So you want to try Meatless Mondays?

Going meatless for a Monday is an easy transition, should you decide that vegetarianism is an option for you. Not only will you save money, but omitting red meats from your diet can be beneficial to your health.

Opting for vegetarian meals once a week also helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions that are released from processes used to keep livestock are twice as much as that for growing a sustainable garden. Researchers have also found that there is a correlation between the reduction in beef consumption and the reduction of methane produced by growing livestock feed. You can replace your favorite meals with delicious and nutritious vegetarian substitutes – it’s easy! We have compiled an awesome alternative menu for your next Meatless Monday!

Your Typical Meat Eating Monday Meals

Breakfast:

  • Bacon
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Pancakes

Lunch

  • You’re always on the go for lunch. Driving to your local fast food restaurant has become the norm for you. On a typical day, you find yourself looking for pizza from your favorite takeout place or opt for delivery to your office.

Dinner For dinner you typically eat something like:

  • Meatloaf
  • Potatoes
  • Salad

 

 

For Breakfast on meatless Monday, you should try this instead:

Vegan Pancakes

  1. Ingredients:
  2. 1 cup of flour
  3. 1tbsp sugar
  4. salt to taste
  5. 1 cup of soymilk or almond milk
  6. 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preparation:

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make sure that it is mixed very well.
  2. Add all of the liquid ingredients and beat the batter until it is very smooth.
  3. Drop the batter onto a hot griddle, as you would any other pancake mix. Wait for the beautiful bubbles to appear and then flip it!
  4. Your family will have no idea that these pancakes are vegan, and will be begging you to make more.

MorningStar Farms® vegetarian bacon

Morningstar Farms makes a great bacon substitute. The look and smoky flavor will have you wondering if it is too good to be true.   The best thing about using this product is that you can either cook it in a skillet (for about 10 minutes) or microwave two strips for about one minute. Mornings will be just as good as you remembered, if not better, with this healthy bacon substitute.

 

Scrambled Tofu Bake

Instead of scrambled eggs, try a scrambled tofu bake. Like eggs, tofu is high in protein. The best thing about using tofu as your morning starter, is that it will take on the taste of whatever you decide to flavor it with. So, find your favorite seasonings and vegetables and begin by lightly sautéing your vegetables. We recommend using a pinch of garlic and onion, as it will give you the same flavors as having a cheesy scrambled egg.

What you’ll need:

 

  • 1 organic Bell pepper
  •  As many cherry tomatoes as you desire
  • Mushrooms
  •  Onions
  •  Garlic powder
  •  Soy sauce (optional)
  •  Onion powder
  •  Pepper
  •  Tabasco sauce (optional)

 

First, you want to slice the tofu into little cubes. The smaller the cubes, the easier it is to “scramble”. Add the tofu to the pan. Keep it on medium heat for about 10 minutes, mixing it every two to three minutes. It should brown, depending on whether you add soy sauce or not. For a southwestern feel, add Tabasco chili pepper sauce. You can eat your scrambled tofu as is, or make breakfast burritos by wrapping them in flour tortillas.

 

 

Meatless-Monday Lunch Option:

 Pasta Salad

This pasta salad can work as a lunch or dinner option. It also feeds your hunger for delicious Italian food, while still being healthy and filing. You can eat it cold or hot, and it reheats well if you need it to.

 

You will need:

  • 2 cups of Whole wheat pasta
  • Tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 or three sprigs of basil
  • 1 package of Soya Fat Free Mozzarella Style Soy Cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups of organic spinach

What to Do:

Boil the pasta in a giant pot. Once it is done, drain the pasta, then place it back into the pot. Mix all of your vegetables in another dish. Once your pasta has cooled, add it to your vegetable dish along with the soy cheese. You now have a wonderful dish that is high in protein and fiber and can be eaten as a delicious lunch or a hearty dinner.

 

Delicious Dinner alternative:

Veggie Meatloaf

What You’ll Need:

 

  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  •  Sun dried tomatoes
  •  Olive oil
  •  Onion
  •  Olives
  •  1 or 2 cloves of garlic (depending on how much garlic you like)
  •  1 small package of portabella mushrooms, finely chopped
  •  Soy mozzarella
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper

 

What to Do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using the butter, grease your meatloaf pan. Coat it slightly with breadcrumbs. Soak the sun dried tomatoes for about ten minutes in water to soften it. Make sure that the water covers the tomatoes. Once it is soft, chop it up and add it in a bowl with the rest of the breadcrumbs and the mushrooms. Don’t drain the water. Mix in the cheese and the vegetables. Using your hands, mold your mixture in your baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Once it is done, let it cool for about 30 minutes. To make sure that your mixture has set, you may want to refrigerate it. This will give your “meatloaf” a second day tasting. Everyone knows that meals always taste better as leftovers.   When you are ready to eat, heat, then slice your meatloaf. Delicious!

So, you’re thinking about a dessert? :

After your awesome meal, you’re craving your favorite ice cream from the frozen food aisle of your local grocery store.

Replace it with:

 

Vegan Ice Cream

You can make your own vegan ice cream at home. It just takes a few ingredients and a few hours (to freeze and set). Don’t worry! You won’t even need an ice cream machine to make this great and tasty treat.

 What You’ll Need:

 

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  •  1 cup of vanilla soy milk or vanilla almond milk
  •  1 organic banana
  •  Organic Cocoa Powder
  •  1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum (you can find this in most health food stores)
  •  Vanilla extract
  •  3 tablespoons of Organic Whole Peanut Butter (optional)

Add all of the ingredients into a blender. Pulse slowly for 15 seconds. It should be smooth and creamy. You can freeze your ice cream in an airtight container for up to five days.

Going meatless for a Monday can be an easy transition should you decide that a meat free life is the winning option for going green for you. By cutting back on meat, you also lower your risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. It has been proven that people who begin vegetarian diets reduce their obesity and reverse symptoms of pre-diabetes. Going vegetarian means that your diet is low in fat and high in fiber! Before you decide to go meatless, plan out your menus, which with our help, can be easy to prepare and make for excellent leftovers. You’ll never notice you’re not eating meat!

 

 

References:

  • Mayo Clinic Staff.Meatless meals: The benefits of eating less meat. Accessed at

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/meatless-meals/art-20048193 on November 29, 2014.

 

  • American Dietetic Association. Vegetarian Lifestyle. Accessed at www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6372 on November 29, 2014.

 

 

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