Cutting back on animal products in your diet is one simple step that can have a huge environmental impact.

A recent report from Greenpeace Brazil attributed 80% of the amazon’s deforestation to cattle production. Cincinnati is even encouraging residents to eat less meat to help combat climate change! Switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet is a tremendous way to help reduce your impact on the planet. If cutting out animal products all together seems a little extreme for you, even just reducing the amount of animal products in your diet can make a difference. Here are ten delicious ways to eat lower on the food chain!

  1. Cook up some chili. This amazing Golden Acorn Squash Chili from Coconut & Lime is so delicious you’ll never miss the meat!
  2. For an easy crock pot meal, try this slow cooker seitan from Vegan Planet. Seitan is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten.
  3. Tempeh, another meat substitute, is made from soy and grains. These tempeh sloppy joes are a great kid-friendly dish.
  4. Have a taco night! Put out bowls of refried beans, diced tomatoes, olives, cilantro, lettuce, and guacamole with hard or soft tortillas for a fun, interactive meal!
  5. If you’re craving pasta, Kittee’s stuffed shells are sure to hit the spot!
  6. Try these tasty black bean patties to quell that burger craving.
  7. For a spicy fix, check out this awesome jambalaya recipe from The Vegan Mouse.
  8. If rich, comfort food is what you’re after, try my recipe for Mac and Pea.
  9. Feeling snacky? Eat Drink Better has a fantastic roundup of easy vegan snack foods!
  10. A simple tofu stir fry is a great, easy weeknight meal option.

Like any change, you want to do things gradually. Maybe start out replacing one or two meals a week with veggie alternatives and go from there. Good luck, and happy cooking!

[Creative Commons photo by Ian Mynard]