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Feb 5, 2010 06:58 AM

Learning to Eat Meat

I have been a vegetarian (cheese/eggs ok) for the last 14 years, but I've recently decided to add small amounts of meat to my diet, for a number of reasons. I plan to be able to eat normal meat dishes when I'm traveling in non-vegetarian friendly places or eating in the home of people serving meat, but at my home I would like to keep a vegetable centered diet, using small amounts of meat to enhance what I'm cooking, and leaving meat-centered dishes for special occasions.

I'm looking for your favorite recipes which are vegetable heavy, but in which meat plays some role. I'm thinking more of main dishes than of side dishes. All kinds of foods/regional cuisines are welcome- although I've never cooked meat, I'm very comfortable in the kitchen and like just about everything. I'm also looking for recommendations of cookbooks featuring this kind of cooking, just to get me started on ideas.


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  1. have you thought to first incorporate fish and poultry? much lighter and easier to digest than red meat.

    1. I would recommend that you focus on Asian dishes, such as stir-fry. In general, the protein component is small, with the emphasis on plenty of fresh chopped vegetables.
      Soups are another way to get protein from meat, with the bulk of the dish being broth, veggies, or pasta/starch, depending on the soup.

      1. Fish and poultry are good gateways, and Indian and Persian dishes will also be good places to start.

        1. I tried doing a search but to no avail. There's a delightful cookbook that I saw reviewed very highly that specializes in recipes that use "just a little meat."

          This vegetarian website has a whole keyword category for "a little meat:"

          It's a big decision you're making. For the best, I think. I've met a couple of people who were malnourished because they weren't doing the vegetarian thing "right." One got better because he added a little meat protein to his diet, per his doctor.

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