Friday, May 10, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 39): Meat Minimalism and a Rain Dance

I was ahead of the game this week and started planning this post on Tuesday, when I noticed how much protein is in cottage cheese. Yesterday, I took Anne for her four month well-child visit and mentioned her frequent, painful, and strong-smelling gas. That, along with another intestinal issue, prompted her pediatrician to suggest I go dairy-free for two weeks and see if that helps. Oh, the irony. Anyway, I'll still share my ideas with you here.

Meat can provide important fats and proteins and, of course, taste delicious. However, it can also be expensive and less eco-friendly than other sources of protein.

If you want to enjoy the flavor of meat while spending less money, you can include it as a part of casserole. We enjoy potato soup flavored with chipped ham and Spanish rice with shredded chicken. In this way, the meat is part of the meal without being the focus. The starchy "side dish" becomes the focus and helps keep the meat serving to the recommended size.

Another option is to reduce the amount of meat from what is recommended in the recipe. When we make our chili recipe, we put in half the ground beef and add another can of beans for flavor and protein.

Also, meat and beans are not the only sources of protein. When I was making lunch earlier this week, I noticed that half a cup of cottage cheese has more than twice the amount of protein in a hot dog. Now, of course it's debatable if a hot dog should be called meat, but the point remains. Dairy has protein!

Soy and tofu are also good sources of protein, although I don't have much experience with them. The tofu I've had wasn't very good, but that may have been just prepared in a way I didn't like. I do like soy milk, though, which is good since I'm off cow's milk for the foreseeable future.

And in a totally unrelated final take, Peter dancing in the rain today!

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