A Week Eating Vegetarian and Gluten Free
Hi! I’m Rebecca, an Account Executive at The Real Yorkshire Pudding Co. My colleague’s challenged me to go vegetarian and gluten free for 1 week, around both National Vegetarian Week and Coeliac Awareness Week. And no, I didn’t just eat our delicious GF puds all week (as much as I wanted to). Take a look at how it went for me…
I spent the weekend planning my meals – I usually cook meals that include meat for my two sons and I, so the new diet was definitely going to be a challenge! The realisation of what I’d agreed to do started to sink in – I was nervous I wouldn’t feel full, but instead of dwelling, I got my notebook out and started planning out my meals for the week.
After a good rest, I woke up and had jam on gluten free toast for breakfast, and cooked up some fresh beetroot soup for my lunch, which was super quick and easy! For tea, my sons wanted their favourite meatballs from my Hairy Bikers recipe book. So, I decided that I’d put a vegetarian twist on it this week, roasting a load of peppers, carrots and onions.
I added these to the sauce for my meal, and served it up with rice noodles. It was delicious, filling, and surprisingly, I didn’t feel I was missing out on the meat!
I feel more and more confident that I can complete this week after yesterday, but today I was working in the factory, which meant dodging the office snacks! For my breakfast I had a free-from porridge pot with blueberries and a banana, which filled me up until lunchtime. My colleague, Sal, was very kind and cooked my lunch today, and being a Coeliac herself I knew I had nothing to avoid. She made a delicious chickpea and vegetable curry served with rice, which was amazing 😍
For tea, I made a vegetable omelette, and treated myself to a free-from chocolate rice cake.
I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe the difference in how I felt – I was really energised and less bloated, which made me even more motivated to carry on. 💪
For breakfast today I went with the trusty GF toast and jam combo again, followed by more of the beetroot soup I made. My sons wanted sausages, chips and beans for tea, so I put a veggie twist on my portion.
I looked around in the freezer and found some parsnips, so I roasted those along with frying some mushrooms and peppers, and threw it all together with some sweet chilli sauce and packet rice. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but it was truly delicious – I was very pleased with myself!
Breakfast today was leftover beans from the boy’s tea on toast – a delicious choice, and I was still enjoying the toasted GF bread. Day 4 of the challenge left me feeling alert and more focussed – something I wasn’t expecting from the week!
Lunchtime came and I chose a gluten free wrap, the texture was weird, almost rubbery, but filled with cheese, spring onion and cucumber, it was a strong lunch choice. I decided to go for a dessert too, so I had some tinned fruit cocktail.
I had a request for tea tonight from my sons – a Chinese chicken recipe I cook regularly. To adapt this for my veggie and GF diet, I used Quorn chicken style pieces served alongside cauliflower rice. I had a treat later on too – a white chocolate (free from) rice cake. Another day down, and I was ready to take on day 5.
Determined not to waste the expensive GF bread I bought, I had toast again for breakfast! I’m actually really enjoying this week. I had a wrap with the leftover Quorn pieces and some salad for lunch, and as it was Friday night, I headed off to the supermarket and bought the boys their usual pizzas, while I opted for a Gluten Free cheese pizza.
I added a couple more bits to the top, and I can honestly say it tasted a lot better than I thought it would – I can go as far to say it was my favourite pizza that I’ve had (a bold claim, I know)! I will 100% be buying this pizza again instead of my normal choice.
Normally on a Saturday it’s bacon bun time! This week was different, I had my porridge and some fruit, and found I didn’t even miss my usual bacon bun. I didn’t have lunch as I was quite full and just snacked on fruit throughout the day. It came to tea time, and all I could think about was the pizza from last night.
I gave in and went back to Tesco to buy another one, topping it with tomatoes and feta cheese this time. I just needed it in my life again!
This was the day I was dreading the most – we normally have a huge roast for tea (with loads of Yorkshires of course!). I started with porridge and fruit again along with a few coffees. I was up doing a quiz with my friends until quite late so I was tired and needed the caffeine!
It was time – I got to the dreaded evening meal. I cooked a chicken for the boys and I bought some meat free Heck! Sausages, I also cooked up some of our GF Yorkshire puds. I did the usual potatoes and vegetables, and I was very happy with the result.
So, how was it?
What did I learn from this week? That I don’t have to eat as much meat to enjoy my food – I’m definitely going to have more veggie days each week!
The difference in how I’ve been feeling is unreal; my food didn’t seem to sit as heavy on my stomach, and as an added little extra, I lost 2lbs and 1” off my waist. Although I didn’t manage to get my boys to eat any veggie meals, I will keep trying and make certain swaps that they won’t even notice.
I did get them to eat one gluten free product though – our delicious GF Yorkshire puddings! They couldn’t even tell the difference, which is something a lot of our customers say.
Don’t believe us? You can try our gluten free Yorkshires for yourself – they’re stocked in Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons and Ocado. Make sure to like us on Facebook too for more Yorkshire pudding recipes, memes and serving suggestions.