October 24, 2020

Save cash and the planet with £1 meat-free meals from The Sun’s Green Team

Save cash and the planet with £1 meat-free meals from The Sun’s Green Team

ALL this week The Sun’s Green Team is showing you how to help save the planet and save yourself at the same time.

And in Day Three of our great eco-series it is time to stop and think about what we eat.

Today we reveal why cutting down on meat, even a little, reduces carbon emissions

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Today we reveal why cutting down on meat, even a little, reduces carbon emissionsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

We have teamed up with global initiative Count Us In to urge readers to pledge to make small changes in their everyday lives that could add up to big cuts in carbon.

Go online at thesun.co.uk/pledge to sign up to as many of our Green Team commitments as you think you can manage.


Show your support here


The Count Us In calculator will show how much carbon you and your family will save by following some simple steps.

Today we have to help you pledge to Eat More Plants and will show why cutting down on meat, even a little, reduces carbon emissions.

The average British carnivore eats more than 11,000 animals in their lifetime — and each animal requires vast amounts of land, fuel and water before they reach the plate.

‘£1 RECIPES’

We now eat around 230million tonnes of animals a year, twice as much as we did 30 years ago.

But cutting down on meat need not be boring or expensive — in fact, eating veggie meals a few times a week can help to restore your bank balance as well as the environment.

Miguel Barclay, the man behind best-selling budget recipe books One Pound Meals, says: “Cooking healthily doesn’t have to be expensive and my £1 recipes prove that.

Miguel Barclay is the man behind best-selling budget recipe books One Pound Meals

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Miguel Barclay is the man behind best-selling budget recipe books One Pound Meals

“A lot of health foods have big marketing budgets to persuade you to spend that extra money, but fruit and veg is the best thing for you and it’s the cheapest thing on offer in the supermarket.

“You don’t need a company to process and repackage it for you and then charge you more. Simply do it yourself.

“When you cook on a budget it forces you to focus on cooking from scratch, which is always healthier and more sustainable.”

Here, Miguel shares a week’s worth of exclusive, healthy, zero-waste £1 recipes to show how cooking veggie meals for you and your family is the greenest way to go.

 The UK and Ireland Mushroom Producers are working together with Miguel Barclay to create healthy, affordable meals.

THE 7 PLEDGES

  1. Eat more plants
  2. Cut food waste
  3. Turn down heating
  4. Insulate your home
  5. Switch to green energy
  6. Repair & re-use things
  7. Drive an electric car

thesun.co.uk/pledge

Butternut squash risotto

(Makes one portion)

This butternut squash risotto is the perfect meal for a cosy autumn evening

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This butternut squash risotto is the perfect meal for a cosy autumn eveningCredit: Photography by Dan Jones © Headline 2017.

YOU NEED:

  • ¼ butternut squash, peeled and roughly diced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • Handful of Arborio risotto rice (approx 125g)
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Knob of butter
  • Small handful of grated Parmesan (approx. 10g)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Toss the squash in an ovenproof dish with a glug of olive oil and the paprika, and season. Roast for 40 minutes until slightly caramelised, with a soft and gooey texture.
  2. When the butternut squash is cooked, stick the kettle on and get started on the risotto.
  3. Pan-fry the diced onion gently in a splash of olive oil.
  4. Add a few chunks of the roasted butternut squash and, as the risotto cooks, it will gently break down into a pulp.
  5. Before the onion starts to brown, add the rice and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Add 100ml of hot water from the pre-boiled kettle and crumble in the stock cube.
  7. Stir the rice over a medium heat as the stock cube dissolves. When the rice has absorbed most of the water add another 100ml of hot water from the kettle and continue stirring.
  8. Keep adding hot water in small amounts as you continue to stir until the risotto rice is tender but firm to the bite.
  9. Remove from the heat, add the butter and grated Parmesan and stir.
  10. When the butter and Parmesan have disappeared, add the remaining chunks of roasted squash, scatter over a few of the toasted seeds then drizzle over some of the paprika-infused oil from the roasting tray.

Mushroom meatballs

(Makes one portion)

Substitute meatballs for mushrooms and serve with strawberry jam

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Substitute meatballs for mushrooms and serve with strawberry jam

YOU NEED:

  • 1 large potato
  • Splash of milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 tbsp gravy granules
  • 50ml single cream
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam

METHOD:

  1. Peel and roughly chop a large potato into chunks.
  2. Boil in salted water for about 20 minutes until soft, then drain and mash with a splash of milk and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, pan-fry a handful of mushrooms for about 10 minutes over a medium to high heat in a splash of olive oil along with a pinch or oregano and salt and pepper.
  4. Mix about 50ml of boiling water with a tablespoon of gravy granules (or as the instructions state on the packet).
  5. Remove the pan with the mushrooms from the heat then add to the gravy, along with a splash of cream.
  6. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with the mashed potato and a dollop of jam.
READ  Asda cuts the price of 62 ‘free from’ items including pasta, milk and bread

Rotola pasta

(Makes one portion)

This pasta dish tastes as look as it looks

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This pasta dish tastes as look as it looksCredit: Photography by Dan Jones © Headline 2019.

YOU NEED:

  • 3 tbsp ricotta
  • 2 small handfuls of grated Parmesan
  • Small handful of spinach
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 fresh lasagne sheet
  • Big glug of single cream
  • Small handful of frozen peas
  • Olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/gas mark 5.
  2. Mix the ricotta with half the grated Parmesan, the spinach (you don’t need to wilt the spinach, it will soften as you mix it) and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly over the sheet of fresh pasta then roll the pasta into a sausage shape.
  4. Cut the rolled-up pasta sheet into 2.5cm-thick circles and place in an ovenproof dish cut side up.
  5. Add the cream, peas and remaining handful of ­Parmesan to the dish along with a splash of water, ­drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and ­pepper.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, then serve.

Puff pastry florentina

(Makes one portion)

Use puff pastry to create a pizza base and top with an egg

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Use puff pastry to create a pizza base and top with an eggCredit: Photography by Dan Jones © Headline 2018.

YOU NEED:

  • 20 x 20cm square of puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp passata
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • ¼ mozzarella ball, torn into chunks
  • A few spinach leaves
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Using a plate as a template, cut out a big, circle shape from the puff pastry square. Place it on the lined baking tray and lightly score a 1cm border around the edge with a knife, making sure not to cut all the way through.
  3. Prick the inner circle a few times with a fork – this will stop it rising in the oven.
  4. Spread the passata on to the pastry, within the border, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the oregano then add mozzarella and spinach.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes then crack the egg in the middle and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until the egg white is cooked but the yolk is still runny.

Veggie gyros

(Makes one portion)

The perfect lunch is a veggie gyros packed full of flavour

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The perfect lunch is a veggie gyros packed full of flavour

YOU NEED:

  • Handful of sliced mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 flatbread (or tortilla)
  • Salad (lettuce, cabbage, tomato, onion)
  • 1 tbsp yoghurt
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD:

  1. Lightly coat a handful of sliced mushrooms in olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt, then cook in the oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for about 15 minutes.
  2. Wrap the mushrooms in a warm flatbread or tortilla along with salad and a ­dollop of yoghurt mixed with oregano.

TIP: Wraps are great for using up any ­leftover salad or veg you’ve got.

Cheese and mushroom tart

(Makes one portion)

Mushroom lovers will enjot this delcious and light tatrt

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Mushroom lovers will enjot this delcious and light tatrt

YOU NEED:

  • 20cm x 30cm pre-rolled puff pastry sheet
  • 75g grated Cheddar
  • Splash of single cream
  • Handful of sliced mushrooms
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 egg, beaten

METHOD:

  1. Grab some pre-rolled puff pastry and cut it to about 20cm x 30cm.
  2. Score a 1cm border and use a fork to prick the puff pastry every- where except the border. Brush the edges with beaten egg.
  3. Grate about 75g of Cheddar into a bowl using a fine grater, add a splash of cream and mix to create a paste.
  4. Spread it on the pastry then top with a handful of sliced mushrooms and a few sprigs of thyme.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until it is golden brown.

Goan cauliflower curry

(Makes one portion)

This Goan curry is packed with flavour and punch

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This Goan curry is packed with flavour and punchCredit: Photography by Dan Jones © Headline 2017.

YOU NEED:

  • ¼ cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • ¼ white onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200ml milk
  • Handful of spinach

METHOD:

  1. Cut the ­cauliflower into individual florets and gently pan-fry with the onion in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat.
  2. After about 5 minutes, add the curry powder, turmeric and flour, season well then fry for a further ­minute until the onion is soft.
  3. Slowly add the milk, stirring to create a sauce, then simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. One minute before serving, add the spinach and stir it into the sauce, allowing it to wilt slightly.
  5. Serve in a shallow bowl and enjoy.

Join The Sun’s ‘Green Team’ & save the planet

MAKING simple everyday changes can add up to a BIG difference to the planet.

And we want you and your family to join The Sun’s Green Team – our eco revolution. 

It can feel overwhelming to know how to play a part in reducing greenhouse gasses, but we will be showing you the practical steps we can take to curb climate change – with the help of the global ‘Count Us In’ initiative.

And our easy measures will even help you SAVE money so your household budget goes further.

We’ll help you to reduce food waste, insulate your home, create tasty planet-friendly meals and take simple steps to trim your carbon footprint.

We want you to go online to sign-up to as many of our special Green Team pledges as you can manage and a special calculator will show you how much carbon you will personally save.

It won’t cost you a penny but the total you and your family will save will be added to the global ‘Count Us In’ total and the platform will support you every step of the way. 

So tap here to pledge.

Join The Sun’s Green Team campaign with small lifestyle changes to save money and the planet

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