Next week (24th-30th March 2014) is Meat Free Week
Meat Free Week is a national campaign to get you thinking about how much meat you eat, and the impact eating too much meat (which includes chicken and fish) has on your health, the environment and animals.
This picture comes from the Meat Free Week Website…
And here are some very interesting facts from the Meat Free Week Website…
- A recent study found high levels of dietary animal protein (meat, eggs, dairy and cheese) in people under 65 years of age was linked to a fourfold increase in their risk of death from cancer or diabetes, and almost double the risk of dying from any other cause of an 18-year period.2
- High consumption of red and processed meat (like bacon, ham, salami and other packaged meat such as turkey and chicken) is associated with bowel cancer4 and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.5
- The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend up to a maximum of 455g of lean meat per week (65g per day). In comparison, statistics show that Australians average a consumption of 304g per day, of which 126g is from beef and lamb!!
- Eating more vegetables and whole grains will cut your risk of contracting coronary heart disease and strokes.6
- Plant based diets help protect against many types of cancer. Vegetarians are 12% less likely to develop cancer than people who eat meat and this increases to 45% for cancers of the blood, such as leukemia or non-Hodgkin lymphoma.7
- Reducing meat intake and limiting processed meat can help lower high cholesterol.8
- Replacing saturated fat rich foods such as meat with polyunsaturated fats like nuts and seeds reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.9
- Plant based diets have a lower risk of bone loss and therefore osteoporosis.10
- Vegetarian diets are associated with living longer.11
- (I really like this fact…)Increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants help reduce the signs and effects of ageing.12
- Reducing overall meat consumption can also prevent long-term weight gain.13
There is plenty more interesting information on the website so I encourage you to have a look.
The website also has lots of fantastic looking recipes. So far I have only tried this one and it was delicious…
I have incorporated this recipe, as well as many of the ones I have already posted on this blog and created a meal plan for Meat Free Week.
The idea behind my plan is to make as much as I can on the weekend so that I am not having to cook during my time-poor busy week. A few hours on the weekend will mean I am only preparing quick easy things like salad or steaming vegies and reheating delicious, tasty food when I get home tired and hungry from work. Click here for more information on planning.
This is what we will be eating next week…
Monday (Meat free normally in our house anyway!)
- Lunch – Chickpea burgers with green peas and coriander, kale salad and beetroot slaw (make on the weekend)
- Dinner – Lentil Moussaka with salad (make on the weekend)
- Lunch – either Chickpea burgers or leftover Moussaka
- Dinner – Baked Eggplant, Chickpeas and Green Chilli (photo immediately below, recipe below – make on the weekend)
- Lunch – either Chickpea burgers or Leftover Baked Eggplant
- Dinner – Paneer, Eggplant, Dhal and Roti (make dhal on the weekend – I most likely will serve with Wholegrain barley wraps rather than roti to save time, or serve with rice or quinoa)
- Lunch – either Lentil Burgers (make on the weekend and freeze) or Leftover Paneer, Eggplant & Dhal
- Dinner – Black Bean Burritos
- Lunch – either Lentil Burgers or Leftover Burritos
- Dinner – Falafels with salad
Baked Eggplant, Chickpeas & Green Chilli
- Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt, place in a colander and leave for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, paprika and cumin, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, approx. 5-6 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and pomegranate molasses. Mix together and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a few minutes, then turn off and set aside.
- Turn the oven on to 200°C. Have a casserole dish ready, I used a 15 x 26cm dish that is at least 5cm deep.
- Rinse eggplant well and pat dry with paper towel. Place a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant slices with remaining olive oil. Add a single layer to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Set aside and repeat with the remaining slices.
- Place one third of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the casserole dish. Pour half the tomato mixture over the eggplant slices and cover with another third of the eggplant and then pour over the remaining tomato mixture.
- Top with the remaining third of the eggplant, then transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The eggplant top should be brown and crispy.
- Serve in the dish dressed with parsley and mint with quinoa and salad or steamed greens on the side.
Per Serve: 838kJ or 199 calories; P 7g Fat 8g SFat 1g CHO 20g Fibre 8g
Weekend Cooking Session:
- Chickpea Burgers and/or Lentil Burgers
- Kale Salad
- Beetroot Slaw or Beetroot and Carrot Salad
- Lentil Moussaka
- Baked Eggplant Chickpeas and Green Chilli