FIONA SMITH HAS CLEVER RECIPES THAT USE A LITTLE LESS MEAT, BUT STILL PACK IN THE FLAVOUR.
‘Eat less meat’ Is a common message nowadays, both for health and for the environment and I have been cutting down on meat in home cooking for a long time now. I always hover somewhere around wanting to be a vegetarian because of animal welfare issues, but also really enjoying, say, a bloody good steak. To balance this I choose to eat only free-range and the best quality I can. This costs more, so cutting down the quantity was a natural progression, but I have found there are so many more ways of reducing your meat intake and upping the plant-based proteins, without sacrificing flavour. Chinese cuisine is a master of this; a small amount of meat is often used to flavour plates of vegetables and tofu supplements the protein in many dishes.
It’s easy to add plant-based proteins to your meals. Canned legumes are a godsend – while I love cooking legumes from scratch, the convenience and soft texture of canned makes them perfect to add to meat-based meals.
In your next mince-based meal, such as spag bol or shepherd’s pie, cut the amount of meat in half and top up with canned lentils. Inject lots of flavour with a good soffritto base and you’ll have a winner.
Add quinoa to rice, or mash white beans through potato and you won’t need as much meat to accompany them.
You can buy fantastic bean-based spaghetti which you can combine with real spaghetti.