As vegetarian and vegan diets gain in popularity even some meat-eaters are trying out "Meatless Mondays." If you’re interested in reducing your consumption of meat, but feel intimidated to start, you've come to the right place.
Types of Meat-Free Eaters
"Meat-free" is actually a very broad term that includes a variety of different diets:
- "Vegan" – no animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs or honey
- "Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian" – no meat or seafood; does contain dairy and eggs
- "Lacto Vegetarian" – no meat or seafood; does contain dairy
- "Ovo Vegetarian" – no meat or seafood; does contain eggs
- "Flexitarian" – mostly meat- and seafood-free
- "Pescatarian" – contains no meat and does contain seafood
Getting On Board
If you typically only prepare foods that include meat, it may be hard to break the cycle and get started with meatless meals. Here are three tips to get you going:
- Start with What You Know
Do you already have a few meals you occasionally make that are meatless? Make these more regularly while you ramp up your comfort with vegetarian cooking skills.
- Stick with the Fundamentals
If you're still learning to cook with tofu, tempeh or seitan, stick to more familiar vegetarian protein staples such as beans, nuts, seeds and lentils.
- Keep It Simple
Easy-to-prepare vegetarian options such as veggie or black-bean burgers are a great way to reduce meat consumption.
Find vegetarian inspiration from websites and blogs. Check out Stone Soup's collection of vegetarian recipes and tips and visit the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group.