By Melissa Fine, Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor.
Our new year’s resolution at GoodnessMe Box HQ is to make a habit of Meatless Monday. It’s not about giving up meat entirely; Going meat free for just one day of the week can make a huge difference in so many ways.
For the Animals: Consciously skipping animal products at the start of the week can get us thinking about the treatment of animals that are a regular, often underappreciated part of so many of our diets. Take chickens for instance; Did the chicken you buy live in a confined cage or roam-free in an environment that lets hens be hens? By simply choosing chickens and eggs labeled as free-range, you’ll be voting with your wallet for a livestock industry that cares about our farm animals’ quality of life.
For the Environment: According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock, with the production of beef and milk being the main contributors, followed by meat from pigs and poultry as well as eggs; These emissions are due to factors like feed production and manufacturing, meat processing and transport*.
For Your Health: Meat can be good for you if you eat the right kind and not too much. Highly processed or smoked meats like bacon and salami are high in salt, saturated fat and undesirable preservatives like nitrites. Lean, minimally processed meats are a better option; A healthy serve of red meat is about the same size and thickness as your palm though, a serving size considered modest at your typical Aussie barbie!
Also, eating meat once or twice a day, everyday, might mean you’re missing out on the health benefits that plant-protein has to offer – Legumes like lentils and beans are rich in fibre, which supports gut health and which you wont find in any cut of meat. Cutting back on meat also encourages us to eat more colourful, nutrient-loaded vegetable-based meals.
Keen to go Meatless this Monday? Here are five protein-rich recipes to get you started:
A nutty-tasting, slightly chewy roasted grain derived from young green wheat, freekeh is more nutrient-dense than mature wheat, being higher in protein, fibre and minerals like calcium and iron.
Fry onion, carrot, and garlic in the oil until soft and lightly browned.
Transfer to bowl and combine with garlic, Freekeh, oregano and parsley.
Add egg and process roughly in a blender until mixture binds together, then add bread crumbs, salt/pepper, and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Shape the mixture into burgers and lightly coat in wholegrain flour.
Lightly Fry in the olive oil, taking care when turning burgers over.
Drain on paper towels and serve with baked Goodness Superfoods Barley Wraps and salad greens.
Source: Goodness Super Foods
There’s something so satisfying about miso; A fermented Japanese soybean paste that’s salty and savoury, it pairs perfectly with creamy, slightly sweet almond butter.
Swap your BLT for a TLT this Meatless Monday :D Tempeh (‘temp-ay’) is a fermented, probiotic-rich soybean product that’s different to tofu in that the beans remain intact. Just grill a marinated tempeh burger (from health food stores – or sub with tofu) for a minute or two each side in a little coconut oil until crisp on the outside; Serve on a wholemeal bun (I like spelt varieties) with tomato slices, lettuce and some hummus and smashed avo instead of BBQ sauce. You could also sub the bun for a big lettuce leaf. Serve with baked sweet potato ‘fries’ or veggie crudités.
A fun dinner for two or if you’re having people over. Simply set up a ‘Build your own tortilla’ or Mexican salad station with brown rice, warmed soft corn tortillas, salsa and homemade guac. For some more vegie action, serve a big plate of each chopped lettuce and tomato, and dish out a can of refried beans for fibre and protein. Some other nice extras are grated cheese and Greek yoghurt, a healthy alternative to sour cream.
Now this is what I call a meal in a salad!
Source: Goodness Superfoods
Goodness Superfoods Freekeh: Picked and roasted when the grain is green, freekeh retains a higher percentage of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, in particular, calcium, potassium, iron and zinc than mature wheat. Freekeh comes to you ready to boil or pressure cook. A versatile food, it can be served on its own as a side dish (like rice). As easy to prepare as rice or pasta. For more head to www.goodnesssuperfoods.com.au.