Spicy Lentil Meatballs
2 cups cooked lentils
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
½ jalapeno, de-seeded
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup cilantro
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup oat flour*
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup of tomato sauce
In a food processor, pulse the cooked lentils, scallions, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro & tomato paste together. The consistency should be more on the chunky vs pasty side
Remove from the processor and scoop out and into a bowl
Add 1 egg and the oat flour. Using a whisk or large spoon, mix the ingredients together well
Season with salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
Place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 375F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Scoop out 10-12 lentil balls from the bowl with an ice cream scoop or spoon. Use your hands to help mold the balls. Place the balls on parchment paper as you go
Bake at 375F for 20 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes
On the stove, cook these balls in 1 cup of tomato sauce for 5 minutes
Enjoy over pasta, salads, or in a sandwich!
*Note: To make oat flour, simply blend rolled oats until flour consistency is reached
Three's A Crowd For Planet Earth
Research reveals current rates of meat consumption across the globe means we'll soon require three planets to feed us
Research has found, if the world continues consuming meat at its current rate, we would soon need 3 earths just to feed us. With the population set to increase by 30% to over 11 billion people by 2050ii, the situation is only set to worsen. Even if the world could stop food waste entirely, food production would still need to increase by 60% in order to feed this larger, wealthier and urban population. That means a meat production of over 200 million tonnes at the current rate of consumption.
World Meat Free Day, a global initiative held this Monday 12 June, aims to make a -less and better' approach to meat eating as easy as possible for meat eaters all over the world. It's not about total abstinence, but a catalyst for change and by simply replacing just one meal on the 12th June, everyone can help make a huge impact on not only the planet, but their own health.
Dr Joanna McMillan, nutrition scientist, says 'it's much easier to do than you think just fill up on greens, beans and vegetables. In many parts of the world, people who are the longest-lived, consume a largely plant-based diet with small amounts of meat. In Sardinia for example meat is mostly reserved for Sundays and special occasions, while in Okinawa seafood is far more common than meat."
'Good quality red meat does offer valuable nutrition but many of us eat far bigger portions than we need and not enough plant food. If when eating meat, you stick to a portion the size of the palm of your hand and fill half your plate with veggies, and opt for a least one vegetarian meal a week, you're on the right track to longevity", continued Dr McMillan.
It has now been widely acknowledged that we cannot meet our meat demand in a sustainable or ethical wayiii. To avoid the planet's food production reaching critical levels, the 12th June hopes to help the world make a long-term behaviour change to eating less and better quality meat, as well as incorporating a greater variety of vegetables, grains, pulses and plant based foods into their diets.
To put things into perspective, if the entire Australian population tried just one meat free recipe, we'd save:
The carbon equivalent of the annual power use of 4,467 households
The land saving of 8,532 rugby fields
The water equivalent of 1,564 Olympic sized swimming pools
The world's focus is already turning towards a more -flexitarian' approach to eating as we incorporate more plant based ingredients into diets than ever before. According to recent Mintel findings, 30% of US adults who purchase vegetables are actively trying to eat a more plant-based dietiv, while 29% of UK already claimv to have reduced their meat intake in the past year alone.
This year's drive comes off the back of two hugely successful years of the campaign, which saw #WorldMeatFreeDay trend for over 36 hours on Twitter, reaching over 84 million people last year alone. With high profile vegan or vegetarians already including the likes of Beyoncé, Jay Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen DeGeneres, Paul McCartney and Natalie Portman, World Meat Free Day hopes to continue gathering momentum to dramatically improve the health of our already fragile planet.
Joanna Lumley, Actress, commentated: 'I support World Meat Free Day with all my heart. Just a day without eating meat might encourage people to think again how best we can save the planet and stop cruelty to our fellow creatures at the same time."
Across the world, people will be invited to pledge their support via the -I'm in' button on the World Meat Free Day website, as well getting involved on social media via the official #WorldMeatFreeDay and @Meat_Free_Day.
For more information about World Meat Free Day, visit: www.worldmeatfreeday.com