Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader. Short excerpts with full links are welcome.
With all the talk about what a balanced diet really is, including lots of vegetables and whole grains and less animal protein, I’d like to introduce those of you who didn’t grow up in an old-fashioned deep Southern family to the concept of “meat and three.” By the time I was seven years old, I was preparing simple suppers while my mother worked elsewhere in the house. Within a few years, I was in charge of more complicated meals of my own planning. It was only years later, sharing space with people from around the country, that I realized that what I thought of as a balanced meal was not everyone’s idea of a proper dinner. I learned, for instance, about “meat and potatoes,” where the overwhelming portion of the plate is full of animal protein and starch. The Southern “meat and three” is no doubt a diet born of both poverty and a longer growing season. It’s also really healthy. With “meat and three,” you have a small portion of animal protein on your plate, or even none at all. The rest of the plate includes a grain, a bean, and a leafy green–or any nutritious vegetable and sometimes fruit. “Meat and three” minus the meat is actually a great vegetarian meal, but the bit of animal protein makes it even better for folks who eat meat. The next time you’re planning dinner (or supper as Southerners call it), consider planning your plate around “meat and three.” Your body will appreciate it, and I’ll bet your family will too!
Of course, this is only a healthy meal if you are getting your “meat” (for us, fish and fowl) from sources you know well enough to be sure of how the food is being grown and how it’s processed. See other posts on buying from local farmers.
Try the classic Southern “meat and three” meal, Beans, Greens, and Cornbread, where the meat is at most seasoning–or doesn’t need to be there at all!
This Dutch oven recipe for chili-cheese-cornbread can be a starter for the “meat and three” with no meat if you use vegetarian chili and add more tomatoes–and, yes, you can ditch the cheese.
This homemade vegetable soup has a complete protein and tons of veggies all in one bowl, with or without meat.
This turkey and wild rice soup with beans and other veggies is a good meat-and-three dish if you add a good side. You can make it vegetarian by cutting out the turkey.
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader. Tweets and short excerpts with full URL and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader are welcome.