Help Me Eat Less Meat

With climate change an ever-present concern, I’m really trying to commit myself to making some changes. Since reading that avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth, I’ve really taken it to heart.

I have a great falafel recipe that I made last week and have a couple I’m excited to try out this week:

Sweet and Sour Tofu
Lentil Tortilla Soup

I’ve also successfully passed Impossible Beef off on Mr. Road, so we will be making that switch for sure.

BUT. Chicken and I are BFFs. I’ve resigned to the fact that I will probably still have it as part of my diet rotation, but significantly less.

Anyone have awesome veggie recipes to share? Successfully made this switch before? Want to offer recipes and encouragement? Let’s go!

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Following this because I want to cut down on my meat intake too.
What did you think of the impossible beef? I have been wanting to try it.

We use the veggie crumbles for pasta dishes, fake big macs and sloppy joes.
The issue is our house is that my husband is not a big bean and lentil person, which I am. Totally love the beans!

@photojenn got any suggestions for us?

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We had tacos with it and it was delicious. Really couldn’t tell. My pescatarian BIL was raving, lol. The texture is a little finer than regular beef (a plus IMO), and it smells…different when cooking. I’m not sure it would work as well as a substitute in all my beef recipes, but I’m going to try!

The Morning Star crumbles? They are great, too! I love them for chili.

I have similar issues with pleasing the rest of the household. I’m taking a chance with the tofu this week, lol. I would happily sub in cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, but Mr. Road is…not a fan.

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The keeping it kind cookbook is great. (This is the one I have) I loved the jack fruit tacos and chickpea sloppy joes were a huge hit even with the Carnivore. Highly recommend.
I have heard (but dont have a source) that the impossible burger is a bit hard on the environment/footprint. I haven’t researched the claim yet, though.

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I have a lentil sloppy joe recipe lined up to try. Maybe I need to swap for chickpeas…:thinking:

Jack fruit…I have heard mixed reviews on. Plus, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it in the store. I will have to look next trip! I think @MistressJennie made something with jack fruit? Maybe BBQ?

We got it at trader joes. I bet some place must ship it? It’s canned so easy to transport. Idk. :thinking:

Ah I would have NEVER looked for it canned, lol.

I will have to do more research, too, but this article says the carbon footprint of plant-based meat "falls in between chicken and beef.”

Yeah, like I said I don’t have a source it was part of a conversation I was having with someone via text and they sent me a screen grab. but I think it had something to do with water use. I’ll see if I can find it… I mean everything has a cost so I suppose it’s just a trade off of the whole picture as opposed to just one part. Right?

Impossible has an impact table on their website. I mean, they are reporting it, so take it for what you will, lol.

Ok, so here’s the source from my anecdotal comment above. I reiterate that i have done zero personal research here and mean no disrespect to anyone or any company in case that seemed to be in my previous comments. I was having a conversation with a friend who was reading Mark Hyman’s The Pegan Diet (which I have not read nor heard of prior) and sent me this pic:

So, that’s all. I’m not anywhere near read up enough to make an educated statement either way, I probably should have stuck to what I know: jack friit made a good taco and chickpea sloppy joes are a thumbs up in my house. :slight_smile:

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lol…thanks for sharing. I will say, that I was very anti processed “fake” meat previously, for a lot of the reasons listed here (not necessarily the carbon emissions argument though). But, what I found (because switching to veg alternatives in my house = me making a separate dinner for me every night), was that I wasn’t changing anything. The beef that I bought in the store was always the $10, organic, “local,” grass fed kind, but honestly, I feel like cutting it out completely is a change I need to make, so this is the switch that is saving my sanity and possibly the Earth a bit, too.

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I make a lot of meatless burritos using black beans…we are having it tonight! We don’t miss the meat at all because it has beans, corn, salsa and cheese.

A lot of Japanese food is meatless or use very little meat…

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I’ve been vegan for almost 15 years (ethical not related to environmental concerns) and the biggest advice I give to people is don’t try to find direct vegan substitutions for “omni” food, they’ll never taste the same and you’re not retraining your palette (and will thus be more likely to “go back” to the originals). Find “vegan” foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc) and recipes that you enjoy in their own right and you’ll be much more successful (and be consuming way fewer processed ingredients). That being said, I do have my favorite omni-subs but they make up a small part of what we eat.

I have a vegan cookbook obsession but some of my favorites are any of the ones by Isa Chandra Moskowitz or Robin Robertson. What kinds of foods/cuisines do you enjoy? I might be able to recommend a couple specific cookbooks or recipes.

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THIS. When people are sincerely interested in options, I do give a variation of this advice. Soy milk does not taste like dairy milk. AND THAT’S OKAY. Try it for itself - not as a replacement. Treat it like a new food, not as a “replacement”, and see if you like it.

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I could seriously eat beans and rice all the time. My husband wouldn’t like it for a variety of reasons. :nauseated_face: :partying_face: :rofl:
I do have him hooked on veggie corn dogs and buffalo chicken patties (not the best, I know), so it’s a step in the right direction.

That is such a great way to look at it-not as a replacement! Love it!

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I love this great advice: eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables.

I worked in this field so I could go on and on but I will simply recommend a few of the best books I’ve read.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why Nina Planck
In Defense of Food Michael Pollan
The Vegetarian Myth Lierre Keith

Whole food is real food, processed food has an enormous environment impact on the planet. Things that don’t grow where you live burn fossil fuels to get to your plate. Those options are often greenwashed to be promoted as an ethical/environmental option when the opposite is true. Where would I get almonds, coconut, jackfruit? Nowhere local. Indigenous people can’t eat their traditional diet of quinoa and are forced to exist on the poor substitute of nutritionally devoid rice so all that protein rich quinoa can be exported.
I mean, eat things because you want to and you like it, those are valid reasons! But not because it’s “better” for anything, it isn’t really. It’s worth it to examine these things if your priority is ethics or the environment. Many people base their diets on nutrition and taste, there are different reasons for allthethings.

4oz of meat is a serving, it’s about the size of a deck of playing cards. Dairy is best used as a condiment only. Replacing any whole food with starchy carbs is not the best idea.
The future of protein is bugs, they can be ground into powder with minimal processing and added to all sorts of things. I don’t want to eat them but that’s a mental construct.

Oh, also, I gave myself a B12 deficiency with a raw vegan diet. I was supplementing, it’s about absorption for a lot of people, including meat eaters. It’s worth it to have regular blood screening to check up on these things in my opinion. I watch B12, iron, vit D, thyroid function (iodine), etc.

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Obviously, there are a lot of opinions. I think it’s great you are exploring new foods. You will find what works best (to accommodate and prioritize your personal motivators) for you and your family.

Good luck!

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I discovered soy chorizo at Trader Joe’s, and love it. Sooo tasty, great for tacos, burritos, etc. Even better, it’s available at my local Wal-Mart, too, so no cross-town drive to TJ’s. But I’m in Tucson, your availability may vary.

Coconut milk is my favorite, my husband prefers almond milk. We both like it unsweetened.

A lot of Asian food can easily be made meatless; Thai curry, for instance, made with chunks of zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, cabbage, etc is so good. The firmer veggies give a “meat feel” when you’re eating, know what I mean?. I like Mae Ploy brand curry paste; red curry is my favorite.

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You guys are awesome.

Honestly, I truly feel like substitution is the only way this is going to work in my house, lol. Things like Impossible beef are what makes an even half-veg menu possible right now. I’m ok with it.

I’m very familiar with Michael Pollan. I loved The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The problem is that I feel like I keep using a lot of these arguments as an excuse to not make a change. I have reached a point where I really want to put my actions where my values are and this is the step I’ve chosen to do it. I will be eating significantly less meat (my goal is to flip my current “one meat free dinner a week” to a “one meat dinner a week”) and probably substituting some plant-based meat alternatives. I will continue to eat a lot of vegetables. I will continue to eat a lot of beans, lentils, and nuts. I feel really good about making this decision.

I will likely be trying some jack fruit. :slight_smile:

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Yes, my friend.

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