It’s veggie time again – and again – and ag…

OK, I know I’ve said this before, but here I am again, taking another stab at vegetarianism. To recap for those who’ve missed it, I was a 100% veggie, with a whole bunch of more or less vegan recipes, from 1985 until 2000, and spent the next five years drifting away.

I never forsook it entirely, though, and a substantial part of my diet remained has remained veggie to this day.

Now, though, with the meat end of the food chain increasingly contaminated and/or misrepresented – horse pretending to be beef a year ago, now we have any old crap pretending to be quality meat, and animal protein in general getting a bad press, even though the research is, as so often where food is concerned, of highly dubious quality), and given that I’ve been living largely on vegetarian soup for the past month or so, I felt the time was right to go for it properly. Complicated only slightly by the fact that I have a lot of meat products in the freezer! Ah, well, I’m not going to waste them.

Anyhow, last week I put together a Sainsbury’s grocery order online (their website is vastly improved, by the way). I spent about as much as I usually do (otherwise I’d  get seriously chiselled on the delivery charge, but on veggie products – no meat – so I got a hell of a lot more bang for my buck:-

2 x Sainsbury’s Sweet Spear Carrots, 450g – Total Price £2.80

1 x Sainsbury’s Swede (loose) – Total Price £1.21

1 x Sainsbury’s Celeriac (approx. 900g) – Total Price £1.17

1 x Sainsbury’s Garlic x4 – Total Price £1.10

1 x Sainsbury’s Cooking Onions 1kg – Total Price £1.00

2 x Sainsbury’s Echalion Shallots 400g – Total Price £3.00

2 x Sainsbury’s Parlick Fell Hard Sheep’s Cheese 150g – Total Price £4.50

3 x Napolina Cannellini Beans 400g (240g drained weight) – Total Price £2.00

1 x Sainsbury’s Chick Peas 500g – Total Price £1.10

4 x Napolina Passata 500g – Total Price £3.00

1 x Sainsbury’s Tahini Paste 180g – Total Price £1.75

1 x Tilda Basmati Rice 1kg – Total Price £4.50

2 x Sainsbury’s Broccoli, Tomato & Cheese Quiche 400g – Total Price £3.00

2 x Sainsbury’s Cheddar & Onion Crispbakes x2 270g – Total Price £2.00

1 x Pieminister Heidi Pie 270g – Total Price £3.50

2 x Bean Feast Vegetarian Meal, Bolognese 120g – Total Price £2.00

2 x Sainsbury’s Cheese & Onion Quiche 400g – Total Price £3.00

3 x Batchelor’s Processed Mushy Peas 300g – Total Price £1.00

2 x Aunt Bessie’s Mashed Carrot & Swede 500g – Total Price £3.00

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If  you read my kitchen cupboard post a while back, some of those are regulars, the rest is fresh veggie stock.  I also have in stock (bought last week):-

Organic Aduki Beans 500g (Infinity Foods)

£1.89

Organic Pinto Beans 500g (Infinity Foods)

£1.73

Organic Cannellini Beans 500g (Infinity Foods)

£2.46

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And compare the cost of beans and rice (the protein base, along with bread which I have in the freezer and/or will make), with that of meat. I’ll get maybe 6 meals out of 500g of Organic Pinto Beans, cost £1.73 (plus vegetables, of course), while 400g of lamb leg steaks (for a casserole), would cost me £6.00,  also plus vegetables), and yield 4 meals. On cost alone it’s no contest. Sainsbury’s Pinto Beans (not organic), are even cheaper, at £1.10/500g

All I need to buy for the next few weeks is fresh veg, cheese, eggs, and milk.

I’ve also christened my new slow cooker, cooking a batch of chickpeas for hummus, which I’ve just portioned for the freezer – 4 portions each a bit over 500g, so I’ve flavoured two with the traditional sweet paprika, and 2 with Aleppo Chilli, which is supposed to be sweet and fruity, rather than searingly hot.

Judging from the intensity of the flavour (none of the taste components were boiled off and lost in the steam), a bean stew with vegetables, plus the usual aromatics, should taste amazing and, for a knackered Spoonie it has the advantage that it needs virtually no attention.

And on that note I’m off to have a veggie pie with mushy peas!

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