Posted by: MMA | December 6, 2010

Monday 6 December 2010

Welcome to Meatless Mondays Australia!


Summer is here and Christmas is fast approaching. This can be a hectic time of the year so it is important we remember to take care of our health and the health of our planet in the face of all the craziness. So this month we encourage you to enjoy the amazing nutritional benefits of cherries and give you a fantastic sugar-free cherry recipe to try. We also have a delicious and healthy meat-free tart recipe for you that is perfect for entertaining over the festive season. Finally, we have some simple tips so you can see out 2010 staying healthy and green. One of the easiest ways to be healthy and green is to eat meat-free every Monday. It’s simple, it’s good for you, and it’s good for the planet!

Meatless Mondays Australia would like to wish you all a
Happy, Healthy and Green Festive Season

Please Make the Pledge by subscribing to our newsletter and join us in our commitment to Meatless Mondays – for the people, for the planet.

Make the Pledge!
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Food of the Month

Beautiful, delicious cherries are at their peak in summer. For Aussies that means around Christmas time, and a large bowl of fresh cherries gracing the table makes a gorgeous addition to any festive season feast. And as an added bonus, cherries comprise a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that make them an ideal food.

Cherries contain:

  • Vitamins C and E
  • Calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus
  • Melatonin
  • Dietary fibre

Eating cherries has been shown to:

  • Promote good cardiovascular health
  • Help slow the progression of cancer
  • Regulate natural sleep patterns
  • Alleviate the pain of arthritis, gout, and joint injuries with their anti-inflammatory properties
  • Benefit allergic conditions such as asthma, hayfever and eczema

The cherry season is relatively short – from around November to January depending on growing conditions – so availability beyond the immediate Christmas period is limited. So make the most of them while they are available and indulge to your heart’s content!

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.

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Recipes of the Month

Roast Veggie and Caramelised Onion Tarts

Ingredients:
500g butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 2cm pieces
1 red capsicum, cut into thick strips
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 large red onions, halved and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 sheets ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
2 cups rocket leaves

Preheat the oven to 200o. Place the pumpkin, zucchini, capsicum and garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and bake for 20 minutes. Cool.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frypan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook for a further 15 minutes until the onions are caramelised. Cool.

Combine the roasted vegetables and caramelised onions. Squeeze out the garlic flesh and mix it though. Season with pepper and salt.

Cut 6 x 13cm circles from the pastry and place them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spoon the vegetable mix into the middle of each pastry round leaving a 3cm border around the edge. Fold the pastry up over the vegetables, pleating the edges. Bake the tarts for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

Serve topped with rocket.

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Merry Cherry Compote with Berries

Ingredients:
500g cherries, pitted
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
lemon and orange rind strips, several of each
cinnamon stick
1 punnet raspberries
1 punnet strawberries, halved
1 punnet blueberries

Add the wine, water, rind strips and cinnamon to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and gently stir in the cherries. Cook over a very low heat until the cherries are just softened, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t overcook.

Remove the cherries from the saucepan and boil the remaining liquid down until only about 1 cup remains. Strain the sauce through a sieve and pour over the cherries. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate.

Stir through the raspberries, strawberries and blueberries just before serving.

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Healthy You Quick Tip

How do you maintain your healthy eating habits over the festive season? Simple. Just keep everything in moderation. Here are a few more tips to help you survive socialising during the silly season with your health intact:

  • For nibbles, eat raw unsalted nuts. They are a much healthier option than roasted and salted nuts
  • Think about serving salads instead of the traditional huge roast
  • Provide a fruit platter or a fresh fruit salad for dessert
  • Replace every second glass of alcohol with a glass of water
  • Make sure there are always some healthy choices available on the menu, even if you have to provide them yourself. Fill up on the healthier, more nutritional alternatives so that you limit your intake of those unhealthy treats.

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Healthy Planet Quick Tip

There is no reason why this festive season can’t be enjoyable and green. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • When looking for gifts, think about a green gift. What about a native plant or a native plant book for the person who has a garden? Or how about a donation to an environmental group?
  • When shopping for food or gifts don’t forget to take your reusable bags with you. Leave a couple in the car or your bag so they are always on the ready
  • Aussies produce more waste at Christmas than at any other time of the year. For lots of great tips on things such as recycling cards and wrapping paper, batteries and computers, check out Planet Ark
  • Compost any leftover and unwanted food to reduce the methane emissions that food scraps generate in landfill.

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Mobile Phone Recycling

If you get a new mobile phone this festive season, make sure you take your old one to one of the many recycling centres throughout Australia.

Did you know that by recycling your old mobile phones you can help save the lives of endangered gorillas? You can read more at www.zoo.org.au

So please don’t leave those unwanted mobile phones just sitting around in a drawer when it is so simple to recycle and do something to help these beautiful creatures.

Click here to find your nearest recycling drop off point

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Have a Clean, Green and Environmentally-Friendly Festive Season
and a Happy New Year!

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