Welcome to the poor mans Christmas and going vegetarian to be frugal.
This blog post is inspired from one of my late aunts that died approximately a decade ago. She was an amazing woman. She was a 1930’s baby and this meant that because she always worked and never had kids she always worked in a male environment that had zero respect for the working woman and it was considered odd if they didn’t have their own kids.
This meant that over the years she was incredibly private and would never spill her secrets and always spoke her mind.
I adored her and I thought she was amazing and Christmas Day was never the same without her staying over at my parents and drinking my dads booze cupboard dry.
But one thing she would always say was that she was a vegetarian and that she didn’t eat meat. Well in fact she ate a lot of meat and would be the first one there whenever my mum cooked roast beef for Sunday lunch. She also had a dog called Ben which was a very badly trained miniature poodle that got on everyones nerves. And when she had finished eating she would always ask if there was some spare premium beef for the dog!
Then when there was chicken available she was there too and the same could be said for all kinds of meats.
But the reason why she said she was a vegetarian was because she was poor. Not poor in the sense that she needed to visit soup kitchens or get her clothes from Oxfam but poor in the sense that she lived to her means and she cared more about having the money for her golf membership than buying meat from the supermarket. If she could save money in order to save towards golf, to have golfing holidays or to make sure that her house was furnished to the best of standards.
She was what I would call a role model for how we all spend too much money on food and drink than we need to and we should spend our money more wisely. She loved her meat but she wasn’t willing to spend her own hard earned money on it unless she really had to, plus because she loved her vegetables and potatoes so well there was no need for her to.
I wonder what she would think of this generation of organic produce or what she would think of my addiction to coconut oil, other than to think it’s a total waste of money!
Go Vegetarian At Christmas
I am one of those people that even though I love turkey at Christmas it is not the key to Christmas and quite frankly I could live without it just like my aunt used to. There are that many different amazing dishes that we could all have at Christmas that we don’t have to eat meat just for the sake of it.
We could just as easily enjoy a great Christmas Dinner without any meat on our plate and today is about proving how amazing that could be.
This is exactly how I would do it with the sole purpose of saving money:
- Instead of turkey make yourself the best ever meatless meatloaf (see my recipe below)
- Instead of pigs in blankets wrap cheese around sticks of courgette
- Instead of traditional stuffing have cauliflower bites
- Instead of gravy opt for cheaper bread sauce
You can also add extra sides if you feel like you are missing out. Extra side favourites of ours include macaroni cheese and garlic sweet potatoes.
Meatless Mediterranean Meatloaf In The Slow Cooker
After a lot of soul searching and recipe testing I have put together a delicious meatless meatloaf for you to tuck into. You could enjoy this if you’re a vegetarian or if you are like many others, that just wants to save money on their Christmas Dinner. This recipe is so delicious and easy to make and can be the wow factor on your dinner plate that you will forget that the meat has been forgotten about.
It has lots of flavours of the Mediterranean and you be left to cook away in your slow cooker and then serve it with all your favourite traditional sides.
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In a steamer add your potatoes along with a little salt and pepper.
In a food processor shred all your vegetables and then place them in a large mixing bowl.
In a mixing bowl add your shredded vegetables, potatoes, oats and seasoning. Mix well and form into a big loaf.
In your slow cooker add your loaf to the bottom on top of a tablespoon of olive oil as this will stop it from sticking.
Cook for 3 hours on a low heat. When it is ½ way through cooking add your cheese to the top as well as an extra sprinkling of salt and pepper.
I find that its important that you limit the amount of watery vegetables to your meatloaf otherwise it will become runny like a soup. I have used spinach as my one watery vegetable so make sure you have a maximum of 15% runny vegetables. If you don’t like spinach you could exchange this for either courgette or cauliflower to have some moisture to the dish.