Well, not quite. I ate fish and had meat in restaurants. But cooking at home was a meatless month. This was partly for health reasons, partly economic but mostly because I fancied trying something different. It wasn't a big hassle, or even a big deal, it felt just as natural and was good to think creatively about what I was eating. I started writing a long article about meat and the sustainability of its production and my interest in the possibilities that artificial meat provide, but for now that's something I need to do more research into, and I don't want to scare off all my blog traffic just yet.
Here's a snapshot of the sorts of things I've been eating over the last month, and plan to carry on eating very regularly. Meat will always be my number one love, but it's good to remember there's a lot more out there to enjoy. I love steak, but I'm also really scared of gout.
Beans and eggs, albeit spicy mexican beans in a huevos rancheros style. I also made plenty of shakshuka, a traditional Turkish dish with eggs baked into a rich tomato sauce but unfortunately don't have any pictures.
These aubergines are one of my favourite things to make recently and come from a recipe in Jerusalem, the cook book I've turned to again and again after being sent it for review a couple of months ago. These aubergines are cut in half and roasted, then scored and topped with green chillies, lemon juice, crumbed feta and spicy crispy onions. We served with a fattoush and homemade hummus.
Thai green curry is the best of both worlds; light and fresh but wonderfully warming and full of comfort. I'll have to post the recipe for this paste (if I can remember it) as it was the best we've made for a while. I can remember years ago, before the other half and I were together he made us this absolutely incredible thai green curry out of a bomb site of a kitchen, so it's a dish with fond memories.
Baked eggs, what's taken me so long to find you? Another Ottolenghi winner this, with a chilli butter and garlic yoghurt. I served it with a salad thrown together of what I had in the fridge - roasted fennel, orange pepper and cherry tomatoes, crunchy green beans, lemon juice and mozzarella.
And this colourful little number was one of my favourite things i've made recently. Roasted butternut squash (anything with butternut squash has to be good because they are such unbelievable hard work), red peppers and onions coated in ground coriander, salt and pepper with a tahini and lemon juice dressing and toasted pine nuts.
So I ate less meat, spent less money and didn't just live on pasta and sauce and replace all meat with cheese for a month. Please share any flavourful, meat free recipes, I'm going to get back to my 3000 word meat essay...