Join the trend

National vegetarian week is being held on the 11th – 17th May this year. And what a time to get involved! Vegetarianism has become hugely popular over the past few years, as more and more people become environmentally aware of the harm the meat production industry is doing to our planet and look to eat a more healthy diet.

It’s fair to say that both vegetarianism and veganism is becoming part of mainstream food preferences, with roughly 13% of the British population adhering to a meat/animal produce free diet. Whereas 10 years ago it was relatively rare to find good vegetarian options in supermarkets and restaurants, now it is being celebrated and incorporated into even the most unlikely places (yes, we’re talking about you, Greggs vegan sausage roll). 

Why Veggie?

There are a number of reasons as to why this lifestyle is being so widely adopted. There are so many genuine benefits that a meat free diet such as vegetarianism can bestow on both our bodies and the planet. With regards to animal agriculture, the farm-to-plate process contributes to nearly 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions which massively impacts the environmental damage being done. So it is easy to see how cutting back on our meat and dairy intake is beneficial for our environment, helping reduce our carbon footprint.

A plant based diet can have a great effect on our personal health too, meat products tend to be higher in saturated fats and cholesterol than plant-based foods, so to reduce the amount of this is actually pretty good for our bodies. There are many studies that show positive health benefits resulting from a vegetarian diet. Studies show that a vegan or vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. A non-meat diet may also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity and type 2 diabetes.

If you want to learn more about the vegetarian lifestyle and educate yourself more on this diet and the reasons why people choose not to eat meat, why not check out some of the great documentaries available. Available on Netflix these go into the granular detail surrounding the environmental and health benefits of going meat-free, including:

  • Game Changer
  • Cowspiracy 
  • What the health
  • Blackfish

The Carbon team’s favourites

Here at Carbon, it’s easier to list those of us who aren’t veggie than those who are! In honour of National Vegetarian Week, we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite veggie recipes to inspire you to go meatless this week:

Monday: Louise’s Salt and Pepper Tofu

Louise’s Salt and Pepper Tofu is a delicious and easy take on the take-out favourite. People tend not to experiment too much with it, but this is a really simple place to start your love affair with tofu. This colourful dish is also packed full of protein – win win.

Find the full recipe here.

Tuesday: Bex’s Barbecue Butternut Quesadillas

Bex has been making loads of these delicious Barbecue butternut quesadillas, courtesy of Joe Wicks. They’re the perfect midweek meal, full of flavour but also low in fat. They also contain loads of beans, packed with protein to fill you up. With a little bit of avocado dip they’re perfect! 

Find the full recipe here.

Wednesday: Rob’s Veggie Sausage and Cannellini Bean Cassoulet

This sausage and Cannellini Bean Cassoulet is a warm, wholesome favourite. The Linda McCartney sausages are so flavoursome that you will forget that you’re eating vegetarian. This is the perfect meal for a rainy night in, but also would be fantastic eaten al fresco with a nice glass of white wine.

Find the full recipe here.

Thursday:  Paul’s Crispy Tortilla Pizza

Who said pizza had to be unhealthy? Paul’s veggie meal of choice (after beans on toast, of course) is this easy homemade tortilla pizza. Not only is this delicious, quick and healthy, it’s fun to get hands on and create your own personalised pizzas! 

Find the full recipe here.

Friday: Ian’s Spaghetti alla Norma

Ian’s Friday night dinner is Jamie Oliver’s gorgeous, classic Sicilian pasta dish. Again, for something that looks so impressive, it is a really simple and easy dish to see in the weekend. The wholewheat pasta is bursting with fibre, and the aubergine, tomatoes and capers make this dish 2 of your 5 a day. Get that Italian feeling this Friday with Ian’s Spaghetti alla Norma.

Find the full recipe here.

Saturday: Bailes’ Black Bean, Avo, Egg and Feta Bagel

Bailes’ favourite veggie recipe can be eaten as a light refreshing dinner or a delicious brunch. Another Joe Wicks gem, this Black Bean, Avocado, Egg and Feta Bagel is filling, healthy and let’s be honest, also pretty good looking. Check out the recipe in the Joe Wicks book.

Sunday: Kate’s Crispy Garlic and Mushroom Gnocchi

This crispy garlic and mushroom gnocchi is a beautifully simple but effective meal. Pan-frying the gnocchi gives the little potato dumplings a crispy outer shell with a soft and fluffy texture on the inside, and the two main flavours, garlic and mushroom, are subtle but incredibly flavoursome.  A light and tasty favourite from Kate! 

Find the full recipe here.

Time for you to try out at home!

Don’t forget to let us know how you get on with making some of these scrumptious meals, and share with us some of your favourite veggie recipes too… Remember, even the smallest change can make the biggest difference! 

Happy National Vegetarian Week everyone 🙂