Last week, as you know, I hit a few bumps and potholes. What I’ve learned in doing something like this, is that despite having changed our minds, changing our habits is a bit trickier. There seems to be a bit of a mind/body communication delay :s
The 4 Most Important Things I Learned Last Week:
- If you are going to have a minimalist kitchen, you MUST plan ahead, because otherwise you will order pizza.
- I discovered (twice) that I don’t like chocolate bars as much as I thought I did.
- Tempeh and I do not have a future together (yuck!).
- If you’re thirsty with two kids in the car, no water, and are 70km from home, you are very likely going to drive through McDonald’s and order a Coke.
In a nutshell: BE PREPARED!
I find that by having a stock of fruit, chia pudding, hummus, and some carrots in the fridge, I can get through some vulnerable times in the house, like when I don’t start dinner on time or my 3 year old starts yelling at me for snacks. Before I deleted cereal from our cupboard, this was the goto emergency food. This little and seemingly harmless habit involved going through 6-8L of milk per week ($20/week), whereas now, we use less than 2L. As long as I have other “goto” foods for everyone, it’s not an issue. I spent just over $100 in groceries last week, but even more in restaurants, so…I think presenting this as a weekly expenditure would not be entirely accurate. Less than $50 of this was spent in a grocery store. Due to diligent recycling, composting, and eating in restaurants, this week, we threw away 1.5 bags of rubbish and 1 bag of recycling (ooooh interesting!).
….A Challenge To Foodies
I think that one of the biggest challenges people face when adjusting their diet to include less animal products, is that they try to eat their usuals with dairy and meat substitutes. No wonder people get put off of vegetarian and vegan food! Substitution sometimes works, but the truth is that if you try to substitute the milk in your cereal with rice milk and the beef in your Spaghetti Bolognese with Textured Vegetable Protein, you are going to be seriously disappointed. This is where you need to consider verbs such as “forgettaboutit” and “reinventing.” Try other things like toast with avocado or some chia pudding (made with coconut milk) and a banana. When it comes to dinner, I suggest you put away (or even throw away) your recipe for apricot tofu chicken, and start looking at recipes derived from cultures that have been cooking for centuries as vegetarians, like Indian! We all love Indian food, no? India boasts the largest population of Vegans and Vegetarians in the world! The point is, there are plenty of things to eat out there that are deeelicious, and use no or minimal animal products. So do me a favour, the next time you think about vegetarianism and the first thing that pops into your head is a block of tofu and some soy cheese, give your head a shake and think of other things like Ratatouille, and a melt-in-your-mouth Pistachio Olive Oil Cake.
I have many different cookbooks on my shelf, and I read all of them. I learn from all of them. I love all of them. I have a couple of Jamie Oliver’s, others are Italian, Indian, Moroccan, Vegetarian, French, Australian, Mediterranean, one entirely dedicated to pizza, another dedicated to whole food (whatever that means exactly), and some indulgent Vegan ones as well. It is about learning folks. I didn’t start here, and let me tell you I am still figuring it out. There are so many of you foodies out there today, trying to challenge your culinary skills at home with the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Heston Blumenthal, but somehow you can’t figure out how to master one vegetarian meal. In fact, the idea terrifies you! Am I right? Perhaps you are not experimenting with Sperm Whale vomit in your kitchen or serving up Dormouse lollipops, but I know that each and everyone of you is trying to master Adriano Zumbo’s Croquembouche. So if you’re up for that, if you deem yourself a true creative chef, and if Heston Blumenthal can turn whale vomit into a culinary delight, than YOU can make a vegetarian and vegan dish that tastes sensational, no? So what do you think about that? Imagine a Master Chef or My Kitchen Rules without animal products. I’d absolutely love to see what they’d come up with. Is there anyone here with power??? Just thought I’d ask 🙂
See you Thursday xx
**In case you are wondering what the F “Chia Pudding” is, it’s very similar to Tapioca or Sago Pudding, but easier to make and much healthier. Did you know that Chia has 5 times more calcium than milk and 7 times more Vitamin C than an Orange? You can buy Chia seeds in any major grocery store, but I order mine online from an Australian company called The Chia Co.