Friday, March 07, 2008

Gone vegg'n

**Please note - post has been edited to take out comments which may have caused offense. My apologies to those who were offended. I will try to do a better job of reading over my writing before posting!**

I've been back to Wales again this last week.

My excuse was to see my fabulous sister in law in a play (Blue Remembered Hills for those of you who were wondering), however, I ended up having a great time, walking 'Uncle Monty' in the morning, spending time with my other sister-in-law and my adorable and incredibly smart nephew, and generally having a grand ol' girly type time.

Oh and I went veggie.

"WHAT THE F?", you ask.

Well, I figured besides being polite (since I was staying at a veg-head household), it might prove to be a challenge.

And was it? Hell yeah!!

I'm the one biting my lip when deciding which dish to go for in restaurants since I can't decide between some delicious meaty dish or another tasty sounding meaty dish. Having these restraints on me made me feel quite sorry for veg heads, as usually their choices are limited to three categories:

- pasta
- potatoes
- complete boredom

The lack of variety in the restaurants I approached surprised me, truth be told. Because although I am by no means a vegetarian, often when I cook at home for me and the boy, the absence or presence of meat is dependent on how lazy I feel. If I didn't go to the shops that day, then we we won't have meat that evening and it is often not missed. I never make a quiche with meat and I prefer my pizzas vegetarian but when I went out to eat, it seemed like besides the pasta and potatoes, there were no other choices.

Because of the lack of variety, it made me not want to go out for food. Often I'd instead go buy a candy bar and of what to eat. And no, I didn't go for any salads....I need hot food in cold climates, remember?

I'm not saying its not doable. It is but it calls for a lot of restraint and a willingness to cook for yourself a lot. It reminds me of being on a diet and as everyone around me knows, I'm not the most happy when I'm on a diet. I guess I'm just not good at self-control. That being said, I have a new found respect for vegetarians for making the decision to cut out a whole portion of their diet for what they believe to be right.

I had soup, crackers and cheese on most days but one afternoon, I picked up a "Pot Noodle".

This is an English take on instant cup noodles. Pot Noodle. I don't know why but that name just sounds odd... so unimaginative.

The flavor of this one intrigued me though.... sweet and spicy. Hmmm, needed to find out more....

Hmm... mango chutney in an instant noodle? I must try.

So I did. I followed the directions to pour boiling water, stir, wait 2 minutes, stir, wait 2 minutes and enjoy.

Except for the last part. I don't think 'enjoy' would have been the best way to describe it.

It tasted... if not exactly dreadful then at least it was something unidentifiable. It tasted quite sweet and thick, if that makes any sense... the noodles were of very poor quality (and I've eaten some cheap ass noodles in my time) and the soya pieces? They were honestly soggy cardboard.


Seriously. Do NOT eat. Please. Let me buy you some nice 'cup noodles from Asia.... please!

In any case I came back home triumphant. I have a reservation for a three Michelin starred restaurant for lunch tomorrow and I have stumbled upon a recipe which has me salivating...

Pig candy..... bacon (American) coated with brown sugar and cayenne pepper then broiled.....

How GOOD does that sound???

You know you want to!


umami said...

There's a brocante fair + piggy event going on right now. To, you know, make up for those meatless days in Wales.

Susan said...

Oh dear, those "pot noodles" sound vomitorious. Poor you.
Can't wait to see which three-star place you're going to.

ttfnRob said...

Reading your post makes it sound like you pity me for my pro-veg stance. You don't need to, I'm quite happy. Being veggie is like owning a Mac. You get to just know you're better off even if the rest of the world doesn't understand.

I wanted to say one thing which is that you're quite wrong about Pot Noodles. They are not exactly representative of vegetarian fare in the UK, and besides this, they are awesome! If you thought you hated them you should have tried the Pot Mash variation that briefly existed in 1998-2000. That was a horrible affair where they switch out the noodles for instant mash potato. Mostly it tasted of dust.

Sui Mai said...

Oh no... no no no no no..

Please do not misunderstand, I do not in any way pity vegetarians, but have more respect for them.

I personally think it is hard to limit the kind of food I eat and have little imagination when it comes to vegetarian choices when I go out. I guess I missed the mark when I wanted to point out that restaurants in fact do not provide enough variety to cater for vegetarians, not that vegetarians ate boring food.

I apologize if that was unclear and I am in no way commenting on the choices that people make in their diet.

I can hardly talk with the amount of junk I put into my body.

ttfnRob said...

Don't worry, Sui Mai, I enjoy our veg/meat banter. May it long continue!

And yes, restaurants are mostly crap at their V choices. However next time your in Cardiff we'll take you to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Its just burgers but there are loads of them. They have an array of vegetarian options and the best sauce I have ever tasted: smoked chilli mayo.

Mumpleweed said...

I love veggie food but agree that the choice of dishes when eating out is poor pickings. As for Pot Noodle, I actually had my first one not that long ago and could not believe how disgusting it was. I much prefer super noodles.

We went to a new burger place last night that had some very tasty veggie burgers. Mine was mushroom stuffed with red pepper, sweet potato, camembert cheese and red onion jam all squeezed between two pieces of bread- YUM!!!