For Earth Day last week, I made the decision to give up meat for one day a week. After doing a bit of reading online, I was impressed to learn that this one simple action can actually make a difference to both your own health and the environment. There are already tons of people around the world on-board with this movement and — obviously since the more people that do it, the better — I decided to join in too!
I started today as I really like the “Meatless Monday” idea of using the first day of the week to incorporate this change. Like many others, if I’m going to do something for the first time, I’m more likely to try it out on a Monday. I’m definitely one of those people who enthusiastically says “I’ll start Monday!” at the mention of any new challenge!
I have to admit though when I woke up this morning, a part of me couldn’t help thinking I’m going to be hungry today…! I guess I have this kind of mentality because I’ve always been a full-time omnivore. As a Catholic, I only purposely avoid meat twice a year for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On those days, I’d always have veggie pizza or fish fingers (I’m such a kid but I don’t like normal fish!). However, since I’m hoping to make “Meatless Monday” a permanent thing in my life, I want to try out different options that are both healthy and filling.
For today, I found this recipe for spicy root and lentil casserole. I decided to try this out when I saw how simple and delicious it looked. It also received lots of positive feedback which was encouraging too! After studying some of the comments on the site, I adjusted the recipe slightly by doubling the amount of lentils used and substituting the regular potatoes for sweet potatoes. This may be an easy dish to put together but it’s not something you can whip up in a hurry. There’s lots of veg to be chopped and lots of simmering to be done. Although the recipe indicates a cooking time of 35 minutes, mine took at least three quarters of an hour as well as the fifteen minutes spent prepping and another fifteen waiting for things to happen.
It was so worth it though. As the casserole came together, the whole kitchen was filled with its lovely warm aroma. By the time it was ready, I couldn’t wait to try it out. It turned out be a really satisfying dish — hearty and filling and full of flavour. It’s packed with all sorts of goodness and you wouldn’t miss the meat at all. It’s exactly the kind of meal I was hoping to find. As this recipe serves four, I have lots left over. Some of this I’ll freeze for the future but I’m putting another bowl aside just for tomorrow — it’s honestly so good that I don’t want to wait too long to have it again!