Don't get me wrong I would love to go vegan as there are many benefits to both vegan and vegetarian diets. Not only do plant-based diets make you healthier but they are also wonderful for the environment. I decided to test the waters and tried a 'vegetarian week' before attempting 'veganurary'.
I headed to Pinterest to find myself some yummy vegan or vegetarian recipes to feed the whole family. This was a lot harder than I expected. Unfortunately, both I and my partner are very picky eaters and I myself have a very damaged relationship with food. I grew up seeing food as an unpleasant chore that had to be done, my parents both worked full time so when it came to dinner time I would often be served some overcooked chips paired with something from the freezer (apart from Saturday and Sunday, my dad made the best roast dinner) and in a family of 5 I often had to eat food I didn't like. It's safe to say I didn't have the best introduction to food.
Living in a family of picky eaters means I am already very limited to the meals I can make. Since falling pregnant with my son I have learned many yummy recipes that we all love and made us a lot healthier as a family by sneaking in vegetables and swapping to wholegrain food where I can but we do tend to eat the same few meals and foods over and over again. In order for vegans/vegetarians to get protein and other crucial nutrients into their diets, they have to eat things such as lentils, tofu, chickpeas, etc, but what if you don't like any of these things? Sure I could force all the family to eat them regardless but then I'll just be installing in them the same bad relationship with food that I grew up with.
I then took a look at the wide selection of Quorn based foods available in our local Morrisons. I was pleasantly surprised at the vast choice I had and quickly began picking up meat-free alternatives to the foods we usually eat at home. I also purchased some veggie treats such as vegetarian Fruitella koalas and sour snakes which were really yummy but a bit more expensive than a regular packet of sweets. Over the years I have come to see frozen food as the unhealthy option and always try to avoid it so I was left feeling very unsure if all of this frozen Quorn food was even very good for us. Some of the swaps tasted great, the 'chicken' curry, in particular, was a big hit but other things ended up getting scraped into the bin which defeats the whole point of trying to be more environmentally friendly as food waste is one of the biggest contributors to the environmental crisis.
I know that my family is the exception and I try my best to encourage them to make healthy choices and be conscious of their eco-footprint but going vegan or vegetarian is simply not a viable option for us and I won't be made to feel bad about that. However, our veggie week has led to me discovering more foods to enjoy and I will continue to make meat-free swaps where I can.
If you have any healthy vegan/vegetarian recipes that you think my family of fussy eaters may like I would love to them so drop a comment below!