The National Vegetarian Week Challenge

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This year, for National Vegetarian Week, the campaign asked people to go vegetarian for a week. We thought this was a great challenge and asked friend of the cookery school, Howard, if he’d be up for the challenge and he said YES!

Howard loves his meat – so much so, that he even breeds his own! On his smallholding they keep chickens, ducks, sheep Autumn to Spring, pigs occasionally and also he makes his own cider and perry.

Howard’s all-time favourite meal is roast lamb, followed by scouse, a hearty meat stew and on average will eat some meat maybe up to four times a week (some of that will be leftovers from previous meals) oh and he loves a bacon sandwich!


Quality is very important to Howard and that is why when they do eat meat it’s either their own or from somewhere known to them ie other farms or certified free range.

Howard was completely up for the challenge and even reminisces to student days as a vegetarian, although his biggest concern was a big birthday dinner party he was due to attend at the end of the week!

So here’s Howard’s food diary for his week as a Vegetarian and how we got on … we were very impressed it has to be noted!

Day 1 – I had leftovers from this our middle eastern cookery experience at Harts Barn Cookery School, Frika Salad, baked feta for my lunch- felt like I was eating a better quality of lunch all round.

Baked Feta

Day 2 – Breakfast was a glass of kefir, followed by two cups of tea and home made granola with banana, yoghurt and muesli.  Tea today-spinach burritos, eggs from the orchard with home grown asparagus, potato and wild garlic dauphinoise and home grown rocket all of which was very nice.

Day 3 – Today’s challenge, visit to Glos col –  Forest of Dean college with students from Heart of the Forest school as part of their transition to college, what to eat? Cheese and onion pasty for break and then we stayed on for lunch at the canteen, where I had cheese and tomato pizza with potato wedges and it was quite tasty, thank you.  This evening’s tea will be more leftovers from our Middle eastern feast; Baba ganoush, frikah salad and wild garlic potato dauphinois, after our yoga class I’ve built up quite an appetite.

Day 4 – Thursday lunch I had a quiche with onion and rocket, chilli pesto with gnocchi along with rocket from the garden Dinner was sweet potato wedges, guacamole and red kidney bean chilli

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Day 5 – For my lunch I had the leftover chilli and tea was potato salad with wild garlic mayo, quiche and asparagus kale.

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Day 6 – Saturday brunch, then off to Reading for our friends 60th, where I was vegetarian as a student. Our friends 60th was fun, there was not a lot of veggie choice at the Bel and Dragon in Reading, but the food was good. I had Marinated Beetroot and burrata for starter and the main was broad bean and pea risotto, washed down with organic wine courtesy of our host Neil Palmer from Vintage Roots

Day 7 – Today’s food was an almond croissant from Sainsbury’s, lunch quiche and then for this evening-mushroom and macaroni cheese with asparagus kale from the garden.

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The end of my vegetarian week. Have I missed meat? No, but will I be eating meat again? Yes, though I shall keep to mainly eating our own or locally sourced meat, with the occasional meal out and probably no more than twice a week. Tomorrow is our Duke of Edinburgh practice hike, where we shall be having a BBQ,  so I’m quite glad that I’ll be able to have the odd sausage or two!

THANK YOU Howard for taking on the challenge.

If you would like to try making some of your own delicious Vegetarian meals you can join a class – see all we offer here!

We will also be holding a Vegetarian Diwali Themed Supper Club on Friday 20th October