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eating less meat

(11 Posts)
wetcardboard Tue 07-Mar-17 12:34:47

I was vegetarian for many years, and though I have gone back to eating meat, I don't think I'll ever love it. I usually find if a recipe has meat in it that it will be the focus of the dish and quite overwhelming for my palate.

What are some good ways to cut down on meat without eliminating it completely?

For example, I found a recipe for a lasagne which replaces half the mince with lentils. I love that idea because I imagine the lentils soften the meatiness while still being filling and hearty like a good lasagne should be. I will test that recipe next week.

Any others like this? Or general tips for reducing meat?

Coralfish Tue 07-Mar-17 14:59:20

Just reduce the quantity of meat in any curry/chili/stew and replace it with mushrooms/lentils/beans/vegetables. Do kebabs (the sort on a skewer) with chicken and lots of vegetables. Have smaller portions of meat (e.g. do two steaks or chicken breasts between three and slice them up) and have bigger portions of vegi sides. Or alternate meat and non-meat dishes on different days.

I like meat a lot, but I also enjoy vegetarian dishes. Interestingly, I would never make a meat lasagne - to me a vegetable (aubergine and courgette) one tastes just as good. If I had minced beef I would make burgers, or meatballs.

dudsville Tue 07-Mar-17 15:03:57

I've lived with a vegetarian for about 20 years. When I have meat I usually just grill a piece of fish or chicken, rarely steak, on the side of whatever the main is. It's actually very rare for me to make a meal where meat is the star of the meal. Just make whatever veggie dish you love and grill something to go with it?

NoNoNotAgain Tue 07-Mar-17 15:19:26

I'm trying to get my kids to eat less meat (we're all ravenous carnivores!). I like all-in-one rice dishes like jambalaya, biryani, paella - you can pad it out with more veg and reduce the amount of meat/fish.

Also I started doing curry night as a selection of curries - one meat, one veg, and either dhal or veg snacks like samosas. Not too hard if you have a freezer as I cook one curry each time and only use 1/3 of it for each meal, and I dig other things out the freezer. Nice to have variety on your plate too!

BretonRose Tue 07-Mar-17 16:28:09

Russian tatties. Boil some potatoes and slice them quite thickly. Make a strongly flavoured cheese sauce (whatever you like best, could be roux based one or one using low fat soft cheese and strong cheese). Butter an over proof dish. Put in a couple of layers of tatties then a layer of bacon pieces (either raw as you'll be baking this or pre-grilled if you like it crispy) then another couple of layers of tatties. You can also include vegetables in between the layers- peas, sweet corn, peppers, aubergine, tomatoes, spinach etc. Pour over cheese sauce and top with grated cheese. Bake for 40 mins in moderately hot oven or until the cheese bubbles. Serve with crisp green salad.

AtleastitsnotMonday Tue 07-Mar-17 18:07:48

Maybe look for dishes where meat is used as a flavouring rather than the main event. You often see dishes like this using chorizo or bacon. So thinks like vegetable and pasta bake with chorizo, or a quiche with some bacon in, similar can be applied to pasta sauces, risottos, jambalaya etc.
I guess tuna pasta bake would be another example.

wetcardboard Tue 07-Mar-17 18:22:53

All great ideas here! Keep 'em coming.

Unfortunately anything with bacon is a no go, as DH is a lapsed muslim who never lost his squeamishness about pigs. It's a shame because I see so many great recipes which use a bit of bacon or chorizo for flavouring.

Blondie1984 Wed 08-Mar-17 00:14:20

I find myself using quite a lot of those big field or portabello mushrooms as they have quite a "meaty" texture to them - i use them to reduce the meat I use in things like stroganoff and even steak sandwiches

Stuffed vegetables are another great one - peppers or aubergines stuffed with a mix of mince and lentils in a tomato sauce with some grated cheese over the top are a favourite -

Coralfish Wed 08-Mar-17 10:57:16

Merguez sausages can be a good pork-free 'flavouring' meat - chop it up like you would chorizo and use North African spices.

hideehigh Wed 08-Mar-17 21:14:04

Coralfish thank you! DH is Muslim and I miss toad in the hole, have just ordered some merguez sausages from Ocado grin spicy toad in the hole it is!

Weedsnseeds1 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:24:13

Boerwors sausages are normally lamb too ( check ingredients) and Hecks do chicken sausages. Neither are halal, but assuming from your post, that it's just pork that's out and not non-halal meat from other species. Raw salt beef if you can find it as a bacon substitute?

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