THE UK'S FAVOURITE REPEAT MEALS
1. Spaghetti bolognese (59 per cent)
2. Roast beef/lamb/chicken (47 per cent)
3. Bangers and mash (45 per cent)
4. Shepherd’s pie (40 per cent)
5. Chicken stir fry (39 per cent)
6. Casserole (37.5 per cent)
7. Chilli Con Carne (37 per cent)
8. Lasagne (34 per cent)
9. Steak and chips (29 per cent)
10. Pie and veg (27 per cent)
Of course this is not the top ten meals of the nation per se - but the top ten meals we cook 'rotationally'. It concerns me that there is not even one vegetable-based meal in this list. With habits like this we will never get our meat consumption down to a sustainable level. Eating less meat is the simplest thing us over-consuming Westerners can do. When I pondered my own grotesque and greedy Occidental habits I decided I wasn't going to give up central-heating, or showering, I already didn't drive or fly - I decided the most obvious thing I could do was to radically reduce my meat consumption - and I set about cooking lentils, beans, nut casseroles.... and so on.
Vegetarian cooking has turned out to be an art-form in itself. People who think Vegetarian food is all about substituting Quorn for meat in traditional meat dishes are making a grave mistake. Actually Vegetarian cooking is a discipline with its own set of internal rules dictated by the food-stuff itself. The British soil has not historically produced much vegetarian fare to speak of - really you have to travel the globe for the best examples: Indian cuisine and South-east Asian cuisine are in my opinion the best. Though clearly I wish to dip into Italian cuisine (risotto; Tuscan bean soup; breadcrumb-coated fennel) en route.
But everyday vegetarian-cooking doesn't have to be as time-consuming as people imagine. I understand the easiness of frying up a pork chop after a hard day's work - I really do. But vegetarian cooking can be quicker than you imagine. Use shortcuts. I often pour a jar of ready-made curry sauce over some fried cauliflower and courgettes and eat with Uncle Ben's rice. I have sachets of Nasi goreng paste which I fry-up with rice and eat with fresh tomatoes. I have tins of excellent soup which I buy from the health food shop. You could try this out just once for a change - no one expects the habits of a nation to change wholesale from one day to the next.