BN1’s in-house nutritionist and registered dietician Jess English talks about how to easily bring plant-based eating habits into your diet.
How sustainable is your diet?
Events like Veganuary and our very own VegFest have shown how hugely popular plant-based diets have become. Local restaurants like Silo have also shown us that zero-waste and awesome food can actually be a thing.
So, lots of people are talking about eating sustainably and going ‘plant-based’ but what does that mean?
Well, there is no solid definition for ‘plant-based’. To some it means veganism but to many it means basing their diet around plant foods. The good news is that eating more plants has been linked linked to improvements in outcomes for heart health, type two diabetes and even some cancers.
Newly released national diet and nutrition survey data also shows that most of us aren’t getting our five a day, and are nowhere near our recommended intake of 30g fibre per day. A more plant-based diet can definitely help with that.
Sustainable eating looks at the whole food chain – from fish stocks, animal welfare and greenhouse gases produced by ruminating beef cattle, through to food production methods, food waste and composting. It aims to ensure that we can eat healthy food in a way that is good for the planet, animals and future generations.
In the UK, our dietary guidelines were updated with sustainability advice and recommendations in 2016. Things like eating sustainably sourced meat, dairy and fish and including more plant-based protein in our diet like lentils, beans and pulses.
Do we need to be eating more sustainably?
Worries about greenhouse gases, animal welfare and dwindling fish stocks are well founded and we could all be making changes to how we’re eating, shopping and dealing with our food waste. Don’t feel bad if this isn’t always possible though – looking after yourself and your family and making sure you’re getting what you need should always be the priority.
PEACH & CHICKPEA CURRY WITH YOGHURT SAUCE
Adapted from a Jack Monroe recipe, this is a delicious plant-powered curry you can knock up with just a few store-cupboard ingredients.
Recipe: Serves 4
1 tin peaches in syrup,
1 tin chickpeas,
1 tin tomatoes,
½ onion – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – crushed, 1 tbsp garam masala, ½ tsp chilli flakes.
½ veg stock cube
Handful coriander, chopped (it also works fine without this, coriander haters!)
150 ml plain yoghurt or plant-based yoghurt of your choice 1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice and zest of ½ lime or tbsp lime juice
Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
Add onions and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes, carefully add a splash of water if they start to stick / burn
Drain and rinse chickpeas then add to the pan with garam masala and chilli flakes. Stir to coat.
Add tomatoes, crumble in stock cube and simmer
Drain peaches, reserving juice, and chop into small pieces Add peaches and half of the reserved juice to the pan and simmer gently for at least 30 minutes
Stir through coriander for the last 5 minutes of cooking
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve curry with rice and yoghurt sauce on the side.
For more on plant-based eating, visit here.