food and drink · my life

Lettuce Turn Over a New Leaf, and Forget

Well it’s official. I am horrible at being vegetarian.

The last post I made about my vegetarian week left off detailing how I’d basically made a plan and not stuck to it. I ended it optimistically, thinking that maybe I’d get back on track. Boy, was I wrong about that.

Remember how on Tuesday, I tried to make a creamy vegetable pasta, but was betrayed by parmesan? I realized that even though melted cheese practically runs in my veins (and is no doubt clogging my arteries), it is not always the creamy loving goodness that I thought it was.

Unfortunately, I realised this again on Thursday. My heartbreak was unimaginable. How on earth was macaroni and cheese able to betray me? I’ll tell you how; I was trying to be clever. Now, mac and cheese is a relatively new recipe to my family, given that I only begged my mum to make it about a year and a bit ago. But now my mum, my sister and I all have slightly varying ways to do it. My mum follows the recipe I gave her, and can usually be bothered to put it under the grill. My sister likes to add a pinch of mustard powder (because she is right in believing that mustard powder is a bit like gold dust). I like to do whatever I can be bothered to do and so just hope for the best.

Sometimes, I add bacon. This time, I thought I’d add some mustard powder. Then some more mustard powder. And then just a sprinkle more, for good luck.

Did I mention, that I don’t actually like mustard?

So when I plated up the gooey golden bowl of macaroni and cheese,  I was so eager to dive straight into it. Upon swallowing my first mouthful, I was less so. That being said, the coincidental conversation that I was having with my mum, has given me some of the best life advice I ever thought to receive.

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She’s right, life is too short.

Which I suppose, brings us to Friday. On Friday… I had another pizza. What was worse, I had a meat feast pizza. I wish, at this point, that I regretted it– but I really don’t. I know it’s wrong to have pizza twice in one week, and it completely went against my ‘veggie’ week, but it was a nice pizza. I ate it with friends and following it by chocolate cake before I went out to karaoke and I sang Fall Out Boy songs.Sometimes it isn’t about what you eat, it’s about who you eat it with.

I ate vegetables on Saturday! Finally, at some point this week, I ate something healthy and liked it.

Well.

Most of it.

Four tenths of it.

On Saturday I got around to the avocado burritos that were on my list. Ignoring the fact that chicken is so obviously not vegetarian,  as this was supposed to be my ‘cheat day’ — I don’t really like avocados, either. I think they’re sort of tasteless?

But I’m quite fond of burritos, and chicken, and cheese, and I do actually like this recipe… I just always make too much in one sitting and never finish it. My atrocious wrapping skills were not the only reason these burritos were overflowing.

So really, I ate like, three-eighths of an avocado? Perhaps half of one? Which isn’t bad! I also ate a plate of curly fries, and potatoes are vegetables… right? The lesson here is to buy smaller tortillas and make more of them, rather than have two hulking burritos that can barely keep it together.

Or, one might say, can barely keep it under wraps.

At least on Sunday, I achieved my redemption. One curry with carrots, potatoes, and peas. It would have also featured cauliflower, but this was such a long time coming that all the florets that I had, had turned brown. I was only going to make curry, in order to use up these florets, so trust me when I say that I was not particularly impressed with myself.

But it tasted good, I enjoyed it. I finished the bowl! I even made enough to put in a tupperware tub and save it for later.

I even discovered that you can cook vegetables and rice in the same pot, and save on washing up. How did I, someone who is incredibly lazy, not think of that earlier?

All in all, I wouldn’t call my ‘veggie week’ a success. Which is not to say that I am now never going to eat a vegetable again, but perhaps I was trying too hard. Sure, as a student, it’s not easy to always have a balanced meal. Maybe sometimes you’ll have pizza multiple times in one week. Maybe you won’t see hide nor hair of a fresh, raw carrot for weeks on end and instead get your five-a-day through tins of vegetable soup. It’s not the end of the world. There are, after all, other ways to get nutrition.

Smoothies, for example.

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