7 'Sneaky' Ways To Eat Less Meat - Save Our Bones

Meat dishes are not out of bounds when you're following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program – especially when the meat is hormone/antibiotic free and from animals that were raised humanely. However, sometimes you may prefer to steer clear of meat dishes while still enjoying the hearty and tasty satisfaction you get from them – I know I do.

And that's what today's article is all about: simple ways to use delicious meat alternatives and flavor-enhancing ingredients that can take the place of meat or that you can even mix in with meat to make a little meat go a long way. Plus I'll share a recipe with you for vegan (and really tasty!) “meat” crumbles.

Let’s start with one of my favorites…

1. “Beef Up” Pasta With Chopped Mushrooms

Meat-based pasta is a very popular dish, but you can use much less meat in your recipe and replace it with chopped mushrooms. Not only do these little fungi add meaty texture, but they also soak up the flavor of whatever sauce they’re cooked in, so they will not detract from the overall flavor of the dish. And they are rich in bone-building nutrients.

2. Try Vegetable-Based Sandwich Filling

Instead of chopped chicken or tuna, try a sandwich filling that gets its creaminess from plain yogurt, mustard, or homemade tahini, and its chunky texture from chopped nuts, fruits, and veggies.

3. Make Meatless Dishes Interesting With Vegetable Textures

When you decide to serve a vegetable casserole instead of a meat-based dish, choose veggies with lots of different textures to make it interesting and colorful. Think of the different textures of cooked cauliflower, sweet potato, cabbage, mushrooms, and broccoli. You might want to add a vegetarian source of protein and texture by mixing in quinoa or millet. You can also roast the vegetables on a cookie sheet or grill before mixing up your casserole to give them extra flavor depth.

4. Get To Know Nature’s Meat Substitute: The Portobello Mushroom

A well-cooked Portobello has a very meaty flavor and texture. It makes an especially good meat substitute in tacos, burgers, and sandwiches. Like other mushrooms, Portobellos soak up flavors, so marinating them works wonders. A marinated Portobello cap on the grill makes an excellent burger substitute.

5. Re-Think Eggs: Try Them For Dinner

Yes, eggs are acidifying; but they contain valuable nutrients that are not found in meat, and have unique bone-building properties. For example, eggs contain sulphur, which is a key component in collagen production. Collagen is a protein found in the bone matrix, and it accounts for much of bones’ tensile strength. So don’t be afraid to make a meal of eggs, and serve them with a green salad and fresh fruit to balance the acidity. Or try an omelet stuffed with alkalizing veggies.

6. Veggies On The Grill

Grilling gives vegetables and veggie burgers a meaty texture and flavor. Try making shish kabobs with a smaller percentage of meat and lots of chunky, colorful veggies. Fruits, too, add delicious tang and texture to a veggie burger or kabob – think grilled slices of fresh pineapple on a burger, or pineapple chunks on a skewer alongside colorful bell peppers, onion chunks, and a few pieces of beef.

7. Explore Another Natural Meat Substitute: Eggplant

Eggplant’s neutral flavor and spongy texture make the perfect combination for soaking up rich flavors. Sliced in rounds and grilled; steamed, cut into chunks, and blended into a dip; diced and baked into a casserole…the possibilities with eggplant are numerous!

Need Some More Ideas?

Meat-free substitutes for kitchen staples, like ground beef, can go a long way toward facilitating the creation of bone-healthy meals. Below is a recipe that can be used in all kinds of recipes in place of ground meat.

Vegan “Meat” Crumbles


Having these vegan, meat-free crumbles on hand opens up all kinds of bone-smart cooking possibilities.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 cup raw almonds, slivered
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, halved
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian broth


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend the cauliflower, walnuts, and almonds to a fine meal.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients, and knead thoroughly.
  4. Line a large-rimmed cookie sheet or rectangular pan with parchment, or spread a little oil on it to prevent sticking.
  5. Place the mixture in the pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 45 minutes or up to 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on how thick the mixture is.
  6. Stir after 30 minutes, and continue baking and stirring every 15 minutes until the “meat” is dry and brown all over. The grounds will begin to separate and intensify in color as they roast.
  7. Once fully cooked, you can use it right away or freeze it for future use. Will stay fresh up to three days in the refrigerator.

These crumbles could be mixed with mashed beans and/or cooked grains to make veggie burgers, or sautéed with seasoning to make a filling for tacos or burritos, or simmered with tomatoes and beans to make chili. These are just a few suggestions – once you get started, you’ll find a myriad of uses for these delicious vegan crumbles.

It’s easy to think that a nutritional plan that emphasizes vegetables means boiled carrots and lettuce three times a day. But it’s so much more than that!

As the above recipe and tips show, there is incredible variety and creativity with vegetables and fruits. Vegetables can be roasted, diced, steamed, and sautéed; fruits can also be roasted, used as a topping, and whirled into smoothies.

You’ll discover all this and much, much more with Bone Appétit, the Save Our Bones cookbook.

Full-color photographs accompany delicious dishes for all meals, snacks and smoothies. You’ll be amazed at how you can combine foods to achieve pH balance, and how those foods seem “made” to go together. My Mock Oatmeal, for example, combines alkalizing quinoa and acidifying oats with almonds, fruit, pumpkin seeds, and honey.

In Fish Entrees, you’ll find dishes like Salmon Amandine, which “alkalizes” salmon with colorful, alkalizing, bone-healthy bell peppers, onions, basil leaves, tomatoes, and sliced almonds.

PH-balanced food combinations like this allow you to enjoy nutritious foods like salmon without worrying about their acidifying nature undermining the nutrient value.

And don’t forget – three bonuses round out the Bone Appétit experience: the 30 Day Meal Planner, Blender Magic, and Calcilicious.

Do you have some creative ways to use less meat in your meals? How about creative uses for vegetables and fruits? Please share your experiences and ideas by leaving a comment below.

Happy bone-healthy eating!

The Top 14 Things You’re Doing That Are Damaging Your Bones... And More!

  • Stop The Bone Thieves! report
  • Email course on how to prevent and reverse bone loss
  • Free vital osteoporosis news and updates.
Get It Free Now

Comments on this article are closed.

  1. business insights today

    When you talk related to property direction, we want to speak about real real estate management – not the surface items that anyone can establish like easy methods to change the lights or name the professional, but entering into the pecans and bolts of the required steps to produce property thriving.

  2. Customer Support

    Hi Rose,

    Please check your e-mail for a message from Customer Support, where these issues are typically handled. 🙂 We’ve removed your comment for privacy purposes, because your personal contact information was posted (this is a public forum). Thanks!

  3. Marlene Villar

    Thank you very much for this info. Vivan.

  4. Ethel

    No meat receipt

  5. barb

    Awhile back you had information on a water filtration system, I have forgotten the name. I would appreciate any info on the system. Thanks

  6. mary ann

    I’m allergic to eggs only in regard to the fact they cause inflammation. How serious is this? Would it be okay to have some eggs occasionally?

  7. Sue

    Vivian, love your program! I read that the print version of Bone Appetite is sold out, but will you be getting copies soon? I prefer flipping through pages and writing in the margins. Wanting it for a Christmas gift also.

    • Customer Support

      Hi Sue,

      At this time, we’re not planning to print anymore copies of Bone Appetit. But we are offering the digital version for $20 off the regular price, so you can get it for just $27. And since it’s digital, there are no shipping fees and no waiting. 🙂

  8. Renee

    Great info but if one is going to eat eggs, I would strongly recommend getting only local, organic eggs from chickens fed organically.
    The commercial egg industry is known for abusing the chickens as well as feeding them GMO corn in their feed.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Excellent point, Renee. I couldn’t agree more!

  9. Pamela T.

    Thank you again for sharing great information. I will soon be ordering your recipes and exercises.

  10. Louise DiSclafani

    I do like ideas for occasional options for meatless possibilities. I’m extremely allergic to nuts. So can I use a good granola base instead of nuts? Or what would you suggest?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Louise,
      You could try sunflower seeds seeds as a substitute. Can you eat peanuts? They are a legume, and often, people who are allergic to tree nuts like walnuts and almonds are able to eat peanuts.

  11. Mona


    I am told that after reaching a certain age like 50 plus that your body does not make bone any more and that is the reason for using bone medicine to keep from having fractures. This was told by my doctor, is this true? Yet I have read different.
    Appreciate your throughts.

  12. Diane

    I checked out mushrooms and eggplant but neither have that much protein, don’t we need to replace meat with something with comparable protein?

    • Diane Martinson

      Sorry my reply from Vivian just came through for my first comment, thought it didn’t get on the first time. Thanks Vivian.

  13. Ita

    Thank you.Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are welcome, Ita. 🙂

  14. Regina

    Thank you , Vivian, for sharing your creative ways of cooking meatless dishes.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re welcome, Regina – it’s fun to get creative with bone-healthy foods. 🙂

  15. Diane

    A while back when I quit beef and pork but not poultry and fish I checked out meat substitutes. I read that mushrooms and eggplants were often used but when I checked on protein content they didn’t come close to being protein substitutes. I rely on things like nuts for my noon protein but a one ounce serving is only about 7 grams so I have to double up, with mushrooms and eggplant I wouldn’t even get close to that. If meat substitutes are replacing meat shouldn’t they have more protein since that’s what they are replacing?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s a great question, Diane. Most people have great concern about protein consumption which is largely due to a misunderstanding of how the body assimilates protein. Your body actually “builds” protein from the breakdown of any food you eat, in any combination! This means we can produce complete protein from just about any food because after digestion, there is no distinction of the source of the amino acids necessary to form protein.

      And of course, the less animal protein you consume, the less calcium
      you’ll eliminate via the urine.

  16. Kimberly

    Anyone else hungry after Reading these delicious ideas?!

  17. Faith

    I am 65 and have been meatless for 46 years. It is a wonderful, compassionate and healthy way to live. Of course I don’t know the impact it’s had on my bones, but I do know I’ve helped saved the suffering of many sentient animals while helping the environment and ensuring my own health. It would be great if we didn’t feel we had to eat animal flesh at all. Look into it–you might find it is right you and your family. There are lots of movies that speak to this subject if you are interested. I

  18. Zarayna

    Lovely recipe and suggestions – thank you even though I am dribbling all over my keyboard.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am glad these recipes sound so good to you, Zarayna! I just hope you don’t damage your keyboard. 😉

Get Started With Your FREE
Natural Bone Building Kit.

Get a free copy of our ‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ eBook, exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.

Get It Free

Get Your Free Bone-Building Kit


‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ guide, exclusive info, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.