2 Meat Mains: Can I ever become a lacto-ovo-vegetarian?

Yesterday was a mind-blowing door-stopping brain-jarring life-changing moment for me. It all started when I ate 3 persimmons for breakfast, which made me feel super bloated and filled to the brim. Then I started thinking: yeah we all know about fruits being the “foods of Eden” and how some nutritionists encourage the consumption of fruits to substitute that of refined sugars, but since fruits contain a lot of fructose, would consuming them in large amounts result in a similar overconsumption of sugar? Hmmm mind boggling yah so I did what every normal person would do – google it. So to cut the long story short while researching I found this article about this guy who experimented with diets on himself for his whole life, and he found that vegetarian diets heightened his sense of taste, smell, and improved various bodily conditions or something like that. That got me thinking if I could become a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I mean, I am already super health conscious, consuming large portions of vegetables and fruits, and the only meats I eat are the really lean ones. So it shouldn’t be that hard right?

When looking for old backtracked posts today, I found these 2 meat mains that I whipped up awhile back, and damn they look so damn delicious how is it possible for me to abstain from meat altogether?

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This was lunch for my family some 6 months ago. It’s mostly inspired by Jules over at Stone Soup, who uses minimal ingredients, but plays around with matching them to come up with different, simple and convenient meals. My sisters and I love vinegar. Love it beyond words. When thinking about a way to spice up everyday simple hassle-free lunches, it suddenly struck me that hey a sweet balsamic glaze would be absolutely simple to make and would make a great accompaniment to meats!

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So I ended up cooking these Balsamic-Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloins with Medley of Vegetables. The veggies were pretty straightforward. Boiled some broccoli, sliced carrots and beetroots separately, then roasted some brussel sprouts. Couldn’t steal the show from the glazed pork now can I? (: I further reduced the glaze later and served that as an accompanying sauce. Ooooh and I must say that it did indeed taste wonderful! Simultaneously sweet and sour, it took the simple one-ingredient sides to a whole new level. Simple and absolutely delish.

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I’m quite hopeless when it comes to plating, but I do think that plating with rounded plates and square ones does give off a very different feel no?

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Sorry for the overexposed picture! Editing software’s currently down so oh wells I’ll just have to make do! Anyways I made this Chicken Breast wrapped with Prosciutto when my friends came over for dinner! I was actually thinking of a simple yet different and interesting side for meat dishes, cause what’s the fun in always eat mash with brown gravy?

“What in God’s name is that horrible alien looking purple mess?” I hear you say?

That’s what everyone thought. My family literally stared at the plate for an average of 5 seconds, with their internal struggle visible on their faces. Then one of my sisters grimaced, looked at me apologetically, and said “what’s that? It looks scary I don’t dare to eat it!”

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It’s sweet potato really. Turns out I was too lazy to prepare several components just for a simple weekday dinner, so I decided on making sweet potato mash to complete the flavour palate. A slight variation to normal mash at the very least! Also it was the sweet potato season then, so we had the rare purple sweet potatoes being sold everywhere! Boy was I glad. Normal yellow sweet potatoes sold look so uninteresting on a plate.

After the big veggie revelation, everyone ate with a peace of heart. And commented that it was real good! I liked the combination of prosciutto and chicken a lot as it gives the dish a smoky flavour in addition to being the salt component. Lightly pan fried in olive oil, the thin layer prosciutto was really crispy in contrast to the tender chicken breast. And it seemed like I wasn’t wrong about the sweet potato mash. Together, the whole dish was a wonderful combination of textures and flavours. Loved it!

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These were really simple on-the-spot-outta-my-head kinda meals, so I don’t have proper measurements for the recipe!

Balsamic-Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloins with Medley of Vegetables (serves 4)

500g pork tenderloin, skin removed and divided into 4 portions
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1 broccoli, cut into pieces
2 carrots, sliced
1 beetroot, skin removed
Some brussel sprouts

1. Bring a small pot of water to boil. When boiling, add the broccoli and boil till cooked through. Remove the broccoli, then repeat this with the carrots, then later the beetroot.

2. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C. Place a sheet of aluminium foil on your baking sheet. Put the brussel sprouts on them and toss it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes or till cooked through.

3. When the beetroot has been removed from the pot, let it rest till cool enough to handle, then slice it.

4. Place the pork, vinegar and honey in a pan over medium heat and cook, turning the pork every 3-4 minutes to make sure it is cooked on all sides. Using a metal spoon, continuously bast the pork with the vinegar and honey sauce.

5. When the pork is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. Continue cooking the vinegar mixture for 5 minutes or more till thickened to your preference.

6. Slice the pork tenderloin, plate, and serve with the glaze.

Chicken Breast wrapped with Prosciutto, with Sweet Potato Mash (serves 4)

4 chicken breast
4 slices of prosciutto
Pepper
2 yellow sweet potatoes
2 purple sweet potatoes
Some milk, oil and honey

1. Lightly pound the chicken breast till it is flat, then wrap each with a slice of prosciutto.

2. Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the potatoes in and boil them. When the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the water and let them rest till they are cool enough to handle.

3. Meanwhile, season the chicken with pepper. Heat a pan over medium heat, then drizzle a little olive oil and cook the chicken. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes after it is cooked, before slicing.

4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove their skins. Mash the purple and yellow sweet potatoes separately, adding a little milk and oil as you mash to adjust it to the consistency that you prefer. Taste and check if the mash is sweet enough. If not, drizzle in a little honey or maple syrup until your desire sweetness is achieved.

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