Saturday, 7 February 2015

Sustainable Living - My thoughts

So tucked away in a corner is my inner greenie, it has a degree (no jokes) and is often quite worried about how the rest of me is taking our world for granted. It wants the world our daughter lives in to have choice and variety and it wants all the animals to be able to go about their daily lives. It turns out hubby has an inner greenie too, especially when backed by a really good Science documentary. 

This fits in really well with our desire to be out in our small garden whenever possible and we have always grown herbs. We are now growing a bit of fruit and even my Chia and Elderberry plants. We cannot grow our own meat so we need to buy it all and it is really hard to know where it comes from and how it was treated. So with this - and a few doco's - in hand we have made a commitment to our world and hopefully our health.

So today I wanted to share with you a few of our tips and ideas for turning traditional meat dishes into more sustainable dishes... did I say vegetarian?? 

We have 2 ways of doing this, the first is to use half the meat quantity, the second to remove it completely from a couple of the dishes per week. Here are the four ways we do it.

Number 1.

Replacing mince with grated veges, beans and fungi. Now mince is one of those meats I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, you don't really know whats in it, but on the other, using all the animal is much more sustainable then throwing the less pretty bits away. We grate carrots, zucchini/squashes, celery, and anything else we can find and fry them up with herbs. You can add stock powder at this point to if you need the vege's to taste meaty.

Dahl with Kumera, broccoli and flatbread, all homemade
Number 2.
Halve the meat. Do you use the amount of meat you use because that's how it packaged or because that's how much you needed. Do you really need the whole packet of meat? Can you buy better quality and humanely treated meat from your local butcher and spend the same or less by buying half?? 
We use extra mushroom in Stroganoff, Grated zucchinia and carrot in bolognese, and just serve up less of the roast and more roast vege's leaving leftovers.

Number 3.

This brings me quite nicely to using leftovers. We have had the habit of throwing out a lot of food. We've stopped this by having many more "Left overs" nights. Either re-doing last nights roast or freezing and pulling out on those nights where we really just don't feel like cooking.

Number 4.

leave it out!
Do you actually need the meat in that dish?? Do pizzas, risotto, stirfries, pasta dishes or sandwiches really need meat?? I know, they can make them yummier, but quite often I feel these dishes only have meat in them "because we can". Try it.

Caprese pizza - Pinterest it.

No I'm not vegetarian, quite frankly I'm too lazy to be willing to label myself as either Vegetarian or Paleo, but both ways have obvious (to me) benefits not just to the eater but the environment. And vegetarianism has added bonus benefits to the wallet. Try it, half your meat consumption for a fortnight and compare your supermarket bill.