Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meat Eaters take a break with a Veggie Delight Dinner

In our country it is the norm to eat meat everyday and practically at every meal. Unfortunately, when people look at a plate of food without meat on it, they automatically think it will not be satisfying. Well I am here to give you some insight.

Don't get me wrong, I fully enjoy eating meat. However, when I do, it is high quality, healthy meat. It comes from animals that were grass-fed / vegetarian fed, without hormones and anti-biotics, and pasture raised (cage free.) This kind of meat does cost more which is why my husband and I only enjoy it at most, once a week. However, the health benefits alone outweigh the costs: the meat is lower in saturated and total fats than conventional meat, it contains 2 to 4 times the amount of Omega-3's (heart healthy fat), it improves cardiovascular health, and fights cancer.

You might be wondering if you will get enough nutrients like protein and iron if you eat less meat. This is not an issue because there are plenty of other food sources that contain these nutrients. My husband and I get most of our protein from foods like quinoa (a grain that has more protein than meat and is also a good source of iron), beans, almond milk, nuts, eggs, and fish.

If you are aware of how conventional meat in our country is processed and how the animals it came from were grown, raised, and fed, it would definitely make you think twice before consuming it . I highly recommend the documentary "Food Inc." to be fully informed on where your food comes from and how it was grown and made so you are able make healthier food choices.

But to give you a little insight now, here are some not so fun facts about our country's conventional meat:

- It is more likely to contain harmful bacteria that causes food-borne illness's (which can make you very ill and even kill you.)
- Animals are fed corn and other animal and waste materials which cause them to get sick and need anti-biotics. (grass-fed cows do not need anti-biotics)
- Animals are fed synthetic hormones (like rGBH) to make them grow faster and produce milk faster.
- Ground beef from corn fed cows is so full of bacteria they have to run it through ammonia to make it safe for people to eat. (if you can call ammonia soaked meat safe.)
- Animals are caged in inhumane conditions that increase the spreading of disease.

If this makes you feel like taking a break from meat today, here is a simple and delicious recipe you can try.

Roasted Broccoli and Quinoa

Quinoa cooks like rice but in half the time, bring water to a boil (double the amount of water to quinoa), add sea or kosher salt, add the quinoa, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook the broccoli for about 20 - 30 minutes


Fresh or frozen organic broccoli

1 organic small onion or 1/2 a large onion

8 cloves of garlic

Freshly ground black pepper

Crushed red pepper

Kosher or sea salt

Unrefined extra virgin olive oil

Spread broccoli, onion, and garlic on a flat pan or roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper (this will add a nice "kick").

Top the roasted broccoli over quinoa and enjoy. Who knew vegetables could taste this great!