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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will admit it...we are a family of meat eaters. But I want to cut back on our meat intake so that I can afford to buy organic. We are usde to eating a good sized portion of meat with every meal. When I told my DH that I wanted to scale back and have 3 meals per week that were totally meatless, and only have some meat mixed in with pasta, soup, etc. on the other nights, he said:<br>
"And do what...eat tofu, beans and rice instead?" (said with a scared tone of voice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ).<br><br>
Ummm, well, I actully was thinking of trying out some beans, rice and lentils dishes. But I haven't told him that yet! I think he equates those things with being poor, or tasting bad.<br><br>
How can I show him he's wrong? I Do you gals have some good recipes to share, ways of fixing these things for a person who isn't used to eating them? In our house:<br><br><ul><li>Rice= white rice, served underneath a layer of stir-fry that contains some meat and veggies. Bad, I know. Brown rice sounds....not so yummy. But I know it's good for me. Not sure how to make the switch. I don't like the thought of nutty tasting rice.</li>
<li>Beans= refried beans in a burrito that also contain some ground beef. Or in chilli. Need to learn how to soak and cook them to make them tasty.</li>
<li>Lentils= never had them before! No clue what they look like or how to cook them!</li>
</ul>
Help!
 

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As far as rice, it is hard to get used to the taste of whole grains, but once you do you will never want to go back! On the rare occasion I eat something made with white flour now it tastes like paste!<br><br>
I offer three suggestions - one, start out by mixing white and brown, two, use broth or add some soy sauce instead of using plain water, and three, serve your rice with something well seasoned or strongly flavored.<br><br>
For your legumes - if part of your reason here is to save money then dry beans are the way to go. If you already do meal planning this part will be easy - the night before you plan to have beans put them in a bowl with about 3-4 times as much water, and some fresh lemon juice or a piece of kombu (seaweed, I don't know if you can get this in a regular grocery store) or I think some people even use yogurt. Soaking the beans will lessen your cooking time and make them more digestable. Oh, and well I'm thinking about it, at first you will probably have more gas than usual. But the more beans you eat the less it will be a problem. Some people don't think you need to soak lentils but I always do.<br><br>
Now, the next afternoon, you drain and rinse your beans. At this point you can follow the directions of a recipe or you can cook them as is. When I cook beans I like to add an onion, several cloves of garlic, and some thyme to the water. How long you cook them depends on the kind of bean and how old it is but a good average is to bring the water to a boil, then bring it down to a gentle simmer for anywhere from an hour to two hours. I like to add some salt about 15 minutes before they are finished, but there are lots of different opinions about that.<br><br>
Once they are cooked you can use them in recipes or eat them as is - I love plain beans with some olive oil, or in a salad.<br><br>
Lentils are quick and easy. They are one of the first legumes my formerly meat loving dh really enjoyed. My yds, who doesn't like to eat a lot of solids, looooves lentils, he gobbles them right down! You can use them for soup, mix them with rice, make patties/burgers out of them - they are really versatile.<br><br>
There are lots and lots of recipes out there. Check out your library, or some food/recipe site. Maybe start with a new version of a familiar faborite, or plann to serve a new dish with several other things you already know they like.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Well, I make sloppy Lennies instead of sloppy joes. Make it the same only use cooked lentils instead of cooked meat. We love them.<br><br>
T
 

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I'd be inclined to make the switch gradually. Rather than going straight to serving 3 meatless dishes a week, I'd start by serving 3 dishes a week that *could* be meatless, and gradually reducing the amount of meat you include in them each time. I have done this with DH, and it has worked pretty well. He now has 3 or 4 completely meatless meals each week, with no complaints. I always know when I've pushed it a little too far, because he'll call home and say he can't make it home in time for dinner and I find fast-food wrappers in the outside garbage. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
One meal that works really well for cutting back is chili, since you'll be used to having meat and beans together in it, and you can cut back over time without anyone noticing too much.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank-you so much ladies. That was all very helpful! I had no idea you could make lentil patties! Wow! I'm open to any more ideas and recipes, keep it coming!
 

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You'll probably like brown basmati since it has a fluffy texture.
 

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We used to make sloppy joe like sandwiches with kidney beans instead of ground beef and onions nad bell peppers.<br><br>
As far as making the switch to vegie meals if you like Indian food I highly suggest getting a good cookbook and going to town. I have a few I like but a good first one would be 1000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra. I can make a very satisfying meal out of a variety of vegie currys, chana masala, rice and raita. You can always use a meat based curry for side dish to ease the transition.<br><br>
Learn to make rice pilaf from scratch. I pretty much use basmati, jasmine and kajirah rice exclusively.
 

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I use lentils for everything!! I use dried lentils and have red, brown and green in the pantry. I also buy good quality organic canned lentils (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: !!) But they are so convenient at times and quick and easy.<br><br>
Like many others here have said, I use lentils (particularly brown and green) as a substitute for ground beef. Spag bol, chillie, shepherds pie, mousakka, patties, casserole etc etc. Red lentils I use for dahl, soup etc. I make a nice lentil and veg layered casserole with cheese on top mmmm (sorry - if I do say so myself!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
Just as Arduinna said re. an Indian cookbook for ideas, I have also found French cookery (they mainly use 'puy lentils') and also other european cookery to include a lot of lentils. For example, I have a fabulous Greek cookbook that has a number of lentil (and bean, and chickpea) recipes.<br><br>
It's a great way to save money and is also very nutritious!! Re. the brown rice - just go for it! Its so much better for you, tastes great, and fills you up more!!<br><br>
Here are some basic ideas: <a href="http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/beanrecipes.htm" target="_blank">http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/beanrecipes.htm</a><br><br>
have fun!
 

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I also thought that brown rice was an acquired taste, but now I prefer it. Brown basmati is really yummy, too.<br><br>
For some yummy lentil recipes check out the <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=467877" target="_blank">Lentil Thread</a> that I started, and others ran with, a while back. Good stuff!<br><br>
There are loads and loads of ways to serve beans -- we have them several nights a week in different incarnations. Last night we had cheese tortellini with white beans, artichoke hearts, butternut squash, and pesto. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy"> I also like ravioli with white beans, tomatos, spinach, and parmesan cheese. Don't forget that there are a lot of "vegetarian" meals that you probably already eat and enjoy (or could try!) that don't have to be a big plate of beans: vegetable lasagne, minestrone, macaroni and cheese, eggplant parmesan, black-bean soup, black-bean (or pinto-bean) nachos or burritos, pizza, spaghetti, sesame noodles, pad thai, etc.<br><br>
Stick around here, we are always talking about new bean recipes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> HTH!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:
 

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"More with less" is a classic cookbook based on the idea of low-cost and low-meat meals that use fewer resources to get to the table. It's put out by mennonites.<br><a href="http://www.worldcommunitycookbook.org/more/about.html" target="_blank">http://www.worldcommunitycookbook.org/more/about.html</a><br>
Good luck with your lifestyle change.
 
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