What do you eat when you want to eat less meat? (If "Eat less meat" is NOT on your list of how to live healthier and greener, better read Ten Reasons to Eat Less Meat.)
Many folks used to whipping up burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken nuggets, or pepperoni pizza fear they'll have the diet of a rabbit if they can't put a big juicy steak in the middle of their plate.
In reality, given the abundance of delicious fruits, vegetables, and grains sold in most supermarkets, making meat a bit player at dinner rather than the main event is easier than you think. Here's how you can get started.
* Meatless Monday - If the idea of giving up meat "cold turkey" throws you into a tizzy, why not start with one day - like today? You won't be alone. The "Meatless Monday" movement is gathering steam as folks like Sir Paul McCartney climb on the meat-free bandwagon.
* Eat meat as an appetizer rather than the main course - Psychologists and dieticians have frequently observed that people derive the most satisfaction out of the first bite or two of whatever they're eating. (Think about it: that first taste elicits an "mmmmm - delicious." The last one? "Ughh - I'm so stuffed.") Could that be true of you, too? If so, relegate meat to appetizer status. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
* Find vegetarian meat substitutes that satisfy your tastebuds as well as your growling stomach. I'm partial to grilled tofu, pan roasted walnuts and pecans, and lentils and garbanzo beans ground into veggie burgers or tossed in soups and salads. Seitan and tempeh could be on the menu, too.
Vegetarian meals can be just as simple -- or complex -- as any meal you'd make with meat. These three cookbooks provide delicious recipes worth giving a try.
Cookbooks You'll Love: