8 Ways to Ease the Transition to Meatless Mondays

  • By: Mommy & Love
  • Date: November 22, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

National Food Day: October 24, 2015

Food Day 2015 is right around the corner! Americans celebrate Food Day to focus on eating healthier meals and improving our national food policies. This year’s emphasis is Towards a Greener Diet which addresses environmental and health concerns related to meat-heavy diets.

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year. Plus, a meat-heavy diet takes a terrible toll on the environment. Eating Real can save your own health and our planet and put our food system on a more humane, sustainable path. To learn more about your diet’s impact on your health and the environment, answer 14 Questions that Could Save Your Life and the Planet. (foodday.org)

Why Meatless Monday?

I started sharing Meatless Monday recipes as an official Meatless Monday blogger in January of this year. It has been an incredible journey for me personally going from eating meat every meal to full on vegetarianism. One night, I watched Food Inc. and the next day I was a strict vegetarian. I stopped eating meat all in one day, but I realize that’s not possible for many people. It’s hard to readjust your cooking and meal planning when you are used to eating meat at every meal! I get it. That’s why the Meatless Monday movement exists. If everyone would commit to skipping meat one day each week, it would have extreme environmental and health benefits.

8 Ways to Ease the Transition to Meatless Mondays

  1. Commit to Meatless Mondays.
  2. Pick your favorite dinner and make it vegetarian.
    • Use seasoned rice and black beans or pinto beans in tacos or burritos.
    • Use mock meats such as veggie crumbles in place of ground beef in lasagna, chili or casseroles.
    • Make homemade or store-bought bean, lentil or veggie patties in place of hamburgers. Try Chickpea & Blue Cornmeal Patties.
  3. Experiment with different types of beans. They all have similar textures but taste better in different seasonings.
    • Black beans and pinto beans do best in Mexican dishes.
    • Butter beans can be blended with water and Italian seasonings to make a white pasta sauce.
    • Garbanzo beans/chick peas are excellent in greek salads, Indian dishes and hummus dips.
    • Kidney bean varieties are perfect with chili seasonings or even tossed in white Italian pasta dishes.
    • Buy bean medleys like this 32 Bean & 8 Vegetable Soup mix to start discovering your favorite beans.
  4.  Experiment with different types of vegetables.
    • I started with leafy greens. Mix them in any or all of your meatless meals for added nutrition.
    • Find recipes that feature vegetables as the main dish.
  5. Experiment with different types of whole grains. I used to only eat non-whole grain wheat bread and instant white rice in the grain category because it’s all I knew. Now we eat whole grain breads, oats, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, barley and more to give variety.
    • Buy grain medleys like Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Medley and make pilaf or use the mixture under stir fry dishes. You should instantly find a new type of grain you prefer over common white rice.
  6. Buy less meat. If it’s not in your fridge or freezer, you will be less likely to eat it. Note: This works for me with dairy products. I stopped buying milk, sour cream, cheese and eggs and now I only eat them sparingly… when someone else buys it.
  7. Look to other world cuisines for inspiration. There are so many vegetarian-friendly cuisines out there. SOOO many delicious flavors and seasoning combinations that you haven’t discovered. My newest favorite is Indian cuisine. One day, I will master all those sauce recipes, but for now, I read Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen.
  8. Follow Meatless Monday bloggers for new recipes to try out each week.

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