You can say the idea for The Flexitarian Foodie was born at the same time Jax Moorcroft’s two children were. It was their births that provided the catalyst not only for Jax changing her lifestyle but also sharing advice and meal ideas with others – in a cookbook.
With the understanding that not everyone has the option to go fully vegan and invest in off the grid, organic living, Jax shares simple yet impactful ways you can make a difference from what you eat to reducing your waste. It’s these small tasks that are simple enough to do that add up to big things and inspire changes that positively effect your health and the health of the planet.
Her cookbook The Flexitarian Foodie can be split into three parts:
1. An introduction to the current climate crisis with solutions and actions you can take from reducing waste, reusing and recycling items that can be reused and recycled, changing diet, reducing food waste and ways to make your kitchen greener.
2. Homemade Pantry Staples which includes instructions for making your own dried herbs, stocks, mayo, seasoning, sauces, and milks.
3. Recipes for everything from breakfast to lunch to dinners, desserts, and snacks. Her recipes all follow a Flexitarian diet, which as she explains, focuses on choosing local and organic foods which include both plant and animal sources of nutrients. It’s an easier way for people to reduce meat consumption and involves reducing, rather than completely removing animal proteins and choosing pasture-fed meat and dairy sources. It also focuses on being mindful with what you buy and ensuring you use instead of waste. Many of the recipes do have dairy or meat, but they are also packed with fresh produce and, often a meat dish will include legumes so you can halve the amount of meat used.
If you want to change your lifestyle, but cannot go all out vegan, The Flexitarian Foodie provides both information and tips as well as recipes to get you started. The recipe I’m sharing is Jax’s recipe for gem squash fish cakes. I’ve never used gem squash in anything, rather I serve them alone, and so when I saw she had added them to a fish patty my interest was piqued. These fish cakes also have quinoa in them and are light and delicate. They pair perfectly with some roasted spuds or a big green salad. The only thing I changed was omitting the cheddar cheese from the recipe. If you would like to add it in, add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese to the rest of the fish cake recipe in the step before you add the gem squash.
Gem Squash Fish Cakes
- 4 gem squash
- 2 fillets white fish choose sustainably caught and local
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 egg choose free range
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 4 sundried tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Bring a large pot half filled with water to the boil and add the gem squash. Make sure to pierce each one with a fork or knife to prevent it from bursting while cooking.
- Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper and fry them in olive oil in a frying pan until cooked, then set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, add the egg and beat until well combined.
- Break up the cooked fish into small flakes or chunks and add to the beaten egg. Then mix in the cooked quinoa, peas, sundried tomatoes, olive oil and parsley.
- Once the gem squashes are cooked, drain them and leave to cool until they can be handled. Cut them open, scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh and add it to the fishy egg mixture.
- Mix everything together until incorporated and, using your hands, roll and pat the mixture together into fish cakes.
- Preheat an oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Arrange the fish cakes on the tray and bake for 15–20 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. Turn halfway through to brown evenly on both sides. Garnish with extra parsley before serving.
The Flexitarian Foodie was given to us by Penguin Random House and is available here. Penguin Random House nor the author approved or reviewed this piece prior to publication. Opinions are our own. The recipe is reprinted with permission, images are our own.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.