It’s National Vegetarian Week this week, if you hadn’t already noticed.
Like many of my 1970- born peers, I went veggie in the late 1980s when I was 16 - encouraged by friends who’d listened to Meat is Murder by the Smiths. I didn’t ever listen to it, I was too scared to!
I’d always been veggie at heart, at the age of six I remember being severely reprimanded for spitting out a piece of gristle from a hamburger during a BBQ. We lived in the countryside so I knew where meat came from, my reasons for turning veggie was really that meat became – over the following decade - simply unpalatable.
Being a veggie in the 1970s was not really acceptable, after all our grandparents could still remember rationing from 20 years back; being a faddy eater was not entertained by a generation of parents and grandparents who remember what it was like to go hungry.
Now we are actually encouraged to go veggie, and there are lots of benefits, most of all is that you do find that you eat more vegetables. Much as I love my mock-meat products, you can only eat so many soya sausages a week.
The Vegetarian Society launched NVW 20 years ago! Liz O’Neill, of the Vegetarian Society, said the theme of this year’s veggie week was breakfast. She said: “We’re hoping this year’s theme will help everyone to get off to a good start, realise how much veggie food they already eat and help to tackle head on the notion that life isn’t worth living without a bacon butty.”
There’s lots of inspiration on the website National Vegetarian Week as well as events near you.
At Ella Mag – we’ve been using our breadmaker to cook up some yummy breakfast treats. We’ve been making spelt bread, which is a tasty and wheat-free alternative to wholemeal bread (which we do also love).
For lunch, we’re going for goats cheese salad with rice and vegetables, followed by a banana smoothie, and if we are hungry mid afternoon, it’s organic homous and oatcakes for us.
And for dinner, we’re going to be cooking Nigella’s Cheddar cheese risotto
Yum – who needs meat?