I recently got chatting to a militant vegan and listened with interest to her perspective.
"Only 3% of water in the world is suitable for drinking," she informed me, "and much of this is used for livestock. Thanks to global warming, raising cattle won't be an option 20 years from now, and red meat will be produced by genetic engineering in a lab."
"In addition," she continued, "the Western world will have to learn a lesson from the East and people will eat grasshoppers which are very high in protein."
The fact that they're kosher - I googled it in disbelief - hardly adds to their appetite appeal.
Fortunately, there is a multitude of meat-free dishes so amazingly delicious, that you'd never even notice the lack of chicken, beef, or grasshopper.
I'm especially passionate about this Teriyaki Vegetables & Cashew Stir-fry which makes a wonderful meal for non-meat eaters, is simply delicious as a side-dish with sweet, soya-basted chicken or salmon, and is a great take-to-work dish in winter when you need something substantial that can last in the refrigerator for a few days.
Hop out and shop for these easy-to-find ingredients today.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cashew
2 cups mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 can baby corn, cut in halves, long ways
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups small broccoli florets
SWEET & STICKY SAUCE
2 tablespoons sesame oil OR olive oil
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons rice or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons cornflour mixed with a little water
1/3 cup soya sauce
Sriracha or dried chilli flakes to taste
Spring onions & sesame seeds to serve
1: Begin by preparing the vegetables by heating oil in a large pan or wok and stir-frying the nuts and onion till the nuts are slightly browned.
2: Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 4 minutes till they're lost some of their water then add remaining vegetables and toss till just cooked through and al dente. Remove from pan and set aside.
3: Prepare the sauce by heating the sesame/olive oil in the same pan, add the ginger and garlic and allow to cook briefly, then add the brown sugar and stir till it's slightly melted.
4: Add the cornflour with bit of water, soya sauce and vinegar and stir till the sauce has thickened slightly then add the Sriracha or chilli flakes and stir.
5: Return the vegetables to the pan/wok and stir briefly till completely coated in the sauce then serve over Basmati rice or egg noodles garnished with sliced spring onion and sesame seeds.
COOK'S NOTES: Feel free to add other vegetables like thinly sliced carrots sticks or zucchini. Be generous with ingredients like cashews and fresh ginger - remember to keep ginger in the freezer as it's easier to grate when frozen and always remains fresh - and double up vegetables and sauce if making in bulk. I cook my Basmati rice in the microwave for convenience. Add 4 cups of boiling, salted water to 2 cups of Basmati and cook on high at approximately 14 minutes depending on your microwave's strength. Truly delicious.