A "New" Way of Eating: Fauna-to-Flora
Really, a pretty way of saying you're doing less meat and more vegetables
Mid-month into the whole new-year-new-you ritual, it's time to take stock. Like most people, I've scored a few points in the resolution game and lost just as many. But one big change has been easy to sustain for more than a decade—tipping my diet away from animal products and more toward vegetables.
The beauty of this goal is that it's free of judgment and big on flexibility: You learn to visualize what you eat as falling on a spectrum with plants on one end and meat/poultry/fish/dairy on the other. (Think of it as a fauna-to-flora spectrum—so pastoral!) As your awareness increases, the easier it becomes to adjust shopping lists, recipes, snacking habits, and even the way you order from restaurant menus.
When Mark invited me to join him researching the book that would become Food Matters in the late 2000s, we hoped that changing the way we ate would last forever, but honestly wouldn't know until we tried. And now, after Mark has published numerous books and articles on the topic—including VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 and the follow up cookbook; the stories and recipes here at The Bittman Project; and a groundbreaking text-based interactive guide aptly titled “How to Eat Less Meat” (right now 25% off with code NEWYEAR)—he's got all the tools you need to help make the important steps to improve your health while having a positive impact on the environment.
Whether you're just starting on this journey or are well on your path up the fauna-to-flora spectrum, we've put all the tools in one box, starting with the recipes that follow. Or you could start with this piece, “How to Replace Meat.” The books that unpack Mark's eat-less-meat approach are here, here, here (as a start). Watch the TED talk that spawned a movement—now more than 5 million views strong—here. Or try the definitive interactive guide. Join us!
The recipes, below:
Vegan: Bulgur Pilaf with Something Hefty and Something Green
Less Dairy, More Vegetables: Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Ricotta
Less Meat, More Vegetables: Gingery Winter Stew
Fewer Eggs, More Vegetables: Pane Cotto
Bulgur Pilaf with Something Hefty and Something Green
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
This completely plant-based recipe demonstrates how well bulgur—which is partially cooked cracked wheat—works with all sorts of flavor profiles. Instead of steeping this bulgur in plain water, you get all the other ingredients and seasonings going in a big pot first, then let the grains steep and soak in all that flavor while you set the table. Edamame and bok choy provide the example, then build in the variations that follow and your own ideas.