To be honest I'm not religious about sticking to meat free Monday - but I do try to ensure that we have a few days each week that are veggie - although M is a confirmed carnivore he's always been very open to veggie dishes and never complains (although occaisionally looks longingly at bacon). For me, meat free days are less to do with healthy eating - although that's terrific - and more to do with being thrifty. Like so many people we can't afford to eat meat daily, and even when we do eat meat dishes I bulk them out with veggies or lentils.
One of my go-to veggie dishes is courgetti spaghetti - I make it most often in the summer when courgettes are cheap and plentiful and if veggie friends come over my discovery of Sainsbury's Basics hard cheese as a substitute for parmesan means it is an appropriate option. Courgettes were discounted this week in the supermarket and as I'm trying to eat lots of veggies after a week of bread and ham in France my mind immediately jumped to courgetti spaghetti.
I started off as I usually do:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Gran Luchito smoked chilli paste
3 big courgettes grated
100g parmesan grated
I sweated off the garlic, chilli and chilli paste and quickly stirred in the grated courgettes. So far so good.
And then, I got distracted and somehow chopped up half a chorizo and added that to the pan. Nope, no idea why - I wasn't even really thinking about what I was doing. So then I thought to hell with it and added about 10 cherry tomatoes (I didn't count them, just used everything we had).
At which point I looked into the pan and realised that I had, irrevocably screwed up Meat Free Monday. There was now no point in going on as usual so I decided to abandon my original plan, and cook everything down really slowly to make less of a fresh and light dish, and more of a soothing and hearty one.
After 15 minutes over a low heat, the courgettes had really started to cook down with the tomatoes and the paprika scent from the chorizo was lovely. At this point I added the parmesan, stirring the pan until it had melted. At this point I made the executive decision to omit the lemon and pine nuts as I didn't feel like either of these would add anything to the finished dish.
As this was a bit of an experiment, I instagrammed the whole process - if you don't follow me on there and don't mind pictures of nail polish, endless cups of tea and the odd recipe pictures, I'm http://instagram.com/penjy
As always this was stirred into wholewheat pasta, eaten from bowls on our knees as the lounge still *still* wasn't (note the tense) finished yet.
Have you or do you ever change up an old favourite and discover you enjoy it just as much if not more?