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the first few weeks of meatless meals vegetarian

Tue 18th, Feb, 2014

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coastal vintage style abeachcottage

G’day, talking vegetarian meals here and how going veggie in the week has gone for us – I have had a lot of messages about this, funny really, you never know what interests anyone, but this is something that obviously does interest people…you can read my first post about going meatless a few times a week here (you’ll also find there a recipe for the most wonderful vegetarian chili in the world ever).

So this is our third week of more veggie meals….my first thoughts on this – I thought it was going to be very very much harder than it has been, the transition was in fact pretty much done the first week I decided to go more veggie…we pretty much slipped right on into this, though I did realise that some of the meals in rotation in this old cottage (mainly soups and slow cooker stuff including this delicious pea & parmesan soup recipe which is soooooo easy and a big hit here) are actually fairly meat-free or low-meat without me really thinking about it.

a beach cottage coastal blog abeachcottage.com

It’s been good though and here are a few things that did happen

1. I lost 4lbs (this is about 2kg)…a few people have said to me that I looked like I had lost some muffin top and I must say those things at the top of my arms which have a life of their own somehow seemed to be moving less without me moving less….you just have to love ANYTHING that can do that to you don’t you?…eating more vegetarian meals seems to have done that for me…

So yup 4lbs without doing anything other than switching to veggies more…

2. we craved meat by Friday…all of us…we all loved that feeling and were really looking forward to having our Sunday Roast (I wrote about how we do Sundays here)…this looking forward to lovely meat was exactly why I wanted to make the meat buying and eating more special and it actually happened and really quickly…

3. I did not feel fantabulous and busting around the house with energy (really though the people who say that happens when they change their diet, I have to wonder what they were eating before).

4. We’ve all really enjoyed the taste of meals with veggies.

5. I’ve definitely saved money, though used the saving on nicer meat and poultry in particular lovely quality sausages, bacon and organic eggs.

6. There were no real complaints from the males in the house, though by the end of the week it was wearing a bit thin…especially the Friday night curry which a certain teenager in this house has as his fave dinner, ahem when he opened the pot for comfort food aka chicken curry, he found it was the veggie version, which is also very nice, but, well…you know…

7. I’ve felt clearer headed, full and satisfied and somehow ‘healthier’.

8. We’ve been eating a lot of pulses, beans etc…just saying this may be having results in the digestion department ;)

vegetarian healthy eating abeachcottage blog abeachcottage.com

So anyway this is what the first week’s meal plan looked like

Sunday :  Roast

Mon  :  Leftovers

Tues  :   soup made with stock from Roast, veggies

Wednesday  :  Vegetarian chili

Thursday   :  Chili Wraps (with leftover veggie chili) & Salad

Friday  :  Veggie Curry

Satruday  :  Pizza – mostly veggie but with some Hungarian Salami

So we pretty much went meat-free and vegetarian for 5 nights the first week…by Sunday we had a beautiful bbq lunch with boutique organic sausages (yup there are such a thing as boutique sausages, what will be next in the world of sausages, but  nonetheless very tasty and delicious) and two beautiful organic chickens for our Roast Dinner which again the next week I did the same stretching with…I must say these were like birds and to stretch them next time I’ll probs need more…

Things I have found good to have up my sleeve for eating this way have been the root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, radish, sweet potato, onion, garlic and potato etc and also I’ve been using a lot of courgettes, cauliflowers, broccoli, capsicum…also cans of pulses for protein have been in high rotation…amazing what you can make with a can of beans when you really start to think about it…

vegetable recipes abeachcottage.com meatless monday

So those are my thoughts on veggie eating…we’ve turned a huge corner on this, I thought it was going to be much harder than it is…and I’m really pleased on how eating more veggies in the actual meal (rather than trying to supplement with sides or green smoothies in the day) has really upped our intake of vegetables without much fuss at all and without having to think how many veggie servings have I had today for the 5 and 2 thing.

On the way my recipe for Veggie Curry (the one which some people would prefer as chicken lol) which is super delicious, I’ve messed with it a lot until I found a combo we liked, always helps though if you want to blog about something if you don’t eat it all before you take a photo…

Be seeing ya…if you have any questions or thoughts on vegetarian eating (not that I am a vegetarian) I’d love to hear them in the comments…

Sarah

Don’t forget, BEACH COTTAGE RECIPES now have their own new home over here - much easier to find all my recipes plus slow cooker, smoothies and my simple, fuss-free, often one-bowl baking recipes are all now easy to look through and have a nose – if you are interested in my slow journey with going meat-free a few times a week you can go here for my meat free recipes (pls note I’m not a vegetarian just upping the stuff grown in the ground xo).

coastal vintage style abeachcottage

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22 Responses to “the first few weeks of meatless meals vegetarian”

  1. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    That’s great news Sarah thar you are enjoying your meat free meals and bonus you lost 2kgs xx

  2. Rukmini Roy says:

    I think I’ll copy cat your menu. Cut out meat till Friday. Need to lose weight and the pear body that I have accumulated over years.

  3. Jen says:

    Well done Sarah. We’ve increased our veggie intake significantly by adopting the Paleo diet. We are now eating lean meat with lots and lots of low starch veg and ditched the grains, dairy and anything processed (except dark chocolate!). I lost 12kg of muffin top and jiggly arms so am very happy with that! My energy levels are through the roof too so highly recommend.

  4. Mel M. says:

    Hi Sarah!
    This sounds very good and I guess you have a real good Variety of veggis down under. I try to buy seasonal food from here, so that is not sooo much in the winter. Lot of cabbage :-).
    As meat is very expensive in Switzerland we don’t eat that much. I can highly recommend Risotto for a good filing meal. Don’t know if you tried it?
    Ah, and if you want to loose weight: I skipped carb in the evenings and lost 6 kg, but in 4 month. But I’m staying with it since a year alredy and love my weight of 54 kg now :-). Yoga also helps :-)
    Keep going, I love that you still have time for us ;-)
    Mel

    • Sarah says:

      thanks Mel!

      I love risotto but I have to be in the right mood to make it and I have to be not doing a million and one different taxi runs to sports activities lol! must make another one soon x

  5. It’s a bit like AFDs during the week … it’s a great way to do this moderately and as you say spend more on better quality meat.

  6. Melinda says:

    Lovely photos Sarah

    My parents grew lamb so I ate a LOT of that growing up, mixed in with lots of vegetables too but it was definately a cornerstone of our diet – it was all homegrown and home butchered which was pretty special.

    My husband and I, until a few years ago, grew beef – those cattle lived a pretty lovely life. We didnt eat our own often because you really do end up with a lot of meat at one time to deal with. Instead, we preferred to buy the cuts we loved and eat them rather than endless casseroleing etc. Although we did make some excellent sausages at one point!

    More recently, I seem to be buying even less meat – & putting more effort into making those dinners a special family/friends time.

    - and then midweek I do more vege based meals, or vege/ leftover inventions!

    I like the idea of having less but truly appreciating what you do have & being thankful – I guess it can be applied to all aspects of life.

    xx

    • Sarah says:

      oh thanks so much, I liked hearing your story…oh what a skill to have to butcher your own meat!

      I feel closer to the meat we are eating – sounds weird but true, so much nicer when looked forward to too xx

  7. alison says:

    Hi Sarah
    I’ve been vegetarian for nearly 30 years. Simply found eating flesh was repulsive. I come from a long line of carnivores.

    Some people think all vegetarians are slim. Not true. There’s fat in dairy,nuts,oils etc. I lost 12 kg by eating no or very low-fat food. Weaning off using oil, even olive oil, was hard! In my situation I ate well with suitable portion sizes but my dietitian said my fat level was too high.
    It has been hard work to change my eating habits but SO WORTH IT!!!
    BTW I’ve discovered the peeled and cooked Australian baby beets in vacuum packs in refrigerated veggie section in IGA. Fabulous.
    alison

  8. Michelle says:

    Hi Sarah
    Its wonderful how well the transition is going for you and your family.
    I personally have never liked most meat and only eat very small portions or none at meals.I have bandied the idea of a few meatless meals in my home for a while now.So far the males of the family are still holding onto the meat at every meal habit with clenched fingers and narrowed eyes!

  9. veggie mama says:

    You know I’m happy about this! Veggie food can be totally amazing. And like you, I found it WAY more easier than I thought it would be. And I’ve been going eight years now!

  10. maureen says:

    I am thinking of taking a similar approach with my family. I love your images and thanks for sharing some meat less recipes…..

  11. Charmaine says:

    HI :) Was wondering if in yr meatless recipes if you have any quinoa recipes? I have brought a salad with this in it & it was awesome & wondering if anyone out there has any recipes using this?

  12. alexa says:

    i believe that the healthy benefits you and many other people experienced are not (only) from having less meat, but from having more veggies. People who switch to a paleo diet experience the same. Traditionally we have lots of meat with lots of carb-rich side dish. So we fill our stomachs with that and have little space left for veggies.

    so i cook a lot of vegeterian stuff during the week, but if we want meat (and on the weekend) we do get it. grass fed, because i think that is 100% healthier and without potatos, pasta or rice, but a lot of salat or veggies.

    since we do it this way we do a lot better and healthier

  13. Robin says:

    I enjoyed reading about your dabbling with meatless meals. I’ve been a vegetarian for close to 25 years, just because the idea of eating meat became repulsive to me. These days I actually eat mostly vegan. I found that just eating more salads and water sautéing (steaming) instead of using oil has helped me drop lbs. I lost about 15 last Fall. We’re coming into Spring in our area, so I’m looking forward to the weather warming up enough for me to crave salads and smoothies again. We ate a lot of soup this past winter because they’re relatively low-fat and an easy way to incorporate lots of vegetables. We are also huge fans of Tex-Mex food, so taco salads with beans and brown rice are quite popular in our house.