Learning to Cook With Less Meat

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If there’s one thing we have learned in the last few months (the Summer of Food, as we like to think of it), it’s that we should cut back our meat consumption. Thanks to Food, Inc., Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, and other real food advocates, we’re quite literally trimming the fat. We think it’s not so bad. What about you?

We may be behind the times with our newfound pseudo-vegetarianism; the two of us in the house grew up on farms in Texas and that translates to lots of meat and potatoes. But things, they are a-changin….

In general, we eat veggie during the week. This means we’ve eliminated the occasional bacon-based breakfast, gone for veg wraps in lieu of turkey sandwiches in our lunch boxes (and turned to bentos packed with local vegetables in recent weeks), and opted for dinners based on whole grains and fresh ingredients.

That’s not to say we’ve eliminated meat from our diet; once a week we indulge in sustainably caught salmon fillets, and just yesterday chowed down on a cheeseburger. But when we do eat meat, we stick within our parameters: The meat must be as local as possible, sustainably and ethically raised, and organic. If our litmus test can’t be met, then we look for a veggie option.

Truth be told, we’re not really missing meat that much and since we’ve eliminated about 80% of our meat-eating from our diets, we’re vastly reducing our carbon footprint.

We found the hardest part of getting to where we are now was realizing that we didn’t need to eat so much meat. Once we understood that meat can be treated as a side, we felt freed.

Maybe we’ve hit our perfect balance of vegetarianism and omnivorism. What do you think?

Looking for meatless inspiration? Here are a few non-tofu, non-meat options at EcoSalon.

(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)