I had to look up the made-up word in my title to make sure I was spelling it correctly. That’s simply because we aren’t a family of meat-eaters. Growing up I remember most meals consisting of three staples: meat, starch, vegetable. Of course, there were meals that didn’t comprise of this trinity of foodstuffs, but in general, this is what I ate.
Fast forward to married life and meals on a budget. Wowza, meat is expensive! Our earliest days as a couple were lived out in Seattle and on Chris’ bank teller paycheck. We were as poor as two church mice and living on love, and so began the journey of mealtime creativity that left meat behind.
If you visited us today, you might be the only red meat to cross our threshold that didn’t come from the “manager’s special” section in the supermarket. We buy one whole chicken a week, use it for several meals and dine on meatless or slightly meated meals the rest of the week. We do love our Jimmy Dean sausage and JD shows up in many a meal, but besides Jimmy, our weekly chicken and perhaps some ham or bacon now and again, our fare is slender in the meat arena.
I never really planned to be a meatless (or less-meat) cook, this just sort of happened through a series of economic pressures and dining preferences. What I like about our less-meat home is that it’s forced me to be creative in the kitchen, to concoct culinary delights that are both tasty and nutritious from ingredients that differ from my childhood heritage. My greener side also loves that Chris and I are contributing a bit less to the antibiotic flooded meat market that is the US system. And our less-meat diet is probably healthier than the alternative…which is maybe why my dear husby has never added a pound in our 4 years of marriage!
So if you are a less-meat cook, send me your favorite recipes, ideas and cooking plans. Or if you would like to use a little less meat in your menu and have no idea where to start, I’m happy to share my scanty list of ideas to help you get off the ground. We aren’t meatatarians at the Peek home.