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Monday, 28 November 2011

River Cottage Veg

I love Hugh. I think his ability to make foods which I staunchly hate (think: mushrooms, capers, anchovies, tarragon etc) look appetising is a skill not to be sniffed at. However, I was totally unconvinced when I heard about the idea for his latest show 'river cottage veg'. I thought that a series based entirely on vegetables, would be wearing a little thin by the end of the second episode. However, having watched the final episode last night, I am pleased to report that I was completely wrong.

I am huge advocate of vegetables; they're a great way of gaining those all-important nutrients for relative inexpense compared with the meat and fish alternatives. However, I've never quite understood vegetarianism and veganism. Part of this shakey, and controversial opinion, is spawned from my love of eating out. I do not wish to generalise hugely, but at the many restaurants I have eaten at, the vegetarian options form the overwhelming minority of dishes proferred, and more often than not, consist of risottos. Risotto, when cooked properly, is a delicious meal, but really how many risottos can a discerning vegetarian foodie, or for that matter non-foodie, cope with? I think risottos run the risk of becoming the now, omnipresent, nut/seed/bird-feed roast on offer on far too many tables on December 25th.

Back to the point in hand, Hugh did a fabulous job of opening my eyes to the huge range of dishes it is possible to cook with no fish or meat in sight. I am desperate to hunt out the veggie food van detailed in the first episode, complete with its supermix of seeds offered as a flamboyant end garnish. Last night's UNCOOKED vegan feast also opened up my eyes. Yes, we've all tried the now ever-present beetroot brownie, but really, avocado forming the main ingredient in a chocolate tart? Wow. Aside from such amazing revelations, I think my favourite part of last night's show was the pretty, delicate blond citing that eating cooked vegetables at Hugh's end of series feast was pretty much the blow out of her year. I think it's her equivalent of us mere non-vegan mortals eating a 1kg Galaxy in one sitting.

My guilt at not meeting her amazing levels of self-control with regards to food, may well have proven pivotal in my decision to buy Davina MaCall's latest fitness DVD. I eagerly await it's arrival from Amazon. Next job: working out how to close the living room blinds...

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