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How To Eat Less Meat: Go "Meat-Light" With These Recipes

We get that it's hard to eat less meat - that's why we're giving you tips on how to eat less without saying goodbye to it entirely.

Have you ever considered going vegetarian, but found it hard to commit? We get it - and that's why we're giving you tips on how to eat less meat without entirely omitting it from your diet. It can take a long time to fully figure out what it is that makes your body happy. For us, we’ve found that eating less meat and eating more vegetables makes us feel healthier all-around. That said, we aren’t vegetarians – and while we fully applaud people who are, we still feel like our bodies do need some meat to function at their best. Our solution? Eating more “meat-light” meals.
In short, cooking “meat-light” isn’t all that different than what you’re probably used to- it’s the portions that change. So instead of framing a meal around meat, then adding veggies and grains, vegetables become the star. And meat? Well, it’s still there (we’re not giving it up!) but it’s more of a garnish than the main event. For example, tossing some shrimp into a pasta loaded with vegetables, or just adding half the normal amount of sausage to a baked pasta dish (pro-tip: pasta is your BFF.)
The key is balance. You need a decent amount of fat, protein and carbs, no matter what kind of food you’re consuming. For example, a plate full of vegetables may not fill you up – but, a plate full of vegetables with some creamy protein-rich white bean dip might just do the trick! Similarly, with dinners, we find our plant-based proteins with beans, nuts, and whole grains. Our sources of richness with these recipes generally comes from olive oil and parmesan!
That said, when all you’re craving is a filet of beef or some chicken? Heed the call! The best favor you can do for you or your family in that situation is try and find organic, pasture-raised, hormone-free meat. When you’re putting less of it in your diet, it’s more realistic and doable to splurge a bit on better quality meat.
So, how are we eating less meat these days? These recipes – some that have a little bit of meat, and some that have none at all.

how to eat less meat

Soba Noodle Salad

This Asian spin on a pasta salad is loaded with crunchy vegetables. The longer this salad sits in the fridge, the longer the flavors blend, the more the noodles soak up the dressing, and the better it all becomes. If you haven’t tried buckwheat, it’s a nutty whole grain that makes chewy noodles – and if you’re gluten free, just be certain to check the label that there’s no wheat!


how to eat less meat

Linguine With Asparagus And Shrimp

 Tons of fresh herbs and bright flavors make this a perfect recipe for the season. This pasta is loaded up on the veggies with sweet cherry tomatoes and savory asparagus, and tossing in some shrimp gives it that extra added protein - without overwhelming the entire dish.


how to eat less meat

Aglio E Olio With Peas And Prosciutto

When my Nonno Dino arrived in Capri, he always made pasta with olive oil and garlic – which translates to aglio e olio! I dressed it up in my spin on the dish with one of my favorite flavor combos: peas and prosciutto. Not only is this pasta dish full of flavor, but it takes 25 minutes start-to-finish.


Paccheri With Steak And Peppers

This hearty dish was inspired by my family in Italy. It’s easy, kid-friendly and filling, making it a great quick weeknight dinner. Instead of having steak be the star of the dish, little pieces are tossed in with the noodles.


Campanelle With Fresh Puttanesca Sauce

I love this recipe, because it is a much lighter and fresher version of puttanesca but no less flavorful! It's loaded with olives, red onins, herbs and tomatoes - plus a little salmon!


Vegetarian Japchae

apchae is an easy Korean dish of stir-fried vegetables and noodles, and I add a blend of mushrooms to make it extra hearty – plus some kale to give it extra nutrition. Authentically, this dish is made with potato starch vermicelli noodles, but you can just as easily substitute with angel hair pasta.


Pasta Ponza

Gratinéed tomatoes and capers are tossed with pasta, making a super bright and flavorful vegetarian dinner that's low effort and perfect for weeknights.


Lentil Soup

Lentils are crazy good for you, and there's a reason they're a staple in so many vegan and vegetarian diets: they're loaded with protein. This hearty soup will fill you up more than you thought a meatless dish ever could.


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