Meat free Monday, you say? Some people might balk at this notion, but Paul McCartney and his daughters want to raise awareness about the detrimental impact that eating meat has on the environment, and part of that is writing a meat free cookbook called The Meat Free Monday Cookbook: A Full Menu for Every Monday of the Year. They also created the Meat Free Monday Foundation in 2009.
The book is there to help people out if they feel challenged coming up with vegetarian food meal ideas on their own.
By not eating meat one day a week (Mondays), they believe we can do a lot to help slow climate change, preserve natural resources, and improve our health.
Some of the family’s favorite recipes are found on their web site. The following two recipes can get you started on your journey to meat free Mondays and living a life, at least once a week, that incorporates vegetarian dishes and vegan food into your diet.
Many of the recipes have been put together by Stella McCartney but some are by Paul McCartney, including ones for sweet potato gnocchi, black bean burgers, and chili pumpkin soup.
Spiced Whole-Wheat Couscous with Sweet Potatoes and Pistachios
- 3 small sweet potatoes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 150 g giant whole-wheat couscous
- 500 ml light vegetable stock or water
- 1 tsp (rounded) za’tar
- 50 g chopped pistachios (unshelled, unsalted)
- Handful of raisins, preferably organic
Garnish the above with:
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut sweet potatoes into 6 wedges each. Place into a roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 to 25 minutes potato is tender and starting to caramelize. Add the pumpkin seeds in during the last 5 minutes.
- For the couscous (while the sweet potato is cooking), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan, add couscous and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to brown. Add half of the stock/water and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently liquid is absorbed. Add remaining stock/water as needed. Add raisins, za’tar, and chopped pistachios, season with salt and pepper and let it cool a bit.
- The garnish: Mix half a lemon’s worth of juice and the olive oil, then pour it over the sweet potato once it’s out from the oven. Stir the herbs and sweet potato wedges into the couscous. Serve with extra lemon wedges.
Why Paul McCartney and Family Go Meat Free on Mondays
McCartney and his family choose to go vegetarian because they believe it’s best for the planet and for humanity. Their meat free cookbook is a part of the education behind the foundation. Here are six key reasons why the McCartneys have chosen to create this foundation:
- To help the planet: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the livestock sector is a significant contributor to serious environmental problems; it estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- For better health: Eating less meat has been recommended by many health organizations across the globe. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends we eat mostly food that comes from plants and that we limit our intake of red meat.
- Price: Eating meat is expensive!
- To stop animal cruelty: Eating meat literally kills animals and many are born and raised solely to be slaughtered, and often in unsanitary, miserable conditions.
- To alleviate world hunger: There are about 800 million people suffering from famine in the world right now. The grains used to feed cattle and other animals could be used as food for humans.
- To prevent extinction: Agricultural intensification and expansion are contributing to the loss of several animal species.
Whether or not you agree with the principles behind Paul McCartney and family’s vegetarian eating, including more vegetables in your diet is never a bad idea. Why not give meat free Mondays a try and maybe even grab their meat free cookbook and get inspired to try some new dishes!
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Cookbook Obsession: Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday Cookbook,” Readaz web site; http://readaz.org/cookbook-obsession-paul-mccartneys-meat-free-monday-cookbook/, last accessed July 8, 2016.
“About,” Meat Free Monday web site; http://www.meatfreemondays.com/about/, last accessed July 8, 2016.
“Spiced Wholewheat Couscous with Sweet Potato and Pistachios,” Meat Free Monday web site; http://www.meatfreemondays.com/recipes/spiced-wholewheat-couscous-with-sweet-potato-and-pistachios/, last accessed July 8, 2016.