Cutting back on meat is not only good for your health, it’s good for the planet. Almost half the grain grown in the U.S. is used for livestock feed. To produce a one pound steak it takes 16 pounds of feed, and as much water as a typical household uses in a whole month! The cost of livestock production, in usage of fossil fuels, is also enormous.
By reducing the meat in your diet, you’ll also appreciate the savings at the supermarket!
Wild Alaskan Salmon and Peppers
This recipe makes four generous servings, and only uses one cup of salmon. Chicken, turkey or pork, cut in small bite-sized strips, can be substituted for the salmon.
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 each, red and green peppers, cut in strips
1 can (28oz) tomatoes, undrained
1 cup cooked, flaked wild Alaskan salmon
1/2 tsp pepper
12 oz spaghetti or vermicelli
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pitted black olives
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
- In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender.
- Add red and green peppers and tomatoes. Break up tomatoes with a fork, and include the liquid.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until ingredients begin to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook pasta in separate pot for 8-12 minutes, until tender. Be sure water is salted. Drain well and add the salmon.
- Pour sauce, cheese, olives, and parsley on top and toss lightly.
Black Bean Chili
Serves 6-8, using just 1 lb. of ground beef. Chili lends itself to substitutions, so feel free to make changes if you don’t have all the ingredients.
1 lb ground beef
2 cups chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup each, chopped celery, carrots
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tsp cumin
4 cups drained canned black beans
1/4 cup sliced chives
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup mild green chilies
16 oz can chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
- In a small skillet, brown meat and drain. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring apple juice to a boil over medium heat. Add onions; saute for 2 minutes.
- Add celery, carrots, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Saute 3 minutes.
- Add black beans, stock, honey, chilies and tomatoes. Raise heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to med-hi and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in cheese and serve with a dollop of sour cream in center of dish. Garnish with sliced chives.
Teriyaki Beef with Noodles
Serves 6, with 1 lb.of flank steak.
1 lb flank or sirloin steak
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp canola oil
3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cups broccoli
3/4 lb penne, linguini or udon noodles
2/3 cup boiling water or stock
4 green onions, sliced diagonally
1 each: carrot, onion, red pepper, celery thinly sliced
- Slice steak diagonally, as thin as possible. Cut each slice into thirds, crosswise. Place in bowl with 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until tender.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok, or large skillet. Add steak and cook for several minutes. Remove to separate dish.
- Heat remaining oil (1 tsp) in wok. Add vegetables except green onions. Stri-fry several minutes. Add steak, remaining teriyaki sauce and water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 2 minutes.
- Drain pasta well and add to wok. Cook for a few minutes, tossing until pasta absorbs juice. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.
Stir-fries are more about the process than the ingredients. You can use whatever you have on hand, and can use any amount of meat you like. The recipe for the sauce is included here, but you can also buy prepared sauces for stir-fries as a shortcut. Serves 6.
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp brown sugar or honey
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb. beef sirloin, pork tenderloin, or boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
8 cups thinly sliced mixed vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans.
- Stir all sauce ingredients together and let stand while preparing the stir-fry. For easy slicing, firm meat slightly by placing in freezer for 30 minutes. Slice thinly into 1/4′ wide strips.
- Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add meat and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Stir sauce and add to wok along with vegetables. Stir-fry until vegetables are hot but still crisp, about 5 – 8 minutes. Cover pan between stirrings to steam the vegetables.
- Serve over rice.
Serves 6-8, with only one pound of ground beef. Easy to prepare.
12 corn tortillas
2 cups cottage cheese, drained
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 tsp each salt, pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper
1 can (16 oz) tomatoes, chopped
3 onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives
- Brown the ground beef in skillet; drain fat. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Heat.
- Cover bottom and sides of a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish with tortillas. Pour beef mixture over tortillas: place a layer of tortillas over meat mixture and set aside.
Combine cottage cheese, Jack cheese and egg, and pour over tortillas. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle rows of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, green onions and olives diagonally across casserole.
Crock Pot Bacon and Lentil Soup
Here’s a low-meat alternative that’s rich in protein, low in fat, easy to prepare, and keeps well as leftovers. Just a small amount of bacon, per serving, adds a satisfying meat flavor. Serves 8.
1 lb lentils
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and chopped
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can chicken or beef broth
2 bay leaves
6 cups water
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- Saute bacon and garlic in a small saucepan until bacon is cooked, but not too crispy. Dry bacon on a paper towel and cut into small pieces. Scrape the garlic and bacon drippings into a large crock pot.
- Combine all other ingredients, except the cheese, bacon and Worcestershire sauce, into the crock pot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Stir in the chopped bacon when dish is almost finished cooking, and add Worcestershire sauce to taste.
- Sprinkle grated Romano cheese on each dish when serving.