Well, I can’t say this hasn’t happened before… but I feel like I’m about to start dabbling in vegetarianism again.
I’ve tried veganism before, for the best part of a week – but I know I’m setting myself up for a fail if I go the full way and ban cheese from my life (cheese should appear on everything, especially toast, sandwiches, pasta and terrible musicals).
I tried vegan cheese. It was a big pile of wrongness sitting somewhere between icecream and toe jam.
No, definitely not a good thing going on there.
I’ve been vegetarian before too, which on the whole went pretty well apart from the fact that pigs are, in fact, the most cursed of animals that taste as good as they smell and their blood and guts is, apparently, catnip to humans.
So, I like sausages.
I like meat gravy.
I love bacon.
And, it turns out, I tried black pudding the other day and that is, plain and simple, just awesome.
But, partly from health-kick, and partly from the fact that it would be nicer not to be munching on other living beings, I think there’s a lot to be said for vegetarianism.
And what I need from y’all (even all you dedicated meat eaters) are your best vegitarian recipes.
I can make a mean Ropa Vieja, a spanish dish I learnt when I lived in Tenerife for a while. It’s basically a stew but it’s pretty darn tasty. But I need more variety, more easy fixes to counteract my piglet craving.
So hit me up with your recipes, to stop me from hitting cute animals.
My Ropa Vieja recipe
(Translated, it means “Old Clothes” – it tastes better than it sounds, I promise)
1x onion (roughly chopped)
1x pepper (I go for red, you pick your colour of choice) roughly chopped
Handful of mushrooms (roughly chopped)
2x cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Handful of potatoes (roughly chopped)
1x tin of chickpeas
Handful of sweetcorn/peas/green beans
Vegetable stock (say about 1 pint, enough to cover the vegetables)
1 x teaspoon of Smoked Parika (this ingredient is proper magic, worth using in ALL COOKING)
1x teaspoon of whole grain mustard
1/2x teaspoon of Harrisa
Half a lemon
1x teaspoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1x teaspoon of Marmite
Sprinkling of Sunflower Seeds (if you can be bothered, bake these with smoked paprika first)
Handful of grated cheese
1. In a pretty large saucepan, cook off the onions, garlic, potatoes, peppers, and mushrooms (along with any other miscellaneous vegetables you happen to have to hand) in the oil and paprika and most of the herbs.
2. When the onions are soft add the stock, marmite, salt and pepper, wholegrain mustard and chickpeas and simmer for about half an hour, or until the potatoes are soft.
3. Add the sweetcorn and/or peas and/or green beans, add coriander, a dash of lemon of juice, the Harrisa and simmer for around 5 minutes until the sweetcorn/peas are cooked.
4. Add the remaining herbs and leave to cool slightly, serve in a bowl with the cheese and seeds sprinkled on top. Add crusty bread to mop up the tasty gravy goodness.
5. Eat until you are full, goddammit.
Let’s be honest. Ropa is a stew, so stick whatever you’ve got in it (I like to add carrots, or replace the potato for sweet potato) and cook it in stock until it’s done. It’s a reliable, heart warming meal. Most definitely tasty.
*Disclaimer: I ‘aint no chef, nor am I no recipe guru, attempt recipe at your own risk*