We are going to share seven great meal ideas that contain no meat, they are all big family hits in our house and the kids can even help you make them too.
No-one in our house is Vegetarian or Vegan however we are as a world going to need to keep asking questions, sometimes difficult questions about how we live and what we take from this planet.
Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage
There is no question by this point that we all need to consume less farmed meat but I don’t want this to be an environmental guilt trip. To be honest the reason I started doing Meat Free Monday’s about 5 years ago was to save money. I do all the weekly shopping and I was noticing the increasing cost of meat, guess what? that is going to continue. I can even see some sort of meat tax coming into play at some point in the future.
Just think about it, when I was a kid we were taught that there were 6 billion people on the planet, the majority of whom eat meat. Now there are almost 8 billion people on the planet. That is an increase of nearly 2 billion in just 20 years, the next 20 years should see more than 2 billion more people join us again. This growth is simply unsustainable.
The average U.K household spends £817.00 per year on meat. That is just the meat we buy to cook at home. That doesn’t include all the takeaways, Restaurants and sneaky Maccy D’s you might eat too.
If you just give Meat Free Monday a try you will automatically save somewhere between £100-£200.00 per year. I know not exactly a get rich quick scheme but that is a nice extra bonus to put away and spend on something else. I will go into more benefits after the recipes if you wish to find out more. We now have two days a week that are meat free so we are saving £200-£400.00 a year which is a nice little bonus to have without even trying really.
For us as a family Meat Free Monday was a challenge, there is even the odd recipe that I come up with where my daughter will say this meal would be great with some chicken in it. Overall though it has been a success, it forces you to try different ingredients, get experimental. The food tastes great and we have all felt better emotionally and physically by adopting it.
This tasty meal of roasted bell peppers stuffed with cous cous and veg, served with amazing paprika potatoes. I’ll show you in this recipe how to prepare simple cheap plan cous cous to make it super tasty but of course if you are short on time you can just get ready made cous cous packs like the ones below. The kids can help put the cous cous into the pepper and if you are feeling naughty try adding some mozzarella on top of each pepper.
This recipe was created for our Mexican Day of the Dead blog coverage, we already included beef burritos so this was a great veggie option to add. I tried it for dinner for my family one night and it was a huge hit. It was the first time ewe all had tried Halloumi and we loved it. See it makes you try different ingredients that you may not have tried before. I have even added some fried mushroom slices coated in the same spice mix described below since the creation of this recipe.
This is a perfect summers day dinner, its light and the recipe below makes plenty of food to feed a family of four. I can’t see many kids turning this one down, serve with a little ketchup to entice them even more.
Im not going to lie, this one is a tough sell to youngsters. It is literally a plate full of veg in a super tasty sauce. But it is great way for them too try some new veg. I love this one too, nice and light, super tasty too.
This is a really filling dinner, I know the first time I made it for us it didn’t look like very much on the plate but we all struggled to finish it. The pulse based patties are again super healthy but also really filling and tasty. This also works as a fakeaway, have this instead of a donor kebab, it shares many flavours but is much better for you.
Last but certainly not least, this is a brilliant summer dish packed full of flavour and fresh lime. You can even prepare most of the veg on the bbq to go into this dish giving it another dimension again.
The effects of farming on the environment are often over looked. Animal agriculture is responsible for at least 14.5% of all manmade global greenhouse gas emissions and, combined with the dairy industry at 4%, animal agriculture for human consumption accounts for nearly 1/5 of all greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than trains, planes, cars – the entire automotive industry put together! A recent study led by Oxford Martin School discovered that a widespread adoption in vegetarianism could help to cut food related emissions by 63% and up to 70% for vegan diets. One day a week is a small sacrifice but potential massive gains…
You only get one body
Be kind to your body, constantly digesting meat can take its toll on your digestive system, especially your colon. Your body needs a break from digesting meat, particularly red meat like beef steak or processed meats that are high in saturated fats. Studies show that going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. In 2012 Havard Health published a report that clearly shows substantial benefit in eliminating or reducing consumption of red meat and substituting healthier proteins.
Get creative in the kitchen
I know I’m guilty of this – the midweek mind blank. Sometimes you get in, it’s all just been too much and the thought of dreaming up an exotic, well balanced feast is beyond you. So, instead, you reach settle for the standard spag bowl or worse, just grab the takeaway menu. Being mindful about what you’re putting into your body is key to making meet free days enjoyable but when you’re lacking creativity use the seven recipes above.
Make more of your meat
Meat is a wonderful thing and should be treated as such. Going meat free once a week should help you to appreciate it more the rest of the week. Why not ditch the plastic wrapped protein in favour of a trip to the butcher and make every meaty meal a delight? We too often reach into the meat fridge in a supermarket because it’s the default but do we really know the quality or where it’s coming from? As consumers, we have the power to demand more from our supermarkets, support the British farming industry by opting for local produce, ethically reared meats and organic diary. Try looking out for meat that is labeled as organic British produce, particularly with beef, and buying from your local farmers market or butchers instead of the supermarket.
Look after the pennies
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that eating less meat means your wallet will look a lot healthier. It turns out that cutting down on your animal protein can shrink your yearly food spend as well as your waistline. Vegetarians on average save around £750 per year more than those reaching for meat. Hearty meat alternatives like beans and pulses are a mere fraction of the cost and can contribute to a more balanced diet with higher intakes of fibre, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium. Not to mention lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.