How To Eat Less Meat
Hey MOB - it’s Soph. Today I’m offering up some tips and tricks to help you eat less meat and more vegetables. This style of eating is something we’ve been championing in the MOB Kitchen for a while now because of it’s reduced environmental impact.
As I have pretty much always eaten this way, I asked my boyfriend, a former self confessed carnivore who now willingly (I think) eats veggie four days a week, what were the key things that helped change his eating habits?
Tip 1: Stop Using Meat As The Focal Point Of The Meal
This may sound obvious yet planning a meal around say a cauliflower, rather than a pack of chicken thighs, feels odd when you first start. It’s all about changing your mindset seeing the vegetables, and/or carbohydrate as the key dinner component. I’d recommend finding a new recipe that uses your favourite vegetable in it as motivation. For example, if you're a carrot fan, check out our Curried Carrot Dahl.
Tip 2: Learn How To Cook Vegetables Properly
Let's face it most of us have eaten some pretty terrible vegetables at some point in our lives. A pile of over boiled, under-salted carrots is hardly going to inspire you to eat less meat. Yet take the same carrots and instead, cut into large pieces, roast at 220C/200C Fan with your favourite spices and a drizzle of honey for 35 minutes until sticky and caramelised and you’re on to a winner. Treat your vegetables with respect - you wouldn’t boil a steak.
Tip 3: Try And Maximise Flavour
Think of your veg as a blank canvas on which you can throw spices and marinades, salty cheeses, green sauces, mustardy dressings.. you name it, load up on flavour. One of my favourite meals is greens on toast. Sounds boring is anything but. Fry up all the greens you’ve got in loads of olive oil, add sliced garlic then experiment with whatever combo of spices you want. Sometimes I go curried and add loads of lime, coriander and a boiled egg. Other times smoked paprika, cumin and fennel seeds with a squeeze of lemon and some yogurt is the one.
Tip 4: Be Inspired By Different Cuisines
Learn from other cultures and how they use vegetables. Push yourself out of your usual cooking comfort zone and set yourself a challenge of trying one new recipe a week. You’ll quickly realise how exciting cooking vegetables can be, independent from the rules and subsequent worries that govern meat cooking.
Tip 5: Make It Substantial
Eating veggie doesn’t mean being that person in the corner with a small side salad. You want comfort, you want carbs, you want your food to satisfy you after you’ve exercised. When eating veggie, bigger is better. Load up those plates.
Tip 6: Rework Your Favourite Meal
If you love a bolognese can you try making it with lentils and walnuts instead? Or if you're a fan of a Tikka Massala, why not substitute chicken for aubergines next time. We’ve got a cracking recipe on our website. Seriously though, have a go at taking something you already love and turning it veggie.
And Finally If You Eat Less Meat You:
- Save Money. Initially you may find you’re splashing the cash on more unusual dry ingredients, but once you’ve got a well stocked cupboard your bank balance should start to reap the benefit of eating less meat.
- Care about your body. Eating more veg = better for the planet and better for you. When shopping, buy a rainbow of different veg rather than sticking to one colour, ie just greens, This will ensure you are loading up on all the different vitamins and minerals that are on offer. It’s Mother Nature’s way of showing us the good stuff.
Above all else though, do you. Don’t berate yourself. If you really fancy that burger and nothing else is going to satisfy your craving, have it. Don’t restrict yourself unnecessarily otherwise you’ll start to hate rather than embrace your new way of eating.