This week sees the start of Meat Free Week in Australia. Clearly from a lot of my recipes, I am a meat-eater but I promote strongly that we all support factory-free farming as I whole-heartedly believe we should only ever buy free-range eggs, poultry, pork and other meats. Whilst I personally am ok with eating meat, I don't think you should do so unless you are committed to making sure the animals are well treated and you are aware where your meat is coming from. I thought taking on a challenge of eating for a full week without any meat in my diet, interesting and something different too, so that's exactly what myself and my husband Mick are doing today, and for the next 7 days.
The message from the founders of Meat Free Week is not about suddenly becoming a vegetarian or giving up meat for life. All they are asking is that you give up meat for one week from the 18th to 24th March and ask some buddies (friends, family, work colleagues) to sponsor you for each day you go without. Or if you can and would like to, make a donation on the Meat Free Week website directly to support factory-free farming.
Why are they asking you to do this? Simply because the organisers and supporters of Meat Free Week would love you to think about the amount of meat you eat and most importantly, where that meat comes from.
Today I am uploading two recipes which feature in my current book ~ the superb Jill's Veggie Roll, a spinach, ricotta and feta pastry dish which I originally sourced from a friend of mine, and also a fool-proof, easy-peasy Eggplant and Roasted Capsicum (red bell pepper) Relish which I make a lot here to pair with cheeses or to use in sandwiches.
You'll find a loads of great meat-free recipes on the MFW organisation's website here and as an official supporter I've spent the past few days testing a load of veggie/meat-free recipes for the weeks 'challenge' and I will be uploading one per day for the next 7 days on WKA. Tomorrow I'll have a wonderful Mushroom, White Wine and Creamy Cheesy Spaghetti dinner idea, and Wednesday sees a super Roasted Pumpkin, Goat's Cheese, Rosemary and Toasted Almond Pizza. There will also be another pasta and wonderful salad ideas towards the end of the week, culminating is a great 3 course entertaining menu for a weekend with friends which I'll put up on Saturday morning. I veer towards coming up with recipes which are meat-free but where you really don't notice texturally there is no meat, so I've tried to write and test recipes which have a nice hearty feel to them and which have good texture contrasts and layers.
For more info on Meat Free Week and their message and also to read about what really goes on in factory farming, you can check out their site here. Let me know in the comments box below what you think of the recipes each day and if you decided to take the plunge yourself and go meat-free for even a few days.
Thanks! Katie x
Jill's Veggie Roll ~ Recipe here
Roasted Capsicum and Eggplant Chutney ~ Recipe here