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22 tips for 2022: If you want to eat less meat, spice is key

Image of clear glass bowls filled with almonds, cashews, edamame, mushrooms and tofu
Becky Harlan/NPR

Trying to eat less meat? Make sure your meat-free meals are just as satisfying by seasoning your vegetables with the same spices you use to cook meat. It will carry some of that flavor over.

Keep your cupboard stocked with spices like cumin, paprika and ginger that enhance any meal. Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and basil can also add a nice touch.

"If you love Thai, if you love Ethiopian, if you love Caribbean [food] — keep those spices on hand as well," says Tracye McQuirter, a public health nutritionist and author.

It turns out you don't need to become vegetarian or vegan to make an impact on your health or the environment. Just cutting back on your meat consumption can go a long way. You could also try plant-based proteins to fill out a meal, like tofu, cashews, almonds, mushrooms or edamame.

It also helps to think about what your meals are gaining, instead of what they're lacking.


Here's more on how to eat less meat.

22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip comes from an episode of Life Kit hosted by Maria Godoy and produced by Clare Marie Schneider.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Maria Godoy is a senior science and health editor and correspondent with NPR News. Her reporting can be heard across NPR's news shows and podcasts. She is also one of the hosts of NPR's Life Kit.

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