As some of you may know I’m on what I have dubbed my ‘eco-journey’. A part of me is a little self-conscious about it all and another part of me is busting to spread the word. I do find myself battling with various questions (which I’ll spare you from just now!) – I always try to play devils advocate even with myself, which I hope doesn’t sound too weird or off-putting. The last thing I want to do is preach to other people how they should be living their lives – not my place and most certainly not my intention.
I cannot tell you how good it feels though to know that in my own little way I’m (hopefully) helping to preserve this incredible place we all call home: Earth. Totally, way out, corny, right? See why I’m a bit self-conscious about it all? My instinct is to be completely cynical about the whole thing because it’s my natural inclination towards life in general. Okay, so where am I going with all this? In truth, I’m not sure. This is the beginning of my journey so everyday I’m learning something new.
Let’s start with meat, seeing as this change in me transpired after I became concerned about the meat we were consuming and where it came from. It came as a shock to learn that most beef in the US is corn fed – not good. We all know where those cheap ‘2 for a fiver’ chickens come from – again, not good. It occured to me that maybe eating meat 5 or 6 nights a week was not particularly great either because a) our bodies don’t actually need it and b) if everyone was eating that much meat that’s a hell of a lot meat, which means a hell of a lot of animals, all being fed terrible stuff and living in pretty poor conditions. Not g……you get the message:)
We went organic. Problem solved? Not exactly. I still didn’t feel right about eating all that meat but I don’t want to be a vegetarian and I love dairy way too much to turn vegan. That way of life is not for me, no siree! I don’t buy into the whole “well you wouldn’t eat your dog” way of thinking and I think it’s ludicrous to say eating a chicken breast is tantamount to cannibalism. I need to find a happy medium and I want to be upfront and honest about the whole thing – I like to eat meat. I like the taste, the texture, the variety and I don’t want to feel bad about it.
Here’s what I do think. I think there are way too many animals being bred for meat. I truly believe if people reduced their meat intake by say half, there would be a lesser demand for cheap meat. This would have a knock on effect and hopefully the result would be better bred, better fed, better treated animals. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that.
Apologies in advance for the upcoming corny statement.
It really does take only one person to make a difference. Maybe the next time you write up your weekly menu you could swap even one meal for a dish of the meatless sort. This chickpea and tofu curry is the perfect mid-week meal that both satisfies mind, body and soul. Peace out;)
1 large onion
1 can chickpeas
200g firm tofu
2 handfuls chopped spinach
1 garlic clove
2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp mild curry powder
handful fresh coriander
1 tablespoon miso paste
salt and pepper
jasmine thai rice
1 star anise
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot. Finely dice the onion and carrot and add to pan. Season, stir and cover. When they have softened a little add the crushed garlic clove, cumin and curry powder. Mix thoroughly, cover and leave to cook for a further 10mins on a medium-low heat.
Drain chickpeas and rinse. Cube tofu. Chop coriander. Add everything to the pan and stir carefully but thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are coated with the spices. Season. Pour in enough water to just cover the ingredients. Cover and leave to simmer gently for 10-15mins. Normally I would add fresh herbs at the end but trust me on this one, add the chopped coriander now, you can always add more when serving if you wish.
Measure out rice. One cup is plenty for two people. I like to pop a star anise in to make it even more fragrant. My method is easy: one part rice to two parts water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-12mins until all the water has been absorbed. Or better still, get a rice cooker!
In a small bowl or cup mix the miso paste with some of the cooking liquid from the pan. Then add the miso to the curry. If you want a thicker sauce do the same with some flour.
Chop spinach and wash thoroughly. Add to pan and season. Allow the leaves to wilt before serving.