Re-work your favorite traditional family recipe to reduce meat and dairy
Less meat, more taste! Tips for giving family recipes a makeover
Traditional family recipes are so important to all of us – the thought of adapting something with such emotional value may seem daunting. But, there are ways you can adjust a special traditional family recipe to keep its importance to you while decreasing or removing the meat and dairy within it. Try these two approaches:
If you want to reduce the amount of meat and dairy: Flip the veggie-to-meat ratio. Many recipes have a meat to veggie ratio of four to one or more. If you don’t want to cut out the meat entirely, you can flip the ratio so that you still have the meat in the dish, but have more veggies than meat. This will keep the flavor, reduce the environmental footprint, and increase the healthfulness of the dish. You can even use the money saved by buying less meat and dairy to buy higher quality ecological meat and dairy.
If you want to replace the meat and dairy: Swap out the meat and dairy with plant protein sources and other veggiesMany people in the world actually consume more protein than they need. However, if you are concerned about retaining the protein content of your dish, you can replace the meat/dairy with plant protein. Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), certain grains, nuts, and seeds are all high in protein. You can also use tofu, tempeh, seitan, textured vegetable protein, and plant-based milks and cheeses.
Swapping out one starch for another can also do wonders for your meal. You can replace the type of starch with one that is equally delicious but has more protein content. For example, dishes that call for white rice, pasta, or potatoes can be replaced by cornmeal, wheat berries, teff, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, wild rice, millet, couscous, oatmeal, or buckwheat.
Share your results
Once you’ve put a new spin on your traditional family recipe, try inviting family members to make the new version with you at the next family occasion. Share photos of the old and new versions and what you changed on social media. Even challenge your friends and family to try making the new version themselves.
Who knows – maybe your new and improved version will become the new tradition!