Lightening Up Beef

Whether you want to serve your family more meatless meals or simply reduce some of the meat in family favorites, consider the following ideas for savvy standbys:

Cut Back with Casseroles- Replace some of the meat called for in you best hot dish with a combination of finely chopped carrots, celery and nuts. Or substitute a portion of the meat with grains such as cooked rice, couscous, barley or bulgur.

Believe in Beans- Legumes are protein-rich substitutes for the meat and poultry found in many dishes, particularly soups and stews. Feel free to experiment and get creative with beans that are new to you.

Make Pasta a Preference- Skip the ground beef usually added to spaghetti sauce, and stir in sliced mushrooms or chopped peppers instead. And you won't miss the meat in your lasagna if you replace it with sauteed vegetables such as sliced zucchini or eggplant.