Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To meat or not to meat

Since I lack any fun ttc news or statistics or related obsessions...Lets talk about meat.

In our house, we aren't vegetarians- but we're moving slightly in that direction.

Upon reflecting on the dishes that we pick out for the week and the frozen/prepared foods we take to work, Janet and I have come to the realization that neither of us enjoy eating meat by itself.  We've made appetizing sounding meals such as apple and adobo glazed pork chops with couscous and found that we really only ate a couple of bites of the pork chop and finished the entire thing of couscous, using the glaze as an additive.  We do this over and over again with chicken breasts and the like. 

So why do we keep buying meat (fish is the exception)?  If we
A. Don't really like it, unless incorporated into something else
B.  Are comfortable ensuring that our protein needs are met with legumes/eggs/etc

We aren't thinking we will be vegetarians- I could never give up bacon, chicken broth, oh, did I already say bacon?- but I think we might be able to save both money, a bit of carbon emissions, and make more creative entrees.

Menu since consensus was gained in the household:

Sunday: Green chili stacked enchiladas (contained cream of chicken soup, so not totally veg)
Monday:  Curried butternut squash and corn chowder
Tuesday:  Parmesan brown rice pilaf with portobello mushrooms and white beans
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza

What are your favorite meat free meals? 


Mariko said...

I rarely get to eat meat-free in my house, but this recipe was popular with all the carnivores:

Three-Vegetable Penne with Tarragon-Basil Pesto

Another favorite meat-free dish of mine is ratatouille over couscous...

anofferingoflove said...

we are veggie all the time, so itd be hard to pick a favorite meal. when i first made the switch, we subscribed to vegetarian times magazine. id recommend that, its fully of beautiful recipies and creative ideas each month - it will totally inspire you.

Growing up Clangley said...

butternut squash soup

rice pilaf casserole

thats about it...we love meat :)

Anonymous said...

We are carnivors but we love chickpea and mixed veg curry. We usually just buy a bottle of good quality Indian red curry from the store and then add in peppers, carrots, cauliflower, onion, cashews and chickpeas and serve it over jasmine rice. Soooo good!

Jennifer said...

We're slowly but surely cutting back on meat, more so for budget purposes than taste preferences. However, cheese & onion enchiladas with green chile sauce is a favorite. I'm also getting better at stuffed winter squashes (roast an split acorn squash with a stuffing of toasted bread, dried cranberries, celery, cooked wild rice, pecans, etc), and plan on trying a recipe I saw on ChowHounds for a celery root & butternut squash gratin with a walnut - thyme struesel topping.

Tyler Tuszynski said...

Cucumber and Feta Salad with
baked Hummus and olive tapinade toast points and grilled pinapple

Heather said...

you know, we eat totally veg at home, sometimes when we're out K has steak or some meaty entree, but even that is dwindling. I stopped eating meat about six and a half years ago. I felt a lot like you described. I did miss bacon at times, it has such a strong smell as it cooks, and initially I was grossed out by meat substitutes, especially boca burgers.

I actually remember teaching this two year old, whose parents loved boca, to say, "Boca Boca Blech!"

Of course now I love them. But if you are looking for easy switches, check out "Quorn." You can substitute it for meat, chicken mainly, in your favorite dishes. It's definitely not chicken, but the tenders, not breaded, have great texture. They also have crumbles that you can substitute for ground beef.

Our favorite meals include:
Easy Chili
- 2 c salsa, 1 c pasta sauce, 2 cans black beans, 2 cans kidney beans, puree one can of each bean, heat and serve.

Taco Salad
- seasoned crumbles with black beans, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, salsa and ranch or sour cream [add chips or taco shells too if you like]

Loads of soups, Creamy Potato, Minestrone, Carrot [yum!], Split Pea w/Carrot, Quorn Chick'n w/Rice[or pasta, etc].

Sloppy Joes w/crumbles, Chick'n n stuffing, Chick'n n dumplings, stuffed peppers [w/crumbles].

Good Luck!

Suze said...

This may not be the swankiest option on your comments list, but hands down, we LOVE Mac & Peas -- we use the 2% Sharp Cheddar Mac & Cheese box, and mix in some frozen peas. Makes us feel better about eating what's essentially a 'food product' and it's mighty tasty! :)