No Meat May: easy meat-free meals
No Meat May has kicked off once again, with more than 110,000 people across the globe expected to take part. The Australian-founded registered charity challenges people to eliminate meat from their diets for 31 days for four big reasons: their health, the environment, animal welfare and food security.
The No Meat May website offers advice and support, including free meal plans, recipes and a plant-based shopping list. There’s also a free Veg Starter Kit and a list of films about the impacts of overconsumption of animal products on human health and the environment.
Free No Meat May cooking classes
To mark its 10-year anniversary, No Meat May has launched a free online cooking class series. Aussies across the country can learn how to prepare a tasty meat-free meal from some of Australia’s leading chefs and restaurants. Guests include Simon Toohey, Nadia Fragnito, Bodhi Restaurant, Kindness Cafe and I Should Be Souvlaki. If you’re in Sydney, you can even head on down to Paddy’s Markets to attend No Meat May events, live and free. You can access the full schedule of cooking classes here.
“One of the best parts about No Meat May is the incredible community of people who share recipes and ideas for creating delicious meat-free meals at home,” says Ryan Alexander, co-founder of No Meat May. “But we know that for many, not knowing what to cook is a major barrier to giving up meat, even if only for a month. That’s where our free cooking classes come in. We want to get people excited about learning new tricks in the kitchen.”
To help inspire you on your meat-free journey this month, we’ve shared the below easy, tasty recipes. They’re courtesy of VegKit on behalf of No Meat May.
Beer-battered tofu with tartare sauce
Delightful bite-sized triangles of marinated tofu, salty with a hint of the sea, encased in a crunchy, airy beer batter… Is it us or did your kitchen just morph into a beachside cafe?
250 g firm tofu
2 tsp kelp powder (available at health food stores)
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp salt
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
Lemon wedges, to serve
Rice bran oil or grapeseed oil, for shallow frying
For the tartare sauce:
3-4 tbsp egg-free mayonnaise
4-5 gherkins or dill pickles, finely diced
Juice of ½ lemon
For the beer batter:
1½ cups plain flour
375ml bottle of light beer, such as a pilsner
1. Halve your block of tofu twice so you end up with four pieces. Slice these into two triangles by cutting each piece diagonally. You should end up with 8 tofu triangles.
2. Make a marinade by combining the kelp powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and olive oil in a bowl. Add the tofu pieces and gently mix to coat, then cover and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight if possible.
3. Meanwhile, combine all the tartare sauce ingredients in an airtight container and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
4. Just before cooking, prepare the batter. Simply put the flour in a bowl, pour the beer over and whisk gently until just combined.
5. Heat a heavy-based frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add enough rice bran oil to cover the base. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, dip tofu pieces in the batter, covering them generously. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until light brown and crispy, being careful of the hot oil when flipping them over. Drain tofu on paper towels.
6. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and your tartare sauce.
Vegie stir-fry with coconut red curry sauce
The beauty with a curry like this is that you can add virtually any vegetable you like, and the rich, flavour-packed sauce is what brings it all together to make one magnificent meal.
2 tsp rice bran oil
1 tsp sesame oil
½ cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 carrot, julienned or very thinly sliced
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
6-8 cups delicate greens (such as wombok cabbage or bok choy), cut into 3 cm pieces
½ red capsicum, seeded and cut into thick slices
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
Zest of ½ lemon
200g snow peas or sugar snap peas
1 tsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup roughly chopped coriander (optional)
4 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded, to garnish (optional)
1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges, to serve
For the red curry sauce:
1 tbsp vegan red curry paste
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup vegetable stock (or water)
4-6 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded
Juice of 1 lemon
1. To make the red curry sauce, warm a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, then add the curry paste. Let it fry, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute, before adding half a cup of the coconut milk. Stir well, then let the mixture simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.
2. Add the remaining coconut milk, the stock and lime leaves, and mix well. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and let the sauce bubble away and thicken while you prepare the vegies. Just before you’re ready to serve, stir in the lemon juice.
3. Heat a wok over medium–high heat. When it’s hot, add the rice bran and sesame oils. Add the cauliflower and carrot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure the cauliflower florets cook evenly.
4. Now add the broccoli and continue to stir. When the broccoli, carrot and cauliflower are tender, but not too soft, add the cabbage or bok choy, capsicum, ginger, lemon zest and snow peas. Toss well to combine and fry for a minute or two, until the cabbage is just wilted and the peas have turned bright green, but still retain a bit of bite.
5. Immediately remove from the heat and sprinkle with the vinegar.
6. Serve with steamed brown rice or noodles, drizzled with red curry sauce, sprinkled with chopped coriander and shredded lime leaves, with a lemon or lime wedge on the side.
For more No Meat May meat-free inspiration, try these plant-based versions of your favourite meals, these jackfruit recipes and this tofu and mushroom “neatball” massaman curry. We’ve also got these recipes using Fable plant-based meat. Or whip up dinner and dessert with these recipes for sprout ratatouille and PB banana choc tops.