Welcome back to Week 4 of Five Weeks of Flexitarian Eating! We’ve discussed beans, tofu, greens and grains. Did you try a grain or green you’ve never had before? Did you like it? This week requires a decision to be made. Are we going to consider dairy and eggs “meat” or not? And if so, what do we eat instead?
In Mark Bittman’s book, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good, the use of dairy and eggs (and meat of course) is limited to evenings and perhaps the occasional brunch. Tofu is used for morning scrambles and silken tofu is used as a yogurt replacement for a morning smoothie.
If you’re wondering what you can eat for breakfast and lunch without resorting to eggs and dairy, try eating grains. The porridge shown above has bulgur, dates and pistachios. The VB6 book has a ton of recipes and ideas, including some savory oatmeals you may never have considered for starting the day. There are two in this post. The one shown below has edamame, green onion and soy sauce.
Of course, if the idea of severely restricting egg and dairy makes you hyperventilate you don’t have to do it. You are encouraged to explore nut and soy based milks and cheeses as a way to reduce your overall consumption. I’m not a big fan of soy milk, but almond and oat milks are pretty tasty. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve noticed a lot of the cafes offer soy beverages for lightening their coffee. I’ve learned to take my tea black.
I do like the soy based cream cheese I’ve tried, but many of the veggie and nut based cheeses I’ve had are unimpressive. The exception is a cashew “cheese” that I really like, shown above on a eggless chickpea crepe and topped with a pomegranate salsa. It’s really a matter of being willing to try new foods.
We’ve mostly shifted our egg consumption to the evenings; who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? Besides, in my opinion, some things are just improved by the addition of a fried egg.
That being said, if we have leftovers to eat that contain some sort of eggs or dairy, we’ll eat them for lunch. It’s best not to become too legalistic in my opinion but rather take a mindful approach and try to find some balance between the overall amounts consumed.
Mark Bittman’s VB6 differs from Dawn Jackson Blatner’s Flexitarian Diet in that Bittman is fairly strict during the day, but relaxes for the evening meal and allows himself to eat animal based ingredients. He found over time his desire to go crazy in the evening diminished. In contrast, Ms. Blatner allows eggs and cheese on a regular basis but eats actual meat less frequently, only a few times a month.
There’s plenty of room for compromise between the two. Rick and I find a less strict VB6 approach works really well for us. Where do you think you’d fall on the flexitarian spectrum?
NOTE: Now that it’s 2018, I’ve updated the post with some more recent recipes.