Meat free for a day – a doable or an impossible challenge? World Meat Free day (12th June) is the perfect time to stop and think about your food choices, try something new and get a bit more experimental with your meals for the day.
Did you know approx. 10% of the UK are either vegetarian or flexitarian (choose to eat meat less often) – that’s 6 million people and another half a million people are vegan. These 6.5 million people will have their own reasons for choosing these diets; health, environmental concern, animal welfare, money.
Worried about how to fill your meals instead of using meat? Here’s some great alternatives;
- Add beans and pulses to things like curries, chillies, salads. They are delicious, nutritious (good source of protein and fibre) and less expensive than meat.
- Bulk out your meals with veggies. This great way to increase your veg intake and help you reach your 5 a day. Why not experiment with some new veggies!
- Give meat substitutes a go. You can use them to make all your favourite meals as usual.
- Try egg or cheese in your sandwiches at lunchtime. Look out for reduced fat/lighter versions of cheese.
Check out our Dinner4Tonight and our magazine for meat free recipes.
If you find you quite enjoyed being meat free for the day then why not try meat free Mondays afterwards.
At the Co-op we’re always working on creating new vegetarian and vegan products to be enjoyed by those who choose to live meat free and have recently launched some new products in our “food to go” and ready meals ranges.
We’ve got two new vegetarian sandwiches, our mouth-watering Monterey Jack cheese, tomatillo and sweetcorn salsa sandwich, topped with soured cream, vine ripened tomatoes and lettuce on a wheat and corn roll, and our delicious Goats cheese, mango chutney and orange pepper sandwich, with flame roasted pepper chutney, tomato salsa and chilli sauce on wheat and corn bread.
If you’re Vegan, try our delicious Sweetcorn fritter, pineapple salsa, lettuce, spicy tomato salsa, red and yellow peppers, red onion and coriander on red pepper bread.
Or for a healthier option look out for our wholewheat pasta with a lemon dressing and cherry tomatoes, roasted courgette, yellow pepper and spinach. It is low in saturated fat and a source of fibre, and its vegan.
Or sample our Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Black Grains Salad and a Halloumi & citrus grains salad.
We also have a new snack pot; Sweetcorn, Black Turtle Bean and Pepper Salsa with Sweetcorn Fritters and Sour Cream and Lime Dip snack – only 284kcal.
Don’t worry we’ve kept our beetroot & feta rainbow wrap and raw rainbow salad. The vegan falafel wrap and falafel salad are also still in store.
At dinnertime, we’ve got a raft of convenient vegetarian and vegan meals, including Primavera asparagus and pea risotto, vegetable jalfrezi (vegan), mushroom risotto(vegan) , sweet potato falafel (vegan) and butternut squash and goats cheese lasagne.
For pud, enjoy our new chocolate ganache pot which is vegan and a totally delicious treat.
If you want to find out more about some of the environmental and health benefits of reducing meat intake check out the Eating Better Coalition website. You can also calculate your carbon footprint and see how you match up against the UK average.
Assistant Diet & Health Manager (Food Policy)