Welcome to Meatless Mondays Australia!
This month we have a delicious meat-free risotto for you to try, and we tell you all about the amazing health benefits of the humble pumpkin. We fill you in on why you should eat by colour for your health, and discuss the reasons why we all should take care where we walk when at the beach or in the bush. We show you a new tool you can use to help find restaurants that will cater to your Meatless Monday needs, and finally, we tell you about some great events that are on in October that are good for you and good for the planet. Just like eating meat-free at least one day a week is good for you and good for the planet.
Please Make the Pledge by subscribing to our newsletter and join us in our commitment to Meatless Mondays – for the people, for the planet.
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Food of the Month
The bright orange colour of pumpkin is an indication that this delicious vegetable is loaded with beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A in the body. Pumpkin is also rich in vitamins and minerals that help keep us fit and healthy. Pumpkin is one of the most nutritious foods that is available all year round.
- Vitamins A, C and E
- Potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc
- Folate and niacin
- Dietary fibre
Eating pumpkin regularly has been shown to:
- Help reduce the risk of cancer
- Regulate cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure
- Boost the immune system
- Act as an anti-inflammatory agent
- Promote good bowel health
- Assist eye health and promote healthy vision
Pumpkins can be used in soups, they can be roasted or steamed, or used in baking (remember Flo’s famous pumpkin scones!). Look for pumpkins that have a hard skin and if cut, avoid bruised, dried or slimy flesh. Whole pumpkins will last for up to two months if stored in a cool, dark place. Cut pumpkin should be kept in the fridge and eaten within seven days.
And don’t forget to look for the locally grown product so you don’t add to your carbon footprint. If your greengrocer or supermarket doesn’t stock locally grown produce, please encourage them to do so.
Recipe of the Month
Roast Pumpkin Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach
500g pumpkin, chopped coarsely
300g button mushrooms, sliced finely
250g baby spinach
1 large brown onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups aborio rice
6 cups vegetable stock
Place the pumpkin and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a baking dish and roast in a 230°C pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.
In the meantime, bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer.
In another saucepan, heat the remaining oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook until softened. Add the rice and stir until all the rice is coated in oil. Cook for 1 minute.
Stir in 1 cup of the hot stock, stirring over low heat until all the stock is absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring and ensuring each cup is absorbed before the next is added. After about 30 minutes the rice should be tender and creamy.
Add the mushrooms and spinach. Cook, stirring until the spinach is wilted. Add the pumpkin and stir gently.
Serve immediately with a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
Healthy You Quick Tip
To enjoy great health try the rainbow diet. Every day try to eat a range of fruits and vegetables representing all the colours of the rainbow, preferably those with the most intense and vibrant colours. Plant pigments not only add colour to fruits and vegetables, they also indicate that the food is full of disease-preventing phytonutrients and anti-ageing antioxidants.
Healthy Planet Quick Tip
As the weather gets warmer our attention turns to heading to the beach or getting out for a walk in nature. Make sure you cause minimal damage to the environment by always sticking to tracks, paths or boardwalks when you are at the beach or in our nature reserves and national parks. Coastal sand dunes and bushland areas are very fragile and even one person walking through them can cause untold damage to our native flora and destroy the homes of our wildlife. Always stay on designated paths when walking in environmentally sensitive areas!
Eating Out on Your Meatless Mondays
Wherever you are in Australia, or the rest of the world for that matter, the VegOut app will provide you with a comprehensive list of vegan, vegetarian and veggie-friendly restaurants for eating out on your Meatless Mondays. By downloading this application onto your iPhone you can get restaurant listings using your current location or any other location of your choice. It’s great if you’re planning an interstate or overseas trip, or just looking for somewhere new to eat.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an iPhone. You can also access this information on your computer from the Happy Cow website.
What’s on in October
International Vegetarian Week – 1 to 7 October
International Vegetarian Week is on from October 1st to 7th with the aim of encouraging us all to go meat-free for a whole week. If you think you are up to the challenge, check out International Veg Week for more information and details of the veg cooking classes on in your state.
Buy Nothing New in October
The Buy Nothing New Month for October 2010 is an initiative of the Salvos to get us all to think about the impact on the environment of our throw-away attitudes to ‘stuff’ and to embrace more sustainable alternatives that are better for us, for our wallets and the planet. Your participation will not only save you money but will also help fund programs run by The Salvation Army that benefit so many people. So why not give it a go. You have nothing to lose!
National Ride to Work Day – 13 October
The National Ride to Work Day on Wednesday 13 October asks us to get on our bikes to get to work to help reduce pollution, improve our health and also to save some money.
National Water Week – 17 to 23 October
During National Water Week there will be a range of programs and events running that encourage us all to pitch in to help protect, rehabilitate, and improve our streams, wetlands, estuaries and beaches. Please help if you can.