First I was a carnivore, then I was a vegetarian and now I'm a vegetarian who eats meat. I know that a vegetarian, or even better, a vegan diet is better for the planet, from so many angles; all the land required for livestock farming, the water that gets used up, the pollution it causes and the deforestation. The Vegetarian Society reckons the average UK carnivore will eat 11,000 animals in a lifetime. That seems an awfully large amount of living creatures to me.
We all have our reasons for eating the way that we do, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that a mainly plant-based diet makes good sense all round - planetary and monetary.
For us, a diet without any meat doesn't seem to be an option right now. I started eating meat again after 15 years of vegetarianism because Daughter had been a very poorly, underweight baby who needed to put on weight. (I wrote something about her story here). Meat was part of the solution. Nowadays she's not poorly or underweight and some of us would be happy to live without meat again, completely. Except for Son. He eats constantly and is growing rapidly and seems to really crave meat occasionally. I'm sure we're not the only ones who don't buy much meat but who, when we do, try to make a more ethical purchase.
And when we don't buy meat, which is most of time, I try to cook veggie things that will appeal to the 11 year old carnivore, like veggie burgers that actually stick together rather than to the bottom of the frying pan. I speak as someone who has not had much success with them in the past.
The gloopy part:
6 big mushrooms
1 tin haricot beans
4 dried dates
2 cloves garlic
2 tbspn tahini
2 tbspn soy sauce
The not so gloopy part:
100g uncooked rice
50g breadcrumbs or oats
- Boil the rice in double the amount of water to rice.
- Fry the mushrooms and thyme. Season according to taste.
- Blend the beans, dates, garlic, parsley, tahini, and soy sauce. Add the mushrooms.
- Once the rice is cooked mix everything together.
- Leave to cool in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes.
- Make 8 patties. Lightly fry on each side or cook at Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes.
- Serve with all your favourite burgery stuff.