Could you go without meat for a week? There are so many benefits to adding more plant based meals to your weekly staples.
From experiencing diverse and delicious new flavours and textures, to the rich nutritional benefits of expanding the foods you eat regularly, to the potential to reduce your carbon footprint.
To take up the ‘Meat Free Week’ challenge we thought we’d share some simple ways to help you go meat free this week….
Try substituting the meat in your family favourites for pulses, legumes and vegetables. You could swap
- Mince with lentils in spaghetti bolognaise or shepherd’s pie
- Pulled chicken or pork with jackfruit (it has a surprisingly meaty texture)
- Beef with beans, such as, kidney or cannellini (amazing in nachos or tacos)
- Steak with Portobello mushrooms (brilliant on a burger bun)
- Bacon with tempeh bacon (thin slices of tempeh marinated and fried)
Ease in slowly
Start with one to two meat free meals per week and work up from there. Once you become more confident cooking without meat, your repertoire of recipes will grow and you may be surprised how much your family enjoys the expansion of flavours.
Ensure you’re eating quality sources of protein and calcium
There are plenty of nourishing plant based foods that can boost your recommended daily intake of bone and muscle building nutrients such as protein and calcium. Ensuring enough protein will also help keep you full and satisfied for longer.
Not all protein is created equal so make sure you include plant based proteins that contain all essential amino acids. Foods such as, chia, hemp, quinoa, tempeh & tofu are complete proteins containing all essential amino acids critical to the healthy and normal functioning of our body.
Here are some of our favourite plant based protein and calcium sources:
Plant based Proteins
- Quinoa (cooked): 1 cup = 8 grams
- Buckwheat: 1 cup = 6 grams
- Hemp seeds: 2 Tbs = 10 grams
- Chia seeds: 2 Tbs = 4 grams
- Ezekial bread (Sprouted bread): 1 slice = 8 grams
- Spirulina: 1 Tbs = 4 grams
- Tempeh: ½ cup = 15 grams
- Tofu: ½ cup = 10 grams
- Chickpeas: ½ cup = 7 grams
Plant based Calcium sources
- Tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Soybeans and soymilk
- Spinach and leafy greens
- Figs – fresh and dried
- White and navy beans
Need some more inspiration?
Check out our very own website for a variety of tasty, nutritious, meat free recipes…… Plant based Recipes
written by Emma H for go natural foods
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