It is surprisingly simple to shift to a more plant based diet if you are a meat eater. Here are some steps you can follow to gradually up your veg game:
1. Make veggies tasty. If you go to a lot of effort to cook delicious meat, and simply boil/steam your veggies with no seasoning...you are setting yourself up for failure. If you have to choose between something delicious and something bland, you are obviously going to choose the more delicious food. This is just the way we are programmed. So experiment with different cooking methods, saute, braise, grill, stir fry! Also try different flavourings, maybe spicy, like chilli or curry, maybe creamy and rich like pesto, or simple and earthy like herbs and olive oil.
2. One dish meals. If your meat and veggies complement each other in one magical dish, like a pasta dish or stew, you won't be tempted to push the veggies to the side and just eat meat. You can gradually use more veggies and less meats in recipes you already know and love, which will help make the adjustment smoother.
3. Switch some of the meat for legumes and other veg. For example, switch lentils for about 80% of the mince in a recipe, you will still get the meaty taste and the protein, but you also get the added fibre and plant goodness. In the same way, chickpeas can be used instead of chicken.
4. Have one or two meat-free meals per week. Many companies share meat-free Monday recipes, these are often easy and delicious recipes aimed at meat eaters, and unlikely to leave you craving something more. Try one of these, maybe you like it... Also, being part of something bigger is a great motivator.
I will post some of my favourite meat free recipes next week!
I am a registered dietitian, and this is my blog.
Please don't see it as anything other than a blog; general information, snippets that I find interesting, and recipes that I enjoy. It is not meant to replace individual healthcare from myself or other healthcare professionals.