Often when people talk about cutting down on meat consumption, people think you have to cut out whole meals that contain meat, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
You can still cook some of those same meaty meals but reduce the amount of meat that goes into it. By following this tactic you can actually halve your meat intake and still eat meat for every meal if you wanted to (but after reading this blog we hope you'll include a few vego meals!)Here are some examples:
Let's say your recipe asks for 1kg of beef mince. That doesn't mean you have to put that much in! Try putting in half or a third of a kilo and also adding in mushrooms, grated carrot, zucchini and a can of lentils. Your bolognese will be healthier, lighter on the planet and with all those new flavours it will probably taste better too! This can also be turned into a totally delicious vegetarian version by cutting out mince completely.
Curry (lamb, beef, duck, chicken)
The recipe on the back of curry paste jars usually tells you to add coconut cream, 500g of the meat of your choice and rice. But I'm here to tell you that you don't have to do what that little jar tells you to do! Like with the spag bol, start off by halving the amount of meat you put in and substitute the rest with some plant based alternatives. For some curries the perfect combo is broccolini, capsicum and carrot and for others it's potato, chickpeas, lentils or even tofu. Experiment with different vegetable combinations and save the rest of that meat for another whole meal!
This one is a little more tricky and requires a bit of extra cooking skills but it's worth it!
I know heaps of people who will buy a hot bbq chook at the supermarket and will eat it for one meal (between 2 or 3 people). The aftermath is a mass of greasy bones and weird stuffing and there's always a heap of meat still attached that ends up getting thrown away. This is considered a pretty normal thing to do but it's actually really wasteful when you consider all the time resources, and let's not forget life, that has been used to get that chicken to you.
The alternative could be to buy a whole uncooked chook and take it apart yourself. You can separate the different parts off, bbq them up separately and combine them with heaps of roast veg and salad . You could also use the breast meat for grilling or sandwiches and put the darker meat like thighs in a big curry or mexican hot pot (this meat can be cooked for longer without going dry). Finally, you can cook all the bones and leftover bits in a big pot along with your veggie scraps to make an awesome tasty chicken stock. And just like that, you've turned one meal into three so easily!
A big breakfast is a weekend favourite of many. Packed with all the yummy things like eggs, avocado, mushies, tomatoes and often bacon and sausages! It can be super tempting to go back for that second bit of bacon but if we're honest, cutting our meat consumption requires a bit of sacrifice. Cook up some extra mushrooms and maybe even some tomato, capsicum or flavoured tofu (yes, tofu can be a breakfast food!) and have one piece of bacon and one sausage instead of two. Pop the uncooked bits in the freezer and have them the following Sunday!
This one might seem super obvious but cutting down on meat consumption is all about examining what you are eating and looking at where you can cut back while stocking up on all the plant based goodness as replacements. Humans are actually only supposed to eat 300 grams of red meat per week, which isn't very much! By just cutting down on the amount of meat you put in each meal, you're helping the planet, helping your health and also helping your wallet!
The main point here is that there are many ways to cut out meat and also many ways to eat meat. It can be hard to figure out where to cut meat from if you've always cooked a 'meat and three veg' meal for dinner but the more recipes you find and the more you experiment with vegetable flavours the easier it will be!
Read this next: 20 Ways To Wage Your War On Waste
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