Meat Free Monday Recipes

It can be difficult to know what to eat if you’re used to consuming meat frequently. We’ve got a couple of Meat Free Monday recipes that’ll stop you craving meat and you’ll want to eat everyday of the week!

Veggie Bolognese

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Ingredients: 

  • 150g pasta
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • frozen veggie mince
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper

Method:

  • Fry onions and garlic in oil add veggie mince
  • Add herbs and tomato puree
  • Once onions are caramelised, add tinned tomatoes.
  • Cook pasta, add bolognese, garnish with grated carrot.

Sweet Potato, Coconut & Spinach Curry

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Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 2 tsp of tomato puree
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp masala curry powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 80g rice of choice.

Method:

  • Fry onion and garlic in oil, add spices and tomato puree
  • Add coconut milk, tinned tomatoes, par-boiled sweet potato and spinach.
  • Let simmer, then add cornflour and nutritional yeast.
  • Cook rice with double the amount of water.
  • Top with desiccated coconut. Serve curry once as thick as desired.

If you try either of these recipes, share them on twitter and tag @sustainabledmu, we’d love to see them!

– Alexandra Kilcran, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

De Montfort University retains its’ Fairtrade University status!

De Montfort University became a Fairtrade University in March of 2010 and has now been a Fairtrade University for 6 years. In order to become a Fairtrade University the student union and the university had to achieve 5 goals. You can read the goals by following this link: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/documents/about-dmu-documents/dmu-estate/environmental/fairtradepolicydmu2.pdf

Being a Fairtrade University ultimately means that staff and students who purchase products on site are contributing to and supporting the Fairtrade movement led and co-ordinated by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The university sells a large number of Fairtrade products in shops on campus and uses Fairtrade ingredients in all food made on site; all the sugar that is used on campus for baking is Fairtrade sugar, and the coffee sold on level 1 of the campus centre is puro Fairtrade coffee. You can find these Fairtrade products sold around campus at the following sites…

  • Coffee Lab– Fletcher Building and Kimberlin Library
  • Cafe Del Marche– Campus Centre Building
  • Students Union Level 1 –Campus Centre Building
  • Students Union Shop– Campus Centre Building
  • Oasis Café– Hugh Aston building

In order to show that De Montfort University is continuing to promote Fairtrade and continues to meet the 5 goals of being a Fairtrade University, the university must submit information to the Fairtrade Foundation to evidence how it is doing this.

The university has recently renewed its’ Fairtrade Status, and have just recently been re-accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation as a Fairtrade University! The university will therefore continue to support the improvement of the standards of workers around the world by using Fairtrade ingredients and raising awareness for the cause!

What Is Fairtrade?

‘There are over 1.4 million farmers and workers in 1,140 producer organisations across the Fairtrade system’ Fairtrade Foundation

Fairtrade is simply, fair trading. The Fairtrade Foundation, the organisation behind the Fairtrade Mark, focuses on social, economic and environmental development and aims to ensure growth in countries which supply Fairtrade produce and ensures that farmers are paid fairly for their work and have more control over their own lives.

The organisation was established in 1992 by CAFOD and has been going for 22 years now.

Fairtrade also works with other partner organisations to license the use of the Fairtrade mark; this mark shows that the product complies with Fairtrade standards. The basic Fairtrade key objectives of the standards are:

  • ensure that producers receive prices that cover their average costs of sustainable production;
  • provide an additional Fairtrade Premium which can be invested in projects that enhance social, economic and environmental development;
  • enable pre-financing for producers who require it;
  • facilitate long-term trading partnerships and enable greater producer control over the trading process;
  • set clear core and development criteria to ensure that the conditions of production and trade of all Fairtrade certified products are socially, economically fair and environmentally responsible.

You can find more information about Fairtrade standards by following this link: http://www.fairtrade.net/standards.html

The partners working with Fairtrade have links in the same pool but also do a lot of other great work separate to the organisation, below are just a number of the partner organisations

CAFODChristian AidOxfam,TraidcraftGlobal Justice Now, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Banana Link.

http://www.fairtrade.net/about-fairtrade/our-partners/our-strategic-partners.html

Why is Fairtrade important

The work that the Fairtrade Foundation does puts power in the hands of people, helping to give farmers the ability to sustain themselves and their families and have food security.

If you see the Fairtrade mark, as shown above, this means it has been sourced from small scale farmers and plantations that meet the Fairtrade standards

‘The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects.

Find out where to buy Fairtrade products by clicking here: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/buying-fairtrade

The Fairtrade organisation has a very transparent approach to how they work. You can check out the pricing information for Fairtrade items here: http://www.fairtrade.net/standards/price-and-premium-info.html

Leicester is a Fairtrade City!

Leicester became the second Fairtrade city in Britain in 2002; a 5 year manifesto was put together to ensure standards are kept up. You can check out Leicester City’s 5 year manifesto here: https://thelivinglabiesd.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/leicester_fairtrade_5year_manifesto.pdf

The main aim was to ensure food that comes in to the city is of good standards.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight is a campaign that runs over the course of 2 weeks annually, this 2016 it ran from the 29th February until the 13th March and engages communities and groups with the Fairtrade movement.

Although the fortnight lasts only 2 weeks, it is still important to give thought to those who produced the food that we buy and eat.

Martin Luther King famously said ‘Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world’.

Just Fairtrade

Just Fairtrade is a shop in Leicester city centre; it was originally set up by Sarah and ran as a pop up shop for 5 years until they eventually moved into a rented facility to become a permanent business. Just Fairtrade has since been up and running for 15 years and will be celebrating 20 years as an organisation in the coming year!

The shop are predominantly made up of volunteers, with only 2 or 3 people being paid a full wage, and the main organiser Sarah, working full time as a volunteer. (You can find more information about the team here: http://justfairtrade.com/what-we-do/the-team/) The main driving force for the business is not the income, but in fact raising awareness about Fairtrade, in turn Just do lots of work with schools to help raise awareness amongst young people.

The items sold at the Just store are shipped in by a family business based in Market Harborough. The majority of materials sold are from southern countries such as India and Africa.

Alongside raising awareness here, Just also do a lot of work with communities in the countries where the products are made, to teach about how to sell in countries like England and the British consumer buying needs and habits, this helps the communities to create items which can be properly directed towards their target audiences.

Many of the items sold at the shop exist as a one off, so if you find you come across something that you like, snatch up the opportunity to make it yours before someone else does, as it may not come into stock again!

Just have numerous events going on throughout the year that are open to all; during the Fairtrade Fortnight, they hosted an Olive farmer named Mohammed Hamada who spoke about his experience of fair trade in Palestine.

People of all ages who are seeking experience/ voluntary work, can get in touch with Just Fairtrade who will be happy to have the help and to help you!

See their website, and follow them on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Website: justfairtrade.com/

Facebook: facebook.com/justfairtrade

Twitter: @JustFairtrade

Stand up for farmers when you sit down for breakfast!

 

Rebecca Mason, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner at De Montfort University.

Sustainable Eating at Christmas – Facts, Figures and Solutions!

Did you know that red meat requires the use of roughly 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions! Perhaps if you’re used to sitting down to a red meat meal at Christmas, this year might be an opportunity to make a step towards positive change to the world we live in by doing a small bit this Christmas and switching to chicken or even a nut roast.

You can find out here which food is best to cook over Christmas as well as some over tips – http://denmark.dk/en/meet-the-danes/traditions/the-christmas-month/10-tips-for-a-sustainable-christmas/

Another way to cut down on carbon emissions and to help grow economies is to use local, organic and sustainably sourced vegetables. You can find more information on what foods to eat throughout the year at: Eat Seasonably (http://eatseasonably.co.uk/) there’s a reason why we have Brussel’s sprouts at Christmas, and it’s isn’t just because you’re parents want to punish you…

It is estimated that ‘£22bn is spent by UK households at Christmas’ with each household spending between £150 and £835 just on food.

We waste nearly ‘2 million turkeys, 5m Christmas puddings and 74m mince pies, to put it into context, that means we are binning nearly twice as many mince pies as retail giant Marks & Spencer sells every year (40m). (The guardian)

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If you find that you don’t have the cranberry or apple sauce at the back of the cupboard  needed this Christmas to accompany your dinners at the table, you can click here to find some really easy and super tasty recipes to make your own sauces, stuffing’s and much more! http://www.jamieoliver.com/christmas/collection/christmas-sides-sauces/ By doing this, you’ll not only feel more accomplished by learning a new recipe, but you cut down on packaging and on energy used in factories. Also if you find you have left overs, you can jar it up and save it for next year, faction it into a leftover dish (cranberry sauce brownies?) or even give it to others as a gift?

You could shave £200 off of your bills by cutting down on ‘just in case’ spending by 15% you Here’s a couple of websites for ideas on how to revamp and jazz up last night’s dinner (Tip: this can be used all year round!)

http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/article/christmas-leftovers.html

http://www.jamieoliver.com/christmas/collection/leftovers/

One in five of us admit to buying traditional Christmas food we don’t even like, the study revealed.  

Remember, there are those around the world who cannot afford to splash out at Christmas, and instead will be rearing chickens and goats and growing veg in order to sell on to make money to live; you can help them by following this website and donating one of the choices to those in need. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped

 

Other Useful Links

This Calendar shows some really great ways to cut down on spending this year!

http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/countdown-christmas-our-advent-calendar

http://www.foodwise.com.au/category/food-waste/

http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/6827

Food Waste…at Home!

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In an older post, I wrote about my experience at the EAUC Conference 2015, where within other things, I attended one workshop run by ‘Love Food Hate Food’, which aim is to raise awareness of the need to reduce food. They believe we can all waste less food by doing some easy practical everyday things at home. Wasting less food will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too.

Food waste is a major issue in the UK. About 7 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away from homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. It’s costing UK citizens £12.5bn a year and is bad for the environment too, because wasted food become garbage.

Usually students make the weekly shop by their own and often the portions are family-sized, so I will show some tips from the ‘Love Food Hate Food’ website to help your food stay fresh for longer and to avoid waste.

A lot of students don’t realise that fruit and veg, like carrots, peppers and apples, are best kept in the bag they come in as it keeps it fresher for longer. A shrink-wrapped cucumber for example will last around three times longer than a non-shrink-wrapped one.

Resealable packs for cheese prevent it drying out, particularly important in the fridge. If your cheese doesn’t have a resealable pack, make sure you wrap it well in clingfilm, foil or in a plastic tub. Also, your flat mates will be happy without the shared fridge smelling cheesy!

Lots of food comes in clever packs that are subdivided, so that you can use some now, some later. It is as simple as that!

Smaller packs of bread are great if you’re not going to eat a big loaf before it goes off. But if you buy a big loaf, why not freeze half and toast straight from frozen?

Packaging doesn’t just protect our food in the supermarket, in transit and in the home, it also houses lots of handy information on how to store it, how much to cook, when it should be eaten to enjoy at its best and whether it can be frozen, which all help us reduce the amount of good food we throw away. Keep an eye on packaging!

Last but not least, my very personal tip. If you live in a Hall of Residence or in a private house with other people, try to share the food that is going off shortly, rather than throw it away when it is too late! Sharing is caring and you will help the environment, as well your flat mates will be grateful and they will likely return the favour!

 

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http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

 

Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)