The past ten months has seen massive changes and improvements to my family's lifestyle and diet. I have learned about nutrition and making better choices, tried new recipes and different methods of cooking in a bid to improve our diet and general health & wellbeing. There are many ways to go about making a positive lifestyle change and what works for one, won't necessarily work for another. It's about finding balance and what is best for you and your family. We are very much a traditional family, meals around the table, 'meat and potatoes' type of thing as that is the way both myself and my husband were brought up. We have a roast on a Sunday and our weekly meal plan changes with the seasons - we enjoy Winter warmers like stew, bangers & mash, and soup with warm bread rolls, whereas in the Summer I make big mixed salads with different meats, or a Ploughman's style buffet where the kids can just pick and choose.
AO.com challenged us to try a six night meat-free meal plan, trying new recipes based only on vegetables - no meat. This was a challenge indeed as we are essentially Cavemen, we enjoy meat and I usually base our meals around one or another, so I was unsure as to how the kids and my husband would take to it. They were willing to give it a go, so we planned our meals around our evening activities over the course of a week and we got busy cooking. The best thing about Autumn/Winter is that the slow cooker can have more of an outing and it means I can prepare our meals during the day when the children are at school, and have a piping hot home-cooked meal ready for us in the evening without the rushing about after school, and their respective sports and clubs.
Our veggie-based menu comprised the following recipes, sourced from BBC Good Food;
- Spiced Vegetable Biryani
- Artichoke, Red Onion and Rosemary Risotto
- Spiced Root Vegetable Soup
- Miso-Roasted Aubergine Steaks with Sweet Potato
- Five-a-day Tagine
- Veggie Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Mash
We tend to eat a lot of veg & often substitute potato with sweet potato anyway, we just missed the meat from the Shepherd's Pie (and the Biryani would have been great with chicken!). We were all, however, pleasantly surprised to realise how much we enjoyed vegetable based meals and discovered some new favourite recipes in the process. The Spiced Vegetable Biryani was inspired and we all loved it, another big favourite was the Five-a-day Tagine which as well as being utterly delicious is perfect to be made in the slow cooker, too. You can even 'make ahead' and freeze portions for extra busy days.
What are your family's favourite vegetable based meals?
We received complimentary groceries and AO products for review purposes. All words and opinions are my own.