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Sustainable Eating September 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Sustainable Living.

3D-CowThe best and fastest way to break out of a rut is to try something new.

Sometimes the something new we choose moo-ves us to greater simplicity and sustainability, saving us time and money.

With a few easy tweaks we can benefit ourselves AND the planet by changing our diet, our buying habits, and even how we vacation.

By way of example:

Donald-Duck-DrivingEating vegetarian meals is better for the planet.

In fact, what we eat has more impact on the environment than what we drive.

PLUS going “meatless” is better for our health, our wallets, and for the animals we would otherwise be consuming.


When we moved from “meat” to “meatless” (circa 1997), we started small by swapping out the meat in our favorite recipes.

  • Instead of chicken curry, we made broccoli curry.
  • Instead of beef tacos, we made veggie tacos.
  • Instead of lasagna with meat sauce, we made veggie lasagna with broccoli, spinach, and grated carrot.

We found that the food tasted better and we felt better.

AND we saved money by shopping for fresh produce instead of meat.
AND cooking was less messy (without worry about cross contamination).
AND less time consuming ~ I’ve cooked Thanksgiving Dinner in an hour.

2014-06-16 12-23-23_0003

“Every time we sit down to eat, each of us can make the world a better place simply by leaving animals off our plates.” ~TryVeg.com

To request a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide, visit  TryVeg.com

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more menu ideas:  A Month of Meatless Meals


1. Hariod Brawn - September 21, 2015

“Sustainable Eating” – I have no trouble sustaining my eating. 😉

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

Me neither! 🙄

2. Becky - September 21, 2015

We’ve been primarily vegetarian for over twenty years. I think I’m more creative a cook as a result of it!

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

Yes! Instead of following recipes as if they were set in stone, I feel free to create something that is entirely “me” ~ swapping out “this” for “that” and adding a hint of “that other thing.”

Becky - September 21, 2015

One of my favorite recipes – Gypsy Soup from The Original Moosewood Cookbook is written that way and completely inspired me to do that elsewhere!

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

I have culled my cookbooks down to about 7 in number ~ two of them are Moosewood Cookbooks. 😀

When I make soup, it’s never the same twice. I’m always swapping around the veggies, grains, and seasonings.

3. Jill Weatherholt - September 21, 2015

Thanksgiving dinner cooked in an hour…sign me up! All of the recipes sound yummy, Nancy.

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

I hated touching raw poultry and meat. All the blood and guts shivered me timbers! Having vegetarian Thanksgivings for the past 20 years has been G~R~E~A~T. It’s so much easier and quicker to cook all the sides without trying to time it to a turkey.

Gobble. Gobble.

Jill Weatherholt - September 21, 2015

Gosh, it’s almost that time of year again! Gobble Gobble to you too! 🙂

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

This year is FLYING ~ the time line from Memorial Day to Independence Day to Labor Day to Now is one big blur.

4. L. Marie - September 21, 2015

That video was ADORABLE!!!! Love Milkshake; love watching the spring in her step.
Wow! Thanksgiving in an hour! Woot!

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

Milkshake has personality and pizzazz! What a cow.

For Thanksgiving, we do all the sides (mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, cranberry relish, homemade bread) and pie (which I buy). Since vegetables don’t take long to cook, dinner pulls together in no time . . . especially without a big old bird hogging the oven and counter space.

5. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - September 21, 2015

I’ve been vegetarian almost a year and am loving it! One of the most startling facts I read was that one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprint was meat. Unlike a lot of the produce, which can be grown locally, or closer to home, most of the meat is shipped, plus all of the feed that goes along with it! Not why I went vegetarian, but made my environmentalist heart light up with that happy side effect!

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

The Meat Industry has a profoundly negative impact on the environment. The article I linked to concluded with this nugget:

Separately, a second study of tens of thousands of British people’s daily eating habits shows that meat lovers’ diets cause double the climate-warming emissions of vegetarian diets.

The study of British people’s diets was conducted by University of Oxford scientists and found that meat-rich diets – defined as more than 100g per day – resulted in 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions. In contrast, both vegetarian and fish-eating diets caused about 3.8kg of CO2 per day, while vegan diets produced only 2.9kg. The research analysed the food eaten by 30,000 meat eaters, 16,000 vegetarians, 8,000 fish eaters and 2,000 vegans.

Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - September 21, 2015

Holy moly, it’s just insane and makes me happy, so very much happier, with my decision!!

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

Eating vegetarian makes me happy too!

6. Pix Under the Oaks - September 21, 2015

We don’t have any problem not having turkey for Thanksgiving because CH does not like turkey. So it’s noodles, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry out of the can, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Milkshake is darling and could make me give up hamburgers… maybe. I love cows, they can really have sweet personalities and they love their babies. Our neighbors have cows and they hang over our fence. We love seeing them and giving them scritches. They are pet cows, a very small herd of Scottish Highlands. They would never think of eating them but I doubt they are vegetarians… 🙂 I don’t mess with the mess of poultry at home but I do like chicken and fish. I have thought about not eating meat and did do it for about 2 years 20 years ago due to some health issues. I am going to check out your link!

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

As with most things in like, balance is key. Progress not perfection. Enjoying more meat-less meals is better for us, the planet, and the animals . . . but we don’t have to go “whole hog.”

Having a herd of Highlanders hanging over the fence = priceless!

Pix Under the Oaks - September 21, 2015

I should get some pictures. They have not been in the pasture behind us all summer because they took down the fence and cleared the fence line for a new fence which is suppose to go up this week. The “herd” is about 12 cows… 🙂

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

Yes! Hunt down that herd of highlanders and snap away.

Grazing cows are photogenic ~ I love seeing them around here. Busy chewing their cud.

7. anotherday2paradise - September 21, 2015

Loved the video, Nancy. Your meatless meals sound delicious.

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

Milkshake is precious ~> that is one HAPPY good MOO-D cow!

anotherday2paradise - September 21, 2015


nrhatch - September 21, 2015

And thanks! We never feel deprived at meal time. It’s all good!

anotherday2paradise - September 21, 2015

I’ve downloaded the list of a month’s meatless meals. 🙂

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

Yay! Hope you enjoy making and eating some of them.

If you need more ideas or recipes, you can type “vegetarian” into the search bar or use the “search category” widget by clicking on “vegetarian recipes.”

8. Carol Ferenc - September 21, 2015

Oh, Milkshake could convert any meat-eater!

nrhatch - September 21, 2015

I know! So adorable.

9. Behind the Story - September 22, 2015

Having developed asthma late in life and allergies and sensitivities to eggs, dairy, wheat, and kidney beans, I do the best I can with what’s left. I love your picture of the lasagna. Wish I could eat something like that.

I heartily applaud your intention of having a smaller impact on the environment. It’s a responsibility we all share.

nrhatch - September 22, 2015

Remembering the environment counterbalances the “More Is More” mentality that pervades the marketplace.

You might keep your eyes open for wheat-less lasagna noodles. We’ve had some great GF pasta made from rice.

Here’s a recipe for Gluten Free, Dairy Free Vegetable Lasagna that looks good: http://yumuniverse.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-vegetable-lasagna/

Behind the Story - September 22, 2015

Thank you so much for the recipe, Nancy. I’ve never heard of dairy-free, soy-free ricotta. I think it will be a good addition to my diet.

nrhatch - September 22, 2015

You’re welcome. When we have dietary limitations, nuts and veggies are great pinch hitters ~ e.g., my sister makes a dairy free alfredo sauce with raw cashews that is awesome.

10. ericjbaker - September 22, 2015

Great message. The environmental impact of raising cattle in mass numbers is severe. Not just the space they take up and the water resources they consume, but the fact that so many more people could be fed affordable if that land were used for vegetables and legumes.

nrhatch - September 22, 2015

Yes! Feeding grain to cattle to produce meat is far less efficient than feeding the grain to people. And eating grain is “kinder.”

11. Revealing the Darkness or Reveling in It? | El Space–The Blog of L. Marie - September 22, 2015

[…] found the following video by the Grace Foundation at Nancy Hatch’s blog in her post, “Sustainable Eating.” While Nancy had a different take on making the world better, the video was another reminder to me […]

12. Grannymar - September 22, 2015

I love ‘experimenting’ with different ingredients when making my meals one experiment recently was roasted butternut squash and rhubarb soup. Very moreish!

nrhatch - September 22, 2015

I’ve had roasted butternut squash soup. And I’ve had a chilled rhubarb soup. But I would never have thought to combine them into one. Go you!

13. diannegray - September 22, 2015

I’m growing so many vegies in my garden there’s no room on the plate for meat (plus I feel sorry for the poor cows/sheep/pigs/chickens) 😦

nrhatch - September 22, 2015

Yes! Even before I adopted a vegetarian diet, I didn’t like meat as much as veggies and grains. I would load up my plate with the stuff I loved and, space permitting, take a small sliver of turkey or london broil.

If I ran out of room I skipped the meat. Better still!

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