A note about finding solace in summer meals
Friends of Primary Beans,
Summer days are upon us, and as the world seemingly makes less and less sense, I find myself longing for the solace warmer weather provides. Lingering outdoors, long evening runs, big nourishing salads, and lots of grilling and gatherings with loved ones is what’s getting me through.
With both grilling and the fight against climate change top of mind, I recently listened to an interview with Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown and it got my mind spinning. If you’ve been following along, you probably know that Primary Beans isn’t the biggest fan of lab-developed alt meat.
“Consumers are asking for this,” he said and it set me off. I really dislike this term, which relegates us all to people who just consume, rather than humans with complex experiences and needs.
Are we really asking for fake meat, or are we simply seeking ways to make plant-forward cooking more enjoyable and accessible to all of us?
When asked what’s next for Beyond Meat, Ethan joked that it wouldn't be meat with bones, which reminds people where meat actually comes from, as if it’s a bad thing.
Knowing where our food comes from is super important– it maintains our humanity and helps us retain our decision-making power instead of resigning ourselves to being measly “consumers.”
And it’s my belief that if you can’t handle bones, you shouldn’t eat meat.
Building a community of conscious eaters is what Primary Beans has been aiming for all along. While we’d argue that beans– the original plant-based protein and packed with nutrients– are the solution to more widespread plant-based eating, we want you to be able to decide for yourself.
Build your meals with what brings you comfort and nourishment. Eat your veggies and beans, your well-sourced meat (there are plenty of grass-based farmers and ranchers making responsible decisions), and even your alt-meat if you’d like.
But pay attention. To where your food comes from, to how it makes you feel, to how it sparks dialogue with those around you.
For as long as we’ve lived, food has been a catalyst for conversation, for relationship-building, and for joy, especially when things feel difficult. My hope is that this season is no different.
Below you’ll find some top-of-mind ideas and inspiration to make this the summer of celebrating responsible plant-forward eating. But consider this a two-way conversation– I’d love to hear what’s in your rotation as well.
- On the subject of alt-meat, we can’t not bring up veggie burgers. The best veggie burgers are actually made from plants, and we’re happy to see companies like Actual Veggies and Lekka Burger, featuring veggies, beans, and grains. Check out our recipe, where we walk you through how to make *actual* veggie burgers– guaranteed to please a crowd.
- I recently had a lovely conversation with Heather, founder of Primal Supply in Philadelphia– a modern butchery committed to pasture-raised meat and whole animal practices (and now carrying Primary Beans!). We talked about how beans and meat go hand-in-hand– the cornerstones of healthy soils (if managed correctly) and perfect complements in the kitchen. For those of you who eat meat, I encourage you to support butchers like Heather, and practice mindful meat-eating– using meat sparingly as flavoring and relishing any meat-centric dish.
- I’m so excited to experiment more with vegetables this season. I recently cooked up a bunch of broccolini using a pellet grill and I needed nothing else. And, I recently bought Francis Mallmann’s new cookbook, Green Fire, validating that the flavors and textures to explore with vegetables are endless.
- And, don't forget the beans. Beans are a versatile and tasty way to round out a vegetable-centric spread. You’ve been loving our Herby marinated white beans, which can be adapted in so many ways. Some of our other summer favorites include, Best hummus, Brothy bean with gremolata and yogurt, and Spicy bean cakes with cilantro-yogurt sauce.