I've written before about my efforts to eat only sustainably raised, pastured meat. I've acknowledged that it is, in fact, very expensive to purchase such meat, and that in order to offset the cost, my family now eats less meat. It occurred to me that while this solution sounds easy, it's not actually easy in practice, so I thought I would start sharing a weekly menu, both to keep myself motivated and to give anyone who's interested ideas on reducing meat consumption. The idea is not to go "meatless", but to go "less-meat". I don't try to have X number of vegetarian meals per week; instead I try to have a good balance of protein from both meat and non-meat sources spread out over the course of the week.
Some practical points - I make no claims that I am saving any money here. I probably spend the same amount on meat as I did before I started buying sustainable/organic meat, and I've always spent absurd amounts on things like fancy cheese and artisan breads. Also, I am feeding two adults and one 3 year old, who will either eat nothing or eat an adult sized portion. I plan on cooking 5 nights a week, and we generally eat leftovers one night and do take-out another. Most meals also make enough to provide at least one lunch the following day. I will post recipes that I've developed myself, and cite or provide links to recipes that I've found elsewhere. Friday is my grocery shopping day, so I'll post the meal plan on Thursdays. Anyone who has ideas or recipes, please share!!
This week's meat was 1 pound grass fed ground beef, and 1 pound organic chicken breast.
Monday - blue cheese burgers made with grass fed beef and (frozen) sweet potato fries
Tuesday - pasta salad with cilantro pesto, tomatoes, avocado, corn, and 1/2 pound of grilled chicken, cubed (cilantro pesto recipe below)
Wednesday - strawberry spinach salad with blue cheese crumbles, sliced almonds, and 1/2 pound grilled chicken, cubed, with balsamic vinaigrette and rosemary olive oil bread
Thursday - black bean tacos
Friday - homemade pizza
about 2 cups (loosely packed) cilantro, stems removed
2 cloves garlic
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (use more if you want, or eliminate it altogether)
about 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the cilantro, garlic, lime zest, jalapeno, salt, and pepper in the food processor. Add about 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and pulse briefly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cheese. Pulse while drizzling in remaining olive oil until you've achieved the desired consistency. Stop to check your progress frequently - the more olive oil, the thinner the pesto.