Plant-based / Vegan eating.
Having a plant-based (or largely plant-based) diet means that your carbon footprint will be very much smaller.
A great deal of deforestation is going on which means cutting down many thousands of trees; trees which would otherwise mitigate climate change. It often takes place to make space for growing soy in South America. Most soy goes to feed animals for the meat and dairy industry – a sector that contributes more climate change emissions than all the cars, planes and lorries on the planet.
Growing soy products for people to eat directly needs much less land.
Making plant based /vegan meals is pretty easy these days – almost all the supermarkets sell “plant-based” meat alternatives. And many foods which you may not think of as vegan are – For example; fruit, bread (mostly), vegetables, most cereals, plain chocolate (though you need to check, as some brands still have milk in), peas, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, rice, pasta (without egg), most cooking oils, soya milk, coconut milk, tea, coffee.etc.
So for most people a significant proportion of their diet is plant–based already. Upping that proportion will make a difference.
Vegan/ plant-based recipes
Search the net, for example, for “vegan meal mushrooms”, or “plant-based cakes” (to make or buy) and you will get millions of suggestions.
******* June vegan suggestions ********
Here is a vegan meal suggestion that will produce a meal familiar to most of us.
ALL the main ingredients are readily available at all the local supermarkets as well as at specialist shops. Some vegan foods are marked “Plant – based” in large letters and vegan in small letters – so as not to discourage people who think vegan might be strange….
Sausage and Mash etc and salad. Plus fruit and “ice-cream”.
I’ll leave it to you to determine the right quantities.
Fry a chopped / sliced onion and some vegan sausages and some halved tomatoes.
Add some tinned beans (any sort) if you feel like it.
Perhaps add some herbs.
Leave to keep warm in a lidded frying pan if possible.
You might want to serve it with Vegan mustard
Prepare mashed potatoes by softening the potatoes by steaming, boiling or in a microwave.
Then mash with either vegan margarine (there are a number – we usually use Vitalite) or the lovely Vegan Block (an awful name but it is lovely – tastes like butter but it is not so widely available.
And any of the widely available plant “milks” that you like – Soya, Oat etc…and whatever seasoning pleases you.
Prepare any vegetable that you like however you like …frozen peas? Tinned artichoke hearts? Broccoli? Whatever is available and you fancy.
Make a salad from whatever salad stuff you have handy. It is almost bound to be vegan. You might like to throw in some nuts. Salad dressing is vegan but most mayonnaise is not. But you can buy vegan mayonnaise in a lot of supermarkets etc.
Then for DESSERT –
Vegan “Ice-cream”. Swedish Glace is widely available and delicious but there are also others.
Fruit. Tinned, fresh, chopped, fruit salad whatever you like.
We have also had a recipe for bean/lentil burgers that you can make from scratch, plus some salsa and (non-vegan) mayonnaise sauce (this could easily be adapted to be vegan by using non-dairy mayonnaise and soft cheese, or there is a recipe for vegan quark here).
Enjoy the video from our member/chef Sally here.
+Pickled Watermelon Rind
(emailed in By Orleen)
Pickled Watermelon Rind.
· 2 (16-ounce) glass jars with lids
· 1 cup white vinegar
· ½ cup rice vinegar (see note)
· 1 ½ cups water
· ½ cup sugar
· 3- inch piece of ginger, broken
· 2 cinnamon sticks, broken
· 1 tablespoon pickling salt (see note)
· 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
· 1 teaspoon cloves
· 3 cups watermelon rinds, green skin removed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
· 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced (optional)
1. Stir white vinegar, rice vinegar, water, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, salt, peppercorns, and cloves and bring to a boil. Add watermelon rinds and simmer 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and allow too cool for 30 minutes.
2. Divide jalapeño slices (if using) between 2 (16-ounce) glass jars with lids. Once cooled 30 minutes, divide watermelon rinds and pickling liquid between the jars. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For the best flavor, chill at least 24 hours before serving.
Substitute additional white vinegar for the rice vinegar if desired.
Pickling salt is an additive-free salt made with fine granules that dissolve easily in brine. Substitute kosher salt if desired.
Suggestion of the month (May) https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-banana-bread. It is as delicious as it looks - Ian (our website manager) has made it many times - but there is a slight mistake in this recipe. The ingredients list says you should use 75ml of oil, but then in the method description it says 75 grams of oil. To tell the truth, there's not much difference between those two amounts, but Ian found 75ml worked best...