how to eat less meat

This week is National Vegetarian Week. A week to promote the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, which is better for the environment, animals and your health. We are pescetarian, meaning we eat fish and sea food but not the flesh of other animals. Mr Purple and I were vegetarian for many years but pregnancy brought with it cravings for fish, and the health benefits of fish kept us hooked (sorry). We are careful to only eat ethically sourced fish.

There’s no doubt that reducing the amount of meat you eat will reduce the strain on the planet, as well as being good for you. So if total vegetarianism isn’t for you I suggest reducing your weekly intake, every little makes a difference. If you’re interested in becoming a vegetarian then head to The Vegetarian Society for more information about National Vegetarian Week and becoming a Vegetarian.

How to eat less meat; 

Have meat free days. Challenge yourself to cook vegetarian some of the time. I found a great easy vegetarian section on the BBC Good Food site if you’re looking for inspiration. Alternatively there are lots of ideas in my recipe section. The good news is that vegetarian meals are generally cheaper so you will probably save money too.

Cut corners. Just because you’re eating vegetarian food doesn’t mean you have to spend hours soaking mung beans or marinating tofu. Over the years I’ve found plenty of culinary shortcuts including frozen convenience foods, ready meals and vegetarian deli items. I recently tried some ready meals from M&S vegetarian range and I was really impressed with the quality and nutritional value of my meals.

Try new things. Sometimes I think there’s an assumption that vegetarian equals bland  or tasteless. Don’t assume, expand your mind and your tastebuds and give new things a try. Tofu, known for tasting a little bit like an eraser is actually really yummy if you buy the smoked variety (tasty even cold in salads), and lentils can be divine cooked up with spices and garlic for a dahl.

So in honour of National Vegetarian week why not have a meat free day this weekend?