easy, healthy dish for all year round!

Meat Free Monday: Speedy Vegan Pho

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This one will blow your socks off!

I found this super hot because of the fresh chilli in it, but you could adapt it to your taste – so next time I might make it with a de-seeded chilli 🙂 I based it on this recipe, but instead of butter I just used oil to fry the mushrooms to make this vegan.

I liked the different flavours in this compared to a standard stir fry I usually make. I think I did go a little ott on the bean-sprouts! But that’s just because I love them a lot.

Again, there’s not too many ingredients needed and it takes less than 30 minutes to make, so ideal for a Monday evening!