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Go Meatless For World Water Day

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Go Meatless For World Water Day

In celebration of World Water Day, why not go meatless for dinner? We've got the recipe for you!

Did you know that the average American diet costs the planet 1,000 gallons of water per person per day? This amount is excessive to say the least, especially considering the global average is 900 gallons per person, and that’s including diet, household use, transportation, energy usage, and consumption of material goods.

Want another staggering stat? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, livestock production accounts for over 8 percent of our global water usage. Further, the FAO says that “[livestock] is the largest sectoral source of water pollutants, principally animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures.” Gross.

So what can we do?
Isn’t it obvious? The best thing we can do to reduce our water footprint is to reduce our meat consumption. The average vegan costs the planet 600 fewer gallons of water compared to the average American consuming the average American diet.

This World Water Day take responsibility for your wasteful water ways. If you haven’t already begun reducing your meat consumption, a good way of doing so is to take the pledge to go meatless on Mondays. You’ll be joining countless others who are making a conscious decision every week to improve their own health as well as the health of the planet.

In celebration of World Water Day why not go meatless for dinner? The following recipe comes from food writer Irene McGuinness. Skipping the heavy pasta, Irene uses spaghetti squash instead, which is loaded with folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. Serve this dish with Thyme, Tomato, and Corn Pancakes, if desired.

Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
4 1/2 lb (2 kg) spaghetti squash
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh parsley, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grated zest of 1 orange for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Prick squash all over with skewer so it won’t burst during baking. Place in shallow baking pan; bake for 1 hour.

When cool enough to handle cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds and fibrous strands from its centre. Gently scrape with the tines of a fork all around the edge of the spaghetti squash to shred the pulp into strands.

Meanwhile, combine pumpkin seeds, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice in food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whirl until processed to a paste, scraping down the sides occasionally.

While machine is running, gradually add oil in a thin, steady stream until blended. Add a little more oil if you prefer it a little thinner. With a few quick pulses add the zest. Add a little salt and fresh pepper to taste if you wish.

Add pesto to cooked squash and toss together to evenly coat. Serve with a little freshly grated orange zest on top, if desired.

Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter.

Each main course serving contains: 207 calories; 3 g protein; 16 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 17 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 183 mg sodium

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