Our traditional British fare puts meat firmly as the star in many meals, but many now question whether this is the right way to approach cooking every day. With many families now catering for at least one vegetarian amongst the omnivores, more and more options are opening up as to how to put a meal together.
The cost of meat both from a monetary point of view, a health perspective and from the point of view of the environment has been effectively rising for some time, and many see the answer being to eat less but better quality meat. When purchasing free-range, and carefully produced meat the impact to the environment is undoubtedly reduced. Animals graze on land that is often unsuited to arable farming, not on large purpose-built farms that something (usually green belt land in this country or worse elsewhere) has to give way to.
Our meat comes from farmers that care for their animals and grow them slowly and naturally for a fuller flavour, so perhaps we could be a little more sparing with it?
Many busy families are catering for both vegetarians and meat eaters at each meal, and using meat as a garnish or side dish rather than the main event makes this much easier – think fajitas with a spicy bean and lentil chilli, guacamole and cheese, with a few strips of quick sautéed chicken for the die hard carnivores, or pasta with seasonal roast vegetables and a fresh pesto, with a little fried halloumi or bacon depending on your preference.
Cooking this way you reduce the cost of each meal, making the meat stretch to more portions, and also add nutrient rich pulses and extra vegetables – wins all round!
If you quite like the sound of the vegetarian options here, then perhaps taking the Meat free Monday challenge is on the cards for you? One or two vegetarian meals a week can add variety and interest to your weekly meal rota, which for most of us tends to consist of a rotation of the same things over and over.
If you are stuck for inspiration, you could try a few week’s of our vegetarian meal kits to get you started, and many of our meaty meals offer smaller portions of meat but never stint on flavour. A few good ones are listed below to get you started.