A meat free month: week three

By now you guys know the drill, January has been a meatless month for me in a bid to cook more creatively and explore whether I feel any health benefits after cutting meat out of my diet. If you want to catch up you can read about week one here and week two here.

When we’re tired we often reach for what’s comforting over what’s nutritious

This week I’ve been feeling a bit lazy. It happens sometimes after a few too many sleepless nights where my imagination is not performing at its best. With this in mind, I hadn’t realised that after going through my dinners for the week I’ve made richer meals with more cheese and butter, including pasta twice. When we’re tired we often reach for what’s comforting over what’s nutritious and while the best comfort food is a combination of the two, there can definitely be an imbalance. It’s shown me that that’s something that I should keep an eye on in the future – you can plan all you want for the week, but if you don’t stick with it you can easily slip into bad habits. (I would like to clarify that by ‘bad habits’ I mean a consistently unbalanced diet, and not by a treat here and there.)

End of week three

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to (several) meat based meals

Now that the month is drawing to a close I definitely feel as though I’m getting increasingly into the swing of not eating meat. I’m less likely to rummage through the fridge with little to no inspiration or have insane cravings, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to (several) meat based meals come next month. The urge to eat meat may have somewhat dissipated, but that’s not to say the thought of peeling slices of prosciutto from the packet directly into my mouth is unpleasant.

One habit I’m getting into is trying a new recipe or two each week, which keeps me learning new things. This week I tried another recipe from Food52, which was Erin Alexander’s braised onion pasta. Now, people raved about this pasta sauce, a slow cooked sticky affair that takes around 2 hours to make, more if you’re intending on making the pasta from scratch, which I didn’t, but Erin recommends you do. It’s a pretty simple dish, but it takes a while and needs regular attention, so it’s probably not an everyday affair. What I ended up with was a little sweet for my liking, but was tempered slightly by loads of parmesan and butter. What it did make me wonder though, is by heating a few tablespoons of good quality onion marmalade, like Stokes or Wilkins and Sons, with a knob of butter and some starchy pasta water, you’ve got a pretty good short cut if you fancy it and you’re in a pinch.

Week three dinners:

Again, healthwise, there’s not much to report. I’m actually feeling a bit under the weather if anything, but so many people have colds at the moment that I very much doubt that has a great deal to do with my diet. A friend of mine did make an interesting comment though, that perhaps it’s not so much how I feel now, but how I feel when I eat meat again. It may be harder to digest, making me feel sluggish and overly full. I’ll have to keep an eye on it in the next couple of weeks when I reintroduce meat into my diet.

Let me know if you have any ideas or recipes for next week’s meat free menu!