Meat Shortage? We’ve Got You Covered!

Meat Shortage? We’ve Got You Covered!

- in Eco-Friendly, Food
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It’s no secret that grocery stores are a little short on certain items these days (toilet paper, looking at you; disinfecting wipes, nowhere to be found; why can’t I find taco shells or sugar-free jelly?). And now everyone’s worried about disruptions in our meat supply chain and rising costs of beef.

No problem! Consuming less meat can be budget-friendly, super healthy, AND environmentally-friendly! If you’re looking for easy meatless recipes to carry you into the summer months, here are a few of my favorites. And when I say easy, I mean easy. Because I am not a great cook!

Black Bean Pizzas

This is one of my favorites for a filling, high-protein meal with veggies baked right in that can be customized for each person in the family.

What you’ll need:

Canned black beans (low-sodium preferred)
Baguette
Salsa
Shredded cheese
Lettuce
Tomato
Chopped garlic
Spices (chili powder, cumin, hot sauce, salt, pepper)

How to prepare:

Warm up some chopped garlic in a pan. Add your black beans on top of it (one can is enough if you’re cooking for two people; best to bump up to two cans if you’re feeding a family). Coat the beans with a layer of each of your spices, mix them up and let them warm through. If you like spicy food, kick it up a notch with extra hot sauce.

Meanwhile, crank your oven up to 350 degrees, cut your baguette in half, and split the pieces lengthwise. You can use two pieces or four, whatever you need. Pull the excess bread out of the centers of the pieces to make little, hollow “boats.”

Fill your bread boats with the bean mixture and top it with whatever you like: salsa, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, or whatever else you find in your fridge.

Pop the pizzas in the oven until the cheese is melted. Then enjoy! Add some tortilla chips and salsa on the side for that extra “Mexican restaurant” pizzazz.

Feta Pasta

This one is courtesy of my dear friend and college roommate, Elizabeth. We used to make variations of this dish all the time in our college days! It’s one of my go-to comfort foods.

What you’ll need:

Box of farfalle pasta
Container of crumbled feta cheese
Zesty Italian salad dressing
Vegetables and herbs

How to prepare:

Cook your pasta according to the package directions and drain. Then coat the noodles with a layer of Italian dressing and mix it up. Stir in the container of feta cheese. If you really like feta, get a larger tub of cheese!

The great thing about this dish is you can mix in whatever you want. You can add chopped broccoli, cherry tomatoes, even olives. It’s also great served hot out of the pot or chilled for a picnic-style salad. Grab a side of garlic bread and chow down!

Breakfast Sandwich Smorgasbord

I don’t think the pork supply chain is in terrible danger yet, but just in case you can’t find any bacon, try a serve-yourself breakfast option with no meat and no fuss. If you have young kitchen helpers, this can be a lot of fun.

What you’ll need:

Loaf of your favorite bread (or bagels)
Sliced hard-boiled eggs
Sliced avocado
Sliced tomato
Cheese (try Gruyere, sharp cheddar, goat cheese, or good old American)
Chopped scallions
Cream cheese
Herbs and spices

How to prepare:

This is one your family can assemble on their own, so all you have to do is supply the ingredients and let them go to town. I suggest toasting the bread and then topping it with whatever you like. Egg or avocado would be hearty enough to work as a substitute for the meat layer; then you can top it with tomato, cheese, and whatever else you wish. A dollop of cream cheese on top might be a nice touch, or a little bit of basil.

Eat it open-faced or mash another piece of bread on top. Enjoy with a side of hash browns or fresh fruit. Breakfast is served!

About the author

Jennifer Bonnar is a Lake County resident, mom of a young son and daughter, and wife of fellow blogger Jason Lea. Her day job is in the publishing industry, in which she’s worked for 12 years. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Ohio University and earned her MBA from Lake Erie College. In her past life she worked in marketing at Cleveland Clinic and as an intern on the TV series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Born in Pittsburgh, she receives regular razzing for her lack of interest in Cleveland sports. She loves to travel and keeps busy taking her kids to karate class, reading and writing whenever possible, and of course finding ways to live greener!

1 Comment

  1. Great ideas, Jenny!

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