Putting the 'flex' in flexitarian

During the last year or two we have increasingly described ourselves as 'vegetarian', but the truth is we are more like 'flexitarians'. I haven't bought meat for about a year now, but we still indulge in fast food from time to time and will often eat meat when others serve it to us. As I typed that sentence about not buying meat, I realized that I have been buying some fish, so it is probably simply hopeless to attempt to label ourselves and we should just go ahead and eat what we want. Lately we've decided that adding some beef back into our diets would probably be a good thing. We're scouting out sources of local, pasture-raised healthy beef so we can buy some for this winter. I know that many women can have healthy pregnancies with a vegetarian diet, but I've struggled with anemia in the past and my digestive issues make me wary of adding too much iron in supplement form. We will probably still eat meat only about once a week and will put some fish into the rotation as well. The truth is, I kind of like beef and am looking forward to adding some back into our diet.

I also thought I'd share a recipe for one of our favorite ways to use canned salmon. My kids love these and gobble them up every time I serve them. The recipe makes eight, which is really only enough for four adults (two cakes each), but you could probably double it if you wanted to. I also keep meaning to try these as a sandwich on a nice chewy roll with some honey mustard sauce and crispy lettuce. The original recipe suggests a honey mustard sauce, which you make by stirring together a tablespoon of honey mustard and one-fourth cup mayonnaise. We also like them with mango salsa or even tartar sauce.

Salmon Cakes

2 cans (6-7 oz size) boneless, skinless salmon
1 egg
¼ cup milk
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 tsp. dried dill or lemon pepper
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1-2 tbls. cooking oil

Beat egg and milk together in a bowl; stir in salmon and remaining ingredients except for oil. Form mixture into eight small patties, each about ½ inch thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry on both sides until golden brown (about 3 minutes each side).


kadusey said…
I just made bison burgers for the first time tonight. It's a nice change of pace from beef, and is healthier overall (leaner, more iron). It's a little sweeter and richer flavored than beef. I was surprised to find a package of it at my local grocery store. Anyway, if you ever see any, I recommend at least trying it. It's more expensive than the cheapo ground beef I usually get by a fair bit, so I won't be buying it often, but if I bought the more expensive grass-fed beef, I doubt it would be much of a price difference.
Evelyn Theresa said…
Have you checked out Zoe's Garden (http://zoegarden.com/)? They sell organic beef that they raise on their farm in Layton. I've never bought meat from them, but we are part of their CSA. They have a drop off right by us. They are one of the few CSAs where you don't have to purchase the whole season, you can start whenever you want.

You can also buy live poultry from them if you want to slaughter it yourself. Wouldn't that be a fun activity for the kids?? (And get DCFS called on you!)
Jenny said…

I have had a hard time not being anemic this pregnancy and my dr's office gave me a list of high iron foods and prune juice and beans topped the list. I also liked the list of foods on the link also.

Salmon spread on sandwiches is also really yummy. I will try those salmon cakes, they sound fabulous.

Also, this is lame, but since I haven't been able to take vitamins, iron fortified cereal and nasty instant breakfast have been good sources of iron. Good luck with your iron intake!
FoxyJ said…
Jenny--I've hardly taken my vitamins either so far. They make me feel nasty and really interfere with my digestion. Luckily I discovered that Frosted Mini Wheats have tons of iron, and they have fiber too. I think cereal is my new best friend. Maybe I'll buy some Instant Breakfast too--I used to love it when I was a kid.

Thanks for the meat tips too, everyone. I'm still trying to talk Mr. Fob into raising our own poultry. If we did I'd probably just get my parents to come up and kill it if we need to--they're good at that kind of thing :)
skyeJ said…
I'm not the chicken plucker or the chicken plucker's son, but I'll pluck the chickens till the chicken plucker comes!
MondayCampaigns said…
Flexitarianism is definitely becoming a more attractive option to decrease meat consumption. A nonprofit dedicated to encouraging individuals to cut down meat consumption to improve physical health and reduce their carbon footprint is Meatless Monday. As a project of Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, Meatless Monday has a website rich with recipes (like this one for Portobello ‘Pizzas:’ http://www.meatlessmonday.com/portobello-pizzas/), cooking tips, and nutrition information. And for more on the history and science behind the campaign, check out the Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpnKeYmR1NM
ThirstyApe said…
I think you would enjoy the book The Flexitarian Diet by registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner.

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