Chef Michael Symon, restauranteur, host of Symon’s Suppers, Cook Like an Iron Chef and ABC’s The Chew, and wearer of an “Eat More Meat” t-shirt (for real; take a look) has a new message: Eat more vegetables.
Chef Symon, who tops even ice cream with bacon, hosted an event at the recent Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on Meatless Mondays, and in January, shared his favorite meat-free recipes on a special Meatless Monday episode of The Chew. So is this meat man turning veg man? Not really. But even the most passionate meat-lovers need a break. “Life is about moderation, ” he tells Peggy Neu of the Meatless Monday campaign. “Even if I’m having beef for dinner, it’s probably going to be a 3-4oz portion with heaps and heaps of vegetables.” One day a week, sometimes Mondays, sometimes not, he cuts out meat to give his body “time to do what it needs to do. ”
Growing up in the Midwest, meat was always a big part of Michael’s diet. But when he met his wife, a vegetarian, 20+ years ago, he made a compromise to his meat-heavy diet to include more plant-based foods. Michael’s advice for carnivores looking to add more vegetables to their diet: keep it local. Eating what’s fresh and in-season will give you a chance to try new produce without getting bored. And keep it exciting by trying new legumes and grains, like quinoa and farro.
Chef Symon has thought about adding Meatless Monday features to the menus of his Cleveland restaurants Lola and Lolita, but says there’s not really a place for it at his Detroit restaurant, Roast. Oh well. Everything in moderation. Maybe the meat man will think about an all-vegetable spot for his next restaurant venture. But until then, try some of his best meatless dishes at home:
- Peach and Blue Cheese Salad
- Ricotta Gnocchi With Stewed Eggplant, Garlic, Red Pepper and Oregano
- Zucchini Ragout
- Mushroom Casserole
- Cucumber and Walnut Soup
- Spinach and Feta Pancake Wraps
- Tomato Casserole