Are you doing Veganuary?
I decided I was going to eat less meat. I’m not going to go full-on Veganuary – but I’m going to eat less meat, and less red meat in particular. And it fits perfectly with my overall plan to eat healthily but cheaply. Good for my health, good for my bank balance, and good for my planet. What’s not to love. I’m going to have at least one meat-free main meal a week.
One of my step-daughters was vegan for a while. We supported her choice, but it did seem awfully difficult, and I worried about the long-term consequences of a diet so low in some pretty basic nutritional elements – protein and calcium are the obvious ones. And I was always petrified that I would give her something un-vegan by accident. I mean, who knew pesto wasn’t vegan-friendly?
I’m not convinced that any diet that misses out entire food groups (unless it’s for medical reasons) is a good idea – us humans are omnivores, we’re designed to eat and drink a wide variety of foods: veg, fruit, meat, fish, fat, sugar, dairy, starches, pulses, Haribo.
The other problem I have with the vegan and even the vegetarian diet is the amount of ‘pretend’ food involved – there’s a whole industry devoted to making vegan cheese, vegetarian sausages, meat-free mince and so on. I see these as processed foods just as much as turkey twizzlers – they’ve been processed beyond recognition.
If a pork sausage contains pork, and a beef sausage contains beef, what exactly does a vegetarian sausage contain??
But I agree that here in the West we eat too much meat. Let’s be honest, we eat too much of everything. My plan is to eat less meat. First off, I’ll be having at least one meat-free meal a week.
This is my plan –
- Friday – pizza (half an Aldi pizza, with salad – and the other half gets frozen for next week). And this might be a meat-free meal depending on the pizza I buy!! Aldi seem to have stopped doing their Cajun Chicken, so I’m opting for Spinach and Ricotta at the moment.
- Saturday – meat-free. I made veggie lasagne last week, and it was dee-lish-ous. I’d planned to eat half and freeze half, and ended up scoffing the lot.
- Sunday – roast chicken – a proper family meal (even though I’m on my own. I don’t care!!)
- Monday – cold chicken. A pasta dish, or a curry, or something of that sort.
- Tuesday – chunky chicken soup. A great big bowl of it, with lentils and spices and veggies and homemade croutons – very filling. Soul food.
- Wednesday – red meat. Usually mince, or maybe a pork chop, or a stew. If it’s mince I’ll make a bolognaise, or a chilli, or savoury mince.
- Thursday – fish. I lack imagination when it comes to fish. I’m never too sure how to cook it, so I either buy breaded haddock and put it in the oven, or I buy salmon fillets and microwave them. Must try harder.
And that brings us back to Friday again.
Good luck to everyone out there doing Veganuary – would love to hear how it’s going and if you’ll be sticking to the vegan lifestyle in the long-term.
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