March 6, 2008

Going Meatless

Well, some of the time. Back when I was on a very strict eating plan (before children, B.C.) we only ate meat maybe twice a week. I felt great and was losing weight! Anyways, personally, I really like meat and as long as you can get good quality meat it is a health giving food.

But, most of us can't get good meat because of price or lack of availability. However I would encourage anyone to go to www.localharvest.org and you may be able to find good meat sources. I was surprised to find several farms nearby that sell free range chicken, turkey, eggs and beef. I have to find out if we can afford it yet though...

Anyways, in trying to cut down the grocery bill a bit, I've been including more meatless meals. I finally seem to have figured out how to cook beans so that can live with each other, LOL. And my mother-in-law gave us a couple of pounds of organic navy beans and split peas. Free stuff! My goal is 3-4 meatless meals per week.

This week's plan was:
Monday- shepherd's pie using 1 lb ground beef and lots of smashed taters on top, broccoli, cupcakes for Sarah's b-day
Tuesday- we ate whole wheat waffles with cinnamon apples and turkey bacon
Wednesday- homemade baked beans, potato salad, corn
Thursday- French onion soup (with toasted homemade sourdough bread and cheese on top) and potato-cheese pierogis
Friday-spaghetti with 1lb meat, salad and maybe a dessert
Saturday- not sure yet, birthday party day, maybe something in crockpot
Sunday-tomato soup and grilled cheese

For breakfasts we've been eating eggs, hot cereals and today was French toast. I've stopped buying turkey ham and bacon so much and limit it. Monday I made biscuits, bacon and fruit since we were out of eggs. Lunches are interesting. One day I cut up some homemade venison summer sausage (father-in-law's), cheese, deli turkey, grape tomatoes, pink grapefruit and carrot sticks, piled it on a plate and let the girls pick how much they wanted to eat. They ate the whole plate! There was a lot of food too. One day I made tuna salad eaten with saltines and fruit.

So, how do I pick what meals to make and such?

Well, sometimes I look online, but then I get confused because there is SO much to look at. I mainly started thinking back to the meals I used to make and pray. I think of what meals we like that can be meatless too, like spaghetti doesn't have to have meat in it.

Here is a list of meals that are good and meatless:

macaroni and cheese

potato soup-can be made so many different ways

burritos with beans and rice or lentils

chili with beans and veggies-no meat

egg quiches or fritattas

any kind of veggie soup and the French onion soup too

baked potatoes with toppings! (broccoli, cheese, veggie chili etc)

cheesy lasagna

cheese enchiladas

baked beans, tater or pasta salad

Cheese and eggs are protein and can be considered a type of meat, but they are generally cheaper than meat. It's easier to find good quality eggs at an affordable price too. Stretching meat is a good skill to have too. We all know it's a better deal to buy a whole chicken and use it a few different ways.

1. Roast chicken and serve with veggies, rice etc.
2. pick all meat off, put carcass in pot of water with veggies and let simmer a long time to make stock.
3. Use meat to make chicken salad, chicken soup, chicken and dumplings, mix with beans for chicken burritos,make chicken pot pie etc.
4. make soup with stock

Or, cook a roast and use the leftovers for stew, stroganoff, sandwiches etc. I only buy roasts when they're on sale though.
Well, this may not be anything new, but it's what I'm working on.

1 comment:

Mrs.KAOS said...

White canalliene (spelled wrong) beans are good with pasta, you can mix it with a can of diced tomatoes and another veggie or just put them in with tomato sauce. Also my mother in law has free range grass fed chickens, they are not to expensive to keep and my get your taxes reduced by qualifying as farm land. She gives us free eggs, you may be able to find a local hobby/small farmer and barter with them for eggs and veggies.