There have been a couple of obstacles in the way of my venture, one such obstacle being The Person.
He did not greet my decision to eat more vegetarian meals with masses of enthusiasm, he is very much the meat eater. But he has agreed to go along with it and has been a kind of willing participant in my latest experiment.
The one obstacle that I still have is that the list of vegetables that The Person really doesn't like include some of the bestest vegetables that feature most often in vegetarian recipes - namely carrots, butternut squash and sweet potato.Damn him damn him. When I tell people this there is always a chorus of people that say "Cook it anyway" and yes I agree but for a few small things:
1. I'm not cooking two meals
2. I'm not putting up with a kitchen where two people are trying to cook two different meals
3. Our freezer isn't big enough for me to freeze my lovely carroty/butternut squashy/sweet potatoey leftovers
(Living with a boyfriend can be inconvenient sometimes you know.)
But I've been coping well in my mostly root vegetable existence. I've looked online for recipes and I've had a ton of recipes recommended to me - mostly by you lovely guys. I've scoured through the always overlooked vegetarian sections of the cook books that I own and leafed through the scraps of torn out recipes that I've pulled from magazines. I bought a cheap little book from Tesco that contains lots of veggie recipes - that has been a little treasure trove of ideas, best £3 I've spent in a long time.
I've been trying to go for purely vegetable dishes and not go for meat substitutes such as Quorn or tofu. No particular reason, just trying to see what veggies can do when left to their own devices.
There have been successes and some....less so (falafel burgers I'm looking at you here). But actually on the whole it's all been going well. I'm torn between whether or not it's quicker to make veggie meals rather than meat ones. It feels like there's a lot more prep that goes on - those things don't chop and peel themselves you know. But on the other hand the cooking process is over much more quickly - no-one likes limp veg after all.
I've done well so far at not really repeating anything - the lentil bolognese I've counted for two meals and it will be the same for the aubergine and courgette lasagna. I did think about being very strict and only counting 'new' recipes as part of my 52 but....no. I'm doing well as it is, let's not make it more difficult.
At the time of writing we are 18 weeks into the year. We have eaten fifteen meals so there's a chance that we'll be having some purely veggie weeks throughout the year to come.
Perhaps my greatest achievement won't be expanding my culinary repertoire but turning The Person into a veggie lover. I'm slowly chipping away at his defences - I could tell he wasn't thrilled at the prospect of the aubergine and courgette lasagna I made this weekend, those vegetables ranking only very slightly above those orange ones I was talking about earlier. Upon finishing his plate I asked him what he thought of it.
"I feel very conflicted. I didn't think I would like it, but it was really nice and I want seconds and I wasn't expecting it and now I don't know how to feel. It's as if I was kissing another boy and liking it."
Who needs a Michelin star?