Hey all you veggies/veggie admirers out there (ha!)..
I am neither a professional writer or cook...I am simply a vegetarian (not vegan) woman who enjoys great food and is enthusiastic about nutrition, exercising the body, mind and soul, eating seasonally where possible - I WILL have an allotment once I learn how to pot a plant...I'm learning- and obsessed with all things food; be it reading, talking or writing about it in my little notebook - until now I guess!
When telling me what they got up to at the weekend, friends will casually say 'oh we had a chilled one, stopped at a pub for lunch then some shopping then...' this is where I cut them off with a 'whoa whoa...what did you eat at the pub?' to which they advise that it was just a sandwich or something but I want to know 'what bread, was there a spread of mayo, mustard, pickle'...oh and my fave 'what was the veggie selection like?'
Being a self confessed 'foodie' often conflicts with being a vegetarian when it comes to handing the cooking/feeding control to friends, restaurants, family, holiday destinations etc, despite their good intentions; ie the lovely spanish waiter (just got back from my holiday...hence the 'Hola!') who advised that the broadbean tapas I enquired about had 'only little chorizo' in it - guess its the med's version of 'Nanna' on the Royal Family asking 'can she have wafer thin ham?' - as I said, good intentions but they dont fill my belly or have me getting all misty eyed over aubergines dripping in peppery olive oil or artichokes with charred edges and smushy (its a word) textures!
So, I often end up feeling hungry and unsated or, worse, guilty! 'Guilty!?' you ask...I defy anyone not to get a lump in their throat when the proud waiter's face drops and heart sinks as you ask 'are the croquettes vegetarian' and he replies...'no, with ham'...it would be tough to decide who was most disappointed - me or him. I should have maybe considered that answer back in Spain when having eaten my fill of goats cheese and not much else (think word got round I was a veggie and they ordered more in!) and exceeded my fill of Rioja I stumbled to bed feeling woozy and unsatisfied wondering what the hell I would eat for the next week...suffice to say I managed...salad of strawberries, melon, dates, lettuce and marie rose sauce anyone?? no??...when I say managed I mean found a delicious rose rioja and lots of magazines...luckily I enjoy Yoga which calmed me down and stopped me slapping the next person to offer me my 3000th avocado salad of the holiday!
If youre still in doubt of how I coped, get this, we landed at 2pm, I'd got our luggage, gone through security, done a food shop, made homemade watercress soup and wholemeal margarita pizzas and scoffed the lot by 7pm...I'm still sorting through the unpacking and washing but, boy, the pizza was good!
Indeed, holidays are tough...and Ive not scratched the surface yet...think cold baked beans with a cold falafal with the texture of a bullet and plain rice, pasta AND cous cous offered as a veggie mezze in Cyprus (I'm serious Dr Atkin would NOT be pleased!) or basically no veggie option at all at a much anticipated trip to Les Halles in Manhatten (Chef Bourdain does state in his hugely entertaining - and I'm being genuine here...this guys cool - 'A Cooks Tour' book that veggies are ' the enemy of everything that is good and decent in the human spirit' still love ya Tony and FYI your french onion soup was delish once I vegetarianised it...thanks for your help!) so, as usual I ended up drunk and hungry! Wine was good though and its a great place to visit...a little piece of Paris on Park Avenue!
So there you have it, a few of my many musings on the trials and tribulations of eating out abroad as a veggie/food lover/health conscious gal!!
Oh and Ive got much more where that came from...eating out on your own turf, mums for sunday lunch, friends for bbqs etc etc but for another time, Ive taken enough of your day for now, get back to work!! ;)
I'll post findings of exciting recipes, restaurants, books and magazines along the way for your perusal...
Be back soon xx