Meat Free Week Challenge!

Bianca: Meat Free Week. Whether it was my post USA meat purging but reading a magazine one day I flipped past a one page advertisement for this years ‘Meat Free Week’. Never before had I seriously considered a diet completely devoid of meat, chicken and fish for a determined amount of time. Until now….

Meat Free Week launched officially in 2013 after receiving a $15,000 grant through the 2012 Voiceless grant program. My nominated charity for the week long challenge was ‘Voiceless’ the animal protection institute.

Meat Free’s indicated aim is:

“Meat Free Week is a national campaign dedicated to raising awareness of how much meat Australians eat and the impact eating too much has on your health, both individually and as a nation. It also intends to directly spotlight the negative effects over consumption of meat has on the environment and the impact it has on the welfare of animals.”

Growing up in a traditional Italian household, a week without some sort of animal protein is virtually unheard of. Don’t even get me started on the conversation with my Nonno, where I tried to explain my week long quest. Of late my diet has leaned more towards lean meats -Chicken breast, lean red meat and white filleted fish.

On the whole, I found the week much easier than I had anticipated. Having most of my meals planned out in advance certainly helped with the unease and those 5pm “What to cook” nightmares. The Meat Free website has a great recipe collection by some respected Australian chef’s, which unquestionably made life easier. The only downside (that I found anyways) was that vegetarian cooking tended to take far longer – with all the vegetable chopping and different stages of preparation. Just because it was completely meat free didn’t mean it had to be completely flavour free. So I wanted to challenge myself at the same time and cook some things I had never considered before.

Lunches were all leftovers from the previous night’s dinner so that was never a problem. So in theory I only had seven meals to prepare, eating out two nights also lessened the cooking load. I will say, I feel for vegetarians, a yum cha experience left me rather shocked at the lack of options.

-Meat Free Week Meals-

Monday – Zucchini, mushroom and onion Frittata.

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Tuesday – A meat free website recipe, ‘Charred Rice Noodles with Chilli Sambal and Asian Greens.

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Wednesday – Another meat free website recipe, Simon Bryant’s ‘Chickpea Falafels’. I wont lie, I came close to a meltdown when I tried to fry these and they completely crumbled and fell apart.

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Thursday – Dinner at ‘Mother Chu’s Vegetarian Kitchen’. A shared meal comprising of Miso soup, Vegetarian dim sims, Eggplant and crispy soy nuggets with vegetables and a noodle dish.

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Friday – Chur Burger’s vegetarian burger. A spiced Chickpea fritter, grated beetroot and honey labne.

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Saturday – Lunch at Zilver’s yum cha (Nightmare). Dinner was a recipe from Meat Free’s website. ‘Tofu, Walnut & Asparagus stir-fry’.

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Sunday – The last meal of Meat Free Week. A minestrone soup.

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With $365 raised, it was without doubt challenging at times. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. Surprisingly my first instinct isn’t to rush out and have a piece of steak. MFW has made me question where my ‘Protein’ sources come from, I have a personal interest now to make sure my meat, chicken and fish is ethically sourced when feasible.

And with that……..I am looking forward to a cheeseburger.

A big honking one.

Bonarche hears to you!!

 

Bianca Squadrito

 

V.B.A

Author: forfoodssake

A Sydney food blog.

5 thoughts

  1. Oh wow! So brave of you to do Meat Free week! Those dishes you had would have made that week easier to do hahaha. I would totes have like 10 cheeseburgers in 1 day after that.

  2. Surprisingly I have been a little restrained. I had a teeny weenie bit of chicken with a salad last night. Not really craving any meat or anything. Just burgers. I have my priorities.

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