Zero Waste blog for National Vegetarian Week
For anyone who’s been itching to try more vegetarian dishes or even looking to trial a possible lifestyle change and want to dip their toes into the vegetarian world, this week could provide the best opportunity to do so.
National Vegetarian Week, which runs from 15th to 21st May this year, is a good time to switch up your menus at home and see for yourselves what our meat-free colleagues are raving about!
There are many arguments for reducing your meat intake – from aiding weight loss to contributing to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Here at West London Waste we love promotion weeks and are always on a mission to reduce waste where we can. Our resident vegan Gemma, has decided to share with us some of her favourite recipes for the week and has coupled it with her own pledge about going zero waste (or as waste free as possible!) as she wants to reduce her pressure on the planet.
I began morphing my life to be zero waste by joining a veg bag scheme some months ago. For me, this meant starting with no excess packaging on the veg that I’m buying. By joining the local veg bag scheme it meant that I knew a couple of things for sure – The veg will be produced as local as possible, what I get each week will be a surprise (I love surprises!) and it’s also organically grown giving me all the vitamins possible from my plant based diet.
Right now, it’s quite a strange time of year for vegans/vegetarians, as I feel we are in a ‘seasonal hungry gap’, where things are beginning to grow but aren’t ready to harvest so we have to make do with what we have. Seasonal veg around this time of year includes cucumbers, cauliflower, curly lettuce, rhubarb and asparagus.
With National Vegetarian Week happening, I will be making a few of my favourites that everyone could try…
To start the day off, a simple yet nutritious french toast with cinnamon, strawberries and soya coconut yoghurt or some Wholewheat Gingerbread pancakes is an easy way to start the day. For those of us like myself who are of the vegan persuasion, this Spanish style Toast with Tomato is also pretty tasty. I also tend to use up any leftover fruit as part of my zero waste pledge!
Soups are something I really love and I tend to have a lot of different soups. They also are great for using up any leftover vegetables that I didn’t use from previous veg boxes. Carrot and Coriander Soup, Spring Green soup or Roasted Cauliflower soup are a few of my favourites coupled with a fresh roll. Easy and nutritious.
I’ve recently been trying to make Seitan. For those of you not familiar with it, it is basically a dough made with gluten and wheat flour. I’ve made some homemade seitan mixed with vegetables for a delicious stir-fry. Here’s a Seitan stir fry recipe you can try at home. I also quite enjoy a roast too so I just chop up all my root vegetables I can find and throw them in the oven, a bit like Jamie Oliver’s Roast Vegetable Megamix. If you also like pasta dishes, a simple Asparagus and Spring Garlic pesto is great with pasta.
I’ve got some slightly soft beetroots that were left over from a previous weeks’ veg bag so I think I will be making this fabulous Vegan Chocolate Beet cake which I have made on a few occasions. Its a great recipe and if you have a sweet tooth like me, this may be well worth a try.
These Avocado, Banana & Oatmeal cookies are also great to try this Vegetarian Week plus you can make these all year round too.
As well as the above recipes that Gemma talked about, there are lots of other recipes that can help you use up your leftovers to reduce your food waste. Here are a few that the team all like or at least will be willing to try…
- Leftover Veg and Orange cake
- Roasted vegetable Lasagne
- Banana Peel Cake (a bit controversial but worth a try we think!)
If you need some inspiration this week, why not check out some of the recipes featured on the National Vegetarian Week Recipe page.