How to Find Balance When You Eat a Lot of Meat

A rich, succulent steak on your plate, a rack of aromatic ribs, or perhaps a delicious burger – who can resist the charm of meat? As an avid meat eater, it might be hard to consider incorporating more balance into your diet. However, just like any other food, the mantra here is moderation. Here are some easy strategies to find balance in your diet when meat is your mainstay.

Add More Vegetables to Your Plate

The first step towards achieving a balanced diet while keeping your love for meat intact is by adding more vegetables to your plate. Vibrant, nutritious, and incredibly versatile, vegetables are your perfect ally to counterbalance the high protein content of meat. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help in boosting immunity and preventing a range of diseases. Moreover, the additional color and texture they bring to your plate not only make the dish visually appealing but also enhances the flavor profile of your meal. When planning a meat-heavy meal, consider having a large salad as a side, or roasting a variety of veggies to accompany your protein. You could also try stir-frying vegetables in a bit of olive oil with garlic and herbs for a mouthwatering side dish. Not only will this give you a variety of tastes and textures, but it also provides the added benefit of increased nutrient intake.

Eat More Fiber

Transitioning to the second section, another effective way to balance out your meat consumption is to increase your fiber intake. Your body relies on fiber for easier digestion. The importance of fiber in the diet cannot be overstated. It helps in the efficient processing of food, aids in maintaining a healthy weight, and reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are rich in fiber. Consider starting your day with a high-fiber cereal or adding some chia seeds to your yogurt. Swapping white rice for brown or wild rice, choosing whole-grain bread over white, and adding lentils or beans to your soups and salads are also easy ways to up your fiber game. The slow digestion of these fiber-rich foods ensures that you feel full for longer, which can help in managing the portion size of meat in your meals and prevent overeating.

Eat Leaner Meats

Lastly, it’s worth considering the type of meat you consume. All meat is not created equal – the nutritional profile varies vastly between different types and cuts of meat. To strike a balance in your diet, try opting for leaner meats. Lean meats are lower in fat, particularly saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease if consumed in large amounts. They still provide high-quality protein, essential for maintaining muscle mass and keeping you satiated, but with fewer calories. Chicken breast, turkey, lean cuts of beef such as sirloin or tenderloin, and fish like salmon or tuna, are all excellent choices.

Finding balance in your diet when you’re a meat lover isn’t about drastic changes or deprivation. It’s about making small, smart choices that add up over time. Incorporating more vegetables, boosting fiber intake, and choosing leaner meats are straightforward strategies that can help you achieve this balance without compromising on taste or satisfaction. So, savor your meat dishes, explore new tastes with veggies, and embrace the whole spectrum of foods for a balanced, healthful diet. Safe travels and happy eating!

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Sweet and Savory Cherry Tomato Jam

Jimmy’s Hideaway Version

I’m a fan of blending savory and sweet notes in dishes.  and when visiting restaurants I often select dishes based on the potential combination of textures and flavors.  I came across this dish for a vegetarian Tofu Napoleon at Jimmy’s Hideaway in Provincetown, One of my favorite places to eat. The Jimmy’s version is a layered dish is gluten free with layers of marinated & grilled  Asparagus, Crimini Mushrooms, Gruyere Cheese Topped with Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto. It’s a huge portion and tasted as good the next day!

My version!

Now when I take a something and decide I want to recreate it – I will often amp it up a bit and in this case the idea of marrying it with some kind of compote or jam struck a chord. So I dug into my recipes and “re-lived” this version for Savory Sweet Cherry Tomato “Jam”. On my version I also swapped out the gruyere and added a layer of seared brie and  polenta along with the grilled vegetables.




Savory Sweet Cherry Tomato “Jam”


  • 1 ½ -2 pounds cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 medium thin  sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cut diced dates or dried cherries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
  • 1 -2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 teaspoons Herbs De Provence (you can substitute crushed rosemary or thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil or Bacon fat


  • To a cold saucepan add some olive oil or bacon fat
  • Add the red pepper flakes, sliced onions and turn on medium heat and saute 3 min
  • Add the tomatoes, sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, garlic and herbs, salt and pepper ( if using the dried fruit add it here too).
  • Bring  to a simmer.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low. The mixture will be very liquidy for about 10-15 minutes, but stir occasionally
  • Continue simmering the jam, stirring every few minutes,  until it has reduced down to a thick, slightly sticky, and sweet consistency.  depending on your pan this could take 20 – 40 minutes
  • Once it resembles a chunky loose jam. Remove the garlic. Taste.
  • Add any more herbs, salt or pepper. You can also add some honey if you want it more sweet. (Remember as this cools the flavor will be more muted so you want to plan for this)
  • Allow the mixture to cool before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


My take on a plant-based Curried Cauliflower soup

Paul recently became alarmed over some labs and asked if we could incorporate more vegan and plant-based recipes while we worked to get weight down.

Last year he had ordered the How Not To Die Book and the companion Cookbook. So it was a perfect chance to try one of the recipes.

I changed up the recipe a bit but overall its very similar to the original. The author creates his own savory spice seasoning blend used in several of the books recipes and I’m a fan of that alone! But make it the day prior as it needs a day to meld the flavors. I’ve included them both below.


  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1½ tablespoons curry powder (start with 1 tablespoon- you can add more later depending on how warm you like it)
  • 2 teaspoons date sugar syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Savory Spice Blend (see below)
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Reserve the juice for the end –  (original version used a blended peeled lemon but it wasn’t worth the effort in my opinion)

For garnish

  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped, for garnish or
  • 1 medium diced apple


  1. In a large pot, heat 1 cup of the broth over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon
  4. Purée the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender, working in batches if necessary.
  5. Stir in the lemon zest
  6. taste and adjust; more curry? Add some now, more lemon juice? Or other seasonings as desired.
  7. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, garnished with chopped tomato or apples. Sprinkle fresh herbs or additional nutritional yeast.

If it is too “spiced” add a dollop of greek yogurt or dairy free sour cream to help balance the heat.


“How Not To Die” Savory Spice Blend

MAKES: ABOUT ½ cup for your cabinet

Great replacement for salt!

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard (mustard powder)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds

Combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder or blender to mix well and pulverize the dried herbs and spices. Transfer the blend to a shaker bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dry place.


Adapted From: How Not to Die CookbookHow Not to Die Cookbook

Ricotta Glazed Cookies

This cookie is very similar to one I loved growing up in an Italian -American household called Anginettes, but different. The base of this recipe for Ricotta Glazed Cookies is as the title implies, based on Ricotta Cheese. It fit perfect for this week’s spring fresh live as it’s easy to adjust the glaze colors for any time of year and is a quick bake time and pairs great with the Tomato, Bacon & Cheese Shortcake I made during an old TIKTOK live

Ricotta Glazed Cookies 


Cookie batter

  • One cup of unsalted butter or margarine or 1/2 and 1/2)

  • 2 cups of sugar

  • 16 ounces of ricotta cheese

  • 3 tsp of vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon extract

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda**

  • 4 cups of flour

  • Zest of one lemon

For the glaze

  • Confectioners Sugar

  • Lemon juice or milk

  • almond extract

  • anise extract

  • A few drops of gel food coloring will bring these seasonal


  1. Using an electric mixer combine butter sugar and ricotta cheese

  2. Combine lemon zest, extract and vanilla extract with the cheese mix

  3. In a separate bowl combine baking powder flour and salt

  4. Add flour to the cheese mixture, mix until just combined

  5. It should be thick enough that you can make walnut size balls if it’s too loose add some more flour

  6. Scoop and roll onto your sheet pan

  7. Bake on parchment lined pants, in the oven 8 to 10 minutes

  8. When done, remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes in the pan, then place on a rack to cool

    Prepare a glaze;

    Blend confectioners sugar, lemon juice or milk, a pinch of salt.

    Optional for the glaze could be several drops of almond extract or anise extract.

    Combined until the consistency of a glaze you prefer, dip cookies upside down into the glaze then place right side up on the rack to drip dry

** When I made these on the live I left out teh baking soda and found I liked them that way.. will have to try it with next time

This is another of those handwritten treasures I found in an old recipe box while thrifting.

Tomato, Bacon and Cheese Shortcake

Yes. thats rights. I said it; Tomato, Bacon and Cheese Shortcake.

A savory take on a spring and summer classic. As many of you know I came across a early 60’s Bisquick cookbook (note: it’s been around since the 30’s) and have been having fun adapting some of the recipes. This particular one was in the book, but I add a few extras to bring it forward without damaging the classic feel.  I’ve  “super sized” it with a piece of fried chicken breast.

Bisquick was a staple for many of us growing up as a baking mix that allowed the home cook to come up with biscuit/cake/muffin products quickly, not needing to have leaveners etc. There are lots of recipes out there that can provide you with instructions to make your own version or you can still buy it commercially. In fact you can buy a variety of versions of it these days. In my house growing up it was a staple for pancakes waffles muffins occasionally it would get added to a cake. Enjoy!

Note – this isn’t an “everyday” treat.. but it sure is fun on a cheat day

Tomato, Bacon and Cheese Shortcake


  • 4-6 Shortcakes or Biscuits

  • 6-12 slices of Bacon

  • 3 large or 5 medium ripen tomatoes

  • Cheese Sauce

    • ¼ cup butter or margarine

    • ¼ cup Bisquick

    • ½ tsp. salt

    • ¼ tsp. pepper

    • ¼ tsp. dried mustard, if desired

    • 2 cups milk

    • 2 cups grated sharp cheese

    • 3-4 minced chives or scallions


  1. Make 6 individual Shortcakes or drop biscuits using your favorite recipe

  2. Broil bacon, remove to paper towel to drain

  3. Make the cheese sauce while shortcakes are baking

    1. Melt butter over low heat.

    2. Blend in Bisquick and seasonings.

    3. Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth and bubbly.

    4. Take off heat. Stir in milk.

    5. Add back to heat, bring to boil; boil 1 min., stirring constantly.

    6. Stir in cheese until melted


  1. Slice ripe, medium-sized tomatoes.*

  2. Split and butter ( or mayonnaise) both the top and bottom of the shortcakes.

  3. Place 1-2 tomato slices on the bottom layer of the shortcake

  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Layer on 1-2 bacon slices

  5. Spoon the cheese sauce over the bacon and tomato. Be generous! It should drip down over the bottom shortcake.

  6. Sprinkle with minced scallions

  7. Add the top shortcake or biscuit

Note: You can also substitute mayonnaise for butter on the shortcake or biscuit under the tomato layer.  This also works with adding other proteins like leftover ham or fried chicken pieces

*the original recipe wanted peeled and sliced tomatoes, I no longer peel them. 

Recipe adapted from the 1964 The Bisquick Cookbook Recipes from Betty Crocker in answer to your requests

How to Make Sure You Have a Pleasant Food Trip Experience

To have a wonderful and unforgettable food trip, it’s important to plan ahead. You can enhance your culinary adventures by doing extensive research, booking appropriate flights and accommodations, and being open to trying new flavors. This will help you appreciate the finest cuisine at every destination you visit.

Research Ahead of Time

Before setting off on your food trip, take the time to research and plan your culinary itinerary. Start by identifying the local specialties and popular food establishments in your destination. Online platforms, travel blogs, and food-focused websites are excellent resources for discovering the best culinary hotspots, hidden gems, and must-try dishes. Read reviews and recommendations from fellow travelers to gain insights into their experiences. Consider creating a list of restaurants, street food stalls, or markets that align with your culinary preferences and desired price range. It’s also helpful to note the operating hours, reservation policies, and any specific dietary considerations. By conducting thorough research ahead of time, you can make informed choices and ensure that your food trip is filled with delectable delights.

Book Flights and Accommodations

When planning a food trip, it’s crucial to secure appropriate flights and accommodations. Look for flights that align with your desired travel dates and allow sufficient time to explore the local culinary scene. Consider flexible flight options to accommodate any potential changes or spontaneous culinary discoveries. Select accommodations that are conveniently located near food hubs or offer easy access to public transportation. The last thing you want is a hotel infested with pest issues like bed bugs. It’s advisable to read reviews and choose reputable accommodations known for their cleanliness and pest control practices. Prioritize comfort, safety, and proximity to food destinations when selecting your accommodations. By taking the time to book suitable flights and accommodations, you set the foundation for a seamless and enjoyable food trip experience.

Branch Out

One of the greatest joys of a food trip is the opportunity to explore new flavors and culinary traditions. While it’s tempting to stick to familiar dishes, branching out and trying local specialties can lead to extraordinary gastronomic experiences. Be adventurous and open-minded when it comes to trying new foods. Engage with locals or seek recommendations from food enthusiasts to discover hidden culinary treasures. Embrace street food and local markets, where you can sample a wide array of authentic dishes and interact with local vendors. Don’t be afraid to step outside your usual palette and embrace the diverse flavors of your destination. Food is an integral part of a culture, and by immersing yourself in local cuisine, you gain a deeper appreciation for the place you’re visiting. Allow your taste buds to guide you on an exciting culinary journey.

A pleasant food trip experience requires careful planning, flexibility, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. Whether you’re indulging in street food, visiting renowned restaurants, or exploring bustling markets, let your food trip be a delightful celebration of culture, flavors, and the joy of culinary exploration.

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