Less Meat

September 20, 2009 by · 1 Comment 


Trendwatch: Less Meat is Hip

By Kate Heyhoe

Get ready: a new wave of cookbooks geared at cutting back (or cutting out) meat will soon hit the shelves. Hurrah! The reduced-meat diet is seriously catching on. Hopefully, we can all adapt the meat-free trend into our daily lifestyle, another step towards making “being green” into the new normal.


This month, I’ve picked four basic meat-free recipes to inspire you (one per week), no matter how busy you are. And I’ve got a handful of main dish recipes where only a handful of meat is used.

People ask me all the time: what are the fastest, easiest ways to go greener in the kitchen? Simple: consume less meat. Eating less meat shrinks your cookprint in big ways, reducing a whole chain of emissions that start at the farm, ride into your store, and end up at your table.

As I mention in Cooking Green, producing a single serving of beef requires more than 2600 gallons of water. Plus all the other global warming issues, like methane release and pollutants from livestock and factory farms. Plant based foods are the way to go, with loads of variety for wonderful flavor, texture, and nutrition: grains, nuts, leafy greens, root vegetables, legumes, and all the other fruits and veggies that fill our world. Don’t forget sea vegetables too, which are rich in nutrients, easy to prepare and great tasting, like my Wakame Salad.

Making a vow to eat less meat doesn’t mean committing to a total vegetarian diet, unless you want to. A meal that uses small amounts of meat as flavoring is still a great step to take if it replaces a meatier meal, where the steak, chop or chicken breast was at the center of the plate. Think fried rice, stir-fry, sausage and beans, pizza, paella, tamales, tacos and enchiladas, quiche and such.

Less is more, as they say. Gradually move from meaty meals to meat-free meals most days of the week. Cook fewer steaks and roasts, and more grains, beans and pastas. (And if you’re already a vegetarian, invite your carnivorous friends over and show them how to cook meat-free with style.) To get started, try the simple but delicious recipes below, from leading cookbook authors; they’re good templates, too, to customize with your own favorite ingredients. (And check out our archives of Pasta, Risotto and You for scads more recipes.)


DIY Basic Meat-Free Main Courses
Meat-Reduced and Fish Recipes

Double Up Roasting

September 20, 2009 by · Comments Off on Double Up Roasting 


by Kate Hehyoe


Double Up: Roasting two chickens uses about the same amount of energy as one. So roast two at the same time, enjoy one for dinner and save the other for sandwiches, tacos, or simply another meal. Freeze the meat for chicken salad.

Do the same with turkeys at Thanksgiving; after all, aren’t the leftovers the best part of the Thanksgiving dinner?

Quick Tips

Find more tips to shrink your cookprint in Kate Heyhoe’s book Cooking Green

More Double Up

September 20, 2009 by · Comments Off on More Double Up 


by Kate Hehyoe


More Double Up: Two smaller, shallower baking dishes and pans cook quicker than one large one. A lasagna recipe, for instance, can be cooked in two baking dishes, and shave off about ten minutes baking time. Enjoy one casserole the first night, and save the other for reheating on another night (it will fit easier in your fridge as well).

Pie Pan Casseroles: Don’t have two baking dishes? Glass pie pans (especially deep-dish) work great as baking dish alternatives and go right into the microwave. I even simultaneously roast two small chickens or pork roasts using two glass pie pans, and save one for leftovers.

Quick Tips

Find more tips to shrink your cookprint in Kate Heyhoe’s book Cooking Green