How to Decrease Your Meat Consumption
As I have learned more about just how hard livestock production can be–especially when it involves large-scale farms–I have begun to lessen my family’s meat consumption. I have found that there are a few different ways to go about this.
- Incorporating Meatless Mondays into your weekly meal plan.
- Finding meat substitutes that satisfy your family’s taste for meat.
- Going completely vegan.
As a family, we have become accustomed to eating meat with only around half of our meals. We don’t require that those meals include meat substitutes, but I have found that I enjoy the taste of some of the better plant-based meat products on the market.
I think you have to find what works for your family. I know my kids and my husband don’t love the idea of plant-based meats, but I will disclose to you that they have occasionally eaten the following products and are none the wiser. That is because they are so convincing!
If your family wants to eat less meat, but struggle with giving up the real thing; I encourage you to give some of these a try.
Ground beef substitute
This is the closest I have come to the real thing. My kids even ate a meatloaf made from it without blinking. Yeah, wow! In fact, here is the recipe:
You can typically find this product at your local Kroger as well as other grocery stores. I even found their burger patties being sold at Costco recently.
I love the clean ingredients. The only ingredient that I question a bit is the “natural flavors,” but it is a non-gmo verified product, so I feel pretty good about this.
Beyond Meat sells a variety of other red meat substitutes, including their plant-based Beyond Sausage. We have enjoyed some tasty outdoor barbecues with these sausages as the feature entree. They have not disappointed.
Here is a pasta recipe that wears it well:
The ingredients are similar and I find that it satisfies green mama expectations! And Beyond Meat’s tasty meat alternatives don’t stop here–you can check out all their options, listed on their site.
Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n
Skip all that MSG and other chemical additives found in Chinese restaurant food, and opt for this quick & easy dish instead! My family loves to prepare this as a stir-fry using up whatever veggies we have on hand and piling it on top of rice or quinoa.
Following is Gardein’s ingredients list:
WATER, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE*, VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN*, EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL*, YEAST EXTRACT, ORGANIC CANE SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVORS (FROM PLANT SOURCES), SEA SALT, ONION POWDER, PEA PROTEIN, CARROT FIBER, BEETROOT FIBER, EXTRACTIVES OF PAPRIKA AND TURMERIC.
I love that there products are also non-GMO verified as that is what makes them truly trustworthy in my view!
Classic Meatless Meatballs
Gardein’s meatless meatballs are another one of this brand’s amazing vegan options. We love them in place of the meatballs in a traditional spaghetti dish or on a hoagie roll to make a sandwich. The following recipe is a great option, too!
Recently, I discovered the Aldi’s meat substitute brand, Earth Grown. I’ve only tried their jumbo meatless hot dogs so far, but they offer several other products as well. The hot dogs are, indeed, vegan; however, it is important to note that their breakfast sausages do contain egg.
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