I have been a vegetarian on and off for most of my life. I remember only being tempted out of a childhood obsession with vegetarianism one christmas, when I was faced with tucking into a plate full of mushroom goo instead of turkey and all the trimmings. Vegetarian food has changed over the years and most of the time I don't feel like I am missing out at all!
My dislike of meat isn't just because of animal welfare, although being a massive animal lover is a bonus. I really don't like the taste or the texture. It was difficult growing up in a meat and two veg irish family, my Grandad still tries to get me to eat wafer thin ham "but it's wafer thin! its like eating air!!". Growing up in London also opened my eyes to all sorts of food. My next door neighbours were Hindu, and vegetarian. Their food was the most amazing I have ever tasted, I loved being invited round to dinner. No Indian take away will ever match the sugar chapattis and dahl or my childhood.
My food heaven is Wagamamas Yasai Chilli Men (a tofu stir fry). I was once asked what I would choose as my last meal and everyone laughed when they learnt it was a tofu dish. Luckily Wagamama now sell my favouirte sauce in some supermarkets. I could live off noodles!
I guess the only thing I really missed was a bacon sandwich (especially after a heavy night). The veggie options weren't the same... until I discovered quorn streaky bacon rashers. My husband says they look like dog chews and our dog agrees but they work for me, Hayley liked them too!