Ask most people what they believe constitutes ‘a real meal’ and they’ll almost invariably answer chicken, steak, pork or some other form of animal protein.
I love meat. I grew up on meat and three veg for dinners. Tuesday was pork chop night, Sunday’s were for roasts and my school lunches consisted on some kind of deli meat on bread with a dollop of tomato sauce. Now as a person who doesn’t like to cook, steak or chicken with side salad have been my go to meals for years.
But despite being an omnivore for most of my life, I now follow a mostly plant based diet. I still love meat and will eat the occasional steak or burger but reducing the amount of animal based products I eat is one of the easiest ways to reduce my carbon foot print.
There are several reasons why we should be consuming less meat but one of the major reasons is the fact that mass animal agriculture is having a devastating impact on our planet and accelerating climate change.
Farming livestock generates up to 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the second highest source of emissions and greater than all transportation combined. It also uses about 70% of agricultural land, and is one of theleading causes of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution.
Being a non-cook and meat lover, I find meat replacements to be a fantastic way to eat more plant based meals. I can still cook my favourite recipes and do good for the environment at the same time.
Funky Fields mince is made in Denmark so there’s travel miles involved increasing the products carbon footprint. It also comes wrapped in plastic.
The packaging is made from 50% recycled plastic and Funky Fields includes instructions on how to recycle the packing properly. As for the food miles, well eating food produced within a 20km radius from where we live is not always going to happen.
The truth is, we can’t live perfectly sustainable lives 100% of the time. There’s no such thing, so I’m happy to compromise on plastic packaging and food miles if it means a product is helping me consume less meat.
The meatless mince looks almost the same as a very finely processed mince beef but I would say the texture is more like that of chicken or pork mince. It taste a little smoky but mostly takes on the flavour of whatever ingredients you’ve cooked the mince with. You cook it just as you would meat mince, the only difference is the meatless mince stays a reddish brown colour. Funky Fields recommends frying on a medium to high heat for a few minutes so the mince achieves a nice crust. You can then add the rest of your ingredients and cook for the needed time.
I’d tried this mince three times in spaghetti bolognese and burgers before working with Funky Fields on the recipe below. I can safely report that it performed well on each occasion.
Vegan Mince stuffed Capsicums
400g of Funky Fields Mince
2 medium sized red capsicums with the tops and seeds removed
200g black beans
200g sweet corn
2 fresh chilli
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of oil
A handful of coriander
Corn chips, avocado and more coriander to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius
Heat the oil in a pan on a medium to high heat then add the mince
Fry for 4-6 minutes until the mince starts to form a light crust
Add paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chilli, beans, corn and coriander and fry for another 2-3 minutes
Spoon the mince mixture into the capsicums and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the capsisum is soft
Serve with corn chips, avocado or guacamole. You can also ad vegan cheese to melt of top or a drizzle a cheesy sauce over the mince mixture
This post was sponsored by Funky Fields opinions are my own.
Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability educator. She started The Green Hub in 2015 and has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education platforms dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable life, talking about the big environmental issues like climate change, plastic pollution, and fast fashion – showing people how they can have an impact through their own small daily actions and how to be part of the bigger environmental movement.