March 8, 2013

Dagen Zonder Vlees - Days Without Meat

Zucchini, pepper, onion & goat's cheese quiche
Dagen Zonder Vlees (or Days Without Meat in English) has been going on for four weeks now, and of course I am participating: I've told you before that I try to not eat meat very often because of the consequences for the environment and health, and because I don't miss eating meat anyway. I have to admit I was quite pleased that the recent horsemeat scandal drew some attention to the meat industry and how little we know about what's in our food (and especially meat) - I think loads of people would be reluctant or even disgusted to eat meat that often if they knew how it's produced or what is added... But that's another story.

'Pizza' provencal: aubergine, bell pepper, olives, oregano & mozzarella

The question I get most when I tell people I try to eat vegetarian most of the time is "But what do you eat then???" No, we don't just substitute meat by veggie burgers. When you decide to adapt a partial vegetarian lifestyle, you have to adjust your eating habits. The good old potato-veggies-meat combo just doesn't cut it anymore. But then I get the question "Isn't that a lot of work???" No, not really. Think about a simple pasta with a vegetable sauce: cut up some vegetables, add loads of spices, cook pasta, DONE! You reallyget more creative with your cooking when you step off the regular potato-veggies-meat combination. So, I wanted to share some of the recipes I've tried out lately - Unfortunately I dont take pictures of everything I eat (otherwise this post would be way too long) but I added some other recipes I want to try out soon! I really hope this inspires you to try out some vegetarian cooking yourself too!

1. Vegetable 'tajine': Couscous with aubergine, carrots, tomato, lentils (you can use any vegetable you want really) and Moroccan spices.

2. Butternut squash, spinach and caramelized onion lasagna, topped off with ricotta and pine nuts (recipe from HERE)

3. Pad Thai: Actually I'm cheating here because I made this one with scampi. But I've made it with baked tofu a few times too and it tastes equally good! Recipe HERE.

4. Vegetarian spaghetti bolognese: just substitute the minced meat for quorn meat: you don't even taste the difference!

5. A vegetarian dish that my sister and her bf prepared a few weeks ago: grilled aubergine, zucchini, tomato & ricotta gratin.

6. Leftover mushroom, zucchini, paprika and feta frittata.

7. Risotto primavera: I stole this recipe from Annebeth! Check it out HERE

8. Recipe from my mum: chicory, carrots, apple, bell pepper, walnuts, feta and curry sauce.

9. Ahh, Indian food! The best thing about curry is that you can just add any vegetables you have left in your freezer! Here I used tomato, pupkin, chickpea, pepper and onion. Add some curry paste (I swear by Patak's), coconut milk and fresh coriander and you're done!

10. Another risotto: Spinach, wild mushroom, onion, chickpea and parmesan. Recipe HERE.

11. Spring is around the corner, which means it's time for salads again! This one is just simple: lettuce, cherry tomatoes, grilled mushrooms , apple, roasted pine nuts, balsamico, goat's cheese (I think) and ciabatta.

12. What I made for Valentine's dinner: Roasted butternut squash with tomato, zucchini, red pepper, thyme, feta and parmesan, with oven baked potato wedges! Recipe HERE.

13. A typical 'leftovers dinner': cabbage, bell pepper, spring onion, baked tofu, Thai curry paste and rice noodles.

14. This is what I call the holy trinity: Tomato, mozzarella and basil. Add some toasted bread with pesto and you have the most delicious (and healthy!) lunch ever.

15. Lunch at Greenway (amazing vegetarian restaurant in Leuven or Ghent): Veggie enchiladas! Delicious.
Btw if you make a profile on the Dagen Zonder Vlees website, you can make a screen shot and have a free meal at Greenway! Their food is really good, I could eat there every day if I had the money.

And then some recipes I've tried but don't have pictures from:

10-minute couscous salad,
Aubergine rolls with spinach & ricotta,
Moroccan chickpea soup,
Wholeweat pasta with broccoli and almonds,
Shakshuka (or menemen or huevos rancheros, it all comes down to practically the same amazing dish),
or just go to BBC Good Food (my ultimate resource for recipes) and select vegetarian in the sidebar.

and if you're interested: Hanna has an interesting post about Days Without Meat HERE, Annebeth has some delicious looking recipes (not all vegetarian but still good) on her blog HERE and Charlotte always has the best food pics on instagram HERE (she's a pescatarian, which means she doesn't eat meat but she does eat fish!)

And what better way to finish your meal with a healthy dessert:


Please share me your vegetarian recipes, or tell me what you think about mine!