Get more vegetables into your diet this January.
Many of us worry about the environmental impacts of eating too much meat. Some studies suggest we eat far more than we need and sometimes more than is advisable from a long-term health perspective. There are various reasons why eating a little less meat in our diet can be a good thing, but rather than viewing a shift in this area as a reduction in one type of food, consider it an opportunity to increase your consumption of another.
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Meat free would have once generated groans from all but the most devoted followers of vegetarian and veganism. What the explosion in recipes for delicious meat free meals has done is opened all our eyes to sumptuous food that can be entirely plant based – even if, like us at foodeezz hq, you are fond of including meat in your weekly food lineup.
Our advice is to start small and start simple. However, removing a steak on your plate and replacing it with a second helping of carrots is not the same as embracing the spirit of ‘Meat Free Monday’s’. Research a recipe that you like the sound of. Add the ingredients to your weekly shopping list.
2. MAKE A HABIT OF IT
Do your meat free day (it doesn’t HAVE to be Monday) on a day when you’ve got a bit more time to prep – we all take a little longer when trying out something new. Start with a dish that looks and sounds like it will be a hit with you and whoever you are cooking for.
Once you have tried one option, move on and explore further. The trick is habit – very soon Meat Free Monday will be a staple part of your week and your list of vegan and vegetarian meals will soar. At foodeezz hq, we do meat free twice in the week, sometimes three times. We still eat meat and still look forward to it, but the meat free recipes we discovered work well and are just as tasty (really) as that steak or rack of lamb.
3. SMALL CHANGES ARE BEST
Just because you’ve decided you want to eat more vegan or vegetarian food, it doesn’t mean you’ve decided to never eat meat again. It doesn’t have to be a daunting or unnecessary identity overhaul. If it’s something that interests you, then small steps and changes can be a great way to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet.
The good news is that it’s not an all or nothing proposition. And when you opt for a veggie meal, it can still be totally delicious… on to our last point!
4. MAKE SURE IT'S TASTY
Rather than following recipes that hero meat and trying to sub in alternatives, or disguising vegetables into as close an approximation of meat as possible – it’s about making vegetables and grains the star of the dish. A frustrating stereotype (and thankfully, a dying one) about vegan or vegetarian food is that it’s tasteless, bland, and/or unsatisfying. The truth is, ANY food, including meat, is going to be bland and unsatisfying if you don’t cook it properly. So eating plant-based meal is really just a process of testing different flavor profiles and cooking methods until you find the ones you like.
Learning how to properly cook and season vegetables so they taste good is a matter of trial and error, so get stuck in!