It used to be that Americans, and everyone else for that matter, ate meat in small portions and often as a seasoning. But thanks to modern day industrial agriculture, many families are “heavy on the bassar (meat).” And while the price of meat may be cheap in comparison to the relative price a generation ago, not all costs are monetary. Too many Americans are paying for their diets with their health and their lives.
For the sake of my family’s health, the environment and our wallets (we buy organic kosher meat), meat is a side dish at our table. And only on Shabbos. And sometimes, not even then (gasp!).
But before you turn your nose up at our drastic state of affairs, let me introduce you to a few delicious ways we use meat as a side dish.
CHINESE STIR FRY
2 cups brown rice, cooked according to package
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves chopped garlic
T chopped ginger
1 bunch roughly chopped green onions
An assortment of veggies that you like: handful of assorted mushrooms, thin strips of carrots (use a peeler to create them), snap peas, broccoli, finely chopped hot pepper
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
2T soy sauce
T fresh lemon
2T peanut butter
T sesame oil
Saute the onion in olive oil until soft and brown. Brown the meat in the oil and onion. Add garlic, ginger, green onions and the other assorted vegetables. Stir fry until brown and soft. When close to done, add the soy sauce, lemon, peanut butter and sesame oil. Saute for two more minutes. Mix in rice and stir fry for 2 more minutes. Add peanuts to the top and serve. (The chicken can be swapped for meat or tofu).
PISTACHIO CHICKEN SALAD
1 package boneless skinless grilled chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup grapes (red, green or both)
1/4 cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the prepared chicken breast into bite size pieces. Halve the grapes. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together and serve cold.
SPINACH SALAD WITH GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST
3 handfuls of fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped red onion
halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 lb. sliced grilled chicken breast
Toss the salad and lay the chicken over the top. Drizzle a vinaigrette on top, such as the one here.