Less Meat, More Veggies

Now that I know that I need to increase my fruit and vegetable intake and decrease my meat consumption,  I’m looking for new recipes to get more fruit and vegetables in and find ways to stretch out the little bit of meat I should have in my diet.  This is what I'm doing:

1) Blend & Extend: It’s funny how sometimes information finds you at just the right moment.  Last night, I happened upon a twitter party hosted by the Ontario Beef Farmers and Mushroom Canada. (Did you even know there was a Canadian mushroom group?? Neither did I!) They were bringing attention to something they call “Blend and Extend,” which is basically stretching out your ground beef recipes by adding chopped mushrooms, because they can have a similar texture and mix in well. As a bonus mushrooms add more than I thought they would. (See http://www.blendandextend.ca/fresh-mushrooms-and-your-health/ for more information.) I’ve done this before with spaghetti sauce, but hadn't taken it any further. Since mushrooms are added to a lot of meals in my house, it's a perfect strategy.  They also created a website for Blend and Extend, which includes some recipes.   I’m going to try this one: http://www.blendandextend.ca/portfolio/taco-salad/ and I may try to alter my own chilli recipe so that it uses the blend and extend idea. 

2) Meatless Monday: I’m going to try to work a meatless day into my week, to try some alternative ways of getting protein and mix it up a bit.  I found this website http://www.meatlessmonday.com/ to help. It includes lots of recipes and little recipe e-books free to download.  The whole vegetarian thing is a bit scary for me.  The recipes always call for things I’ve never used before, so this could be an adventure.  I’m going to try though!

3) Soups: I love soup.  I think I would eat homemade soup everyday if I could. In an attempt to pack more veggies into my meals, I’m going to try to look for some vegetable soup recipes that will allow me to add vegetables without having to eat a salad or a side of cooked veggies all the time.  That gets boring to me, so I need to mix it up. So, I’ve been pinning lots of soup recipes, especially tomato and blended vegetable soup recipes, and hope to try one or two this weekend. 

So, now I've got my to do list. See, this blogging thing really does help me focus a little more!  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I'll try to have some yummy recipes to share next week.
 
Do you have any tips on how I can cut down on the amount of meat I eat while upping the servings of veggies I eat?  Or maybe you have a really yummy soup (or exciting salad) recipe you’d like to share.  Let me know! I need all the help I can get!

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