General ramblings

Meat Free Monday

Those of you who read my comeback post over the weekend, will know that today is the first day of Waste Less Live More Week.

As I mentioned, the theme for the week is Better Food for All, and there is a Better Food for All Challenge with a different challenge each day, to encourage us to look more closely at what we are buying, eating and throwing away, and the environmental impact that has.

Today, as I am sure you are all too well aware, is Monday.
Meat Free Monday, for those joining in the challenge.

So why should we all try to reduce the amount of meat we eat? Here’s what it says on the Waste Less Live More site:

Cutting down on meat is good for you, other people and the environment.
Meat production is responsible for almost a fifth of global CO2 emissions; whilst growing food directly for human consumption (rather than animal feed) could feed an additional 4bn people.
It can have positive impacts on your health too: a vegetarian meal is low in fat (especially saturated fat), high in complex carbohydrates, and can get you well on your way to your five a day.

So now you know.

I am jetting off to sunny Plymouth for an exciting jaunt this afternoon (more on this to follow!), leaving Grandma in charge of the Smalls, so for tea, I had to scrobble around the freezer to see what I could unearth.

And I found…..
Some frozen tomato sauce.
Not very exciting, but ideal for Grandma to heat up with some pasta and some grated cheese, and pretty much a fail safe that the Smalls will actually eat it. I might even add some peas.

Making tomato sauce is the easiest thing in the world.
NEVER buy ready made pasta sauce.
This is easier than dragging small children around the shops, cheaper and has significantly less salt.

The easiest version is a drizzle of oil, a crushed garlic clove-heat until it starts to sizzle, then add a tin of tomatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper, and simmer until it thickens a bit. Then you can use a wooden spoon to mush it all up a but and add a few basil leaves if you are feeling extravagant.
I use this as a base for pizzas, or stir through pasta.
If you want to go crazy, you can fry some roughly chopped onion first, and also add carrot or any other veg that is lingering in the fridge, and then whiz the whole lot up in the blender.
This also forms the basis of one of versions of Lazy Soup.

Tomato soup1

See, easy peasy.

Sarah from Everyday Life on A Shoestring, has just posted this about Vegetable Offal-love it!

Right then chaps, I’m not doing all the work here-your favourite quick and easy Meat Free meals please!


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  • Reply Waste Less Live More Week | My Make Do and Mend Year September 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

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  • Reply Nic September 16, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Pittza! It’s my new favourite food! Same sauce as you (unless I’m really lazy and there’s passata in the cupboard) on a pitta bread “pizza” base… with any veg I have lying about, usually simply red onions and mozarella, although goats cheese is also yummy! It’s only me here so it’s a good way to use up pitta bread when I’m bored of it.

    • Reply Jen September 17, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Pittza-love it!

  • Reply Sue September 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Done meat free Mondays for ages…love making up recipes, put onions, mushrooms, and all veg, available chopped and in a pan, add oil cook and then add herbs of your choice, splash of red wine, (if you haven’t already drunk it,) veg cube, water, reduce down, add lentils pre soaked, if feeling extravagant add creme fraiche, mix together and serve with whole wheat pasta. Happy days!

    • Reply Jen September 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Brillo. I always forget about lentils, but they are fab for bulking things up and providing a bit of interest!

  • Reply Lisa Stevens September 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Or of course you can’t go wrong with a cheese and mushroom omelette 🙂

    • Reply Jen September 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Oooh yes. I love eggs as a vehicle for leftovers 🙂

  • Reply Melksham Mum September 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    As I sit here I have a pan of peppers, garlic and plum tomatoes sizzling away ready to be whizzes up. I do this every week in preparation for when I’m at work later in the week. So simple, and cheap, and kid friendly! Oh, my son has declared himself vegetarian on the grounds of it being healthier. He’s five. I don’t know who he’s been talking to!!

    • Reply Jen September 17, 2013 at 11:22 am


  • Reply Lisa Stevens September 16, 2013 at 11:44 am

    As its getting colder, how about a root vegetable bake…
    3 medium potatoes
    Small onion or leek
    Selection of root veg (carrot, swede, beet root, celeriac, parsnip, whatever you have to hand)
    Half a pint of single cream
    Salt and pepper
    Cheddar cheese
    Thinly slice the potato, root veg and onion/leek
    Layer the veg in an ovenproof dish… Layer of potato followed with grated cheese, followed with a layer of veg. Repeat and add a top layer of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and pour on the cream. Add another layer of cheese and bake in the oven for around an hour at 180c
    Makes a meal in itself or good as a side dish. It’ll keep for a few days in the fridge, or you can freeze it in portions.
    Tbh, you can use a wide variety of veg in this dish….spinach, mushroom and leek with a layer of Stilton is good, or mixed pepper, courgette and onion.

    • Reply Jen September 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

      That sounds delicious.
      Will definitely be trying this!

  • Reply Jo September 16, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Wilty-vegetable-from-the-bottom-of-the-fridge soup. With a couple of handfuls of barley or lentils. Yum. Good tradition for the day before grocery shopping.

    • Reply Jen September 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Sounds brilliant Jo. I love pearl barley in the winter 🙂

    • Reply Jen September 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Sounds brilliant Jo. I love pearl barley in the winter 🙂

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