We were walking towards a vegetarian restaurant in the city that my husband had stumbled across whilst waiting for DVB’s drama class to end one day. He was actually a bit smug that he had found something new and unusual. That I would love it and think he was so new age and hipster – well as hipster as someone could get in his sneans. To cut a long story short the food I ordered was just horrid but his beetroot burger was really good so the jury is still out on this one. This burger led us into Vegetarian Week with my comment that I didn’t think he and the girls would last a week eating veg dinners. The reply was that they would give it a go as long as it was filling. I’m assuming he means his stomach and not spiritually fulfilling? Part of the reason I’ve stuck around with this guy for 25 years is his flexibility – I’ll just leave that one with you 😛

Mushroom, thyme and walnut penne

One thing is for sure – going vego really helps with the food budget. A block of tofu that was the main ingredient for 4 cost me $3 from Costco. Whole meal would have been in the vicinity of $5.50. Winter would be a challenge to keep potato recipes in moderation to avoid the stodgy factor. We didn’t rule out meat for lunches so ham and the like were still in the fridge. This week I also bought up bulk veggies  to get the free packet of 6 Hot Cross Buns from Tea Tree Plaza – you know me, I love getting free shit 🙂 Noodles, rice and pasta –  I would be so lost if I couldn’t have included these in my meal planning and a friend of mine who is vegetarian (hi Wendy) complains that all she is offered as a vegetarian option in a restaurant or cafe is a pasta dish. Totally get it, it’s such an easy out.

Thai tofu and noodle soup

Annoyance on my part with the vegetarian food scene revolves around when a dish pretends to be a something that it’s not – I’ll explain this with an example. A vegan bakery I’ve been to has a “not butter chicken” pie. Yes, butter chicken has a great flavour but why copy that flavour by using a meat/chicken substitute? I would much rather see a veg/fruit flavour embraced and enhanced by other ingredients as a standalone product not as a copy. A popular Asian restaurant in the city has its whole menu with “not” products which to me is a bit of a cop-out but I admit I am not an expert and I’m willing to be educated more.

 

Hasselback sweet potatoes – next time use bigger ones 🙂

This week with the dinners I’ve used a combination of cookbooks and original content. Vegetarian cooking is a big gap in my cookbook collection so sing out if you have a good book you can recommend. My very favourite dish was the one below – it would be my favourite because it’s a Jamie dish. Homemade spinach pici pasta made with just spinach and flour, thank God I have a food processor for that one. It was so lovely and sang with fresh flavours, it will make a repeat performance.

 

 

Spinach pici pasta with parmesan

In a #chomporchuck challenge update: it was time to go “Asia Express” by Marion Grasby

#chuck 1

Too many dishes where you just wanted some sides to go with it or more veg added to them to make a meal or even give you ideas for a complete meal. Chucked into the Savers box awaiting drop off.

What should be my theme for next week? Should it be Masterchef week given that the ads are on every 15 mins? Should it be Donna week or even Brinner week? What do you suggest for me to try?

 

 

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