Less Meat, More Protein

Not sure if it is true with all ladies, but I have found for myself, and from speaking with others, that even modest portions of animal flesh protein are becoming less and less appealing.

There are so many options with nearly unlimited supplies of nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and the many dairy products (milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, milk puddings, gravies and sauces, etc.) available as supplements or substitutions for meat on a regular basis.  This sunflower butter shown above is very handy to squeeze into or onto things.  I use it in my cooked cereal for a bit of a smoothness and flavor.  I also put in regular sunflower seeds, so get a double sunflower whammy.  At afternoon snack time, it goes well on Triscuits, apples, or pears.

That’s not to disparage or banish SMALL amounts of meat in dishes – a hamburger-sized portion is sufficient for incorporation into about a quart of a nice, vegetable-rich, mushroom replete, well-herbed tomato marinara sauce for a fab pasta dish.  If you favor Italian sausage, then this amount is more than plenty; I usually use a bit of both.

Topped with a generous portion of mozzarella and some Parmesan, Romano, or my favorite – Asiago . . . well, you’ve probably guessed that this is a mainstay around here!

If you want to go whole hog (pardon?), then you can pair this delicious sauce with any number of things, like regular or whole-grain pastas of any shape, or whole-grain hard rolls, regular leftover hot dog/hamburger rolls or a homemade, refrigerated, or purchased pizza crust.  It can even liven up a frozen pizza, which can be skimpily topped from what I’ve seen.

If you keep a supply of this sauce on hand in the refrigerator or freezer, it is there for quick use in so many ways.  Once straight up “Italian”-type dishes are grown tired of, you can so very easily switch to a nice, hearty bowl of chili by adding a can of (or freshly made in the InstantPot) beans.  Add some garlic and cumin and whatever level of pepper heat might appeal to you, and serve it forth with rice and saltines.  Cole slaw or cooked cabbage as an accompaniment is a favorite here.

This “chili” can also be spread down the middle of a tortilla with some shredded cheese if a binder is desired, wrapped up and heated a bit in a lightly greased (avocado oil works well) frying pan (watch it carefully) to brown a bit and seal the edges.

A small portion can be spread down the middle of a tortilla with cheese as above, or with additional veggies, and then rolled, sauced, and topped with a simple enchilada sauce and some additional cheese.  After having been baked, it brings forth a wonderfully hearty Mexican casserole that is hard to resist and the amounts of ingredients can be adjusted to feed any number of people.

Another alternative is to quickly heat up a tostada and toss in the meat and bean mixture, along with the usual Mexican cheeses, avocado, scallions, sour cream, and mild or hot peppers.  Still a couple of black olives lurking in the refrigerator?  Bring ’em on!

I haven’t ever had a drive-thru version of this sort of thing, but from the photographs I’ve seen . . . well, a homemade version seems far superior, and can be eaten easily in the comfort of your own home instead of balanced on your lap under a steering wheel, or need to be reheated when you get home.

To get back to my original photo above . . . although I have been squeezing a dollop of this sunflower butter into my cooked, whole grain cereal on many mornings, it is very obvious by the above outpouring of my own very off-topic words, that I’m easily distracted by my taste buds and brain, which often conspire against me.  Italian and Mexican dishes catch my attention pretty quickly – albeit they’re really not meant for breakfast – or are they?  ;->


About judilyn

RV'er, foody, caregiver, knowledge seeker
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3 Responses to Less Meat, More Protein

  1. Dale Ellis says:

    Thats great Judie! You may recall that I lost my excess weight on a vegetarian diet, and also eliminated most of my prescription meds. Since leaving all animal products behind, and eating only organic whole food plant based, my chronic kidney disease has gone from stage 4 to 2. My immune system has benefited too. I am sure you and Gary will reap dividends as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • judilyn says:

      Gary is not doing well with the cancer. His markers are off the charts, yet he continues on!

      I agree with you about prescription meds – waaaay too many of them. Not sure what to do in the case of cancer, though.

      Appreciate your input. ;->


  2. Shirley Nordenberg says:


    Liked by 1 person

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