Go vego for Meat Free Week | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Go vego for Meat Free Week

As much as we love our bacon, it’s time to face up to the fact that eating meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn’t sustainable – for producers or the animals that support us. Not only does most of the world’s meat now come from factory farming, which is far from humane, but all those steaks, chicken wings and beef burgers really aren’t doing you too many favours, tasty as they may be. Meat Free Week from March 23-29 is all about modifying meat consumption by eating less and choosing free-range products. To get you started, we’re giving you a delicious recipe for 3 square meals. Who knows, you might just see out the whole week! meat free week shakshukaBreakfast Skip the bacon this week and stick to eggs (free range and organic of course) with spicy baked eggs! All you need is an onion, a can of tomatoes and a can of some kind of beans, be it kidney, broad or even chickpeas and you’ve got yourself a feast for 2. Fry the onion, sliced as finely as you can get it, in a pan with a little oil and half a teaspoon of chilli paste. When soft, add your can of chopped tomatoes, your can of drained and rinsed beans, half a can of water, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. When the sauce comes to the boil, turn the heat down and crack in 4 eggs. Put the lid on your pan and drop your toast in the toaster. By the time the toast is cooked, so too will be your eggs. Perfectly runny in a tasty sauce. Finish with a little chopped parsley and serve in big happy bowls. Go Mexican by adding a little cumin to the onion and using a can of black beans. Finish with chopped coriander and warm soft tortillas. vegetarian-recipes-zucchini-salad Weekday lunch Office day. Usually sad lunch day, instead make it gourmet lunch day! Most offices have a little sandwich press that everyone tries to toast their wraps in, but you can use it to create a plate of freshly grilled heaven. Take some salad leaves in a brown bag to the office along with a jam jar filled with half oil and half vinegar, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of tahini ready to shake, as well as a zucchini, a nice thick piece of bread and a little tub of feta. When it’s lunchtime (about 10.30am, 12pm AND 3pm for us), flick that grill on and while it’s heating, slice your zucchini into about 5 long strips. Lay them on the grill and assemble your leaves in a bowl. Go check your emails (check, not reply at length), and when you get back, your zucchinis will be cooked but not soggy. Place them on your leaves, bread in grill, feta on zucchinis, dressing on feta, bread on side, wine in hand… sorry you’re at work; water in hand and back to those pesky emails. vegetarian-recipes-eggplant-parmyFriday dinner Who loves a parmy? Everyone loves a parmy. Who loves an eggplant parmy? You will now! For two peeps (no use going vego if your housemate’s munching bacon), slice a medium eggplant into finger width steaks. Layer each piece with a liberal dousing of salt and allow to sit until water beads on top, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile put a tablespoon of plain flour in a flat bowl with half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg and 5 good grinds of pepper. In another bowl mix 2 cups of ricotta with a tablespoon of parmesan, 1 egg and the zest of a lemon. In yet another bowl empty a can of crushed tomatoes, half a teaspoon each of salt and sugar, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed, and a handful of chopped basil. Wash your eggplant well and wring it out like a sponge, you’ll notice it turns a pretty shade of green. Heat a frypan with enough oil to just cover the bottom and add a teaspoon of butter. Douse the eggplant in the seasoned flour, shake of any excess and fry in batches until golden both sides. Arrange eggplant steaks in an oven-proof dish, generously spread the ricotta mix on each steak, and pour over the tomato sauce. Liberally grate over more parmesan and bake in a moderate oven until the cheeses turn golden. Serve with a leafy green salad splashed with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Now here’s a dessert factoid we bet you didn’t know. In the medieval times, chicken was eaten in wealthy households as a custard-like dish with almond milk and raisins for post feast pudding! Thank goodness there’s no need for us to suggest a meat free dessert! But if you need some more meat-free cooking ideas, check out the Meat Free Week website. nims xx The Jam Pantry Image credit: Inspired by This, Tori Avey