Not long ago, meat was seen as the staple of any big meal – but in the past few years, people across the world have begun to ditch animal-based protein all together. A heightened awareness of the meat industry’s environmental effect and concerns over animal welfare are widely cited as the two main causes. This is one of the many reasons I gave up meat. Given how many Brits have turned to a meat-free diet, you’ll likely be catering to vegetarians and vegan at some point soon.
And so, we offer three key tips for failsafe meat and dairy-free meals.
- Use non-meat and non-dairy tools
Want to cook completely meat or dairy free meals? Before you buy any produce, it’s important to stock up on an extra set of kitchen tools. After all, you don’t want to prepare vegan and vegetarian dishes on the same equipment that you’ve used for meat. Avoid the risk of cross over completely by investing in different coloured boards, baking dishes and cutlery – that way, you’ll be able to differentiate between animal and plant-based dishes more easily.
- Stock up on vegetables
What’s the best way to fill up dinner guests? Ask practically any seasoned cook, and they’ll tell you that it’s by adding veg to a meal. So, how about applying this to your vegetarian or vegan menu? You could bulk up a macaroni cheese bake with some broccoli and cauliflower, for example. Or instead of plain white rice (which doesn’t tend to be very filling), why not make your own cauliflower batch?
Treat your guests to a filling smoothie by mixing traditional fruity ingredients with iron-heavy greens like spinach and kale – though you may not expect it, they’ll likely fall in love with the taste.
- Swap butter for avocados
Conscious about the planet? If so, you’ll no doubt want to cut out palm oil, an ingredient that, unfortunately, features in a number of dairy-free alternatives to butter. And very often, you have to search far and wide for a substitute that mimics butter’s taste completely. There is, however, a tasty solution: spread smashed avocado on toast, crumpets and whatever other food you fancy! Its subtle, delicious taste makes it the perfect alternative to butter – and your vegan and vegetarian friends are bound to love it!
For a sweeter spread, mush up a banana and layer it with a teaspoon on honey on toast.
Now that you know how, you can wow all vegan and vegetarian guests with your menu! What’s to stop you becoming a master dairy and meat-free chef?