Day one - it was all Phil's idea. We'd talked about it on and off over the years and had tried on a few occasions to limit ourselves to chicken and fish, but somehow we always fell off the wagon. Either we had a steak when we ate out or I ran out of ideas for meals or the kids looked a bit pale and peaky and I felt the need to get some iron into them. However, having a history of bowel cancer on Phil's side of the family (sorry, not a very cheery start to my first ever blog; I shall never speak of it again ...) and being in the grip of the heightened awareness of our mortality that being in our forties has brought about, we made a seemingly impulsive decision to give up meat entirely. For a month. As a trial.
So that night we had a mushroom and Parmesan risotto. The kids eyed it suspiciously and asked where the meat was. Confused by its absence, they poked at the rice with their forks looking for chicken. Then one of them tried it and - result - liked it. One had a meltdown and refused to touch it and ate only garlic bread. One picked at it and made polite noises whilst stirring it around their bowl. (Not naming names so that there is a slight chance one of them might look after me when I am old and dribbling into my soup.)
We all survived relatively unscathed. Phil and I liked it a lot. I'd give it an adult rating of 8.5/10 and a kid rating of 5/10.
Day 2 - lunch was an egg mayo sandwich on brown bread with a glass of fresh orange and a few crisps. A knock on effect I can already feel is wanting to eat healthier food in general, hence the brown bread. Mikey had bread and homous in his lunch box instead of the usual chicken sandwich, a yoghurt and a smoothie. All of it was eaten and he swears blind he didn't just put it in the bin but actually ate it. I 'think' I believe him.
Tea was a really lovely cheese and potato pie courtesy of the BBC Good Food website. It really was good. Eldest two loved it, especially Matthew, plenty of veg to go with it too so that was good. Mikey went on hunger strike and had bread and cheese and a smoothie. Sigh. 'It's pastry, Mikey, what's not to like?' A resounding 9/10 from the rest of us though. Mikey tells me it was a big fat nil point from him.
Day 3 - beans and cheese on toast for lunch. very nice but left me wanting chocolate for some reason. Thank God for the post Christmas Quality Street tin.
Tea was a winter vegetable soup. The kids took one look at it and sniffed it and declined the offer of a bowlful. I was feeling kind after the positive response to the pie last night and made them baked potatoes instead with cheese and beans. The veg soup was okay but a bit boring and left us both starving later so we had some vile falafel with guacomole and tomato salsa. Lots of advice on facebook on how to make them palatable but I remain unconvinced. They have gone on my list along with marmite, olives, peanut butter and mustard. So a huge resounding nil point for falafel (evil evil food item) and an average 6/10 for the soup.