The end of my veggie days?

Veggie or omnivore – which diet is better for me? Right now, omnivore. This is why…

Back in March I once again reverted to vegetarianism and, this time, I stuck with it (previous attempts have ended in boredom quite quickly, except for my original 20-year-plus stint from ’85 onwards). I’m still enjoying the food, which is the main thing, the recipes I’ve published have been mostly well received, and there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s saved me a hell of a lot of money, but there’s one unavoidable aspect of it that worries me greatly – my health has deteriorated savagely.

Things are so bad I can barely function – and yes, I admit I’m also depressed, many people who are seriously and chronically ill are – so it should surprise nobody that my first thought most days is “Is it worth carrying on?”.

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Buy better meat, just eat less of it – or none at all…

I wrote the original post 6 years ago, long Ms Jack Monroe appeared on the scene, just sharing my long experience of living on benefits and eating cheaply but well.

I’m not one of those who resent Monroe’s success, by the way, in fact I quite like what she’s doing, but I do very much resent the way that the media present her, as if what she’s doing is in some way unique. It’s not – many of us, forced by similar circumstances, have done the same thing.

I’ve been doing it since the mid 80s, when I had to Continue reading

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 Continue reading

Making vegetarian sausages 2…

This is the final, revised, version of the recipe.

It’s been my ambition, for a long time, to make a veggie sausage that is actually worth eating. As regular readers will know, I was a veggie for  the better part of 20 years, lapsing gradually over a period between the turn of the century and 2005 (though my diet remained veggie to a substantial degree, and still does), and commercially-produced veggie sausages were then, and still are, dog food. I’m damn sure I can do better.

What follows, then, is a Continue reading

Have we forgotten about the “BSE Time Bomb”?

Is it asking too much to have a little fact-checking on newspaper comment pages? Not the Mail, or the Tory comics, which are beyond redemption (beyond parody, too), but for papers which once, at least, were considered more intellectual before they were dumbed down by morons both above and below the line.  And for moderators to do a better job of vetting the lunatic fringe rather than just deleting posts that irk them, personally?

The Guardian comment pages, (not all of which are part of CiF, as is often wrongly supposed), were once the home of intelligent and reasoned debate. Not any longer, though.

Now any Continue reading

A Happy New Year? Sort of, so far…

One drink I had last night – one goddamned drink – and it screwed me up, big-time.

And not even a decent drink. A shot of brandy diluted heavily with Vimto and water as I can’t take spirits neat these days and, anyway, I’m not supposed to drink because of all my drugs. Not stopped me in the past, but it does now I’m getting old, not least because I’d rather like Continue reading

A vegetarian substitute for bacon – Revised recipe…

I’ve re-posted this as I have substantially rewritten the marinade and also made a change in the preparation of the tofu

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One of the high-lights of my previous veggie incarnation (20-odd years from 1985 – I can’t be more exact because it fizzled out over a couple of years rather than stopping abruptly), was the creation of a bacon substitute.

Not like the meat analogues you get today, which blatantly try to emulate, visually and texturally (but with wildly varying degrees of success), the food they otherwise go to great lengths not to be – what on earth is the point? – but something that gives you the intense savoury, salty, crisp, hit of bacon while quite clearly NOT Continue reading

A vegetarian substitute for bacon…

This recipe has been substantially rewritten. Please go to https://ronsrants.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/a-vegetarian-substitute-for-bacon-revised-recipe/

for the new version.

One of the high-lights of my previous veggie incarnation (20-odd years from 1985 – I can’t be more exact because it fizzled out over a couple of years rather than stopping abruptly), was the creation of a bacon substitute.

Not like the meat analogues you get today, which blatantly try to emulate, visually and texturally (but with wildly varying degrees of success), the food they otherwise go to great lengths not to be – what on earth is the point? – but something that gives you the intense savoury, salty, crisp, hit of bacon while quite clearly NOT pretending to be bacon!

And it’s based on that most unpromising of raw materials that – justifiably in my view – in its natural state inspires widespread revulsion in the West – tofu!

The Tofu:- Continue reading

Pea soup, vegetarian sausages, and other animals…

I made a pot of rather good pea soup a couple of days ago and while, of late, I’ve got into the habit of making notes as I go along, I reverted to type and this one was just thrown together on the fly. This is how I’ve cooked for most of my life. Not saying it has any particular merit, other than it works for me and has the virtue that I’m not going to cock something up while distracted with note-taking.

Anyway, I like pea soup, but green split peas – and this seems to be a world-wide problem based on admittedly limited feedback to my blog post on the subject – simply will not cook properly these days, becoming a gritty, green, sludge instead of a smooth purée. So I thought I’d use frozen peas instead.

There are many recipes for such soup, embracing entire spectra of complexity and pretentiousness, but I wanted simplicity and flavour – that’s all a good soup needs. This is mine; Continue reading

Quorn Mince & Potato Pies – a review…

As advertised, I finally re-dipped my toe into the ocean of vegetarianism last night. Been here before, of course – I was a veggie from 1986 to around 2005. If that’s a bit vague it’s because it fizzled out rather than came to an abrupt halt. It still rumbles on, in fact, as I have regular veggie meals. It’s just not full time.

I have, as regular readers will know, had several abortive attempts at a return to veggiedom, of which this is the latest. Attempted return, that is, not Continue reading