To meat or not?

Recently a subscriber asked me:

To meat or not to meat? – when you really try but still can’t quite achieve vegetarianism.

Since it’s meat-free week, I thought it apt to address it here.

This question usually arises when one’s health, taste and ethical beliefs are at loggerheads.

And while I do believe that we generally eat too much meat in the West at the expense of the planet and our health — eating meat does not need to be an all or nothing affair.

A choice could simply be to eat less meat, and eat meat from animals raised in their natural environment eating their natural fodder when you do — rather than giving it up entirely and getting caught up in labelling oneself as ‘vegetarian’.

The important thing is to make decisions with knowledge and awareness {including self-awareness}.

However, for some people eating meatless dishes is not the problem. The main barrier is knowing what to eat when meat is not in the picture.

Choosing to eat more plant-based foods can mean learning how to cook with different ingredients, and composing meals that are still tasty, satisfying and offer enough important nutrients such as protein and iron.

If knowing what to cook is your main struggle, plan ahead by choosing and shopping for a recipe from your favourite blog or cookbook that you could make during the week. If you like it, master that dish before adding another to your repertoire. {You’ll find plenty of delicious and healthy vegetarian recipes on this site.}

I also recommend trying out meat-free week and meatless Mondays as fun ways to experiment with making delicious vegetarian meals. {To promote meat-free week, Sustainable Table are offering this free ebook, featuring one of my recipes plus other recipes from popular bloggers and chefs.}

And if you’d like to learn how to make plant-based meals nutritionally balanced, healthy and delicious, my ebook, Nourished, will show you how to do it easily — with plenty of recipes and helpful information.

7 thoughts on “To meat or not?”

  1. I like that you say meat doesn’t have to be an all or nothing affair. I feel like we as a society have come to think of nutrition in extremes and give “good” and “bad” labels rather than seeing the gray area and focusing on quality and whole foods rather than food-like products. This curry looks amazing and reminds me I need to eat more black-eyed peas! I grew up with my grandmother making them all the time, after all!

  2. This is delicious Lesh, I made it tonight. The only changes I made were:

    Used green beans (didn’t have any spinach), I added some fresh coriander and a little bit of mint at the end of cooking and used lime juice instead of lemon. I served it with a teaspoon of plain yoghurt. It was a big hit.

    Many thanks for another great recipe.


  3. Hi Lesh,

    I couldn’t agree more with your statement that eating meat (or not) is a decision that should be made with knowledge and awareness. As well as Meat Free Week and Meatless Mondays there’s a good resource for making more informed food choices over at


  4. This looks like a great recipe and even something I could make. However I’m not a big fan of eggplant. What could I use as a substitute Lesh?

    1. Hi Sparksie, try some zucchini or squash 🙂 {BTW, if you try it with eggplant, you never know, you may just like it 😉 } L x

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