Ahead of Meat Free Week, 24th-30th Sept, MH decided to reach out to Australia's top chefs and nutritionists to provide us with some meat-free options that still pack a punch.
Now in it's sixth year, Meat Free Week encourages Aussies to skip meat for seven days and fundraise for one of three charities, including Bowel Cancer Australia, World Animal Protection and Sustainable Table, while raising awareness of the impact a high consumption of meat can have on our health, the environment and animal welfare.
“Although Australia ranks among the top in the world when it comes to meat consumption, research shows 95% of us don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables,” said Claire Annear, Bowel Cancer Australia’s National Community Engagement Manager.
“By taking part in Meat Free Week we hope people will consider how much meat they’re eating during the other 51 weeks in the year and be in a better position to make more informed choices.”
While the benefits of going meat-free are well documented, the actual process can be fraught with peril, especially for seasoned meat-eaters. For this reason, we turned to nutritionist, author and TV star Zoe Bingley-Pullin for a hearty, man-proof recipe, and she came through with the goods. Gentlemen, meet Zoe's 'Thai Pasta Salad With Spicy Cashew Dressing'.
"The health benefits of adopting a plant-based diet are well established and participating in Meat Free Week is a great opportunity to create awareness around how much meat we are eating and to highlight that plant-based foods can be the hero of many dishes without compromising on taste," suggests Bingley-Pullin.
We're willing to give this one a go at MH HQ, and honestly, Zoe, you had us at 'pasta'.
250g wholemeal spaghetti
1 cup carrot, julienned
¼ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup raw cashews
1 tbsp. EV olive oil
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1 lime, juiced
3 red chillies, julienned
½ bunch asparagus, blanched and cut through the middle
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook it for 10-15 minutes, al dente. Leave to cool to room temperature.
In a blender, thoroughly combine cashews, olive oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and enough water to make a runny consistency.
In a large mixing bowl add all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the asparagus but including the pasta and gently combine. Mix through the cashew dressing.
Serve in a large decorative plate with asparagus on top.
This recipe was supplied from Zoe Bingley-Pullin for Meat Free Week 2018. The campaign runs from 24-30 September in support of Bowel Cancer Australia. See meatfreeweek.org to sign up.