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ravenousveggie

Thoughts on veggie food, work, play and life in general

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Cheese

Food on the move

You have been working hard all morning.  Flitting between meetings, telephone calls and getting to through the to do list.  You then realise that you are hungry and forgot to pick your lunch up. Or your day has changed and you no longer have that lunch time meeting that was in the diary.

 

What to have for lunch?  You don’t have time to get to your favourite cafe or sandwich bar.The only other alternative is the sandwich van that comes round, or the local supermarket.

 

For me this fills me with dread.  The lack of variety for food on the go for vegetarians is depressing.  The usual offering of egg mayonnaise or cheese sandwiches – stored to such a cold temperature that they don’t taste of anything. Then you spot it.  A lovely looking salad – tomato, rocket, pasta – yum! Then your heart drops as you see it has chicken with it. Bowls of lovely looking noodles and pasta but all with added chicken, feta or tuna.

 

I love noodles and pasta.  The only vegetarian pasta offering is cheese and tomato sauce, or the joy of more feta.

 

It goes back to my previous blog talking about how difficult it is to get a vegetarian salad.

Food on the move
Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

This got me wondering how difficult it would be for the companies to produce a pick and mix salad selection?

 You choose your bowl of basic salad, then add your carbohydrate – pasta, noodles, potato, couscous – and then your protein option – nuts, breads, fish, meat.

 

Ok this will be a nightmare on the packaging front, but from a hunger satisfaction perspective this would be great. If you go into a service station or supermarket late at night you will see all these bowls of food sitting there.  By splitting out the ingredients you could make them more attractive to the person who just wants a quick ready made salad to go with their planned evening meal.

 

Its just a thought to make food on the go just a bit more inspiring.

 

The Joy of Being Veggie

I became veggie in my early teens on a whim – I wanted to see what it was like. I was aware of animal cruelty in the food chain, animal testing, the fur trade etc, and I found it wrong that people would eat something prepared by someone else, but went all squeamish at the thought of having to kill their food for themselves.

My Mother had brought us up to eat vegetables with every meal and pulses were already a frequent item in our meals. It must have been daunting for her – there were 5 of us to feed and now I was asking to eat differently to the others. Even so my Mother was very encouraging. She bought me a cookbook, showed me how to prepare pulses from scratch and shared the food I prepared. I still have that first cookbook and clearly remember the joy of reading that plain chocolate was a store cupboard essential because of its iron content.

In the 30 years since, although my cooking has improved and the range of ingredients available has increased, eating out still fills me with dread. Chinese and Indian are great to eat out at, Thai not so much because of the fish sauce, however eating at pubs and mainstream restaurants can be so boring. The reason for this? The mainstream chef’s love affair with cheese. Its as though they panic when being asked to have a veggie option on the menu & thonk lets do something with cheese.

Perfectly good mushroom burgers have to have a slab of halloumi on them, beautiful salads are smothered in feta, hot dishes have to have a cheese topping. If the chef is realy going for it both the veggie starter and main will be cheese filled. If I wanted to eat the same thing at each course I would eat at home. Eating out should be filled with variety. I love discussing food, and have no problems with eating with meat eaters and asking them about their food and the mix of flavours. As a veggie you just get the same cheese flavour with a different base. Boring.

Don’t get me wrong, I do eat (vegetarian) cheese, however strong cheeses can trigger migraines and I don’t like the taste of halloumi, feta, strong cheddars and parmesean (lets not start on the parmesean issue just yet). With so many other ingredients out there it baffles me why chefs think that all we eat is cheese.

So for me eating out can be stressful and disappointing. I don’t enjoy asking for a cheese free version of something. I’d like to have a cheese free choice in the first place. Even something as simple as Pasta Neopolitan or Penne Arrabiata,so we can go all Death Star canteen, would be a welcome change.

So if any chefs are reading this please think of something other than cheese – other forms of protein are avaialble.

Cheese-board.jpg
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