From Meat free Mondays to Meatless March
Change of Eating Habits
There is much talk about plant-based diets and our health and there is always a debate raging about protein, iron and calcium intake when following such a diet. But if we put all that aside, if you were thinking of adopting a more plant-based diet lifestyle where do you start? Our suggestion – NOW!
The Meat Free Mondays campaign went from strength to strength and we at Tarian Pantry were huge supporters but it got us thinking, if you can cut back on your meat intake starting on Mondays, can you replace two to three (or more) of your week’s meals with more plant based food options? Could you cut back for a whole month?
Start by adding healthy meat alternatives
It’s not all about mock meats when looking to replace meat products, actually we say meat should play the supporting role not be the main star! Try soy products such as tempeh and tofu and if you are feeling adventurous and can find it, why not try seitan (wheat gluten). These foods add texture, fiber and protein to your meal so will help you stay fuller for longer.
The beauty with fermented soy products is you can marinate them like you would meat or fish; sesame oil, tamari, ginger, garlic compliment soy products giving them a real burst of flavour for those who think soy products a bland.
Legumes & Pulses are plant based too
High in fiber, carbohydrates (good ones) and proteins the humble lentil, chickpea, bean and split pea assists with balancing blood sugar, maintaining weight and are an excellent source of energy.
From hummus to lentil lasagna this food group is so versatile you will struggle to come up with a meal where you don’t add these nutritious food items. Salads, soups, dips are just some of the meal ideas this food group was made for.
Not all foods are solid
Do you struggle to eat breakfast in the morning? Well why not drink your meal. Smoothies are the ideal liquid food. By adding fruit such as banana or berries blend with a dairy free milk such as soy, almond or rice, protein powder and chia seeds this will see you satisfied until your next meal.
You can also juice it up by making your own fruit smoothies using kale or spinach along with apple or orange juice & seeds. Never under estimate the power of a smoothie or fruit drink (although remember they are not to be used as meal replacements all day everyday).
See salads as a meal not just a side dish
Gone are the days where a salad is made up of three ingredients: iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Tarian Pantry is trying to reinvent the salad wheel by promoting protein heavy and carbohydrate based salads that will see you over satisfied by the end of your meal.
Using ingredients such as kale, rocket, cucumber, olives, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, figs, roasted potatoes, asparagus to name just a few you can create quite the powerful and fulfilling meal.
There is more to a meal than meat & three veg
Next you sit down to eat, look at the components of your meal and how much of what is/was on your plate is/was from plant-based foods? Our meals have moved forward leaps and bounds from the standard meat & three veg. Meals are now made up of many food ingredients from a Malaysian laska, fried rice, falafel and tabbouleh, Indian curries and quinoa, noodle soups and the list goes on.
During the course of Meatless March, we recommend not purchasing your foods from mass supermarkets, getting it home and heating it up in the microwave. We want to encourage you to explore the plant-based fresh foodie kingdom; it’s about buying fresh and creating something delicious with minimal input from man made ingredients. This month is about looking at getting back to basics.
Food is there to be enjoyed; buy in season local produce, support and shop at your local farmers market, embrace green vegetables and start to think different about tofu and with all this in mind you are one step closer to ensuring you are getting the most out of what you buy, both from a taste and nutrition point of view not to mention expanding your culinary delights.
If you are unsure about how to change what is in front of you, what is stocked in your pantry or fridge or how to get inspiration from the ingredients around you, contact us, we would love to hear from you and help you add more (vege)-tarian foods into lifestyle.
Here’s to exploring what the month of Meatless March can bring you. Its an exciting month to be a part of, let the journey begin.