Venture into the Protein Group -- It's More than Just Meat!

Meatless meals is a trend that's been around for the last couple of years.  It encourages families to include meals that contain other protein sources like eggs, nuts, beans and peas in addition to meals with meat.  There are benefits to cooking up a few meatless meals each week -- check them out below:

  1. Focus on Fruits and Veggies -- Make your fruits or veggies the "main dish".  These food contain all those health promoting vitamins and minerals... and there are tons of them!   Check out this fruit filled recipe Winter Fruit Salad.
  2. More Fiber -- Vitamins and minerals are not the only hearty parts of fruits, veggies, nuts and beans.  They're also filled with fiber.  Great for keeping you feeling good on the "inside" and you feel full for longer which can help you to eat less.  Here's a high fiber recipe to try!
  3. Less Cholesterol -- Beans, peas and nuts have no cholesterol.  These foods are great for your heart!  Whip up this low cholesterol recipe tonight!
  4. Cost Savings -- With grocery prices rising, meat may be too expensive to have all the time.  A 32 oz. bag of dried beans is about $2 -- and that will last you for at least a few weeks.  Same great lean protein - just a lot less dollars.  Try this low-cost recipe your whole family will love!
Making a meatless meal can be simple and easy.  Here are a few ideas to make some of your most common meals without meat but still have a lot of flavor!
  1. Burgers.  Try making burgers with beans like lentils or black beans.  Mash the cooked beans, add breadcrumbs and an egg to bind the mixture and add your favorite herbs and spices. Bake for 10 minutes for a quick and easy meal.
  2. Pasta sauce.  If you are making your own pasta sauce, start with low sodium tomato juice and add herbs like thyme and basil for flavor.  Try adding veggies like chopped carrots, cauliflower, squash and zucchini for extra veggies.  Veggies can also be added to store bought pasta sauces too.
  3. Pizza.  Pizza can be made very tasty by adding veggies like peppers, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Your pizza has a variety of flavors and colors.
  4. Lasagna.  Try using veggies in place of meat when layering your lasagna.  Try using frozen or canned veggies and add to pasta sauce when layering lasagna.  Your family will love it!

No comments

Post a Comment

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP in cooperation with Maryland's Department of Human Services and University of Maryland Extension. The University of Maryland Extension will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression.
© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall