Meat free meals for meat eaters!

I’m not a fully-fledged veggie, vegan or even pescatarian (though I do opt for fish over meat most of the time). However, I do firmly believe the future has to be more plant-based. Eating meat every day isn’t good for us (especially red meat and processed meats) but more importantly is that is isn’t sustainable either (watch Cowspiracy people!). Of course, this message wasn’t the easiest to deliver to my meat-eating husband, but with a few carefully planned veggie meals he’s agreed to eating a few more of these each week. Woohoo! So, what were these magical plant-based options? Read on to find out…

HECK Bollywood Bites

heck

I’ve just discovered these in Waitrose and they’re delicious! I’d say they’re like curry-spiced stuffing balls, only no meat. Served with brown rice and stir-fried veggies, a cucumber raita dip – this went down a treat!

Sweet potato coconut curry

sweet.jpg

There’s something about the combination of sweet potato and coconut that really works. They internet is full of recipes, I like this one. Or I’m partial to just combining a little Blue Dragon Red Thai Curry Paste with half fat coconut milk and some almond butter for a quick tasty sauce. Pack the curry with lots of other veggies like mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and you’ve got lots of lovely texture with each mouthful.

Frittata

LN_686955_BP_11.jpg

Okay, so being egg- based this isn’t the most sustainable dish, but baby steps, it’s an exercise in getting meat eaters to realise veggie meals can be very nice and filling. Plus, all the egg means it’s high I protein, so it’s good for gym goers. You can pop almost anything in your Frittata, I like mushrooms, Pappadew peppers, spinach, onion, broccoli and sometimes a little cheese. Herbs and spices and even curry powder are good additions here too – experiment until you get your perfectly flavoured Frittata! Or, there are some really great ready-made ones available on the super market shelves, I LOVE the ones by Higgidy.

Pulled Jackfruit Burger

Jackfruit is from the tropical areas of Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa. It is technically a fruit, but it has a consistency similar to that of chicken or pork. It has a fairly neutral taste, so it takes on the flavour of the sauce or seasoning you cook it with. It really is surprisingly meaty! When you pull it all apart and cook it in a barbeque style sauce it’s very similar to pulled pork. A bit of effort was required to get the consistency and flavour right, I followed this recipe from Ocado which worked pretty well. The effort was worthwhile though as the resulting burgers we’re really good!

What are your meat-free miracle dishes?

Those are four dishes currently going down well in my household…I’d love to hear more suggestions of yummy meat-free options that will please and satisfy meat-eaters!

Advertisements

Hipster BBQ Guide

Well, the barbecue season is *technically* here, British weather permitting as usual. If you’re tired of seeing the same old things at a barbecues, here’s my guide to shaking it up a little.

Meat matters

I won’t go into the meat too much, suffice to say this should be locally sourced, from a farmshop, farmers market or quality butchers. You can eat supermarket meat on any other day of the week, get the organic, tender, aged, best you can buy for a BBQ. Plus, it’s better for our farmers and animals.

Plant-based popularity 228798011_0_640x640

Increasingly people are opting for more plant-based diets these days, veggie and veganism is more in fashion than ever, so make sure you’ve got this covered. I recommend these Aromatic Moroccan Veg Cakes from Great Foods (you can get them on Ocado, naturally). These are delicious and may event tempt a few meat eaters too.

Shrimp on the barbie

Don’t forget about the pescatarians too, this is a very popular way of life (I pretty much live it). As a child we would use freshly caught scallops to make our own family version of coquille st jacque on the barbecue – but to be honest a nice bit of salmon, king prawns or fish kebabs will do just as well.

Bye baps, hello brioche 

Yes, even bread has had an update. It’s out with the baps and in with the brioche buns with their beautiful golden shine. They’re the perfect accompaniment to a hearty burger and should be top of your shopping list.

Gin is inbrockmans-gin

Unless you’ve been living on the moon recently, you’ll know that gin is in. The quirkier and more unusual sounding your gin, the better! If you can get a locally distilled gin (like Hampshire’s very own Twisted Nose), that’s ideal. Another recommendation from me is Brockmans Gin, just make sure you’ve got the grapefruit peel, or at least the blueberries to go with it. If all else fails, Sipsmith is a great choice and it’s available in supermarkets. The mixer matters too, step away from the Schweppes and pick up the Fever-Tree Tonic, it’s the best!

Anyone for tea?hb

For something a little lighter but still alcoholic check out Harry Brompton’s Alcoholic Ice Tea for some sweet refreshment. It’s delicious and free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. You’ll be supporting a lovely British brand too, so cheers to that.

British bubbles

If it’s a celebratory barbecue occasion, cast aside the Prosecco and opt for an English sparkling wine – there are some truly fantastic ones out there. If you don’t have time to get to a local wine shop (like Winchester’s fabulous Wine Utopia), supermarkets like Waitrose have a few English wines these days, like the lovely Nyetimber.

Super saladssalad

Last but not least, the salad, often overlooked, people tend to think of it as that person at a party no-one really likes but you have to invite anyway. Personally, I don’t feel this way and put a great deal of effort into my salad making. I recommend adding cous cous or quinoa into the mix for a bit of texture and flavour. Use plenty of fresh herbs too, a little chopped coriander, mint and chives (my salad favourites) make a world of difference to how a salad tastes. I like to add a little feta cheese or mozzarella as well. Keep your salads bright with plenty of vegetables and textures and they’re sure to be more popular. I say that it’s high time salad stopped being a wallflower and took centre stage, so let’s make it happen!

Happy BBQ-ing everyone, fingers crossed for a glimpse of sun again!

xXx

P.S. Don’t forget your mason jars to drink out of.

 

 

 

Meat free for a month

Okay, so it’s been a while since the last FoodTeaLife update but I do have a good excuse…a holiday in the French Alps skiing and enjoying lots of molten cheese! More on that to come.

Cheese party

My latest foodie update comes following a long chat with my good friend Miss Penn (of super awesome blog PopCulturePlaypen). We’re making  April Pescetarian month!

Fish!

That’s right no meat, just fish! I’m a big fish and seafood lover anyway so I’m thinking it should be easy, but will I crack and crave a bacon sandwich or one of the Bugle Inn’s amazing buffalo burgers?! Oh god I’m starting to think I haven’t exactly thought this through…if only it wasn’t for the the Bugle on my doorstep! Luckily their fish dishes are lovely too.

There are all sorts of health benefits associated with eating less meat and more fish so we’ll see how pescetarian month goes…might even post a few fish recipes!