Cutting on the amount of meat you eat can be beneficial for not only for your health but also your wallet and the environment, as well as being pretty tasty too.
Less meat doesn’t mean a bland diet of tired beans and pulses, infact with a plethora of celebrities adopting a more healthy lifestyle, it is becoming increasingly easy to make the most of the good stuff.
Making a few clever swaps has never been easier or tastier:
Simply adding a handful of nuts or seeds to salads instantly makes them more filling and nutritious. Walnuts with avocado; pine nuts with kale and hazelnuts in a warm goats cheese salad, all pack a protein punch and taste amazing.
The spice of life
Going without meat doesn’t mean going without flavour. There’s an ever-growing assortment of spices for sale that add something extra to any meal. Paprika, turmeric and cumin are all great ways to add depth to soups, stews and casseroles and they’ll taste so great you’ll forget there’s no meat.
Fresh chillis, ginger, lemongrass and garlic perk up salads, noodles, stir-fries and wraps and make them delicious.
We live in an age when boundaries are constantly being pushed, so go ahead and do the same in the kitchen. Swap heavy carbs for ribbons of courgette stir-fried with garlic and olive oil. Make a batch of vegetable curry and go for cauliflower rice as a tasty, tempting alternative to naan bread.
Tofu is a wonderful, low fat source of protein that is perfect when cooked with bold flavours. Marinade this veggie staple and serve with a Korean-inspired salad full of colour and crunch. Coat it in sesame seeds, shallow fry and serve with a tasty Asian-style vegetable stir-fry….the ideas are endless.
No kitchen is complete without a stock of highly nutritious quinoa. Known as the “Mother Grain” of the Andes, quinoa is packed with amino acids, has high iron content, a delicious nutty flavor, and cooks faster than rice. Try it hot with stir-fried vegetables, add it into a nutty salad, or make it the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of warming chilli on a cold November evening.
Miso paste is an Asian staple that shakes up the flavour stakes when it comes to soups and sauces.
When you are craving that meaty taste, mushrooms really are the way to go. As well as being healthy and filling their rich, earthy flavour makes them the perfect meat replacement. For Sunday brunch why not sauté them in butter and add thyme, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar and serve on rye toast? Mushroom Stroganoff, mushroom burgers and stuffed mushrooms are all great main meals that really pack a punch.
They might not look like much but herbs are packed full of health benefits, so take time out to find out which ones you like the best. Adding fresh dill, basil and coriander to pasta sauces offers a tangy, fresh flavour and roast vegetables can be given an earthy depth when cooked with thyme, sage and rosemary.