Should I eat meat?

Should I Eat Meat?

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

Background. I’m having an existential crisis. The foundations of my culinary world are being rocked to their core, because asked myself the question “should I eat meat?”. The best way to describe my diet is flexitarian. I eat everything, however almost every meal I prepare at home is vegetarian, I rarely ever cook meat and buy fish once a week. If I try new recipes from cookbooks or blogs, they are almost exclusively vegetarian and the new recipes I create are almost exclusively vegetarian (hence this blog being 99% vegetarian). Despite this largely vegetarian lifestyle, there’s no underlying urge to become a full-blown vegetarian, because some of my favourite dishes involve meat. I’m an absolute sucker for raw meat and fish, I start salivating at the thought of a sashimi platter or steak tartare. The problem is that I’ve become obsessed with the moral implications of eating meat. I recently…
Melanzane in Saor is an amazing vegetarian and vegan aubergine (eggplant) dish in a sweet and slightly sour sauce, which is unique to Venice and follows a proud history of Italian food using love, respect and time to get the best of the ingredients. It's a serious make ahead dish, needing 2 days to mature but worth the wait for those fantastic flavours and perfect for buffet spreads or picnics.

Melanzane in Saor (aubergine)

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Today I’m recounting an amazing Italian dish called ‘melanzane in saor’, or aubergine ‘in Saor’. It’s a very simple yet beautifully balanced Italian dish that has sweet and sour flavours that work just beautifully together. The age is the important thing, you need to make this dish well in advance to let the flavours develop, it’s perfect to make a day ahead for a buffet spread or to take along to a picnic, but don’t hurry it. If there’s one thing that Italian cooking has ever taught me, it’s that love and respect are the ingredients that make food beauteous. Visiting Venice. Just over a year ago I visited Venice, one of the most confoundingly beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I expected hustle, bustle, noise and expensive food, which was entirely correct, however I hadn’t prepared myself for the heart and soul of Venice, which is the important part.…
An amazingly wholesome supergreen wholegrain miso soup rammed full of hearty, warming, nutritious wholegrains and micronutrients, it’s a fully rounded one-pot meal in a bowl that gives you all the energy you need to live a healthy, happy life. It makes the prefect vegetarian lunch or dinner meal soup for autumn and winter when the mornings are cold and you need something to look forward to, plus it's an easy make, you just need to leave it simmering away while you go about your life. Find the full recipe on lepetitoeuf.com

Supergreen Wholegrain Miso Soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

I hope you’re ready for the most wholesome, healthy, winter-warmer, one-bowl-meal of a recipe I’ve ever published. This recipe is packed full of supergreens plus it’s a wholegrain miso soup, taking the often light miso soup and making into a hearty, balanced meal soup. It even looks healthy! Just looking at this recipe makes you lose a few kilograms, making and eating it is the equivalent of visiting Lourdes whilst running a marathon and getting blessed by the pope. It’s like the 3 in 1 Cilit Bang of healthy soups. Inspired by my eternal search to create lunch recipes that are one-pot wonders and can sustain me through the afternoon, I pulled together all the things I wanted in a soup; healthy, filling, low fat, tasty, nutritious and piled them into a bowl. The result is this spectacular soup which I’ve just made four litres of, which will take care…
This mustard roasted fennel and carrot recipe is an easy vegetable side dish that goes perfectly with roasted fish or meat, a great autumnal dish to warm up the kitchen after the summer disappears. The cosy cinnamon and the mustard seeds make this an easy but tasty vegetarian or vegan side dish.

Mustard Roasted Fennel and Carrot

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Today’s recipe is a roasted fennel and carrot recipe tossed in mustard seeds, cinnamon and olive oil, to make a warm, slightly spiced vegetable side dish that has almost no preparation (no peeling – woo-hoo!) and looks like a show stopper when you put it on the table. Go fennel, go! Fennel? Funnel? Huh? Fennel is one of those peculiar ingredients which I didn’t eat for a very large swathe of my existence. Not through choice, simply because it didn’t ever get to my plate or kitchen for some reason. It also sounds a bit like ‘funnel’, which is a very odd image to have when considering what vegetables to eat. Nonetheless, it’s absence from my diet remained intact for a long time, even though I was aware of it’s existence, hovering on the sidelines of my world, like a substitute waiting for his chance at a goal. Mysterious vegetable.…
Courgette and aubergine antipasti is a simple vegan and vegetarian summer BBQ recipe perfect for lunches or picnics. Grilled or BBQ vegetables mixed with a simple dressing of olive oil, garlic, mint and white wine vinegar make a perfect make ahead side salad that tastes better after 24 horus in the fridge! Make the most of the summer's abundant courgettes and aubergines with this amazingly tasty Italian side dish!

Courgette and Aubergine Antipasti

Gavin Wren Recipes, Salads, Side dishes, Small Bites, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Courgettes, courgettes, courgettes. They’re coming out of my ears. They’re just everywhere at the moment. Courgettes are the fruit of summer, they’re the long, thin, green fruit of our garden England, borne forth in abundance during the summer months. Courgette and Aubergine Antipasti is an awesome way to use a load of them up, make a big platter if you have guests coming round and I assure you it will all get eaten, it tastes amazing, especially after 24 hours to meld and uses up excess vegetables in the blink of an eye. It’s also the perfect recipe for sitting in the garden, reading the paper, turning the veg on the BBQ occasionally, whilst still feeling as though I’m actually doing something useful. The Big Move. I’m writing this from a desk that is devoid of ‘stuff’. In preparation for my house move, I have cleared everything away, leaving just…
A bright, citrus and sweet courgette and orange bread salad that just screams summertime! Tangy, sharp orange and sweet dried apricots mix perfectly with olives, capers, pine nuts, parsley and sweet red onions to create a flavour filled salad. The roasted courgette and onion sit with the orange dressing and play against the added crunch from the stale bread at the bottom. It's the perfect make ahead summer lunch or side salad to sit with some grilled fish, meat or squeaky halloumi.

Courgette and Orange Bread Salad

Gavin Wren Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian

A glut of courgettes has descended on our world. If you grow your own you’ll found the cheeky blighters hiding behind leaves and sneaking up on you. Even if you don’t grow your own, you can walk into a supermarket and pick up a large pack for very little because they are one of the most abundant vegetables in the UK at this time of year. Today’s recipe makes use of these abundant, seasonal vegetables, with a courgette and orange salad loaded on top of the stale bread you’ve got hanging around. It’s a powerful and bright salad that works beautifully on it’s own or would sidle up beautifully with a piece of grilled white fish or some halloumi slices grilled to squeaky perfection. On The Road Again. My life is on the move, yet again, I’m moving house next week. As I pointed out last week, it will be…