August 02, 2011

As an enthusiastic carnivore, I surprisingly go meat-free for many meals.

The reason? There's three:
1. Meat is usually the most expensive item in my cart, and cheap ol' me will put it back on the shelf.
2. Veggies are easier to cook, anyway.
3. The meatless dishes I tend to make generally hit the spot sans-meat.

Unless you're awkwardly frugal like me or prefer the ease of cooking veggies, I think most meat-lovers can agree that the best vegetarian dishes are the ones where you don't miss the meat. For me, those dishes are either super fresh, like Gemelli Salad with Green Beans, Pistachios, and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette or Grilled Farmers' Market Sandwiches (shown at right), or are incredibly luxe or boldly flavored, like Butternut Squash Lasagna or Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi.

As a fellow carnivore, sometimes you just crave some meat. I get it! So if it's too tough to go completely meatless, try reducing the amount of meat consumed in a sitting without completely getting rid of it. Instead of using a full pound of ground beef for those sloppy joes, sub in shredded carrots and finely chopped mushrooms for half of the meat, and you'll still get meaty flavor and texture. Or opt for seafood instead of red meat or poultry (it's good for you, after all). Or instead of taking the normal 3-4 ounces of pork tenderloin, eat 1-2 ounces and fill the rest of your plate with vegetable sides.

Are there other meat eaters out there who have any tricks to get more veggies in your diet? Any favorite healthy vegetarian recipes?

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