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Reducing Your Meat Intake? Use It as Flavor

A small amount can add great taste to your almost-meatless meals

Garlicky White Bean and Tomato Stew with Shrimp, Meat as a Flavoring Recipe by Pam Anderson (

Using less shrimp in this white bean and tomato stew makes it a more affordable dish as well. —

Garlicky White Bean and Tomato Stew With Shrimp

Serves 4

If you're using IQF (instant quick freeze) shrimp, save the liquid from thawing and use it as part of the broth.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) white beans, drained
  • 3/4 pound medium cooked peeled shrimp (preferably wild)
  • 1 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Feta, for sprinkling

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic, oregano and pepper flakes in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the tomatoes and beans, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, partially covered and adding a little water if the mixture thickens too quickly, to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Toss the shrimp, remaining oil and smoked paprika; add to the skillet along with the parsley. Simmer to heat through. Serve immediately with a little sprinkling of feta.

Quick Italian Wedding Soup,  Meat as a Flavoring Recipe by Pam Anderson (

Using chicken sausage in this "quick" Italian wedding soup, you will need fewer ingredients and less preparation. —

Quick Italian Wedding Soup

Serves 6

  • 3/4 pound chicken Italian sausage, meat removed from casing
  • 6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 each: medium carrots and celery stalks
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup Israeli (or Middle Eastern) couscous
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 8 ounces (8 cups) baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Mix the sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan and egg. Divide the mixture and shape into 24 meatballs. Heat the oil in a large soup kettle. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning only once, until well browned, about 5 minutes total. Remove from the pan. Using additional oil if necessary, add the onion, carrots and celery; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the couscous and meatballs; cook to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. Add dill and spinach; cook until the spinach wilts, a minute or so longer. Adjust seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

AARP food expert Pam Anderson is a best-selling cookbook author and blogger at

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