MEAT FREE WEEK – haloumi & quinoa salad

Do you rely on a big piece of steak or chicken to fill you up at dinner each night? Do you insist on some sliced ham or turkey in your sandwich at lunchtime? How about that bacon with your weekend brunch?

From March 24th to 30th it’s MEAT FREE WEEK! want us to be mindful of the amount of meat we eat and to think about the impact eating meat has on your health, the environment and the animals. Also have a think about exactly where the meat you eat comes from.

For this week, why not try eating a variety of protein-rich meat alternatives including tofu, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes and low fat dairy. This will still see you meeting your protein requirements while eating a variety of foods!

Need more motivation?

Studies have shown that high intakes of red and processed meats can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer (1, 2).

Furthermore, the Dietary Guidelines and Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommend including at least 1 or 2 meat-free meals each week so why not at least replace one steak meal with a healthy high protein omelette, or a tofu stirfry!

Still not sold?
If you can’t do a whole week without some form of meat, then why not use the term ‘meat’ loosely and include some healthy fats and protein-filled fish in to your diet!
Check out the benefits of consuming fish over at Better Health Channel

This Meat Free Week I have decided to make a nutritious salad with my guilty pleasure as the main ingredient: haloumi. This tangy salad will please your taste buds and keep everyone happy as this meal is filling and even though there is no meat present, it still contains a good serve of protein!

haloumi quinoa salad 2 cropped

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Serves: 3

180g haloumi cheese (reduced salt), sliced
4 cups lettuce leaves, chopped
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, sliced
1 cup cooked quinoa (to cook: 1/2 cup quinoa in a pot of 1 cup water for ~10 minutes on high heat)
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (more or less depending on your tang preferences)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Canola oil spray

1. Place lettuce, cucumber and cherry tomatoes in a big salad bowl.
2. Add lemon juice, olive oil.
3. Ensure quinoa has been brought down to room temperature, then add to the salad bowl.
4. Mix all ingredients together, then keep salad to the side.
5. Spray a pan with canola oil and place pan on high heat.
6. Once hot, place slices of haloumi on the pan. Allow the haloumi to sear and go brown on one size before flipping over to cook the other side the same.
7. Once haloumi is seared on both sides, remove from pan and add to the salad bowl.
8. Either leave haloumi slices on top of the salad, or mix in with all other ingredients.
9. Enjoy!

Want some other meat free ideas?
Be sure to check out my recipe from last year’s MEAT FREE WEEK when I made a pumpkin and feta pizza!

So what do you say… are you up for the meat free challenge this week?

– Jenna


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