Meat Free Monday – The Veg Attack is Back!

meatfreemonOkay so after embarking upon a project at university which studied meat (An engineering project, check out New Harvest for deets!) we came up with some quite astounding facts.

Meat is actually an super inefficient source of protein, requiring 100kg of vegetable protein to produce 1kg of beef meat, plus 50% of man made greenhouse gas emissions are produced from farming.

We are having to intensively farm animals to supply the demand, this teamed with rising food prices is impacting the type and quality of meat we buy. For example cheaper processed meats have been correlated strongly with health related diseases. Plus meat alternatives are generally cheaper!

meatfree3Plus did you know that we do not actually need meat to survive? So how as this once luxury item become such a staple part of our everyday diet?

Now don’t you worry I’m not going all hippee on you. I’m not saying never eat meat again and live off grass. But maybe we can all cut down a little and help not only ourselves but the world around us.

So lets introduce MEAT FREE MONDAYS. There are loads of recipes here from veggie curry and soups to hotpots and risottos.


So knowing the importance of leading by example we at ONIN tried our hand at a veggie fueled Monday with a spin on Jamie Oliver’s ‘Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie’

ONIN’s DEEP SOUTH VEGETARIAN SHEPARDS PIE (with a few cheeky changes!)

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– 2 red onions

– 2 carrots  

2 3 cloves of garlic

– 2 x 400 g tins of lentils (I got ones that were just lentils and water, nothing else £1.15 from Morrisons)

– olive oil

– 1 x 400 g tin of plum tomatoes

–  1.5 kg 1.0 kg Desiree potatoes Sweet Potato

image (10)–  sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

–  150 g Cheddar cheese, grated

–  a large knob of butter Flora

–  Worcester sauce

–  A Schwartz ‘Deep South Brown Sugar Marinade’



Peel and roughly chop the onions and carrots. Peel and squash the garlic cloves.

Drain the lentils.

Heat a large pan on a medium heat.  Add a good lug of olive oil and the onions, carrots and garlic.  Cook gently with the lid on for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened. Then add the sugar marinade.

Add the tinned tomatoes and stir well.  Bring to the boil, then add the drained lentils, reduce to a low heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until thick and delicious.

Peel the potatoes, cut them into halves and quarters depending on their size, and put them into a pan of salted, boiling water.  Boil for about 10 minutes until tender.  Stick a knife into them to check they’re soft all the way through.

Drain in a colander and return them to the pan.  Add butter and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan.

Grind in some pepper and a splash of Worcester sauce.  Mash until smooth and creamy.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5.  Transfer the lentil mixture to a large ovenproof baking dish.  Spoon the mash evenly over the top and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese, then cook in the hot oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.  Serve with broccoli or some lovely peas. Sorted!


image (12)Tell you what? It was blimin’ yumtactular! We may need to work on our presentation……….


Make a change. Make it #MeatFreeMonday and Tweet us your best recipes!



@MeatFreeMonday, Facebook, Website



Want to know more? Check out some of our references:

BBC, 2013. Britain’s changing meat buying habits, 2013, BBC News UK [online] Available at:  [Accessed 08/02/2014]

Food Statistics Pocketbook, 2013. DEFRA [online] Available at:  [Accessed 08/02/2014]

New Harvest – A non-profit research organisation advancing alternatives to conventionally produced meat – – @NewHarvestOrg Facebook

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