Although we are not vegetarian we do eat a range of non-meat meals and when we do have meat it is quite a small portion.
Why do we do this? It is partly driven by cost because I would much rather have a small portion of locally-produced, grass-fed or free range meat occasionally than the cheapest I can find just to serve meat every day. However, more and more it is because we have access to a range of home-grown vegetables. These are grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertiliser. I know how they have been produced, there is no transport involved and they are picked at their peak.
Here is some of what I picked today.
I had already given 1 head of broccoli and half of the snow peas to a neighbour before I took the photo. The broccoli weighed just over 3kg and that is only about half of the plants. There will also be all of the side shoots for a couple more months at least. I expect that based on today’s harvest that I will probably reap about 8kg in total. That is not a bad return for a $2.50 punnet of seedlings. I should be more accurate in my calculations of the value of what I plant. Jennifer Lorenzetti from Fast, Cheap and Good has the right idea when it comes to calculating the value of what she grows and other things such as jam-making and preserving. As well as the broccoli and snow peas there is another cabbage and some spinach.
With all of that fresh broccoli it had to be incorporated into the meal. Tonight we had Mexican Bean Pie with broccoli, carrots and mushrooms. The mushrooms are still growing prolifically from the bags of mushroom compost we got a couple of months ago. The cool, damp weather of the past couple of days means that there is yet another crop that have popped up in the last 24 hours.
Mexican Bean Pie is a really fancy name for something I whipped up one night and it has now become a favourite of ours. I use the Crockpot Refried Beans and mix about a cup of bean mixture with cooked rice until it is a fairly stiff consistency. Spread into a pie plate, top with a little grated cheese and heat through until cheese is melted. This can be done in microwave, oven or under the grill.