As a former vegetarian (I was veggie for 7 years as a teen and young adult) I'm probably more informed than most when it comes to the ethical issues surrounding eating meat and meat production: but it's always great to have a reminder, as it can be so easy to become complacent about this things. Some of the key facts brought to attention by the campaign are:
- the average person in Britain eats 84.2kg of meat per year
- the British don't eat enough fruit and vegetables, falling significantly short of the recommended daily consumption of 400g
- demand for cheap meat has resulted in a rise in factory farming: 80% of chickens in the UK are factory farmed
- a third of the world's cereal harvest goes to feed farm animals; if fed to people instead, this could feed three billion people and help alleviate malnutrition
Definitely plenty of food for thought there. The good news is that we can all do our bit by making a conscious effort to introduce meat free meals into our diets.
In honour of Meat Free Week, I'm posting the recipe for my incredible (if I do say so myself) Sweet Potato and Kale Curry which, when served with rice and a side of naan, will prove a hearty and satisfying meal for even the most hardened meat eater. This recipe is also vegan, dairy and gluten free.
Sweet Potato and Kale Curry
1 white onion
1 clove of garlic
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 small bag kale (approx 200g)
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tin chopped tomatoes
400ml hot water + half a vegetable stock cube
Start by peeling the sweet potatoes and cutting them into chunks. Add them to a pot of boiling water and simmer for about 5 mins. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a big pan. Add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes or until beginning to brown.
Add the chopped garlic, mustard and cumin seeds and cook for about 5 minutes or until the seeds are starting to pop.
Add the tumeric, chilli, ginger and garam masala and fry for 1 minute, before adding the parboiled sweet potato, tin of chopped tomatoes and 400ml stock. Bring to a simmer.
Add the kale (you may have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your pot - it will reduce in size as it cooks) and simmer until tender. Season to taste.
Serve immediately with rice.
Put any leftovers in tupperware and store in your fridge or freezer to eat another time - this tastes really good reheated!
Warning: This recipe may be a bit hot for some palates! if you prefer a milder curry, use half the measures of each of the spices listed above, and add a tin of coconut milk instead of 400ml stock. Top up with a few splashes of stock if the curry is too dry.
Want to cook some more meat free meals? Meat Free Week have a range of recipes available on their website.
What's your favourite vegetarian meal to cook or eat?