Thursday, 19 August 2010

It's not easy being Green


I know a couple.

I also know a few plastic ones. "Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. But I eat fish sometimes. And......sometimes I eat Chicken, but only like once a year."

Yes. I know what it's like. Sometimes, David Beckham rings me up and takes me to Pizza Express once a week for Orange Wednesdays, every so often Beyonce rings me and asks me to go swimming with her at Darwen Leisure Centre and Brad Pitt also calls in to deal babysitting duties off me the first Saturday of every month whilst him and Ange hit the nearest Hogshead and Lava and Ignite.

It could not of course be further from the truth.

Being a Vegetarian requires a person to abstain from any meat, flesh of an animal, poultry, crustacea or shellfish of any kind.

The afore mentioned plastics, are what we know to be Semi-Vegetarians.

So let me get this straight.

I am for the sake of any arguments. A teacher. My requirements are to plan lessons, turn up to work on time, teach kids how to cook and learn about nutrition.

But, when the urge does not take me and I feel like perhaps forgoing my job, I could be a Semi-Teacher?

I have always been the kind of girl who is all or nothing. It is not one hob nob. It is the whole tube.

Being a Vegetarian would be hard sure. But spare a butternut squash and aduki bean spritzer for the poor blighters who choose to live by the real hardcore diets.

I am talking your fruitarians, nutarians, su-vegetarians (they believe it or not won't eat anything that smells of an onion or garlic). Eating a strawberry spag bol followed by a plate of pineapple mash and blueberry sausages would be enough to send Mr Del Monte himself down to the Dole canning factory for a few chunks.

I actually love Vegetarian food anyway. Meat and fish are too expensive for a single lady.

My friend and I toddled our carnivorous bodies off to Simon Rimmer's divine Vegetarian restaurant in Didsbury, Manchester last night.

Green's was first established back in 1990 when only 7% of our UK population would admit to be a Vegetarian.

Looking at the Veg busting stats for 2010, it would appear that the figure won't budge and there are still 7% of our population munching edaname beans and soya sausages.

Perhaps they are the same people, cryogenically preserved by anti-oxidants and flavenoids.

Green's are not only appealing to the V-fest around Manchestaaaa, but to a whole crowd of people who are either fans of Mr Rimmer and his cheeky and extremely amiable TV appearances and talents or his £15.95 for 3 courses and a glass of wine meal deal.

We, of the Semi-decent teaching salary brigade went for the latter.

A cosy dining room vibe. Deep, warm wooden flooring, chesterfield seating, Nina Campbell-esque wallpaper, ornate glass mirrors and trendy french looking waiters all sporting obligatory mancunian urban facial growth.

It was 6.30pm (15 minutes short of the meal deal cut off point) and we were in good company.

It's funny looking around a Vegetarian restaurant. For all they could know, I could have been a fully fledged Veggie since the late 80s, flying the flag for the SOS mix.

You don't go in KFC and look around wondering who the meat eaters are?

Our Waiter politely brought us both menu's over. Luckily the meal deal menu did not have old kent road style meals on it. I would have happily bought any of them. In fact, to monopolise them, they would be up there with waterworks or the electric company.

No one really knows how to operate them or would live in them, but you invest in them and slowly reap the benefits.

For starters we had the choice of red pepper hummus and pita bread, Greek salad or soup.

Hummus, no contest. Delicious. No meat cravings here. Looking like a well turned out wet sandcastle, it was juicy, salty enough and full of charred pepper goodness. The cheeky drizzle of basil oil was a pleasant added river to dip my pita in.

The mains were like offering a group of Saturday morning footballers Juninho Pernambucano, David Villa, Daniel Alves and Kaka as a back up sub.

I suppose being used to being offered savoury crumbles and lasagne's in your standard pub, it is a slight shock to the system when you find veggie options difficult to choose from.

Three bean chilli, aubergine Thai curry and sticky rice, goats cheese, celeriac and beetroot tarlets and cheshire cheese sausages with mustard mash and beer gravy.

Kappow, sock, boom hunters chicken and minted lamb cutlets!!

The aubergine curry was the sweet and sticky melee that I would have wanted. Heady, light and packed full of flavour, not to mention filling.

I suppose being good northern souls, we only felt it fair to the animals that we ate our puddings too.

Creme Brulee or Chocolate Pudding.

The health goddess in me said Creme Brulee.

A pot of amber glass staring back at me. Breaking in is always the party piece. Like stepping on a glass christmas bauble, it broke so beautifully and was perfectly burnt, cindered toffee heaven.

Underneath its frozen lake of cinder bobbed the gluggy mass of custard. I usually enjoy a much lighter and runnier Brulee. Don't get me wrong, it was as gorgeously delicious as a dessert could be and I ate almost everything apart from the 200 degree stained caramel dregs from the edges. But........and I hate like any Semi-Veggie likes to admit that they guzzle tuna butties.

Girl was stuffed.

Thinking from a scientific point of view, fibre tends to expand in your stomach and cause a feeling of fullness. I should have known such techniques from my weight watcher scoffing years. Those vegetarians aren't as hungry and deprived as we think.

It was around 8.30pm and we were finished. We were not court marshalled out by a prize growing leek or stoned by maris pipers to leave.

We were left to order another glass of Pinot G, listen to some Groove Armada and to enjoy the Vegetable buzz in the air.

I give Green the light.

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