Becoming a Pescatarian…

By Elle.

A pescatarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat, but does eat fish. Basically, a sort of crap vegetarian.

I offer this explanation first, not to patronise I promise, but because since becoming one, I’ve been met with an unexpected number of blank faces, and then been referred to as a Presbyterian immediately afterwards by at least four people.  Even spellcheck is insisting I’m a bloody sectarian.

So, why am I putting myself through this UTTER HELL, you may be wondering…

Ummm, not sure really. Shall we examine further?

My boyfriend and I started eating less meat at home about 18 months ago. It began with less red meat at first, and then without really thinking about it, my beef chilli became turkey chilli, and eventually Quorn chilli. It was cheaper, healthier, and we both felt better for it, but meals out and entertaining usually meant ‘treating’ ourselves to burgers and steaks and other forms of animal flesh. Mmm. Then, a few months ago, we had some friends round and collectively chowed our way through several plates of processed meat by way of Tesco’s party nibbles. Don’t even try to make me put a number on how many cocktail sausages I ate. The next day, we felt shit – sluggish and tired and full. It was then that my boyfriend suggested we try giving up meat properly. So we did.

I love food — literally ALL of it (with the minor exceptions of baked beans and custard), but meat wasn’t really ever the best thing on my plate. I’d never have eaten a plain chicken breast, for example. That’s not to say I don’t miss chorizo and salami, and crispy Portuguese piri-piri chicken washed down with rose wine. But I like that I feel healthier, that the supermarket shop is much quicker (seriously!) and cheaper, that I don’t have to agonise so much over restaurant menus — it’s weirdly liberating to only have a few options to choose from. And yes, of course I’m glad not to be buying poor quality meat which is likely to have caused animal suffering. I’m sure there are vegans and vegetarians who would berate me for putting that last, but I’m loathe to dress-up my becoming a pescatarian as some sort of selfless act. It’s actually almost entirely selfish, to be frank.

Veganism is becoming more mainstream every day – it’s no longer considered an oddity to eat a plant-based diet. That’s a great thing in many ways, but I’ve always believed that humans should eat meat if they so wish, and that it’s a natural thing to do – especially if you can afford good quality.

For now, I’m sticking to my pescaterian ways, but if I want to eat piri-piri chicken on holiday, I will – and I won’t feel bad about it. We should all aim to be more conscious about what we use to fuel our bodies, particularly if health and the environment are concerns. And maybe they are, but you’re skint and stressed, and making protein balls from freeze-dried Hawaiian coconuts just isn’t an option. That’s totally cool with me. Because after all, there’s nothing more unappetising than a diet-bore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DARK CHOCOLATE & PISTACHIO COOKIES

By Riley.

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DO NOT weigh yourself after eating these. You have been warned.

Do you ever look in your cupboard and think, ‘What the fuck am I going to do with all of those pistachios?’

Eat them in their purest form? Evidently not. Toss them in a salad? What – and take up valuable cheese space? No siree. I know exactly what I’ll do – I’ll make cookies and force them down the throats of my skinnier Jaded counterparts.

Ingredients:
300g dark chocolate
200g plain flour
175g melted butter
200g light Muscovado sugar
100g golden caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
1 medium egg plus one egg yolk
Preheat your oven to 160°C/gas mark 4

You’re going to lay this mountain of ingredients out and wonder if you have the strength to follow through – PERSEVERE. These are the shit and honestly take no time at all to whip up.

First up, I broke my chocolate into chunks and chopped the pistachios. Upon reflection, I may have got a little over exhuberent with the chopping… leave those pistachios whole, girl. The cookie can take it.

Mix the butter and the sugars in a bowl. We recently coughed up £7 for an electric whisk from Tesco and have never looked back. Beat with an electric whisk (or a hand whisk, peasant) until thoroughly combined. Then beat in the egg and yolk until the mixture changes to a light and creamy colour.

Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and salt and combine with the sugar mixture. You’re basically done already! *fist bump* Fold in the chocolate and nuts until combined.

Place balls of the mixture (about half a handful) a couple of inches apart on a baking sheet. I got 12 cookies out of the mixture, but you could probably manage 20 smaller cookies (or one YAASS QUEEN cookie).

You’ll need to rinse your hands every few balls (Am I right, ladies?) to avoid the mixture sticking and just downright refusing to take shape. Do not show signs of weakness. YOU CAN DO THIS.

Bake for approximately fifteen minutes, or until the cookies are slightly darker at the edges. I like mine gooey in the middle, so prodded them at 5 minute intervals to decide when I thought they were ready. My hunger may or may not have played a huge part in the decision making process.

Leave to cool for as long as your inner fatty will allow, then tuck in!