How to Cook with Less Meat in 2020

plant-based; vegan; tofu; gut-health; vegetarian

If you are like me and would like there to be less meat on your plate in 2020, stand-by for my top 5 tips on how to make it happen (tofu skewer recipe too):

1. Know your protein subs –

Tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, tempeh, cheese (small amounts of faux meats if needed- remember they are usually high in salt and other unrecognisable ingredients)

2. Balance your plate

1/2 plate green veggies
1/4 plate protein
1/4 plate good quality carbs or starchy veggies

3. Make it fun!

Go for plant-based theme meals or nights like ‘Meat-free or Mushroom Monday’, ‘Taco Tuesday’, ‘Salad Saturday’ or ‘Bean breakfast’ to help increase the meat-free days in your week.

4. Snack on plants

Ditch the packet snacks for fruit, nuts, seeds, veggie sticks and legumes snacks like edamame beans.

5. Go slow!

If it seems all too daunting, start small by adding a new fruit or vegetable to your trolley each shop; add a tin of brown lentils (rinsed) to your bolognaise; or swap your creamy dips for hummus, tahini or nut butters.

Don’t forget ….

  • Eating more plant-based foods, can boost the nutrients and fibre in your diet and keep your gut and your body healthier.
  • Variety is key… to ensure you get all the fibre types to feed different species of good gut bacteria.

Plant-based Tofu Skewers

Makes 15 skewers

Ingredients

  • 180g (1 block) of firm tofu
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 punnet Solanto sweet baby tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 TBSPN salt-reduced soy sauce
  • 2 tspn salt-reduced BBQ sauce
  • 2 tspn lightly toasted sesame seeds

Method

  1. Soak skewers in a tray of water.
  2. Drain and dry tofu. Cut into 3cm cubes and marinate for 30 mins in soy sauce (I find it gets too salty if left for too long)
  3. Chop all veggies to about the same size e.g. slice zucchini, cut peppers and onion into small squares.
  4. Remove skewers from water and arrange all veggies, including tofu and tomatoes along them.
  5. Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 10-15 minutes until veggies are cooked. Meanwhile, lightly toast sesame seeds in a pan and set aside.
  6. Remove skewers from oven and brush with BBQ sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  7. Serve.