Diary of A Virgin Semi-Veggie, Part 3

It all kicked off in mid-Jan and here we are on April 1st, still at it. I don’t have a huge number of updates since the last one in February but a couple of interesting tidbits, including one which just happened and threw me completely.

Overall, it’s still entirely vegetarian except for the Friday chicken curry and I’m be strongly tempted to replace that with something veggie soon due to a great Indian Veggie book my sister got me. Apart from milk in my tea and porridge and the odd bit of cheese on a homemade pizza, I’m still also pretty close to vegan. Those fake cheese really did turn out to be disgusting and were binned. Oh I nearly forgot, I also still love mayo which has eggs. Those vegan alternatives were like cheap own-brand salad cream. Texture people, texture!

One big problem is that I’ve been totally unable to find an acceptable milk┬ásubstitute. Soy Milk is the work of the devil and Rice Milk is the work of his assistant. Try either in tea and you will pour them down the sink immediately. A Chai Tea Latte in Heuston Station was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever put in my mouth and I’ve eaten pigs brains.

But a few weeks ago I bought something called Oatly and I just tried it in a cuppa and wow wow wow, it works! No nasty aftertaste, no horrible texture, just a nice creamy addition to my tea with a not off-putting different shade to the usual milk one. I’m thrilled and will buy lots more the next time I’m in Quay Co-Op.

The Oatly stuff is really interesting on several levels. It’s made from oats, water and oil using a process from the University of Lund in Sweden. I love the idea of using products that are grown locally in a country to try and find new uses for them. As we all know, oats are very good for you too. So this is a win, win, win for me I think. Tomorrow I will try on my porridge which is amusing I guess, since they are both made from the same thing.

Week to week I am sticking with the tempeh, smoked tofu, lots of veg, lots of fruit, hummus, falafel, ramen, curries, miso soup and a jam-packed morning porridge with goji berries, chia seeds and honey. Those Chia seeds are mad and I’m a fan. If you’ve read Born to Run, you’ll already know all about them. A guy in Waterford is selling them branded Chia Bia which is a nice touch so I’ve bought those.

I continue to buy Dee’s Burgers but we have failed to spot her new ready meals in the usual West Cork haunts and I really want to try them. Maybe in Scally’s today?

The main thing lacking right now is variety and that’s down to time. I need to dig deeper into the Veganomicon for fast recipes. I had a real win last week after watching an episode of River Cottage Veg Every Day where Hugh FW and the guys had a veggie sambo competition. I would never have thought of putting orange or carrot in a sandwich but they were gorgeous. However both myself and my bro-in-law Phil would lay claim to having invented the beetroot sandwich many years ago, so hands off!

What else? Oh yeah, I tried some of the Quorn fake sliced meats (turkey and ham). Nah sorry, completely the wrong texture and too dry. I’ve been banging on about the texture problem since the start so I was thrilled to see this NY Times video posted on Facebook by my old collegemate Bernard who has been a vegan for decades and is currently trying out the raw food approach. If this product hits the shelves I’ll be a very happy bunny:

More updates when I’ve tried a few curries and sandwiches.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland http://conoroneill.com