3 Painless Ways to Eat Less Meat

Here are Aarti Sequeira's easy tricks for making a meatless meal a delicious one.

Aarti Sequeira's Mum's Everydat Red Lentils for Reshoots, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Aarti's Easy and Delicious Red LentilsBesides the health benefits of eating less meat – according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, eating less red meat reduces your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity – and the financial ones – meat is pretty pricey! – you also help reduce your carbon footprint: According to Oxfam America, meat production uses 8% of the world’s water supply!

What other reason do you need to go meatless, even just once a week?

I love the whole Meatless Monday trend, not just because I’m one of those freaks who loves her a big plate of vegetables, but also because I love the challenge of finding ways to satisfy my meat-loving husband. And I have! So here are some of my tricks to making a meatless meal a delicious one.

  1. Beans, beans, beans (and lentils)

Canned beans are one of the best things to hit the shelves since sliced bread! I always have a variety in my cupboard to add to salads, soups and quick vegetable sautees. Try straying from the well-worn path of black beans and chickpeas; black-eyed peas, great Northerns and even brown and green lentils make a great addition to your Monday arsenal. Red lentils cook up very quickly, especially if you have a pressure cooker – they cook up in 10 minutes in that sucka! If you’re looking for a good recipe for red lentils, my Everyday Red Lentils (pictured above) are a great place to start. I still make this recipe every couple of weeks when I’m fresh out of ideas. Combine with some rice to make a complete protein! You can also throw some beans in a food processor with tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil for a quick hummus-like dip.

  1. Veggie sweet potato burgers

Though I’m not a fan of those made with lots of soy (it doesn’t agree with me), I love the ones made predominantly of vegetables. And sometimes I’ll make my own: Boil or roast a sweet potato and puree it with some beans. Add some chopped vegetables (peas, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, sauteed shallots and garlic, herbs) and a binder like AP flour or chickpea flour. Shape into burgers and shallow-fry until crispy. Yum!

  1. Lots and lots of roasted vegetables!

Gone are the days of that greasy, slimy roasted vegetable platter. These days I love roasting up everything from broccoli to sweet potatoes! Roasting the vegetables draws out their sweetness and gives them a meatlike texture that allays the fears of meat-lovers. Speaking of which, here are a few vegetables that mimic that chewy meaty texture some of us miss: Brussels sprouts, eggplant, sunchokes and if you can find it, jackfruit.

Keep Reading

Next Up

50 Ways to Eat Healthy

Stick to your resolutions with light, healthy recipes to suit every appetite.

7 No-Sweat Ways to Burn Calories

These easy, everyday activities burn 100 calories, so why not add them into your routine?

Satisfy Your Dessert Cravings the Healthy Way

Get the recipe for the creamiest, dreamiest pudding ever that also contains a variety of amazing benefits.

On TV

Cheap Eats

10am | 9c

Cheap Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Cheap Eats

11am | 10c

Cheap Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Unique Eats

12pm | 11c

Unique Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Unique Eats

1pm | 12c

Unique Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Carnival Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Carnival Eats

7:30pm | 6:30c

Carnival Eats

8:30pm | 7:30c

Carnival Eats

9:30pm | 8:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Carnival Eats

10pm | 9c

Carnival Eats

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12am | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30am | 11:30c

Carnival Eats

1am | 12c

Carnival Eats

1:30am | 12:30c

Carnival Eats

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Mondays 9|8c

So Much Pretty Food Here