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16 August 2010


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Emily J

Interesting - I never thought of "low-meat" meals as a category. I guess we do the same thing. Even though our family has grown in number and size (teenage boys with hollow legs), I still buy the same amount of meat - about 1 lb for 7-8 of us - to fix at meals unless we have company. Fortunately as the kids have gotten older, they eat more salad and beans, instead of turning up their noses. Last night we had a version of sloppy joes with ground turkey and pinto beans. Sometimes I add hardboiled or scrambled eggs to things, too - does that count as low meat?


As far as I'm concerned, using eggs and dairy does count as low-meat.

There are a lot of reasons to go less-meat -- economy, sustainability, to increase the diversity of your table, to make room for more fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and as a form of fasting. How you go less-meat probably depends on your primary reasons for doing so.

My husband is the one who got us started on this, on the principle that we should eat a diet that could nourish the whole world. If everyone in, say, China demanded the quantity of beef that Americans or Argentinians eat, it would literally take grain out of the mouths of the poor to feed the beef cattle. His idea is that we should try to eat food from a "land footprint" small enough that every family on the planet could live off the same. So that guides our choices and we are gradually whittling it down. It doesn't mean "no meat." Also, it's kind of nice to think of it as a family-level thing. If my husband eats less meat, I can eat a little more.

My husband's current experiment is to be a vegetarian on business trips, which doesn't affect the family at all since the meals are expensed and I don't have to cook them.


That's a lot of different veg. Hmm. Will consider.


It *is* a lot of different veg, but that's the way we do it around here now. It's much more fun to eat 8 servings of vegetables a day when they come from different veg. And it is nicer for the kids, who are more likely to find something they are comfortable eating. (At the above dinner, one kid ate the sweet potatoes, one kid ate the white bean salad, and one kid ate the bell peppers.)

I wanted you to notice that even though we had 4 different vegetable dishes, they were carefully chosen so it didn't create a lot of extra work.

A good rule of thumb for putting three vegetable side dishes on the table is "one raw, one plain, one fancy." In this case, the peaches are raw, the sweet potatoes are plain, and the broccoli is fancy. I managed more veg as part of the "main" dishes of bean salad and skewers.

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