My Year Eating Less Meat – The Sunday Roast

Like most Britons I just love the traditional Sunday roast with all the trimmings.

But this past year I tried my best to be different and cut down on the amount of meat we were eating.

For our first week we had Roast Beef, Yorkshire puddings, Roast Potatoes, Green beans, a generous dollop of horseradish, you’ve got the picture, beautiful.

The following Sunday we (we are only a family of two by the way) we had a Roast Chicken (and we get to have a leg each!) again with all the trimmings, petite pois and broccoli this time.

Third Sunday we had Roast Lamb (‘injected’ with garlic and anchovies, if you’ve never tried, then….) (and don’t you just love the smell of Mint Sauce?).

Week Four we had a Pork knuckle, again we had it with the usual rich red wine gravy (I just can’t help myself).

Going Flexi with Mushroom Wellington

At the beginning of the second month we tried something a little different, a mushroom ‘wellington’ but again with all the trimmings – it really was enjoyable and I’m definitely going to have it again – but that will be much later on in the year.

The week after we had Baby Poussin (one each!) and the week after that we had Duck (a bit extravagant I hear you say, maybe but hey it’s only going to be once a year – that was my thought anyway).

Now, by this time, I am really missing my Roast Beef Sundays, but we stick with the plan…. with the mindset of being Flexitarian. So we follow-up with our second ‘meat-free’ dish, this time a Toad-in-the-hole (but with veggie sausages) (have you seen the huge range of veggie sausages available?) .

And then we try a completely roast meat free sunday and we have fish ! Rainbow Trout done in the oven (with garlic and rosemary wrapped in tinfoil) and this we had with Green beans and New Potatoes.

But hey! Wait a second, left’s reflect – before we knew it, over two months had passed and we’d only cooked one small joint of Beef and that’s between the two of us!

Time for a Special Event

We continue our flexitarian quest and make it to three months, and in the fourth month I admit we succumbed. But My goodness – by that time I was really looking forward to having roast Beef again, and so it became a really special occasion, an ‘event’ almost, and we bought the very best joint we could find at the price we could afford. It turned out to be more enjoyable than ever before, because we had waited and hadn’t had it for such a long time, it was like a real treat, we’d missed it.

Now, the trick was to go another three months before the next Beef joint. I wasn’t forcing myself to a rigid time-scale but like anything it gets easier as time passes. I can honestly say that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and Beef is no exception! (Heart – just had an idea – and Liver, haven’t had that in ages).

So, a year had passed, let’s think about what we achieved here. Four small joints of beef over the period of one year – between two people, two small joints each !

And by the way, we had just two roast chickens each in 1 whole year !! Seriously, you just don’t notice how much you can ‘cut meat out’, especially the Beef.

Now, I’m not saying we hadn’t eaten Chicken or Beef on any of the other days of the week throughout the year, of course not (one month I had a T Bone Steak the size of which I won’t say).

And I’m not saying we didn’t have the occasional KFC or McDonalds, but just not so many times, people don’t have to eat a big mac every week let alone everyday (you know who you are boys and girls!). No ,we indulged in a KFC or McDonalds or a Kebab or a Chinese Take-Away every other three or four weeks and therefore it became a real treat each time.

Next time..

Our week-day eating plan for that year will be revealed in my next article, but I can tell you now, it certainly included Meat Free Mondays and Fish on Fridays ?

Good luck this Sunday and the year ahead people! Get your thinking caps on and enjoy the process !

Article by Jack Lyndhurst