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So I’m lagging behind on updating what we’ve been eating on our meat-free month, so I will speedily try and do some catching up.  On the weekend we had a day at home and a day visiting family.  Visiting family wasn’t a big deal as my parents don’t really eat meat, in fact I’m sure my mother was quite pleased!

On Saturday morning before we headed off to Leicester to see my granny and meet my parents, we whipped up a quick salad from Hugh’s Everyday Veg book to take as our lunch offering (we were each making something).  We also had made a birthday cake as both my parents’ birthdays are in January – pictures of that to follow.

Saturday 14th January

Pearl barley salad with roasted squash and fennel, lemon juice, parsley and cheese.  This is a fresh wintery salad with the roasted squash and fennel tossed through the cooked pearl barley, and the other bits added to taste.  I am neither a huge fan of squash or fennel, but all together it was delicious.  I am learning to trust a few certain chefs to the point where I know I can make most of the recipes, irrespective of whether we think we like the ingredients, and know that we’ll love it.

My mom loved the salad and decided she might give in and buy the book – although she refused to watch anymore of the TV series after Hugh slaughtered a sheep during one episode and didn’t think it was appropriate for a programme encouraging vegetable eating.  I do see her point, although I understand Hugh’s motivations to encourage us to eat meat that is well-cared for.  Mommys.

(Sorry for the measly picture – I forgot to take any photos on Saturday so this is my leftover lunch on Monday)

Sunday 15th January

Broccoli and chilli pasta.  Penne pasta with steamed broccoli that had been tossed in lightly cooked garlic and chilli flakes and a good knob of butter.  I used to eat broccoli pasta all the time at University, but in the past few years haven’t been enamoured by the idea so have been reluctant to make it.  I’m so pleased we did though because there is something very comforting about this combination.  We didn’t follow a recipe we just made it up as we went along – some of the best cooking is done this way I think.

My meat-free month thoughts at the end of week 1

Last night we were chatting about how we were finding our meat-free month so far.  We’ve both had the odd pang for meat, salty crisp bacon in particular.  Bacon, egg and toast even more specifically for me.  But otherwise, I haven’t really had any meal where I’ve missed meat.  Mr Rigg says the one meal we’ve had that he would have enjoyed more with the addition of meat, again bacon, was the colcannon baked potatoes with the poached egg.

I am feeling much more cheerful about what we are cooking and eating, and I am excited about carrying on this way.  It is great to be challenged to come up with interesting and diverse meals that don’t contain meat or fish, and in the process we are discovering some firm new favourites, which we might not otherwise have found.

It also makes me want to carefully look at and work out how much meat we eat in the future – I’m sure somewhere I read guidelines on the suggested weight of meat we should each eat a month, I believe this was from a sustainable point of view, but probably also good for your health.

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Truly I am.  What has it been…a week since I last posted?  And it’s not for lack of eating nice things or doing nice things.  This week we have eaten … ugh, I forget without photos to document it!

We have eaten far too much Dunham Massey ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce that I do remember – but along with pizza making we leave chocolate sauce making to Mr Rigg.  My attempt resulted in a near disaster!

Tonight we are making Jamie’s lasagne – the sauce part is busy bubbling away in the oven with the fragrant scent of cinnamon filling the house.  This lasagne has a mixture of beef and pork mince, roasted butternut squash and flecks of crispy pancetta. 


Image: Jamie Oliver

We’ve also made slow cooked chilli con carne with leftovers for lunches – delicious with wraps, sour cream and grated cheese.  This one is worth a post sometime soon when I’ve reinstated a camera into our lives. 

I’ve bought locally grown quinces to make quince jelly after trying some on crumpets at work – yum!  Tomorrow night we have friends over for dinner and are planning a Moroccan chicken tagine with couscous – another Jamie recipe.


Image: Radish NYC

My week has also included a two-day headache (ugh!), an exciting time in the life of my website, lots of log fires, happiness that Mr Robin is back and singing in my garden,  and a visit to the dentist (I’ve had a numb cheek and face all afternoon).  Hoping for a less painful week next week. 

I also came across this lovely blog, a post from the same blog on an incredible looking gourmet shop in New York (wish there was somewhere like this near me!), and amazing lunchboxes.


Image: made by OOTS

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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