Meat- Free Monday Take 4

Yesterday, was the last day of my month long trial of going Meat-Free on Mondays. This post will follow the standard “what I ate” approach with another post coming on my takeaways from the experience – if you’re going to do it milk it for all it is worth!

Lunch was a fairly basic creation of soft boiled eggs and soldiers. This was something I’d usually have as a kid and eat the yolk and give dad the white to finish. Luckily I’ll now eat both. Being a typical student, a shot glass had to be used as an egg cup! A fairly standard dish, but tasty all the same.

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For dinner, I really pushed the boat out! I invited friends around for a three-course meal. Emma, Jess and Katie would not forgive me for not dropping their names in! I decided to do a mixture of Indian food for our starters, a safe Mexican bet for the main and one of my favourites for pudding.

Starter included Indian potato cakes, stuffed paratha and cauliflower fritters. I’d never made any of these dishes before, and with a few tweaks, I’d make them again. I didn’t use any butter in the mash potato (lactose intolerant guest) and the potato cakes were quite dry. They tasted alright, and they were nice and easy. The paratha reminded me of a Cornish pasty. I think I’d add some spice to the pastry next time, especially as I used white flour rather than wholemeal to give it a bit more colour. I didn’t follow the cauliflower fritters recipes exactly, I added rather a lot  of garlic. I’m also reliably informed they tasted great with sweet chilli sauce. All dishes benefited from the addition of sauce but had we had a mint dip I think they would have been lovely.

For the main course, I went with a safer bet. Quesadilla. In the past, I’ve added chicken, but not tonight! I chopped up some onions, peppers and a tiny amount of jalapenos. I slowly fried these off and swirled in some paprika. The pepper mixture was then placed inside the wrap with cheese and fried off. A really simple dish. Salad and dips were on the table so my friends could create the final dish they wanted. These were really popular, quick and easy. Just as nice as when with chicken.

Finally, the showstopper! A dessert inspired by the approach to Easter and my love of meringues. A homemade meringue (hence the photo of one not all! – not GBBO ready just yet) was filled with whipped cream, which I added a raspberry coulis to, topped with some mini eggs. The meringues were lovely and chewy, the filling could have had a stronger raspberry element, but otherwise a top notch dessert.

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I managed to cook all of this, with change from £15, I think it is fair to assume had meat been involved it would have been a more expensive dinner party! My friends left well fed so I think it is fair to say meat isn’t the essential ingredient of a good evening. Good company and good food are what really matters.

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