89 Not Out: Day 31, Can the Pandemic Make Me Go Vegan?

S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of the lockdown, as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 31, and a substituted shopping order items leaves Ian with a culinary dilemma…

Thursday 16th April, Day 31 of 89 

We can make it better.

If you are lucky enough to be able to book an online shop, you know it is a lottery and you are happy to take what you are given. This week, our usual pasta sauce was substituted for Vegan Bolognese with added pea protein. This was sent as a replacement. Now, as far as veganism or vegetarianism go, they simply aren’t for me. If someone wants this for themselves and their families, I salute them – unless your dietary choices make you behave in a pious and virtue-signalling way, that is. Your decision to go plant-based to do your bit to save the planet is entirely your own, but it doesn’t make you a better person than anyone else. 

As the chef of the day, I have to work with these new ingredients; and I am open-minded. Pea protein, provided it is spelt with ‘-ea’ and not ‘-ee’ seems perfectly plausible. I put the pasta water on to boil, unscrew the jar and sniff. I am feeling positively disposed towards the new sauce: onions, garlic, tomatoes, good olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper, these are all vegan anyway, so this should be no bother at all.

But nothing. It literally doesn’t smell of anything. I adopt the dunking digit test, and it tastes of, erm, watery tomato?

This was meant to be the laziest of teas: dump the jar of pasta sauce onto the cooked pasta, and the chef’s little inside tip, sprinkle grated cheese over – but the family are going to be very vexed at this offering. 

So I went fridge brailling – it’s a great sport! You can try it by closing your eyes and running your hands over the shelves. This is not for the faint-hearted.

I found smoked tomato paste, which a sniff check confirmed as it’s in a similar jar to the marmalade. While marmalade is still vegan, using this will push the paradigm of the pasta bowl into an experimental fusion I don’t think the family are ready for.

I then found some herbs, and again applied the sniff test, as all of those little jars feel the same. Hey presto! The dish was a triumph. 

Afterwards, I reflected that in the end we had served a near-on vegan meal, with the cheese being the only deviation.

So vegetarian then! Oh, except for the delicious smokey leftover gammon, which was gammon-licious, sorry! 😛 


Don’t miss Ian’s diary each day, keep an eye out for new entries here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast. How are you managing the lockdown at the moment? Get in touch with us over on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your experiences and any hints and tips you’re finding helpful right now.

Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

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