Some people keep food diaries, or a daily account of what and how much they eat. It can be a shocking read. All those snacks!
Take these records to a dietitian, and we may get another eye-opener: the amount of meat we consume.
Susan Watson is a registered dietitian and weight-loss coach in Winnipeg. Clients who bring their food intake diaries to her often discover they’re eating far more meat than what Canada’s Food Guide recommends.
“Its usually two or three times more. It’s quite remarkable,” she said.
What adds it all up is that six-oz. steak you had for supper, plus the meat in your sandwich, and maybe those two eggs for breakfast.
The recommended daily amounts of meat and meat alternatives are far lower than that; the guide recommends women eat two and men eat three servings of meat and meat alternatives each day — and a single serving is 2.5 oz. or 1/2 cup of meat, (or two eggs, or 3/4 cup of beans or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter).
On the flip side Watson fairly frequently sees some clients attempting to stop eating meat altogether. But while some try going meatless, few cut out meat altogether.
“I don’t think there’s more people today (on a strictly vegetarian diet) than there was five or 10 years ago,” she said. “To even just go down to the (Food Guide) recommendations can be difficult, never mind switching to a vegetarian diet.”
Her recommendation: have meatless meals once or twice a week, eat the recommended daily amounts of meat and alternatives, and choose leaner cuts of meat.
Three Sisters Soup
- 3 c. chicken broth2 c. frozen corn, thawed1 c. green beans or yellow wax beans, washed and ends trimmed off1-1/2 c. butternut squash (or pumpkin)2 bay leavesSalt and pepper to tasteOptional spices: 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or 1 tsp. each fresh (or 1/2 tsp. each dried) parsley, basil and oregano
Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan or kettle. Heat until the broth begins to boil. Add the corn, beans, squash and bay leaves.
Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash
I tried this recipe from the October 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine and loved it.
- 1 2-lb. acorn or delicata squash, halved, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch slices2 tbsp. canola oilSeasonings to your taste such as oregano, rosemary, thyme etc.Grated Parmesan cheese
Sweet Zinger Baked Beans
Canada’s Food Guide recommends we consume meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often. Meat alternatives are an inexpensive source of protein and are high in fibre and low in fat. Pulse Canada includes this tasty gluten-free, vegetarian recipe for beans on their website www.pulsecanada.com.
- 1 lb. dried navy beans1 c. diced onions2 tbsp. tomato paste1/3 c. light molasses1/4 c. brown sugar1 minced jalapeno pepper1 tsp. dry mustard1/4 tsp. ground red pepper5-6 c. water1 tsp. salt
Vegetarian Bean Lasagna
This is a recipe from Ontario White Bean Producers for making a delicious lasagna with beans instead of meat.
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 c. chopped onion2 cloves garlic, minced1 (14-oz./398-ml) can tomato sauce1 tsp. dried oregano1 tsp. dried basil1 (14-oz./398-ml) can beans in tomato sauce1 c. 2 per cent cottage cheese1-1/2 c. grated part skim mozzarella cheese1 (10-oz./284-ml) can mushroom pieces drained1 egg, beaten8 oven-ready lasagna noodles
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add onion and garlic. Sauté until softened. Add tomato sauce, oregano, basil and beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered eight to 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and egg; mix well. In a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, place one-half of the noodles; top with half the cheese mixture and half the bean mixture. Repeat layers and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake in 325 F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Serve with a tossed salad.Serves 6.