Trying to Eat Less Meat? Here's How to Rebalance Your Plate So You Consume More Vegetables and Fish

It's time to rethink your ratios.

seared beets with turmeric-tahini broccoli and salmon
Photo: Ryan Liebe

Omnivores, let us help solve your dilemma: If animal proteins are a big part of your diet, downsize them. No need to pull out a food scale; just eyeball your plate and ask, "Do I see mostly vegetables, smaller amounts of protein and whole grains, and a smattering of heart-healthy fats?" "That's the new way to do this, people!" says registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. Another idea is to replace some turf with surf. A stunning 80 to 90 percent of Americans don't eat the recommended amount of fish, per the USDA. Omega-3-packed wild salmon can be pricey, but with these enlightened proportions, a pound can easily feed the whole family—and canned or frozen count, too.

Treat Vegetables Like You Would Beef

It might sound wild at first, but what if you treated a vegetable like a juicy steak? For our Seared Beets with Turmeric-Tahini Broccoli & Salmon, pictured above, we sliced beets thick and seared them on both sides until crisp but tender. This technique is magic with zucchini cut in half lengthwise and cross-sections of cauliflower, too.

Get More Greens on Each Plate

Yes, steaming vegetables is saintly, but roasting renders them irresistibly crunchy and caramelized. The sumptuous broccoli stalks take up almost half the plate above—and will disappear in half the time. Plus, pretty much any vegetable can be roasted.

Spice Is Key

The dark flecks on the turmeric sauce for the salmon are dynamite: The piperine in freshly ground pepper increases the bioabsorption of the anti-inflammatory curcumin in turmeric by 2,000 (not a typo) percent. "Don't skip the pepper!" Blatner says.

The Bottom Line on Dairy

It's been deified as a calcium-dense building block and demonized as a tummy-troubler. The answer to whether or not dairy is good for you? It depends. "I'm a big fan of functional dairy," says Blatner, meaning foods that deliver extras, like the gut-healthy probiotics in yogurt and kefir, in addition to the calcium and vitamin D of plain old milk. If you love milk, opt for grass-fed, which has more omega-3s.

Art Direction by James Maikowski; Food Styling by Laura Rege; Prop Styling by Tanya Graff

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