It’s not easy making the switch to eating less meat, especially in a country that loves its meat as much as Algeria. But don’t despair, we’ve put together some simple tips to make it easier for you to live the life you choose:
- Try going meat-free once a week. If you take on too much at once, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Take your time to learn the tricks of the trade and let it come naturally.
- Cook large batches of pulses and meat substitutes. Pulses can take time to soak and boil but adding more to the pot won’t make it take any longer. Do a big batch and use the results for several recipes over the week. For dishes like veggie meatballs, make larger volumes and freeze in portions so you always have an easy option on hand.
- Look out for green, leafy vegetables that are high in iron like spinach, broccoli etc and buy them in bulk. You can blanch them quickly in hot water and freeze in portion-sized bags so you can take them out of the freezer and defrost them whenever you need a little boost.
- Make sure you get lots of protein by eating pulses like beans, chickpeas and lentils. Nuts are also a good protein-rich option, as are cheese, milk and eggs.
- Instead of just taking the meat away, replace it with something else. If you usually use meat for flavouring sauces, consider experimenting with sun dried tomatoes, chilli, garlic, roasted nuts and seeds or strong cheeses. Algerian cuisine already makes use of lots of fragrant herbs and spices, so don’t forget to make the most of what you already know.
- Always choose the freshest, ripest vegetables you can find. Just as with any meal, a high-quality end product starts with the best ingredients. Give yourself the tools to succeed right from the start. You wouldn’t expect to create a great meal from poor quality meat and the same principle applies here.
- Make the most of the resources available. You might need to learn a few new techniques and build up a new library of recipes to set you on your way; but that’s why we’re here after all. Aside from our recipes, try using social networks to see what other meat-free home cooks are trying and gather all the tips and suggestions you can.
- Give yourself a break! When you’ve grown up cooking with meat, switching to meat-free recipes can feel a bit like learning a new language. Things won’t always go right and it won’t always be easy to eat less meat, especially when you’re out and about. Just remember that every small step you take is having a positive impact on your health and the environment amongst other things, and celebrate the small victories.