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Easy Plant Based Meals for my Meat Free Days! (Tesco AD)

January 25, 2018

Tesco have released an exciting new range of ready meals!

Lets cut to the chase…I’m a meat eating ex rugby player. My background is quintessentially ‘typical bloke’. I come from a market town in Wales where there used to be 20+ public houses on the high street and where the drinking culture mixes perfectly with the rugby club ethos of train hard, play harder…both on and off the the pitch!

My parents, and their parents, would crack open the gin for Sunday lunchtime and not think twice about it. Washing down lunch with a few pints at the pub was hydration as far as they were concerned. Of course nowadays we view this as eccentrically old school…needless to say this is NOT how I live my life here and now.

My point is that as a grown man I have chosen to live my life in ways that best suits ME and I have chosen a lifestyle that focusses on my fitness and health as a means for experiencing life to the fullest – I don’t follow the herd and I am quite confident in making my own independent decisions when it comes to lifestyle choices. So I had no qualms in ditching the drinking culture to make way for a rejuvenated approach to a life full of vitality and wellbeing many years ago…

Recently another lifestyle habit, engrained in most of us from an early age, has been playing on my mind – the amount of meat I (we all) eat. Most of my life I haven’t questioned this at all, it hasn’t even been on the edge of my psyche but during the last year I started to develop a very real sense that eating meat every day in almost every meal is, well, too much.

Why is it too much?

I will save the detailed explanation for another time but simply put, I no longer feel that it is appropriate for my health or the planet to eat copious amounts of meat each week, certainly not every day.

Any yet, I AM a meat eater and I do enjoy eating meat…so I’m not making the huge swing over to becoming a fully fledged vegetarian/vegan. My goal is something far more realistic for everyone to follow – I simply go meat free for 3 days a week. Thats it…easy…for 3 days of every week I refrain from eating meat. Over the course of my life this will have a very large effect in lowering my meat consumption and imagine the reduction in our collective consumption if everyone else did the same (I don’t mean to sound self righteous, simply pragmatic).

Ok so on to the practicalities of living this lifestyle – I, like most of us, have been used to making the meat the centre point of my meals and to building around this with veg as the side show. So how easy is it to flip this on its head to make the veg the star of the show? Well, a lot easier than you would think in fact!

Gone are the days where the only vegetarian options in restaurants was a soggy over heated veg lasagne or crumbly nut loaf. In fact some of the best restaurants and cafes around nowadays are solely veg based. The same can be said for cooking books at home, I have some amazing non meat cookbooks that I regularly tuck into. And now Tesco are even getting in on the action by releasing their Wicked Kitchen range.

Having joined forces with U.S ‘plant pushing’ chef Derek Sarno Tesco have created a range of plant based meat free ready meals that are designed not just to give vegetarians and vegans alike a great tasting feed but to also show us meat eaters how delicious meat free meals can be!

Having made the conscious effort to cut down on the amount of meat I consume this has been a most timely introduction. In fact I don’t think there has ever been a better time to lower your meat intake as the meat free options out there are more numerous than ever before! Whats more, meat free meals like these are highly affordable as so much of the cost comes down once you remove the cost of the meat – it is the creative genius of Derek Sarno that enables the meals to be so darn tasty!

For me there are 3 main reasons why I have been enjoying this range so much:

  1. It is meat free….obviously!
  2. Its just darn YUMMY!
  3. Lastly…the convenience factor!

These 3 points combined mean it is perfect for me to enjoy as my post workout meal during my meat free days. I have been hitting up my training session as normal and as soon as I get home quickly heating up my Wicked Kitchen meal…a few minutes later its ready and I can tuck in hassle free. Don’t get me wrong, you know that I also love to cook, but sometimes life moves just so fast I will choose to go for convenience first! Combining ‘convenience’ and ‘meat free meals’ in the same sentence has been somewhat of a rarity until now so you can understand my excitement at the fact that these meals have arrived just in time for my new approach to eating meat.

I guess it is true that nowadays you really don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to enjoy plant based meals, so many of us meat eaters may have been stuck in the habit of eating meat everyday for most meals that we have misunderstood the amazing variety that plant based meals can bring. Just as drinking less alcohol by not allowing it to become a habit is something we can control, so too is eating less meat – therefore when we do eat meat we may choose to go for higher welfare meat and appreciate it as more of a rarefied thing.

I also see the benefit of eating a wider range of vegetables each week. Simply by removing meat as the figurehead of my meals during those 3 days I have inadvertently increased and diversified the vegetables that I am consuming, which can only be a good thing…right?! More vegetables means more fibre, more micronutrients, vitamins, etc. The healthy knock on effect is clear to see and I really feel that there has been no better time to seize upon living a reduced meat lifestyle than now.

With these easy to prepare, affordable meat free meals now in Tesco stores across the country I urge you to give them a go and see for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a massive change, but one meat free meal at a time could just make all the difference!



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