Maybe you’re not yet ready to go full vegetarian or vegan, but would still like to slowly move in that direction. You would like to eat less meat but so far your efforts have only made you crave meat more. Well, don’t worry, we have got your back. Here are some tried and tested methods that will encourage you to eat less meat. Check them out!
Go meatless one day a week
Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, however I urge you to revisit this tip. It’s easy enough to say you won’t eat meat one day a week, but doing it is another thing altogether. Start by going meatless for one meal a day. In fact, make it extra easy by having that meal be breakfast! Now for lunch maybe join a vegetarian co-worker (or just head to a vegetarian restaurant). Once you’re comfortable with this, add dinner to the list and you’ve got your full day of going meatless! Which brings me to my next point.
Yeah, I said the ‘P’ word. In the beginning, a little bit of maneuvering is required in order to lessen the meat in your diet. If you’re trying for one-day-a-week-meatless, then you might want to know where you’ll head for your vegetarian meal. Or if you cook, you want to know what to prepare so you don’t take the easy way out and cook up some meat. Learn how to prepare a few vegetarian dishes so you have a choice from the get-go. Hopefully this will come more naturally once you’re more settled in and used to eating less meat.
Add more vegetables
This is one of my personal favourites. I love cooking one-meal dishes (because it’s quicker, easier and I’m lazy). I learned this from a friend who would bake casseroles full of chopped up vegetables and some chicken bits and cover it with a sprinkling of grated cheese. It was a simple dish but delicious. There was some meat, but mostly it was a vegetable dish. I use this technique in my stirfry too. I add a little bit of chopped up turkey and tons of vegetables. This is a great way to lessen your meat consumption. Soon you can add less and less meat and make it a full vegetarian dish!
Use different textured vegetables
Vegetables don’t always have to be leafy greens (though leafy greens are great!). Many times we forget that vegetables come in all shapes, sizes and textures. When making your main vegetarian dish, try using vegetables that come in different textures. Crunchy peppers, soft, smooth sweet potatoes and almost-meat like mushrooms (which is technically a fungus) will make you forget you’re not eating any meat!
Not everyone wants to substitute their meat with tofu, but guess what? Vegetables make great meat substitutes. Mushrooms, eggplants, tempeh, grains - find substitutes that you like and use that generously. If you’re worried about not getting enough protein, add more egg to your diet. Eggs don’t have to only be breakfast food.
When buying meat, buy good quality
Go for organic, free-range, grass-fed, hormone-free options which, while more expensive, also means you’re getting better quality food. It also means you’ll be getting less meat for your money. Which means you’ll use less when cooking. It’s a nifty little trick that gets you eating less but better quality meat!
Don’t make meat the focus of your meal
For the most part, vegetables are side dishes. Something extra you add as an afterthought to the main focus of the meal - the meats. Try making the meat dish the side dish instead. There are plenty of recipes online that will show you how to make incredible vegetarian main meals.
Try out these tips and let us know how it goes! We’d love to hear from you!