24 June 2010

Beige dinners

I have a term I refer to as a beige dinner.

Someone I know who is not adventurous with food eats many beige dinners. Battered fish, chips and lemon is the standard beige dinner. No vegetables, no 'exotic' foods. Just beige. Can't be that healthy for you.

Yesterday when I was at home, sore and I admit, a bit miserable, I had a beige dinner.

Crumbed lamb cutlets and potatoes in the pan. A delicious beige dinner that couldn't be that healthy for me, but damn, it tasted good. And it made me feel better. The doctor said I need to eat more. Probably not more beige dinners, though.

I used to be semi-vegetarian for four years. Age 13 - 17. By semi I mean Mum and Dad made me eat fish. I don't think there was any animal liberation thought behind my choice - I just read a cookbook that had beautiful photos of innovative vegetarian meals one time when I was in the school library instead of at physical education.

During my semi-vegetarianism period, I had lots of tofu, many vegie burgers and once had some of those tinned fauxsages (faux sausages). I discovered the following:
- firm tofu is better than soft tofu,
- vegie burgers are good but making no-meat-loaf with lentils and gated vegies is far more tasty, and
- fauxsages are horrendous. They look like fingers in a tin of formaldehyde, and taste about the same.

One day Mum was cooking lamb cutlets. They smelt good. I ate one. The world didn't end. And that was that. I stopped being semi-vegetarian and became a full on meat loving girl again. (There was a period when I moved to Melbourne where I really limited my meat intake to once a week and called myself a 'part time vegetarian' but now I'm a well balanced omnivore. I enjoy vegies a lot, eat them with almost every meal, and am quite happy to have meatless meals.)

I love lamb cutlets. I wish they weren't so overpriced. And I love potatoes cooked in the same pan as lamb chops. I love how the potatoes take on the flavour of the lamb fat. I put mixed herbs on my potatoes.

I felt guilty so I put half a packet of greens with my beige dinner. There was excessive shrinkage from cooking. So I've increased the size of the photo to compensate. Looks like more vegies were consumed.

And I only ate four of the five cutlets - I will eat one tomorrow for breakfast with my green smoothie. It's an alternative way of eating meat 'n' three veg.

Yesterday I cooked up a batch of bolognaise on the stove. It's quick and nutritious, and easy for me to do when I'm not feeling up to cooking because I'm sore. My bolognaise has pork mince and lots of vegies in it - a carrot, onion, eggplant, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, preserved lemon and sweet potato.

I had it for dinner tonight, but in a non traditional way. It's bolognaise disguised as a beige dinner.

This is the pie crust filled with the bolognaise, topped with a few cheese pieces. I warmed the bolognaise on the stove before putting it in the pie.

I made my own pastry. It didn't take long, about 10 minutes. Making pastry is not hard. I rolled it out and I think it looks like America. I was never good at sculpture so you will notice it is not a perfect circle as the pie lid should be.

I cut some of the Eastern and Western states of America off and used it to patch up the pie lid.

Just out of the oven. Inspired by Sydney Shop Girl.

Here is what the cooked pie looks like inside. It was delicious.

A deceptive beige dinner.


  1. want those chops!!!! But the price!!!!

  2. Even the humble lamb forequarter chops are overpriced too!

    Great food.

    SSG xxx

  3. 1. O.M.G. I've never cooked potatoes in the pot before, definitely doing that.
    2. Fauxsages is the best word I've ever heard
    3. Will you be taking requests for future pastry shapes? I'd like to see Europe or Africa please.

  4. Hi Carly, I've just been checking out some posts in your archives - I haven't commented here before but I had to tell you, I use the term "beige dinner" too! I've never heard anyone else say it before. I must say I don't actually mind a beige dinner once in a while! P.S. saw your tweet in Shop Til You Drop!


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