Most of us should be eating more fruits, vegetables, and legumes, it’s true, but HOW?!?!? I’ve wanted to go vegetarian for many years, but I’ve never wanted to be the person with dietary restrictions at a dinner party.  So, I eat a little bit of everything when I’m not at home and in my kitchen, I cook up meals that are mostly vegetarian with a small portion of meat.

Dangling Carrot

Dangling Carrot

Here are some tricks that I use to substitute veggies, fruits, and beans for meat.  These strategies help reduce the amount of meat that ends up on your plate.

  1. Get comfortable cooking with beans.  They are a GREAT source of protein and they are filling.  Check out my recipe for Vegan/Vegetarian Chili – it is sooo good you won’t even think that it’s missing meat!
  2. Serve up a salad with meals and eat it FIRST!  This will fill up your tummy with healthy, fresh veggies and you’ll end up eating less of the main course.  It’s easy to add some chickpeas or black beans to it and perhaps make it a meal!
  3. Along your flexitarian path, consider ditching red meat altogether and limit your meat intake to chicken and fish.  These meats are healthier for your body and the environment.

If you and your spouse both adopt the flexitarian method of food consumption and can reduce the amount of meat you eat to half, your total impact on the environment is equal to one vegetarian!  You can have your meat and eat it too!