They say you should never trust a skinny cook/critic… But those that follow me on Twitter/Instagram/RunKeeper will know that I’ve been on a mission to get fit since late last year. It’s less about being slim and more about feeling healthy. In addition to my regular exercise regime, I’ve been eating a lot leaner (and mainly meat-free) Monday to Fridays. I don’t go out of my way to be meat-free but I’ll get the vegetarian option where possible. I’ve been educating myself more about consuming ethical meats as well. Books such as The Urban Cook have been a great resource.

Meat-Free Week is a great initiative that asks you to give up meat for one week from 18th to 24th March.

It’s hard to believe, but Australians now eat around 190,000 tonnes of meat each year and are amongst the biggest meat eaters in the world. Eating this much meat has come at a cost. It has created large scale and inhumane industrial farming of animals – factory farming. Two thirds of the world’s meat now comes from factory farming and it is considered the number one cause of animal cruelty today. In Australia, it’s predominantly chickens and pigs that are affected.

Click to find out more about Meat Free Week.

Thanks to MFW supports, Adam and Lovaine from Restaurant Arras / Arras Too, I’ve got a super easy and delicious savoury muffin recipe to get you started on your meat-free week journey! These muffins are wholesome and hearty – they really are great for any time of the day!

Courgette, Olive and Boconncini Muffins - Restaurant Arras/Arras Too

Zucchini, Olive and Bocconcini Muffins

Makes 6

125g Plain Flour Sifted
125g Wholemeal Flour
2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 Eggs Beaten
100ml Buttermilk
1/2 Tsp salt

100g Pitted Kalamata Olives
3 large Bocconcini, broken up by hand
A few leaves of Basil torn

3 Courgettes – Chopped evenly.
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat an oven to 190°C and line a large 6 hole muffin tray with Greaseproof paper

Firstly, roast your chopped courgettes with a little seasoning and olive oil, until cooked. Mash roughly with a fork.

In a bowl, sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt together. Seperately, mix the buttermilk and the eggs and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the wet ingredients to the dry lightly mixing with a spatula – Do not overmix or mix vigourously.

Gently fold in the remaining olives, bocconcini pieces, courgette mash and basil until evenly distributed.

Divide evenly between the muffin cases and bake for 20-25minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the muffin.

Serve warm.

Savoury vegetarian wholesome muffins

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.