At Smart Restaurants we support Meat Free Monday and make sure that as a team we give up meat for at least one day a week. Because of supporting the Meat Free Monday campaign we have had a lot of practice cooking up a meat free meal at least once a week for the past year. For Meat Free Week we are giving up meat for the whole week as a way of supporting the Meat Free Week campaign. We have noticed many meal suggestions showing fish as an option, however fish is still a living creature therefore it is still classed as a type of meat, meaning we should also cut fish out of our diets for Meat Free Week.
For Meat Free Week we have come up with a few meat free meal ideas so that when you get home from work you can easily put together a meat free meal. All of our meals are very easy to make and require very little preparation.
Day 1 – Mushroom Pizza
To start Meat Free Week off we have chosen a tasty mushroom pizza. You can make a pizza from scratch or to make things easier you can buy a simple Margherita base from your local supermarket which has already been prepared with tomato puree and cheese. Preheat your oven to around about 180 degrees. Whilst your oven is warming up slice some tasty chestnut mushrooms up and add them to your Margherita pizza base. Sprinkle some oregano on top and place your pizza onto a pizza tray then pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes, making sure that your turn it around half way through so that it cooks evenly.
Day 2 – Jacket Potato with a Stuffed Mushroom
Jacket potatoes are easy to make and go with anything. You can have a jacket potato on its own with butter, or you can add cheese or baked beens. You can also have jacket potatoes with salad or vegetables on the side. At Smart Restaurants we have decided to pair our jacket potato with a nice stuffed portobello mushroom. You can purchased stuffed mushrooms from your local supermarket or your can make them yourself by adding your preferred ingredients. Cheese with breadcrumbs is a popular filling or you can add diced tomatoes, peppers and onions to make a more flavoursome stuffed mushroom. To make the perfect jacket potato pop it in the microwave for about 7 minutes. Make sure that you prick your potato with a fork or a knife first. Once the 7 minutes is up, you can then put your potato on a baking tray with your stuffed mushroom and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Once this time is up your meat free meal is ready to serve. Add butter and cheese to your potato and enjoy!
Day 3 – Egg and Soldiers
A simple yet tasty meal which is also meat free. Egg and soldiers is such an easy meal to put together for Meat Free Week. To make the most perfect eggs with runny yolks you need to firstly start to boil your water in a pan. Once it starts to boil pop your eggs into the water carefully and time for 4 minutes. Whilst they are boiling you can toast your bread in a toaster or under the grill. Once your toast is ready butter straight away so that it melts onto your toast nicely. It should now be time to take out your eggs from the boiling water. Take them out as soon as the 4 minutes is up to avoid over-boiling them. Carefully slice the top of the egg off, dip your toast into the egg yolks and you should have tasty runny yolks.
Day 4 – Roasted Vegetable Lasagne
Swap your mince filling to vegetables with a roasted vegetable lasagne. A roasted vegetable lasagne is easy to make; cook a sauce packed full of your favourite vegetables mixed with chopped tomatoes and then add the sauce in between sheets of lasagne Add a béchamel sauce on top and then cook in the oven until the top is nice and golden brown. You can also purchase a ready made vegetable lasagne from your local supermarket which you can cook in the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes.
Day 5 – Cannelloni
Spinach and ricotta cannelloni can be found in many local supermarkets. It is not only tasty but is also full of healthy goodness with the main ingredient being spinach which is full of iron. To make your cannelloni unique you can add mushrooms on top for extra flavour. Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes until the top starts to brown nicely. Enjoy with some garlic bread and salad on the side for a tasty meat free meal.
Day 6 – Meat Free Takeaway
There are many meat free takeaway choices for you to choose. You can choose various vegetarian pizza options from a simple mushroom and onion pizza topping to a mixed vegetable topping or the classic Florentine topping which is spinach and egg. Not all takeaways provide vegetarian options so you may need to have a search around first. Chinese takeaways offer omelettes or dishes such as a Mushroom Chow Mein. Indian takeaways offer vegetable sauces to go with rice and many sides are vegetarian such as the naan bread and the popadoms. If it is chips that you fancy then you can always look for a chip shop which serves vegetarian burgers. If not then many chip shops provide cheese and onion pies. There are plenty of meat free options out there and you may find that they are more flavoursome than the meat options.
Day 7 – Meat Free Sunday Roast Dinner
A meat free roast dinner is easy to make. You just need to cook everything but the meat. You also need to make sure that you cook your roast potatoes in olive oil or vegetable fat rather than fat from an animal such as goose fat. There are many meat free options to have with your roast dinner. Many choose a nut roast, however there are other options such as vegetable burgers and stuffed mushrooms. You can also have meat free sausages and meat free stuffing with your roast dinner. A tasty side to have is cauliflower cheese to have with the rest of your vegetables and the cheese sauce will compliment the other ingredients.
We hope that you find some inspiration from these meals ideas and that you can successfully achieve a Meat Free Week. Your support can lead to a healthier you as well as a healthier planet.