Help me eat less meat please.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-01-2011, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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My family is a meat and potatoes kind of family. That's not to say we don't eat pretty healthfully. I hope I can paint a clear picture.

We want to have a meatless day or two however there are some restrictions..

I don't eat leafy green veggies..that doesn't mean that I won't cook them and my kids won't eat them either..they frequently ask for salads, brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, etc. This would be fine but my kids are used to eating meat and they feel like they aren't full..if they don't eat meat..I would be fine with it. We like beans..all kinds.

I don't really want to use soy because of the hormonal implications...which I will freely admit I haven't looked into all that much..just a cursory read really..

I guess I'm looking for ideas..simply because when I make meatless meals the fam just isn't satisfied.. Any ideas for me?

Mama to 14yo, 9yo, 7yo, and babe born 9/2012
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#2 of 6 Old 03-01-2011, 08:05 PM
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What's probably missing from your meatless meals is fat, and also, you need a lot more food in a meatless meal to feel full.


Two of our favorite meatless meals are hummus and pita, and curried potatoes.  Hummus and pita sounds kind of deceptive, what the meal really means is a giant bowl of homemade hummus (2 cups dried chickpeas worth, ends up as oh... maybe 4-6 cups of hummus?  for dinner and lunch two people.  I'd guess that we each eat the equivalent of at least a package and a half of hummus from the store), homemade pita breads, a half pound of feta cheese, a bowl (maybe 3/4 of a cup) of salted yogurt, sometimes with herbs to make tzatziki, sometimes plain to be frugal, and oasis salad (made of a full onion, 4-5 small radishes, a carrot, and sometimes a half cucumber, which is salted to taste, and with a bunch of distilled vinegar over it, and pickled for 30 minutes or more).  It's a lot of food, and a lot more than we would eat in a meat meal.  (mind you, we are both early twenties with large appetites and fast metabolisms, I easily eat 3,000 calories a day to maintain body weight with minimal exercise and I would guess DP is similar or higher, so you might eat less.  We do also have enough hummus and pitas leftover for lunch.)


Curried potatoes is a skillet full of red potatoes in coconut milk Indian curry sauce, served with about 1-1.5 cups (raw) rice, and a yogurt sauce, which varies on DP's mood, usually either plain salted, or raita.


Honestly, if you want to eat less meat, rather than having a bunch of meatless meals, I would recommend meals with less meat.  Such as stir fried meat with veggies over rice, or we're a big fan of a little chicken (maybe a chicken leg and thigh or breast for the two of us) cut up small and mixed in the sauce with pasta (not so much a straight marinara, but more like a veggie sauce, where we saute up veggies (whatever seasonal, we ate it with summer squash last year so much), some onions always, and garlic, sometimes tomatoes, and spices.  Curries are great for stretching meat, and we love a big hearty stew with lots of veg and a little meat.  Because the whole stew gets meaty and rich, it doesn't matter if there are only a couple small pieces of meat in your bowl.  (it helps to throw a bone or two into the pot)


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#3 of 6 Old 03-02-2011, 09:32 AM
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I make a veggie mac-and-cheese. Brown rice noodles, cheese sauce (find one you like from any mac-and-cheese recipe), broccoli, peas, diced red pepper, into a baking dish, top with more cheese, into the oven for 30 minutes. Super filling and my whole family loves it. Dh puts sriracha on his.


Quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas, shredded cheese, lots of black beans, top with sour cream, avocado slices (maybe 1/3 per person or more), and salsa.


Vegetarian chili. Serve with cornbread- I've found I can swap whole wheat flour with most recipes and it's delicious.


Grilled cheese with avocado and tomato slices with tomato or black bean soup.


Vegetable quiches are also delicious and easy and filling. If you don't want to make a crust, make an egg bake and serve it with cottage potatoes or a grainy bread. Fruit makes this a great meal.

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#4 of 6 Old 03-02-2011, 01:57 PM
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Not sure what type of meals you are fixing but one idea is to substitute beans, portabellas, or tofu in any of the dishes instead of the meat.

I find Mexican type dishes are super easy to fix veggie, with hearty servings of grilled veggies (esp portabellas), black beans, cheese, salsa, pico de gallo, guac, brown rice, all of these together are filling and delicious for burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, or fajitas.  

For some of those you can even add a poached egg and spinach with black beans and a tortilla and salsa for a heathy version of huevos rancheros.  

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#5 of 6 Old 03-02-2011, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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So many ideas! Thank you...and now I'm hungry.

Many of these I have tried. I frequently cut up one or two chicken breast very small and make a stir fry for 5 people. Usually the kids get more of the meat than I do. Everyone in my family would regularly eat all of these suggestions and more..I guess it's just very hard to paint an accurate picture.

I regularly make a big pot of this, , and most everyone loves it. I have not been able to find something else that satisfies my family the way this chili's so funny when I think about it.

Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. I may just have to try that veggie Mac and cheese. Dh loves hummus..the rest of us..well, we tolerate it. Lol. Curried potatoes sound great!

Mama to 14yo, 9yo, 7yo, and babe born 9/2012
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#6 of 6 Old 03-08-2011, 12:36 PM
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We do a meatless day each week. I make pizza at least half the time on those days. I do my normal sourdough whole wheat crust and then we top it with sauce, olives, banana peppers, onion, spinach and cheese. I make 2 large pizzas for the 4 of us.

I make zucchini cakes too. I use this recipe, but I do Greek seasoning instead of the Old Bay. I have lots of shredded zucchini in the freezer. I make some pitas, throw a tzatziki sauce together and we make pita sandwiches out of it with a little sliced tomato, lettuce and onion and the zucchini cakes. We normally do a greek-style salad with it.

I also make bean burritos. I use this recipe for the beans, but with black beans. The entire family loves the beans. The kids are happy with just the beans in a bowl and some sour cream on top.

In the summer we love to eat pasta puttanesca. It's not exactly meatless because of the anchovy paste, but there is no other meat in it. I use whatever is in season. It's such a nice spicy dinner and the kids will eat it too.

My husband loves to go out on vegetarian day and get meatless fajitas. He thinks they're better than the ones with meat. I haven't gotten brave enough to try that at home.

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