Meat-free Monday recipes
The meat-free movement
Have you been experimenting with the latest Meat-free Monday trend where you avoid eating meat for at least one day a week? You may be surprised to learn that the idea of curbing your meat intake has been around long before it started trending on social media. For instance, we know that vegetarian diets have been followed by certain religious and ethnic groups such as Hinduism and Buddhism, for centuries.
The modern ‘Meat-less Monday’ movement is thought to have begun in the United States around 2003 as a public health campaign to reduce excessive meat consumption. Meat-free Mondays are now promoted by many groups around the globe, including Australia and New Zealand. Today, more and more people are moving towards plant-based diets, not just for health reasons but also for ethical and environmental concerns. A 2010 national Newspoll survey of 1200 adults indicated that 70 per cent of Australians consume some plant-based meals in the belief that eating less meat and more plant foods improves overall health. We even have a new term - flexitarian - to describe people who only eat meat on certain days and use it more as a condiment, rather than a main-meal ingredient. Plus, thanks to our multicultural society and a willingness to be more adventurous with our cooking, meat-free meals are now much more exciting than the tofu and lentils we associated with hippie culture in the 1970s. These days, exotic flavours and ingredients make going meat free (on Monday or any day you want) easier and tastier than ever!
Meat-free meals & weight loss
According to the latest results from the Australian Health Survey, only seven per cent of adults eat the recommended five or more serves of vegetables a day. Adopting a meat-free meal once or twice a week can make it easier for you to boost your vegie intake and enjoy the associated health benefits that come with them.
Eating five or more serves of vegetables a day is also a smart weight-loss strategy as vegetables are high in water and dietary fibre, but low in energy or kilojoule density, so they fill you up without weighing you down.
Adding meat-free meals to your recipe repertoire can also encourage you to try new foods and enjoy more variety. This means you are more inclined to stick with your new healthy-eating plan, which will in turn help you reach your weight-loss goals much faster.