Help Me Find Fresh Ideas for Flexitarian Meals!

Good Questions

Q: I have recently begun adopting a more "flexitarian" diet/lifestyle, eating meat only two or three times a week. The hardest part has been finding dinners that both my carnivorous husband and I can eat. I'm sure there are others out there cooking for multi-diet homes and I am hoping to draw on the expertise of those people.

I would appreciate any tips on easy substitutes for chicken, beef, etc. I've of course been using tofu and tempeh, but am wondering what others incorporate into their meals. Thanks much!

Sent by Ashley

Editor: Ashley, we don't know how committed your husband is to eating meat at every meal, but this is one situation where we would suggest skipping the meat altogether, if you can, instead of trying to find substitutes. If you are cooking meat a few times a week anyway, why not go completely vegetarian on the other meals? My husband and I have been eating a lot of pasta lately, and I find that a rich, chunky tomato sauce with no meat is often very satisfying. We just don't miss the meat! Try this fusilli al telefono, for instance, or a dish of spinach pasta, pan-fried with lots of olive oil, garlic, and fresh spinach.

If you really want to add a little protein, you could also put a poached egg on top of the pasta. One other ingredient you can think about incorporating, too, is paneer or other hearty cheeses.

Readers, what tips do you have for Ashley?

Related: Beautiful Vegan Dinner Party Dishes

(Image: Wiley Publishing)

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Advice, Questions, Vegetarian

Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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