For the past couple of years our household has been going meat-free on a Monday. We don’t generally eat a huge amount of meat anyway but it’s great to have that designated day each week that we know will be vegetarian. My husband used to dread these nights but he is finally admitting that he actually enjoys chickpeas and lentils (well, not out loud but I can tell!) and even looks forward to discovering a new recipe we can add to our Meatless Monday collection. Yes – meat-free can be delicious!
Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative developed to encourage everyone to start the week off with healthy, environmentally-friendly meat-free alternatives. There is a significant amount of evidence linking a high meat diet with heart disease and various forms of cancer, in particular colorectal cancer. The creators of Meatless Monday also believe that by cutting out meat once a week, we can reduce our carbon footprint and join the world in the race to reduce climate change.
For whatever reason you choose, going meatless on a Monday is a great way to start the week, it gives you an excuse to try new recipes and at least helps give you some direction when you’re planning your meals for the week. Obviously, Meatless Wednesday doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but Free-from-meat Friday works or whatever name you choose for any other day of the week.
This is one of my favourite Monday night recipes. Let me know your favourite meat-free meals below.
Zucchini, Feta and Mint Pie
700g zucchini, coarsely grated
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped chives/spring onions
½ cup roughly chopped mint (or dill or basil)
220g reduced fat feta, crumbled
50g freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup self-raising flour (or you could use ½cup SR flour, ½cup wholemeal flour + ½ tsp baking powder)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Preheat oven to 160◦C. Spray an 18cm cake pan or oven dish with cooking spray.
Place grated zucchini into a colander, weigh down with a plate for 10 minutes so all the liquid comes out.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in olive oil, chopped chives and chopped herbs.
Press down firmly on the plate over the zucchini to squeeze out liquid, then stir grated zucchini into the egg mixture.
Add most of the feta (reserve a little for the top) and the parmesan, then season with pepper. Add flour and mix with a spoon to combine.
Spread batter into pan and sprinkle with reserved feta. Gently press the cherry tomato halves, cut side up, onto the surface. Bake for 45-50mins until the top is springy when pressed and it looks set when you insert the point of a knife into the centre.
Serve with a green salad.
If you live in Singapore and would like more ideas on ways to eat a balanced diet with less meat, please contact Vanessa at The Travelling Dietitian.