What Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski Eats in a Day as a Flexitarian—and Meat Lover
Queer Eye's lovable food and wine expert, Antoni Porowski, has had a busy few years. Not only did his TV show win an Emmy last year, he signed a cookbook deal—which quickly became a bestseller—and was just awarded People's Sexiest Reality Star. Plus, he helped start a popular eatery, The Village Den, in his current home base of New York City. Oh, and he became one of the year's most popular memes.
Porowski says his eating style has evolved over the years, after stints working in different restaurants across Montreal and New York and educating himself on food and nutrition.
"If I had to have a word for it, I would say flexitarian," Porowski says. "I try not not to be too hard on myself. There are times when I come home and have had a crappy day, and all I want is a pizza, but I know I do eat a lot more veggies than I did growing up. I was raised eating meat and that was part of my life, but as I've grown older and educated myself, I've realized I want to make some different choices with my diet."
The Canadian-born chef says he focuses more on eating a plant-based diet during the week, as he sleeps better, has more energy and feels better when he does so (learn more about the science-backed benefits of eating flexitarian). On the weekends, he says he indulges with a few more meat- and cheese-centric meals.
"I try to abide by this as much as I can, but just like the gym, missing once or twice now and then isn't going to hurt me if my body isn't feeling it," Porowski says.
Read on to find out what Porowski eats in a day, plus his tips for making meatless meals delicious and satisfying:
Porowski is a morning workout guy, but not before he gets some caffeine and calories. On an ideal morning when he's at home in New York City, he will start his day with a double espresso and a vegan smoothie made with pea protein. He rounds out his breakfast after hitting the gym with two hard-boiled eggs for extra protein and staying power.
Similarly to peas, lentils are an excellent source of plant protein—and also work great in smoothies. Check out our Green Protein Smoothie recipe, that's also loaded with fiber, calcium and iron for a seriously nourishing way to start the day.
This week, Porowski noshed on a riff of one of his salad recipes from Antoni in the Kitchen. He whipped up a wintry citrus and fennel salad, topped with some leftover beets from earlier in the week that he warmed back up. The chef is a big proponent of being patient with vegetables and letting them have time to cook for perfect flavor and texture, but knows all too well our busy schedules don't always offer us the luxury.
"I love roasting and charring veggies," Porowski says. "I've been pan-searing more and realized it's a great alternative for people who don't have time to roast. I've been using Country Crock Plant Butter, which has a higher burning point than olive oil and traditional butter when I pan-sear, and it just give the veggies a nice caramelization or char in the pan."
Just like Porowski, we love a good seasonal salad made with whatever's freshest at the moment. Our Farro Salad with Cranberries & Persimmons is hearty, full of texture and will help you push through the second half of your work day. Plus, it can be meal-prepped in advance.
Porowski spent some time at The Village Den—an eatery in the West Village he opened last year—trying out some new menu items. His nighttime meal included the cafe's new vegan cacao chili, served alongside dosa—an Indian-style crepe stuffed with quinoa and veggies. Yum.
The TV chef's Instagram is filled with all sorts of recipes, and his fresh fettuccine with peas and spicy rock shrimp looks like something we need to add to our dinner rotation ASAP! Served with a big green salad and a glass of white wine, we are crossing our fingers for a dinner invite one day.
Our Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili is the perfect meal to come home to after a long day. Cozy, warming and super healthy, this easy dinner definitely deserves a spot in your weekly dinner rotation.
On Adopting a Flexitarian Diet
"I think the future is plant-based—it's happening sooner rather than later," Porowski says. "This is terrifying to some people because that's not how they grew up and they aren't comfortable with that eating style."
The chef tells us he grew up eating a lot of traditional Polish food, like fried pork chops with potatoes heaped with sour cream and other dairy products. The flexitarian eating pattern has made the most sense for him, since he doesn't have to completely cut out the foods he grew up eating—he just makes sure to prioritize putting plants at the center of most of his meals.
"When you want to implement a change—in your diet, for example—it doesn't have to be this extreme all-or-nothing thing," Porowski says. "You can start with small changes to help make things more sustainable in the transition."