Something Swedish

Veggie Progress

7 Comments

This month, to try something new I’ve decided to give up meat. So far it has been a successful and interesting eye opening experience. It’s difficult for a non-vegetarian to not eat meat for a month (even if I do still have fish once a week), but I’m pleased with the results.

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Success: I haven’t caved and eaten any meat (who knew that veggie schnitzels and filets are so tasty?), I have been taking my vitamins every day, I pay more attention to what I eat, I’ve tried new recipes and discovered foods that we didn’t know we enjoyed.

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 Interesting: A side effect I didn’t expect is that I’ve been cooking almost everyday and my love of cooking has been rekindled. It’s a lot harder to make a meal without meat and takes a lot more thought to “mix it up.” Because of this and since most of our meals revolve around vegetables, I’m getting better at planning meals ahead and wasting less food.

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Eye-opening: Mostly though, I’ve “walked a mile in their shoes” – vegetarians that is, and it’s uncomfortable. On the social level I found it shocking and aggravating how many people are almost offended by ME not eating meat for a month. There was a lot of “But why would you do that? Meat is awesome” or “You’re not becoming one of them, are you?” or “I don’t understand vegetarians, it’s so stupid.” My reasoning was constantly dismissed and I was given strange looks for wanting to try something new. I can only imagine what real vegetarians have to go through to defend their choice. I hope people aren’t so blunt to people who have a reason/principle/belief behind not eating meat.

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On a logistical level, being a vegetarian is difficult because your options are so limited when eating out and you always feel like an inconvenience. Unless you are going to restrict yourself to eating french fries and mozzarella sticks, it’s hard to find decent vegetarian food at most places. Even if you know you’ll find something wherever you go, it becomes a huge awkward discussion with all the attention centered on your eating habits. I’m on a mission to find good vegetarian options in town and make a list of the best fast food veggie burgers for the next post, along with my top 5 favorite vegetarian recipes of the month (Spoiler: vegetarian chilli is in the lead).

Does anyone have any vegetarian recipes for me to try?

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7 thoughts on “Veggie Progress

  1. The hostility toward vegetarians appears to be rooted in a sense that vegetarians think they’re better than everyone else. Accordingly, ethical vegetarians tend (in my experience) to get more crap than those who are merely trying something new. Just thank God giving up drinking isn’t one of your twelve things or you may have wound up staked and buried at a crossroads.

  2. Well done! I’m not a vegetarian but believe that everyone should eat less meat. I know people who think a meal is not a meal without the presence of meat! Meat is so expensive here in Sweden too, so it’s economical to eat less. I have no recipes as such, but I use BBC Good Food to get tasy risotto and curry recipes. I find curries are very flexible when it comes to the ingredients you can use. Soups alone can give you hundreds of veggie recipes of course, and macaroni cheese is a nice treat when your not counting calories 🙂

  3. Another fun blogpost, as always (: my best recipe is pattys (not sure if I translate it correctly?) made of chick-peas. We usually have them with potatoes or pasta.
    Recipe (this recipe is with wok-veggies, but we always skip them) : http://www.alltommat.se/recept/Kikartsbiffar-med-wokgronsaker-7287

    Best of luck with your resolutions!

  4. I started eating less meat in August of last year. I’m not a full-time vegetarian, but I eat meat sparingly. And when I do, it’s a conscious decision on my part and not just something I do because of convenience or habit.
    A great resource for us this fall and winter has been Bonniers vegetariska kokbok. It’s a great cookbook that’s had me try things I’ve never had before and it’s surely made me appreciate cooking more. I’m sure you’d be happy with it even after your vegetarian month is over as there are so many great recipes in it!

  5. I always try and eat a couple of veggies meals a week – I just usually use a recipe for meat, and just omit it. Things like beef stroganoff with mushrooms instead, or pasta with a tomato or creamy sauce. I think it is refreshing to skip the meat every now and again! And yes, I like veggie chilli, too!

  6. I am vegetarian (although I’ve had to be more of a “flexitarian” in Sweden when eating out as people panic if you don’t eat meat, so I have been forced to eat fish sometimes to placate them). The lunch restaurants in my town offer a daily vegetarian alternative, though it often contains bacon. When I queried this I was informed that bacon wasn’t meat. Silly me! Although I’ve not been able to find a bacon plant in my Runåberg seed catalogue 🙂

    We eat a wide variety of meals and I make use of a lot of lentils, beans, pulses as well as things like quinoa, matvete, korngryn etc. I tend to buy my pulses in dry form, cook them all at once, then store them in the freezer in “tin-sized” portions. I’ve discovered that there’s approx 2½dl of beans/lentils/chickpeas in a tin here. So when a dish calls for a tin of beans, I just pull out a bag of my beans from the freezer and drop them directly into the pot. I’m not so fond of the fake soya “meat” but that’s just me and I did like Tzay med ris och jordnötssås.

    At the moment, as it’s winter, we like hearty soups and casseroles. Tonight I made Quinoa patties. Tomorrow it’s Shepherd’s Pie, then Spinach Rotolo, a Mixed Vegetable Curry, a Chunky Lentil Vegetable Soup, then Moroccan roasted vegetable pilaf with chickpeas and La Sfarrata. I hope there might be something that you like there.

  7. One of my favourite meatless meals growing up was creamed spinach with boiled potatoes and a fried egg. My family didn’t add cream, or cream cheese. Rather, we thickened the pureed spinach (with onion and a hint of nutmeg) with a mixture either butter and flour, or a cornstarch slurry and milk or water. It becomes a delicious, thick sauce. And my current favourite is tabbouleh made with quinoa.

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