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Wow, on typing the blog post title I’ve realised we are 2 weeks into our meat-free month and therefore about half-way through.  It feels like a positive achievement – I never stick to anything like this.  Today’s post sounds like rather a lot of days to cover, but I’m going to miss out day 12 and maybe write a separate post about that experience.

Thursday 19th January

leek and roquefort pizza

Leek and Roquefort pizza (we also made a plain pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella, but for this post I’m focussing on the leek one).  Pizza dough spread with garlic and chilli infused oil, scattered with a mixture of grated mozzarella, Parmesan and herbs, then topped with lightly cooked leeks and blobs of Roquefort.

This pizza is from the Riverford Cookbook but I must say it was a bit much just on its own – and I found the Roquefort quite overpowering.  In the end we shared one leek and Roquefort pizza and one tomato and mozzarella, just to balance it out.  An interesting version though, perhaps one I would tweak to our tastes another time.

Friday 20th January

A post for another day.

Saturday 21st January

mushroom stoup with pearl barley

Mushroom ‘Stoup’ from Hugh’s Everyday Veg – a cross between a soup and a stew.  A soup of onion, celery and carrot all chopped very finely, sliced fresh mushrooms and dried Porchini mushrooms, and a good amount of mushroom stock (I’ve discovered Kallo do a lovely organic mushroom stock, although the only place I’ve seen it is The Organic Farm Shop in Gloucestershire).

Hugh’s recipe serves it with dumplings, which are one of my favourite foods ever – however, we only had meat suet and I couldn’t be bothered to buy a whole box of vegetarian suet just to make a few dumplings.  Instead, we added a couple of handfuls of pearl barley as also recommended in the recipe, and ate it with large hunks of butter bread.  Such a comforting bowl of yumminess, although Mr Rigg felt it was rather ‘mushroomy’.

Sunday 22nd January

raw vegetable rice papper wraps

Raw vegetable and glass noodle wraps with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.  Thinly sliced carrot, cucumber and lettuce (and a few spring onions this time) mixed with glass noodles, coriander and mint.  This mixture is then wrapped up in rice paper wrappers, before dunking in a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, Mirin, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and chopped spring onions.

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Days 3 and 4 of our meat-free month have seen some good old favourites appear – the quesadilla and baked potato.  Quesadillas we most often make meat-free, but baked potatoes are often adorned with crispy bits of bacon or fragrant honey roast smoked salmon – but not this week.

Wednesday 11th January

quesadillas with roasted peppers and onion

Quesadillas filled with onion, jarred roasted peppers, jarred jalepeno peppers, grated cheese and coriander.  I gently fry the sliced onions, peppers and jalepeno peppers so they’re cooked, then it’s just a case of popping a flour tortilla into a fry pan, sprinkling over some cheese, the onion-pepper mixture and some coriander, then slapping another tortilla on top.  Once the underneath starts to go golden you carefully flip it over and wait for that side to go golden and crisp.  We pop the finished ones in a warm oven while we make the rest.

We eat them with homemade salsa (sliced spring onions marinated in red wine vinegar and salt, then chopped cherry tomatoes added along with salt and pepper – quite a lot of liquid will appear, I’m weird and like to drink it with a spoon while I’m waiting for the quesadillas to cook – my husband thinks I’m weird, but you could always just strain it off) and a dollop or sour cream or cream cheese.

Thursday 12th January

colcannon baked potato poached egg

Colcannon filled baked potatoes with a poached egg.  Hot potato with a bit of boiled celeriac mashed into it, then mixed with gently fried leeks, sprout tops, and savoy cabbage, and the likes of salty butter, a dash of milk and seasoning.  Quickly baked again before topping off with a poached egg.

Last week we watched How to Cook Like Heston – I must admit I was sceptical about it, and didn’t think much of many of his suggestions (his way of cooking scrambled eggs sounded way too fangled), but I was interested to see how he recommended making poached eggs.  We find poaching eggs hit and miss, so we thought we’d give his poaching method a go.  In short – we won’t be trying his method again, it didn’t work for us.

colcannon baked potato poached egg

When I’ve got the time I love making those baked potatoes where you take the potato out of the skin once they’re baked and mix nice ingredients into, then pop it back into its skin, scatter cheese over the top and cook it a bit longer.  Inspired by a colcannon recipe in an Abel & Cole leaflet that came through our door yesterday, I wonder why not apply it to my filled baked potatoes.

The whole idea of colcannon filled baked potatoes with a poached egg on top was delicious, and I would definitely make them again.

Friday 13th January

At the end of a very tiring week we didn’t have the energy to cook from scratch, so it was two plain frozen pizzas – once they were cooked I added to mine a handful of salad leaves and a drizzle of truffle oil, which made them more palatable.  I am too disappointed by readymade food that it makes me feel terrible for giving into conveniance.  Not worth a photo.

meat-free month

Yesterday saw the start of our meat-free month.  I must say it hasn’t felt too momentous a change yet, because on average we eat a few meat-free dishes a week and most meals only have a small amount of meat in them.  But I’m sure it will feel more of a challenge as the weeks go on, like tonight I couldn’t help but think that crispy bacon or pancetta would have been a nice addition – aah!

So here’s the start of our meat-free diary…

Monday 9th January

Winter veg stir-fry.  Egg noodles, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, and shredded sprouts, all bound together with a delicious sauce of soy sauce, mirin and Chinese five spice.

winter veg stir fry

From River Cottage Everyday Veg

Tuesday 10th January

Cavolo nero pesto pasta.  A homemade pesto made from boiled cavolo nero and garlic, drained and blitzed up, with olive oil, salt, pepper and Parmesan.  Stirred through hot spaghetti and sprinkled with a tiny bit of grated cheese.

cavolo nero pesto

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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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