Simply Healthy Family: Exactly How to Eat Less Meat and Not Miss It One Single Bit


Exactly How to Eat Less Meat and Not Miss It One Single Bit

I am not a vegetarian. I just don't eat meat.

O.k., very, very little meat and then it's mostly fish, I love  fish. In fact, I would be perfectly undisturbed if I never again had red meat or pork in all of their varying forms and disguises. I was however introduced to Elk meat recently when some friends of ours returned from a successful Elk hunt and had a big feast to celebrate. I have to tell you, I surprised myself by being o.k. with this and even more so by trying the grilled Elk steak and finding it absolutely wonderful. It was nothing like I expected. I thought it would be tough and gamy tasting but instead it was very tender, incredibly lean and almost sweet. As fresh as it gets, this is the way meat is supposed to taste.

Nothing like the over processed/handled chicken, beef and pork that you find at the grocery store that is labeled "Farm Fresh" when in fact it comes from a dark, rank, over crowded coop or pin where the animals can not move about at all and are sickly, disease ridden from standing in their own filth and among corpses and fed a diet of manufactured grains and chemicals. Sorry to be blunt, but it's out there even if you choose not to think about it.

Why do we continue to buy this stuff? The bags of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, the ground beef sold in tubes and styrofoam, the mass produced eggs from chicken prisons. Besides it being inhumane which most people know but pretend it's not a big deal or don't care, it tastes like garbage and is horrible for your over all health. Again, just to reiterate my point, I don't mean that all meat in general is bad, I simply am saying that we need to make more informed and responsible choices when it comes to the things we buy and feed ourselves and our families.

Does this mean I'm perfect and always make the right dietary decisions? Yes, of course it does.
Just Kidding! geeesh.

Hmmmm. That is not were I was going to go with this post but there it is. At the risk of sounding like a crazy, raving hard core animal activist I'm going to stick with my principles in hopes of shedding some light on the situation. Really, I was going to simply write about the fact that when I tell people that we eat meat only once or twice a month every body without fail asks, "Well then what the heck do you eat?!"

Well, I'll tell you exactly what we eat:

  • More whole foods like vegetables and fruits. Some organic (see this list of what to buy organic)
  • Variety of beans and *legumes
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Whole Grains: Brown rice, Barley, Rye, Millet, Quinoa, Oats, Popcorn, Buckwheat, Wild Rice
  • Cheese and Dairy: Kefir, Ricotta, String cheese, Goat's milk, Goat Cheese, Feta.   No cow's milk, processed cheese or sugary yogurts, even the ones that say they're healthy or diet almost always are not. Choose kefir or plain Greek yogurt instead.
  • Free Range, Organic eggs. They really aren't too much more expensive than the alternative and you'll definately notice a difference in the taste.

It's amazing  how eating more veggies, beans and whole grains can easily make you forget about the fact that you just have to have meat for dinner. We only eat meat 2 or 3 times a month and so we can afford to buy Organic and free range and I have to tell you, not even my kids miss it. When we do eat meat, it's usually not the star attraction. Veggies are still the main act and meat is the smaller portion.

If you're still stumped as what to make all week long for dinner, just click either the Dinner,
Vegetarian or Vegan links on the right hand side bar of this blog. 
Here are some of our favorite vegetarian and vegan dinners.

Ethiopian Groundnut Wat

Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta with Lentil Puttenesca

Santa Fe Style Enchiladas Verdes with Salsa Verde

Cuban Style Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans with Pineapple Salsa

Healthy Fettuccine Pasta with Garden Veggies

Cashew Creme Pasta with Hazelnuts

Other great Blogs that are dedicated to making more or all vegetarian meals are:

Healthy Happy Life

The Spunky Coconut

Anja's Food for Thought

Legume is the name for a group of pods that contain a seed or grain. You’ll recognize them as the varieties of dried beans and dried peas you see at the grocery store. Lentils are actually a subgroup within legumes, but they are pulled out as special because of their extra beneficial nutritional profile

Nuts and seeds, small but nutritionally powerful, are a great source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. They provide all the same great benefits of the other high fiber foods we’ve looked at: helping to lower cholesterol; helping to manage blood-sugar levels; keeping your digestive tract running smoothly and healthy

Whole grains haven't had their bran and germ removed by milling, making them good sources of fiber — the part of plant-based foods that your body doesn't digest. Among many health benefits, high-fiber foods also tend to make you feel full longer.
When in doubt, check the label. Look for the word "whole" on the package, and make sure whole grains appear among the first items in the ingredient list. Try to choose items with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving.

This post is linked to



  1. Completely agree. We eat meat maybe once a week. We love wild-caught fish and try to only buy beef or chicken that's organic & grassfed/pastured. I love farm fresh eggs and we're transitioning out of cow's milk dairy. I feel so much better and notice the change when I'm eating at a party or at a restaurant. My body usually hates me after several days of birthday parties and get-togethers. :)

  2. Yes! I try eating more fish and less of red meat. Great tips! Thanks!

  3. You're really making me want that Cuban sweet potato dish! The husband and I try to eat meatless at least once a week; it's getting easier, but it was tricky at first simply because it's such a habit. Does that make any sense? We've been "trained" to eat meat with dinner every night, but we're getting better. And we've been enjoying A LOT of fish lately (something my husband did NOT grow up eating). I like to think we're headed in the right direction. Thanks for your tips. :)

  4. Yes, totally makes sense. We used to eat chicken like 4 times a week and ground beef 1 or 2 a week just because it was simple and filling and the kids liked it. I thought it would be really hard to cut down to just once or twice a month but it really hasnt! I've come up with some wonderful, filling meatless dishes. All that meat was weighing us down and making us feel icky.
    Good Luck!

  5. great post - it's really helpful to be reminded once in a while - I thnk a lot of people eat meat mindlessly - thanks for the ideas and recipes!

  6. This is such a good post! I'm like you, I'm not a strict vegetarian any more, but I don't really eat any meat. There are so many vegetarian options available I don't feel like I need it!

  7. I feel like I dont eat nearly enough legumes and beans and I should! I recently made a lentil recipe from heidi swanson's new cookbook, and I became *obsessed* with it... Now I want to try different lentil recipes. I find myself not eating very much meat either, and not really missing it. Thanks for sharing your strategies and great recipe ideas!

  8. I'm pretty sure my mother is always crazy confused as to what I eat on a daily basis. Then family has chicken with literally every meal. Bad gross Costco mass-produced chicken. Yuck.

    Love this post! Wish more people would feel the same as you and I do!

  9. Cilantropist~ I have been wanting Heidi's book, sounds wonderful. I love lentils and there are so many yummy ways to prepare them.
    Joanne~have you tried cooking for you mom? Maybe with flavors she likes minus the fat/sugar and less meat.

  10. Hi Gwen! I like meat, but I'm happy either way. My husband has come a LONG way and eats vegetarian about twice a week. Since we started eating healthy, we eat smaller portions of meat - that's for sure!

    Unfortunately, I'm allergic to ALL seafood.....and I love it. It can be limiting - especially living as close as I do to Mayport, FL and their famous shrimp!

    Awesome pics, post and blog....I'm subscribing!

  11. What a wonderful set of.strategies. and I can't wait to check out the blogs you've recommended.

  12. What a wonderful set of.strategies. and I can't wait to check out the blogs you've recommended.

  13. great post - it's really helpful to be reminded once in a while - I thnk a lot of people eat meat mindlessly - thanks for the ideas and recipes!


If you really like a post please share, like on FB, Google +, Stumble and give it a THUMBS UP or Pin It on Pinterest!

I appreciate all positive and helpful comments! Thanks for stopping by.

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye