"From an immediate perspective, living simply frees up financial resources which can be transferred to those in greater need. It also reduces the burden we place on the environment. In a wider context, a simple lifestyle is a living example of an alternative way - a way in which not all needs are insatiable, in which endless material progress is not the main goal in life. Finally, living simply keeps us honest." - Oxfam Shop's Vegetarian Cookbook, p15
Rhonda Hetzel from Down to Earth has set herself the challenge of reducing her household meat consumption by 50% as part of her aim to live a sustainable, simple lifestyle.
Being 100% vegetarian myself I don't have any meat intake to reduce, but yesterday whilst I was browsing through the comments left by her readers, many of whom have decided to join Rhonda in her challenge, I was inspired to participate in my own way.
In 2006 I purchased a wonderful vegetarian cookbook from Oxfam shop (now also online). By this time I'd already been vegetarian for a few years but was struggling to find new, interesting, healthy recipes to try. Then one day whilst I was in my local Oxfam shop I found this wonderful vegetarian cookbook.
What makes it so great is that it's more than just your regular cookbook. It introduces the reader to the two different forms of vegetarianism (vegan and lacto-ovo, of which I am the latter), and explains how proteins work in the human body, with each recipe promoting a balanced vegetarian diet where all vitamins and minerals are present.
It also provides an introduction to the health, environmental and economic benefits of eating less meat, and there's information on simple living for humans and their pets.
The recipes found in the book include entrees, main courses and desserts, and are grouped into their respective countries of origin. In a multicultural country like Australia we are blessed with having access to so many different kinds of foods and this little cookbook introduces its user to a variety of new, previously unconsidered ingredients. But the best thing about this book is that there is great variety between the recipes and they are not overly complicated or time-consuming (most recipes have a preparation/cooking time of around 30 minutes).
Having been vegetarian for a decade now, I tend to no longer refer to recipe books: The ingredients and instructions for the food I cook is either known by heart or kept in a lever arch file for easier access. So, this wonderful little cookbook from Oxfam has been sitting in my bookshelf, no longer used, and I cannot help but feel it is going to waste. I figure Rhonda's challenge is a great opportunity to give this book new life and let it provide information and inspiriation to a new cook, one who is serious about reducing their meat intake. I don't expect everyone to become vegetarians, but being conscious of the amount of meat we eat and doing something to keep it to a minimum is not only good for you and the animals, it's also good for the environment and the world community as a whole.
If you'd like your chance to win my used-but-otherwise-in-good-condition copy of the Oxfam shop's Vegetarian Cookbook all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.
Entries will be taken until midnight (Australian Central Standard Time) on Friday, 18 May 2012. The winner will be announced sometime over that weekend (19 - 20 May).
Giveaway is open to anyone and everyone from anywhere, as long as they don't mind receiving a secondhand cookbook (that is in good condition. Promise).
Whilst I'm here, babbling on, I'd like to thank Rhonda from Down to Earth for considering my modest blog worthy enough to make her Weekend Reading List for this week. I'm perplexed and humbled ~ thank you. I've been a regular reader of Rhonda's blog for a number of years now and I recommend everyone take the time to check it out if they haven't already. Her book is fantastic too.
I'd also like to send out a big "hello and welcome" to any new readers that visit my blog via Rhonda's. I hope there is something here to interest you, and thank you for taking the time to stop by.