It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Meatless Monday recipe but it isn’t because I’m not still a big advocate of the movement. In fact, my desire to eat less meat has increased over the last several months. The more I find out about the impact society’s consumption of meat has on the planet, our health and our waistlines, the more I want to ensure that meat is not always the focus of my family’s meals.
I recently took the quiz at Every Meal Counts and was staggered by the impact my eating habits still have on the environment, despite the amount my family and I have cut back on meat. Did you know that the amount of water required to raise a chicken could fill over six bathtubs? I found that seriously shocking and it’s only the beginning. I realise I need to do more and for me, part of that is getting back to developing more meatless recipes as well as writing a Meatless Monday post each week. I want to help everyone realise that eating meat free isn’t just good for you, it can be delicious too.
Meatless Monday is about more than just going without meat one day a week. It’s about the practice of being mindful that every meal we eat is important – and that every time we say no to meat or fish choices, we are saying yes to a healthier world and a healthier body.
I do struggle with the ethics of eating meat and fish – with the idea of something dying for my plate. I honestly can’t defend the practice and so choose to (hopefully) mitigate the damage I do by choosing to eat sustainably raised, organic or pastured meat and poultry in smaller quantities and on fewer occasions than in the past. I have no problem with eggs and dairy products, provided they are ethically produced and preferably organic. I appreciate there are those who believe we are better without them but I find them to be good additions to my diet and feel healthier when I eat them.
My family and I look forward to our meatless meals and try to make sure that at least three of our main meals every week are vegetarian choices. Meatless Monday isn’t about leaving something out or missing something, it’s about enjoying really delicious food that is good for you too.
So, for 2015, look forward to new Meatless Monday recipes as well as old favourites as well! For my first recipe, I’ve chosen a Vegan Pad Thai.
I’ve always wanted to try Pad Thai but I’ve been a bit nervous about it. I don’t like fish sauce or bean sprouts so that has always put me off a bit. (Fish sauce is, of course, not vegetarian either.) Recently I found a recipe for Pad Thai in a leaflet produced by Waitrose, a British grocery store brand. It sounded delicious but there were still bean sprouts in it. I wondered if I could tweak the recipe to make an homage to a Pad Thai that, while not strictly authentic, was authentically delicious.
I was seriously pleased with the results. Packed full of veggies and studded with deliciously crunchy peanuts, my Vegan Pad Thai was a real hit with my family. Seriously quick and easy to prepare, it has become a favourite meal in our house and not just on Mondays either!
- 2 tablespoons mild olive oil or other flavourless oil
- ¼ cup crunchy organic peanut butter
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (light if you are watching your salt)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 7 ounces dried medium rice noodles
- 1 green cabbage, finely shredded (I like to use pointed or 'sweetheart' cabbage)
- 1 red pepper, finely sliced
- 4 medium carrots, finely grated
- ½ cup peanuts, finely chopped, divided
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. Don't leave the pan unattended while the oil heats up.
- Meanwhile, mix the boiling water and the peanut butter together.
- Add the lime juice, soy sauce and sugar and blend thoroughly.
- Set aside.
- Add the rice noodles to the boiling water, separating them with a fork.
- Put the lid on the pan and remove from the heat. Leave the noodles to soak.
- Stir fry the cabbage, red pepper and carrots in the hot oil in the frying pan for about five minutes or until tender crisp.
- Drain the noodles thoroughly and add to the pan.
- Using two forks, separate the noodles and mix them through the vegetables thoroughly. Try not to break up the noodles.
- Add the sauce and half the chopped peanuts and warm through.
- Serve the Pad Thai in warmed bowls with the remaining peanuts scattered over top for garnish.
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like A Vegetarian Valentine’s Dinner.