Bacon be gone

NS January 18th, 2011

Walking home from school with Noble Girl the other day, she suddenly turned to me and asked, “Mummy, what are sausages made of?”

“Well,” I replied, “they are mostly made up of bits of animals and some other stuff too.”

“Animals? But how do animals get into sausages when they are so big and sausages are so small?

(hesitating slightly) “Well, the people who make the sausages have to chop up the meat to make it small enough to fit in.”

“They chop up the ANIMALS?! How do they do THAT?”

“They kill the animals and then chop them up once they’re dead.”

“Chop them UP?! That’s horrible! I don’t want them to kill the animals.”

“Well, that’s why some people don’t eat meat and are called vegetarians. [Insert names of people she knows] are vegetarians, you know.”

“Mummy, I don’t want the sausage people to kill the animals and chop them up into little pieces. What animals do they kill?”

“The main animals that are eaten in our culture are pigs, cows, lambs, chickens, ducks, other birds and fish.”

“But I love cows and ducks and fish!”

“I know sweetie. It’s sad, isn’t it?”

“Mummy, I’m not going to eat the animals any more. I want to be a vegeberian.”

“Vegetarian.”

“Yeah, that.”

“Okay, no problem at all. So no more chicken, fish or sausages. Got it. You can just eat more vegetables, fruit, pasta and cheese, stuff like that. Sound good?”

“Yep! But Mummy?”

“Yes, sweetie?”

“You’re not going to keep eating the killed, chopped up animals too, are you?”

(sighing but smiling) “No, I guess not.”

So…anyone got some good vegetarian recipes?

20 Responses to “Bacon be gone”

  1. Anji says:

    Welcome to vegetarianism! Orion has been veggie since birth and he’s one of the healthiest people I know. :D You will probably find Quorn (and other veggie substitutes – Tesco own brand veggie mince is excellent) becomes a very close friend of yours as time goes on. I use frozen veggie mince to make shepherd’s pie, bolognese, lasagne, chilli etc. I use Quorn ham or chicken slices for Orion’s sandwiches for school. Quorn frozen sausages make a delicious bangers and mash. Quorn frozen chicken pieces are great for curry or stir-fry. I do cook some things without meat substitutes – macaroni cheese, soups and stews, etc – but for convenience, meat substitutes can’t be beaten. :D

    NS Reply:

    @Anji, At your recommendation, I have gone and bought Quorn sausages and Quorn cottage pie today. I’ll let you know the verdict on them in about a half hour. Thanks Anji!

  2. andrea says:

    good for her! even though i still eat chicken and fish i think seriously sometimes about becoming totally veggie. i’ll email you some recipes! sounds like she’s taking after her mother – taking a stand against injustices at the age of 4!
    andrea´s last blog ..my obsession with tedMy ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @andrea, I just went to the store and bought some Quorn and lots of veggies. Definitely send some recipes my way! And if anyone knows of a good going vegetarian for dummies cookbook, do let me know.

  3. Expat Mum says:

    My teen is a semi veg, whatever that is. I quite like vegetarian food and could quite happily never eat meat again. It’s the cooking of different meals for different family members that gets a bit tiresome!
    Expat Mum´s last blog ..Remember whenMy ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Expat Mum, Yes, it will be interesting to see what this does to our meal times. I think I’ll be eating with the children, or not long after, and NH will be making his own meaty meal when he gets in.

  4. April says:

    Hey! Wow! How exciting!! I’m a semi-veg…I’d happily be full but I find it’s hard with a meat eating husband. I occasionally have ostrich or venison mince and fish.
    Easy Veggie meals are often the good old Pesto Pasta and Mac and cheese! You can make these healthier by using whole grain or spelt pasta which has a lot more nutrients in it.

    Don’t stress too much over protein…we don’t need as much as they make us think we do.
    Also, I would do your research on Soy….many think it’s not to good for us…
    One of the mistakes I made when I first went veggie was I ate wayyy too much bread and cheese. It made me gain weight and when I look at pictures of myself from that time period I was really bloated looking!!! I did not actually look healthy. I don’t think it was because I wasn’t eating meat, I was just eating too many white carbs and cheese. Also, beware of the store bought hummus…it’s lovely but have in moderation!!! It’s best if you can make your own.

    I find it helps to eat lots of brown rice, quinoa (which is dead easy to make and tastes amazing with some roasted or steamed veggies and pesto) and nuts! You can get all the protein you need from just a few almonds.

    Is NG good with veggies??? In some ways it’d be great if you could get her on to proper vegetarian food and not just the old meat substitutes. I once saw a documentary on how Quorn was made and it freaked me out! I can’t cope with it…that’s just me though!

    anyway…hope this helps and doesn’t just make you feel like it’s impossible and not worth it!
    April´s last blog ..Confusing seriously!My ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @April, Making my own houmous is definitely something I want to do. I was shocked when I found out how unhealthy some store brands are!

    I don’t plan on eating a lot of Quorn but it’s good to know they’re there in a pinch!

  5. jen says:

    get thee a good easy multi-culti cookbook. stir fries, curries, italian, middle eastern, and other ethnic foods are the easiest to do veggie.

    i find it MUCH easiest to do straight veg rather than “substitute” – though i do like faux-fajitas (Quorn chicken pieces, onion, peppers, spices, cheese, tortillas), and veg chili (Quorn mince, kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, chili powder, cumin, assorted veg), and “bangers” and mash (Quorn sausages, mash, gravy, peas) those three take almost no time to cook.

    risotto is a good easy veg dish – uses up whatever you have left in fridge, and hearty enough for a main.

    variations on pasta bake (sauce, pasta, veg, cheese), variations on “falafels” (vary type of bean, seasoning, sauce etc. – make ball, bake). variations on mash (potato, butternut, sweet potato, swede). once you start mixing it up, it’s really easy!

    NS Reply:

    @jen, Thanks Jen, all great ideas. I’ll be picking your brain again soon, I’m sure.

  6. jen says:

    meant to say: this is one of my new fave websites http://vegandad.blogspot.com – even if you don’t do vegan, it’s really great for ideas for new, creative, veggie foods. and lots of it is kid-friendly recipes.

  7. Troutie says:

    I was a veggie for a good few years (after a job in a butchers) until I had really bad flu one day and found myself unable to resist a steak pie. My easiest veggie recipe which I have cooked many times is as follows:

    Chick Pea Curry

    Ingredients
    1-2 tablespoons of oil
    I onion
    3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped or crushed)
    1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
    1 Green pepper, finely chopped
    2-3 teaspoons of curry powder
    1-2 tins of chick peas
    1 can of tomatoes
    A handful of raisins (optional)
    2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut (optional)

    Fry the onion, apple and garlic in the oil for a few minutes. Add the curry powder and stir for a minute or two. Add the chopped tomatoes, green pepper, raisins and coconut. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chick peas and cook for a further 10 mins. Add salt to taste and serve.

    Best of luck my dear meatless friend. X
    Troutie´s last blog ..Gangster BankerMy ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @Troutie, That looks delicious, I’m going to make that next week! I’ll let you know the verdict…

  8. Andrea says:

    Hi NS, go to http://www.foodgawker.com – oh dear, while there’s still meat dishes, it is where I get all my recipes for everything. So much variety, and you can get into all kinds of new food bloggers. Good luck to all of you – most of all NH, it seems :)

    LOVE!

    NS Reply:

    @Andrea, Thanks doll, will check it out. Kisses.

  9. geekymummy says:

    It is a tough question and how nice that your daughter is so sensitive, I’m actually vegetarian, but my daughter is a total carnivore, with full knowledge of what she is eating. In fact she prefers to eat ribs and chicken legs, things that look like bits of animal “So I can pretend I”m a lion eating a deer I killed, mummy”. Help me.
    geekymummy´s last blog ..Silent Sunday- not a bad spot for a business tripMy ComLuv Profile

    NS Reply:

    @geekymummy, Ha! I love your daughter’s honesty. I’m not sure how much NG understands because just today she said she ate meat at lunch and when I reminded her that meat was made of animals she said, “But I want the animals to be killed and chopped up, they make my lasagne yummy.” Oh dear…At least I’m going to stick with it!

  10. Kelly says:

    We’ve done veggie back and forth here and there… Funnily enough my daugther recently (re-)converted to vegetarianism and in the comments at the end of this post people have weighed in with some resources.

    Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian is my favorite veggie cookbook so far.

    NS Reply:

    @Kelly, Ah, so we are going through the same thing! You’re starting out as a much more experienced cook that me though, I’m afraid. I think this move to vegetarianism will be good for my cooking skills.

  11. Becky says:

    What a fabulous sesitive kind thoughtful girl. Tell her from me I think she is FABULOUS! I went veggie aged 11 for the exact same reasons how wondeful if my family had too. But they were supportive always. 29 years later meat fish animal fats or leather have been no where near me and my children are totally veggie/leather free. WELL DONE TO YOU !

    P.S we eat quorn lots of veggies cheese dises etc. am not much of cook but we manage!