The Ocado #veg challenge – it’s a wrap!

We were chuffed to be asked to join the Ocado #vegchallenge. In case you missed it, here’s the intro post. So, how did we get on?

If you’d asked me before I started the #vegchallenge I’d tell you I’m more or less vegetarian these days and it started nearly 18 months ago. But what I quickly came to realise on starting the #vegchallenge is that I do eat more meat than I think I do.

For my 20 week appointment with my nutritional therapist (more on nutrition during pregnancy coming soon) I submitted a 7 day food diary. Looking back through that I ate at least one portion of animal protein a day, almost without realising.

I’ve always eaten and loved veggies, tonnes of them. But it’s safe to say when eating as a proper vegetarian you eat even more. The recipes within the meal plan were bright, colourful and crunchy and you load up on extra fruits, veggies and plant proteins to fill the hole sometimes left by a lack of animal protein.

The meal plan (which you can check out via the lovely ladies at Head to Tone’s post) gave some brilliant ideas that stopped me from eating too much cheese! I remember growing up when our next door neighbours’ teenage daughter became vegetarian and ate nothing but cheddar on toast for months on end. I don’t blame her – and can see how this happened without enough guidance and recipe inspiration.

Some of the delicious dishes from the #vegchallenge: 

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I missed meat. And the lack of fish terrified me a bit – I mean, my Baby Einstein in the making needs his (her?) omega 3s! But I genuinely felt like I had a different kind of spring in my step – brighter eyed, bushier tailed, almost certainly. What I loved best though was the chance to try new, quite often very simple things.

Obviously I’ve eaten avocado before but I always buy the same ones. From now on, it’s these uber creamy fellas. Likewise, red peppers. These guys had so much flavour. For the quickest of speedy suppers I’ll definitely add this butternut tortellini to my trolley in future and basically eat pomegranate seeds with ever-y-thing! Sweet or savoury, such a fab edition.

But now to the real critic… what did the Seitan Cynic that is my husband make of all this?

“I made my views on the #vegchallenge clear from the offset. To say I wasn’t a fan of the idea would be an understatement. So how the blazes did I find myself stir-frying something called Seitan by the end of the week? I’ll not lie, there was a pinch of spousal fear and a dash of well-I’m-not-sure-what-else-you’re-going-to-eat. However….(whispers)….I actually didn’t mind it! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll not be swapping out a weekend bacon buttie for a mushroom omelette, but it certainly changed my pre-conceptions about the potential of meat-free fodder. At least I can start shaving my armpits again now anyway.”

The Ocado #vegchallenge was a brilliant reminder of all the fruits, vegetables, plant proteins and whole grains we should all be eating, regardless of whether we eat meat or not. It was a further reminder to keep dinner times varied, try new things and that there’s a lot to be said for a weekly meal planner. I will definitely embrace meal planning more, especially once our new arrival comes along.

Did you join in with National Vegetarian Week 2015?