Many are trying to stretch their groceries as we ride out the economy. A glance at websites touting vegetarianism reminds me of foods that I’d rather NOT eat, such as tofu, tempeh and other “fake meat” foods. Okay, tofu isn’t so bad if well prepared. Still, I don’t particularly enjoy cooking with it.
What stymied me was how to stay full while cutting back on meat. I experimented a lot. Following is what works best for me. I have the energy I need. I last longer without feeling as if I’m lagging or starving. What amazed me is that before long, I was content to skip meat altogether.
You may still want to eat meat, and I think it’s best to listen to what your body is telling you. To each, their own. If you are interested on cutting back, however, the following may help.
TIPS FOR CUTTING BACK ON MEAT
1. I need a ratio of about twice as many beans to rice in order to feel full.
2. A filling dish of beans and rice makes me crave a fresh salad, or a light vegetable soup later in the day.
3. I usually have steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast, a beans and rice dish for lunch, and a veggie dish later in the day.
4. If I have a serious workday ahead, and know that I have to have high energy through ’til lunch, then I’ll have re-fried beans and rice for breakfast. (The home-made kind, not canned. I make a big batch, freeze it into small containers, and re-heat as needed.)
5. If I eat a filling dish of beans and rice, it’s almost TOO much protein for me if I have meat later in the day. I did it once and I had a food coma for nearly two days!
6. Light colored beans have more protein. That means they’ll be more filling.
7. Sometimes, I crave plain old pasta after I’ve been eating this way. Just pasta and tomato sauce, or pasta and Parmesan cheese. No meat needed (for me).
8. A dish that combines beans and meat, such as chili, may or may not be filling. I’m not as full after a dish made of kidney beans. I’m VERY full after a bowl of white chili, made of chicken and white beans. A thinner soup, such as minestrone, may or may not leave me full for long, depending on the ratio of beans to the other ingredients.