Meatless Monday – Happy 2016 Thanksgiving Canada!

“For the food we are about to receive, may we be truly thankful.”

Once again Meatless Monday and Thanksgiving collide. The modern-day cornucopia of treats and sanctioned gluttony are in stark contrast to the world of Montgomery’s Inn where I took a wood fired oven workshop this weekend.

In the late 1800s and beyond, people ate seasonally. All scraps of food were used and nothing was wasted. If food went bad, the spoiled part was cut off and the remainder eaten. Vinegar was mixed with leftover bits of vegetables and used to mask the ‘off’ taste of meat. Relish condiments were born. Beer was also mixed with water as the water in those days was ‘suspect’. This I learned from the tour guide at the Inn where the workshop was held.

Today there are a gamut of diet related illnesses ranging from obesity to malnutrition. Some places have abundant food supplies but much food waste while other areas struggle with food availability and affordability. The one common thread in food security today is…the meat industry.

Large plots of land are being used to grow mono crops (eg soy, corn) that provide animal feed for the current industrial agriculture system. A growing global population who demands more meat and larger portions of it are credited for driving this industry. With concern over health and a sustainable food system that doesn’t rely on chemicals and technology, Meatless Monday and vegetarianism have never been more popular!

Celebrate Thanksgiving and honour this time of year by eating a moderate amount of seasonal produce and canning and/or freezing the rest for winter. And if you have a hankering for a more traditional meal on this holiday, I highly recommend Gardein’s ‘stuffed turk’y’.

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There are two servings per package along with two generously filled packets of gravy. Steam some organic russet potatoes and mash with some vegan mayonnaise, nutritional yeast, mustard, vegan spread and rice milk. Throw in a side of greens and some roast carrots and brussel sprouts et voila, instant meatless ‘turkey’ meal. Sodium content is 21% (not ideal but not too outrageous for an indulgent meal) with a 23g protein count per serving. For a light dessert, try hot chocolate made with pumpkin pie spices and vegan pumpkin flavoured marshmallows if you can find them.

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