No Meat! What Do I Eat?
by Paulette Millis
The Importance of Nutritionally Complete Meals
“What I wish to stress is that, with a little education, the many meals eaten without animal content could become nutrient dense and much healthier.”
The purpose of this writing is to increase your awareness of eating a balanced meal when all animal products are absent, either through design, unavailability, or for health reasons. I will list balanced meal plans, along with some recipes to add to your repertoire.
Many people who are meat eaters often consume one or more meals a day without animal products. These meals, then, are actually vegetarian meals and must be properly balanced with amino acids to insure a high quality protein. While relatively few people choose to be strictly vegan (no animal products of any kind) one must be knowledgeable on which food groups supply the necessary amino acids to replace the animal protein.
I particularly want to increase awareness of the lack of essential amino acids in many of our common meal choices, whether at home or eating out. Some examples of healthy foods, and some meal choices we often make but which are nutritionally incomplete are:
- whole grain toast and fruit sweetened jam,
- whole grain pancakes and fruit sauce,
- whole grain vegetable sandwiches,
- whole grain pastas and vegetable sauces,
- smoothies made with fruit, healthy oils, and raw nuts,
- Caesar salad with garlic toast,
- vegetable soup with whole grain buns or crackers,
- oatmeal with fresh fruit and a milk substitute such as brown rice milk.
In Food and Healing, Annemarie Colbin states “There are few eating habits as damaging as strict vegetarianism, or veganism (no animal protein, no milk products) when combined with the frequent use of refined sugar and/or honey.” Well balanced vegetarian meals, provided the body is suited for it, are extremely healthy. Colbin’s book is a must read for anyone considering the vegetarian lifestyle, as it contains so much good information on the pros and cons of vegetarian eating plus the effects of different foods, including all animal foods.
It goes without saying that every meal, to be balanced, must contain vegetables and/or fruits; of course, sugary foods, desserts, and snacks should be avoided. I have put a lot of energy into developing or modifying recipes in order to remove any refined, processed foods such as white flour and sugar, as well as planning meals with whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds without the benefit of dairy or soy products. It is important to note that I am NOT proposing a vegetarian diet, that is an individual decision. What I wish to stress is that, with a little education, the many meals eaten without animal content could become nutrient dense and much healthier.
The following breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal plans contain no meat and no dairy but DO qualify as high quality complete protein, complex carbs, and veggies. In addition, there are no processed foods. Where the words have the first letters capitalized, these are recipes either included at the end of this article or in my books, Eat Away Illness and Nutrition, Cooking and Healing.
1. whole grain pancakes with organic peanut butter and fruit sauce
2. Blender Pancakes, Gluten-Free Blender Pancakes, Paulette’s Fruit Sauce
3. whole grain pancakes made with apple slices, with almond butter, a bit of maple syrup, and poached eggs
4. whole grain toast with organic peanut butter and fresh fruit
5. smoothies with pea and rice protein powder, fruit of choice, coconut milk, and stevia, if desired
6. oatmeal with fruit, stevia or brown rice syrup, brown rice milk or nut milk, and boiled eggs
7. oatmeal with added pea and rice protein powder, dried fruit, nuts, milk substitute
8. poached eggs with wild rice, tomato slices, and avocado
9. Speedy Potato Pancakes and eggs
10. large salad with chickpeas, cornbread
11. whole grain vegetable sandwich and Split Pea Soup
12. Veggie Burgers and salad, steamed carrots
13. whole grain burrito with mashed beans, avocado, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded carrots
14. no meat chili over brown rice, salad
15. Yummy Kale Soup, green salad, Carrot Muffins
16. Beans for Breakfast, Barley and Vegetable Soup, green salad
17. Chili Beans, Beet Salad, quinoa, steamed asparagus
18. Five Bean Soup with whole grain crackers, raw veggies
19. Pasta and Lentils, green salad, steamed veggies
20. legume and grain salad with chopped raw veggies
21. Baked Beans and brown rice, steamed and raw veggies
22. Chickpea Curry, steamed veggies, Orange Currant Muffin
(lunches and dinners are interchangeable)
Add plain roasted peanuts to a trail mix to increase the quality of the protein. When dining out and choosing not to have meat or dairy, find a restaurant that serves beans soups, or dips and spreads made from chickpeas (garbanzos) such as Hummous. Chickpea Spread and Curried Chickpea Dip served with whole grain crackers provides high quality protein and a good source of complex carbohydrates.
(from Nutrition, Cooking and Healing)
1 chopped garlic clove
a bit of ground coriander
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
2 tbsp oil
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp curry powder
1 potato cut into 1” cubes
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
or 1 can of tomatoes
some basil (10 fresh leaves)
1/2 tsp celtic salt
1 tsp honey (optional)
1 tbsp tamari sauce
In a mortar, pound garlic, coriander, and peppercorns to form a paste. Heat oil and briefly fry the paste, then add the coconut milk, stirring well. Stir in remaining ingredients in order, bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Serve with brown rice. You can mash the potatoes if you wish to make a thicker sauce.
Speedy Potato Pancakes
(from Eat Away Illness)
1 tsp celtic salt
2 tbsp whole grain flour
1/4 cup wheat germ or rice bran
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 cups potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
Place eggs, onion, salt, flour, and baking powder in blender. Add 1/2 cup potatoes, cover and blend at grate speed about 1 minute. Add remaining potatoes and blend at chop or low speed until potatoes are of medium consistency, about 1 minute. Bake like pancakes on a hot well greased griddle. Serve or drain on paper towels. Makes 12, 2–3 inch cakes.
Yummy Kale Soup
(from Eat Away Illness)
4 cups chopped kale (remove stems)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cups pure water and 4 tsp chicken-like seasoning or 4 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked beans of choice: lima, navy, cranberry, or try chickpeas
1/4 tsp celtic sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
Cook kale in a large saucepan of boiling water; drain and run cold water through to cool. Squeeze out excess moisture. Sauté the onions and garlic in a large saucepan in the olive oil until onion is tender. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and kale and sauté about 4 minutes more. Add the chicken broth and the beans and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve.
Gluten Free Blender Pancakes
(from Eat Away Illness)
1 cup brown rice milk or almond milk
3/4 cup buckwheat groats or a combination of wild rice, buckwheat, brown rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Blend milk and whole grain in blender for 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend for a few seconds to make a batter. Pour small amounts on a lightly oiled medium hot griddle.
REFERENCES: Food and Healing, Annemarie Colbin; Eat Away Illness, Paulette Millis; Nutrition, Cooking and Healing, Paulette Millis.
The above information regarding nutritious food is not intended to replace any instruction from medical or health professionals.
Paulette Millis is a speaker, author, and nutritional consultant. To contract her for speaking engagements call (306) 244-8890 in Saskatoon, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Her books, Eat Away Illness and Nutrition, Cooking and Healing, are available at health food stores and at McNally Robinson Booksellers.