This article was written by Joaska Mischke and originally published by Friends of the Earth UK. Reproduced here with persmission.
Yes, it’s nearly time for Meat Free May.
“I couldn’t imagine eating a baguette without cheese or drinking coffee without milk.”
Cutting things out of your daily diet might seem tricky or even restrictive. But once you start, you’ll actually discover more flavours and dishes than ever before.
I had to cut out gluten and dairy a couple of years ago. Honestly, the first months were an epic fail. I couldn’t imagine eating a baguette without cheese or drinking coffee without milk. But I started thinking about the benefits and became addicted to food blogs and new recipes. I love cooking adventurous meals for my friends and family to show how many tasty gluten and dairy-free dishes are out there.
I’m taking the Meat Free May challenge this year.
I’m volunteering with the Meat Free May team and I’ve been looking at your comments from last year. Those of you who took part shared some common pitfalls. Here are my tips and tricks for how to overcome them.
What should I do if…
1. It’s been a long day and I just want something quick and tasty to eat
Not got time to be going through thousands of food blogs? Then check out Friends of the Earth’s Pinterest page for scrummy new recipes. And if you’re still not inspired, see what you can find on the BBC Good Food Fast Veggie collection or 35 slow cooker recipes for busy or lazy vegetarians.
2. I need to cook a nutritious meal the whole family will eat
There are lots of websites with delicious meat-free recipes for the entire family such as Netmums and Kidspot. Meals like stir-fries, pizza, sausage and mash, and many others are really easy to adapt for the Meat Free May-er at the table.
3. I’m hosting a dinner party, picnic or BBQ
Involve your friends and family in your Meat Free May challenge by hosting a dinner party, organising a vegetarian picnic or BBQ, or making vegetarian pies on cosy nights in.
4. I’m finding it difficult to cook a meal for one
Don’t be afraid to make yourself a feast when you’re eating alone. Whip up something quick and simple, or push the boat out with new ingredients. You can always freeze leftovers to eat later.
5. I like eating out but don’t have time to search for vegetarian restaurants
Ask the waiter for the vegetarian options. Lots of restaurants will be keen to help you out. Alternatively, look up veggie restaurants on Happy Cow and Veg Dining.
6. I’m planning a holiday abroad in May
Check which continents or European cities are the best for avoiding meat in your meals. Places such as Amsterdam, Paris and Stockholm have a feast of vegetarian restaurants to discover.